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18 Interesting and Useful Chronic Pain Statistics for 2022

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Chronic pain statistics estimate that a third of the global population is in constant pain. This means that more than 33% of people have long-term problems in everyday life.

Although the risk of chronic pain increases with age, no one is immune to it. In fact, chronic pain affects people of all ages, nationalities, races, and genders. What’s more, chronic pain often joins other chronic diseases, like cancer or depression.

To know how chronic pain patients feel, check out the stats below.

Key Chronic Pain Facts and Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • 44% of people with chronic pain have sleep disorders.
  • A pulse rate greater than 100 heartbeats per minute can become chronic because of chronic pain.
  • 42.4% of opioid users in West Virginia died due to opioid overdose.
  • 19.74% of women in the UK are in chronic pain.
  • Chronic pain statistics say that approximately 37% of people in Brazil have chronic pain syndrome.
  • 42.2% of Europeans with chronic pain have been feeling worse during the pandemic.
  • The suicide rate for chronic pain sufferers is 10.2%.

General Stats and Chronic Pain Facts

1. 20.5% of US adults report pain on most days or every day.

(International Association for the Study of Pain)

Chronic pain prevalence in the US is worrisome. The percentage translates to 50.2 million US adults. The most common pain is in the back, hip, knee, and feet. Moreover, chronic pain affects their daily lives and social activities. So, these people turn to physical therapy and massage.

2. 20% of people with acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain.

(NINDS)

Chronic low back pain statistics show that chronic back pain typically continues for 12 weeks or even longer. Unlike acute low back pain, chronic low back pain doesn’t go away that easily. However, exercises that strengthen the core or abdominal muscles prove to be helpful.

3. 44% of people with chronic pain have sleep disorders.

(PubMed)

Medical research reveals that people suffering from chronic pain have significant sleep disturbances. According to chronic pain statistics, insomnia is the most common with 72%. Restless legs syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea follow with 32% each.

4. The percentage of people with chronic pain aged 65 and above is 30.8.

(CDC)

According to a survey, chronic pain increases with age. In fact, chronic pain is the highest among those aged 65 and above. Moreover, 25.8% of people between 45 and 64 have chronic pain as well. On the other hand, respondents between 18 and 29 report the lowest chronic pain prevalence — 8.5%.

Those between 30 and 44 also report chronic pain (14.6%), but substantially less than older survey participants.

5. Chronic pain can cause a chronic pulse rate greater than 100 heartbeats per minute.

(Colorado Pain Care)

Chronic pain statistics show that chronic pain can damage the heart and the entire circulatory system. In fact, severe fibromyalgia patients typically develop chronic tachycardia. What’s more, chronic pain patients are often physically inactive.

So, they are at higher risk from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, some pain killers, like ibuprofen, increase the chances of getting heart disease and heart failure.

6. The VA disability chronic pain percentage rating for the most severe rheumatoid arthritis cases and frozen spine is 100%.

(Woods Lawyers) (VA Claims Insider)

As of 2018, veterans have the right to receive disability benefits and chronic pain compensation, as long as the chronic pain causes functional impairment or loss. Furthermore, veteran chronic pain sufferers statistics show that lower back pain is among the top ten most common conditions.

In general, lower back pain starts with a 10% VA disability rating. Although some back conditions qualify for a 100% disability rating, many veterans receive an 80% disability rating or lower.

7. In West Virginia, 42.4 in 100,000 people die of opioid use.

(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Opioid overdose statistics by state reveal that West Virginia has the highest opioid overdose death rate in the US. Along with Maryland (33.7 per 100,000), New Hampshire (33.1 per 100,000), Ohio (29.6 pre 100,000), and Massachusetts (29.3 per 100,00), it is in the top five states by opioid overdose.

Chronic Pain Statistics Around the World

8. 39.96% of Australians visit their general practitioner because of chronic pain each month.

(ACPA)

A national survey shows that Australians are somehow satisfied with how their physicians manage their chronic pain. In fact, only 4.04% of the respondents go to their doctor weekly. Still, 26.34% consult their physicians three to four times per year.

9. 19% of the population in Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia, self-report chronic pain.

(BioMed Central Ltd)

Chronic pain statistics worldwide show a high prevalence of chronic pain in Saudi Arabia. In Al Kharj, the average age of people with chronic pain is 26.4. Back pain (30%), abdominal pain (26%), and headache (13%) are the commonly reported issues.

Musculoskeletal pain is the most frequent — 56%.

10. 19.74% of women in the UK claim to be in chronic pain.

(Formulate Health)

Over 8 million people in the UK claim they are in chronic pain. However, women seem more prone to it than men, as only 11.82% of men in the UK report feeling constant pain. Moreover, statistics on chronic pain show that 33.73% of them feel noticeable pain at least once a day. Additionally, 42.22% of women feel the same.

11. The US spends $635 billion each year on chronic pain treatments, disability payments, and lost productivity.

(US Pain Foundation)

Apparently, pain is the number one reason Americans seek medical help. Unfortunately, the prevalence of chronic pain is so high that 50 million adults, or 20% of the population, live with chronic pain. Moreover, statistics show that chronic pain is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US.

12. On average, 37% of people suffer from chronic pain syndrome in Brazil.

(Statista)

The southern part of Brazil shows the highest percentage of people with chronic pain (42%). Moreover, chronic pain stats show that 38% of the respondents in the South-East region report chronic pain. In the North region of Brazil, 36% of people suffer from chronic pain.

The North-East and Center-West regions have the least chronic pain sufferers — 28% and 24%, respectively.

13. Chronic pain has become worse during the pandemic for 42% of Europeans.

(Statista)

Chronic pain statistics for 2021 reveal that 42.95% of chronic pain sufferers in Europe feel the same as before the pandemic. However, 12% of the respondents feel much worse. Only 2.75% of Europeans feel better than before the pandemic.

Chronic Pain and Mental Health Statistics

14. 79% of people with arthritis or other chronic pain have a moderate to a severe mental health condition.

(MHA)

Studies show that chronic pain and common mental health conditions are linked. Now, 40% of respondents have never been diagnosed. Another 52% of those treated for a mental health condition stopped receiving treatment.

15. 47% of people suffering from chronic pain are severely depressed.

(MHA)

Chronic pain and depression statistics show that almost half of the chronic pain sufferers experience severe depression. However, depression is common among people without constant pain as well (36%). Therefore, mental health screening is essential for detecting all mental health issues and addressing them on time.

16. 13% of Hispanic adults in the US experience chronic pain.

(Statista)

Chronic pain demographics reveal that the intensity of pain in the US varies by ethnicity. Apart from Hispanic adults, 24% of white non-Hispanic adults suffer from chronic pain.

17. The chronic pain suicide rate is 10.2%.

(Annals of Internal Medicine)

Chronic pain is present in a significant number of suicide decedents. What’s more, 53.6% of them died from a firearm-related injury.

In addition, chronic pain sufferers often use opioids to relieve the pain. So, opioid overdose isn’t uncommon among them. Unfortunately, chronic pain and suicide statistics say that 16.2% of suicide decedents died by opioid overdose. Helping people with chronic pain is a part of solving the complex issue of suicide, as every 11 minutes, a person in the US takes their own life.

18. People with bipolar disorder are 1.7 times more likely to have a chronic pain diagnosis.

(BMC)

Conversely, people with schizophrenia are only 0.8 times likely to have a chronic pain diagnosis. Furthermore, people with a major depressive disorder are at the highest risk of receiving a chronic pain diagnosis — 1.9 times.

Chronic Pain Statistics — Conclusion

Naturally, it’s difficult to understand how chronic pain patients feel. Without the proper support from their families and coworkers, the conditions of chronic pain sufferers could worsen.

Living with any kind of pain causes other issues. Sometimes, it even leads to mental health problems. Hopefully, these numbers will raise awareness about chronic pain.

FAQ

How many people suffer from chronic pain?

It is estimated that 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. In fact, some studies claim that chronic pain affects over 30% of the world population. Furthermore, research shows that the prevalence increases with age. What’s more, arthritis, nerve damage, and cancer pain are the leading causes of chronic pain.

Can you die from chronic pain?

Dying from chronic pain is not that common. However, it’s possible. Extensive research shows that severe chronic pain patients can die unexpectedly. According to a study, people suffering from chronic pain are 30% more likely to die. Conversely, those reporting any kind of pain, but not chronic, aren’t at an increased risk of dying.

How common is chronic pain?

In the US, one in five people suffer from chronic pain. Moreover, 8% or 19.6 million people have high-impact chronic pain. Overall, women, older adults, and currently unemployed adults report a higher prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain. In addition, adults living in poverty, those with public health insurance, and rural residents are in this category.

How many Americans have chronic pain?

According to recent data, 20.5% of Americans suffer from chronic pain. That’s 50 million people in some form of constant pain. Many factors contribute to their state: injuries, physical inactivity, stress, smoking, and lack of sleep. In addition, mental health issues like unmanaged depression and anxiety are frequent reasons as well.

What is the most common type of chronic pain?

Chronic back pain seems to be the most common type of chronic pain. Approximately 84% of adults in the US feel chronic back pain at some point in their lives. More precisely, low back chronic pain is the most frequent. Chronic headaches are pretty common as well.

How does chronic pain affect your life?

Unfortunately, chronic pain can lead to mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Chronic pain also interferes with daily life as chronic pain sufferers have trouble working and taking part in social activities. In addition, sleep disturbances, poor concentration, and fatigue often take place, according to chronic pain statistics.

Sources:

  1. ACPA
  2. Annals of Internal Medicine
  3. BioMed Central Ltd
  4. BMC
  5. CDC
  6. Colorado Pain Care
  7. Formulate Health
  8. International Association for the Study of Pain
  9. MHA
  10. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  11. NINDS
  12. PubMed
  13. Statista
  14. Statista
  15. Statista
  16. US Pain Foundation
  17. VA Claims Insider
  18. Woods Lawyers