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One-Fifth of All Adults Are Living with Chronic Pain

A new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that more than 50 million adults in the U.S. are suffering from chronic pain. That translates into more than 20% of all adults in the country.

The CDC defines chronic pain as pain lasting for three or more months. Chronic pain can affect daily work and life activities and has been linked with depression, Alzheimer disease and related dementias, a higher suicide risk, and substance use and misuse.

Chronic Pain by the Numbers

According to the report, Chronic Pain Among Adults—United States, 2019-2021, 51.6 million individuals—20.9% of the adult population—said they experienced chronic pain. This number includes 17.1 million individuals experiencing high-impact chronic pain.

While chronic pain can affect people of all ages and genders, the CDC found that it is more prevalent among women than men. It is also more common among older adults, affecting about 30% of those aged 65 to 84. Chronic pain is also more prevalent among people with a disability and those in poor general health.

Chronic pain can stem from injury or infection or be related to an ongoing condition such as arthritis or cancer. It can also be caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety or depression.


Fighting Chronic Pain

To fight this epidemic of chronic pain, the healthcare profession is turning to a variety of treatments. While treating the original cause of the pain is preferrable, it isn’t awlays possible or effective. For this reason, medical professionals often turn to treatments that alleviate the pain itself, such as pain-relieving medication.

The CDC recommends that healthcare providers and clinics “vigilantly attend to health inequities” to better fight this problem. The CDC wants to make sure that providers and clinics ensure access to appropriate, affordable, diversified, coordinated, and effective pain management care for all persons.

Valley Medical and Wellness agrees with this goal and is dedicated to providing personalized, accessible, highest quality of care for all Minnesotans who struggle with chronic pain, including the most underserved and marginalized in our society. The providers at Valley Medical utilize a wide variety of chronic pain treatments, including steroid injections, viscosupplementation, and nerve blocks. Valley Medical also prescribes Sublocade, an opioid medication, that can effectively manage the persistent effects of chronic pain.

Let the Pain Experts at Valley Medical and Wellness Help Manage Your Chronic Pain

When you need relief from chronic pain, let Valley Medical’s friendly and experienced pain management guide the way. We have clinics in five convenient locations to serve patients across Minnesota, including Burnsville, Minneapolis, Woodbury, Rochester, and Bemidji. To learn more, call us at (612) 444-3000.


Michael Miller Michael Miller Michael Miller is a Business Process Writer at Valley Medical and Wellness. He's an established writer with more than 200 books and thousands of articles published over the past three decades. He writes on a variety of topics, from healthcare to technology to music. He is also a member of the Interstellar Foundation, dedicated to telling the story of humankind via NASA spacecraft traveling beyond the solar system.

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