SUFFERING: New Survey Finds Most Americans in Pain
A new survey released last week found that 89% of American adults regularly experience pain, the AP/Billings Gazette reports. The Gallup survey of 2,002 adults, compiled last year for the Arthritis Foundation, showed that 46% of women and 37% of men experience pain daily, "but nearly two-thirds see a doctor only when they cannot stand it any longer." Forty-three percent of the respondents said pain "keeps them from activities as simple as standing or waiting in line for long periods of time." Also, 27% said they missed work in the past year because of pain. The most common source of pain, reported by 23% of those surveyed, was joint pain. The other common ailments included backaches, sore feet, muscle pain, and arthritis.
Only half the respondents visited a physician for pain in the past three years, and 80% "believe aches and pains are just a part of getting older." Moreover, 28% believed "there is no solution" to their pain. "Just getting older in the U.S. does not mean you've got to be in misery and got to be sick all the time," Dr. B. Eliot Cole, a consultant on pain management, said. He added, "Don't sell yourself short just because you have a few miles on your chassis." John Richie of Washington, D.C., who has cancer and has undergone six surgeries, agreed that "pain should be dealt with and can be controlled." He explained, "I think we have trivialized pain as something we have put up with and don't realize that if you're hurting, you can't concentrate on healing." The results were based on a telephone survey of 1,002 women and 1,000 men. The margin of error was two percentage points (4/6).