Doctors are often faced with patients who come to them for pain relief. Unfortunately, doctors also know the cost of this relief. There is a high risk of addiction and other side effects when it comes to prescription medications and they are not always as effective as many think they are.
Technically, there is chronic and acute pain. Chronic pain is a phenomenon that many people experience. Chronic pain can be caused by an injury or illness and may last for longer than 12 weeks. In some cases, chronic pain starts without any injuries or illnesses at all. Most of the time, when someone has been in chronic pain for more than 12 weeks they are prescribed medication help them get through it. Some examples of chronic pain include headache, arthritis, nerve and joint pains, back pains, cancer, and fibromyalgia.
Acute pain is usually sharp and comes on suddenly, lasting for a short time. Acute pain can be caused by an injury or illness. It goes away when the underlying cause has been treated and resolved. Surgery, fractures, dental pain, burns, cuts, bruises, and childbirth are common causes of acute pain.
Sometimes in people’s lives, acute pain is a serious matter that affects them physically, mentally, emotionally, and, financially. That is why individuals suffered from extended pain because of a lower quality of life and missed their work. Approximately 80 percent of adults encounter lower back pain, and it’s one of the patients’ common complaints when they go to their doctors. Looking for pain relief is a long process and sometimes a matter of trial and error, resulting in immense healthcare costs.
Individual Cost of Pain Relief
Pain relief is one of the most important aspects of health care. Yet, it can be difficult to know how much pain relief you should take and when to take it. Pain presents several costs to the person beyond the impact it has on society as a whole. The cost depends on the person’s option of insurance and healthcare benefits. The bad news is, finding relief for pain may cost an individual into bankruptcy.
One of the common solutions prescribed to pain is over-the-counter opioids or pain relievers medication. According to the study, it was reported that the total amount of medication prescriptions for pain was $17.8 billion yearly from 2000 to 2007. That means the average cost for pain with insurance ranges from $1.50 to $6. With a minimum dosage per day, the cost of pain management prescription annually ranges from $540 to $2,190. The doctor’s fee is not yet included in the said cost.
Some people choose the surgery to find relief on their pain when the prescribed medications are not working on their end. Today, the cost of surgery is almost $28,000, whether you have prepared health insurance or not. Definitely, these pain relief costs are a burden to an individual’s finances.
In addition to the out-of-pocket costs, working adults who suffer from pain have a greater chance of missing days at work. Pain also negatively impacts three components of productivity: the number of hours worked per year, average hourly wages, and the number of days missed at work.
Economic Costs of Pain Relief
For years, doctors have been prescribing pain relief medications to patients. In the past decade or so, prescription rates for these drugs have increased significantly. There are many reasons for this increase in prescriptions; however, there is a downside to taking too much medication that can lead to addiction and other health concerns. There are many economic costs associated with living with chronic pain. For years, people have been suffering from chronic pain and the cost of it is astronomical.
According to the research entitled, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research,” the cost of pain relief has been analyzed from the result of indirect expenses and medical care like disability days, lost wages, and fewer hours of work. The findings showed that loss of productivity because of pain ranges from $300 to $350 billion yearly. In summary, pain has an extreme impact on the healthcare industry.
In a separate study by health economists from the Johns Hopkins University found that the annual cost of chronic pain was as high as $635 billion annually–that’s more than the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined.
Cost-Effective Option for Relief with Chiropractic Care
It has been proven that the cost of pain relief can be costly. That’s why more people are turning to non-pharmacological and non-invasive treatment for pain. Besides acupuncture and physical therapy, chiropractic care is another cost-effective answer for pain relief.
The average doctor visit for back pain costs $150. With a chiropractor, the first visit is usually around $75 and subsequent visits are often less than half that price. Chiropractic care offers relief to patients with lower back pain with no side effects, unlike drugs or surgery which come with unpleasant short-term and long-term side effects.
From the medical cost of lower back pain care, it was reported that chiropractic care patients could save almost $1000 over two years when compared to other pain relief choices. The average cost for an initial chiropractic consultation is only $75 without insurance. The next adjustments will cost them $50 every time, and it will only require them 6 to 8 visits for an average chiropractic care plan.
Chiropractic care can definitely save you a vast amount of money, save your time, and keep you away from the danger of medication addiction. Still, you’ll get the best result for your pain relief. But when all things have been said and done, in the end, it’s always your decision that matters because it is your health that is put at risk.