We all have experienced pain at some point in our lives -- whether the result of a common injury, serious trauma, short-term illness, disease or necessary medical intervention. But more than half of adults in the U.S. have chronic or recurrent pain, according to a 2005 survey by ABC News, USA Today and the Stanford University Medical Center.
The number of people living with pain is likely to grow. More Americans are living longer and are bound to develop pain-causing conditions that come with old age. Additionally, advances in medical care save more lives but can leave patients with chronic pain caused by the original ailments and injuries they once were not expected to survive.
For a number of reasons, pain can be challenging to treat. There are hundreds of pain-causing conditions, each with its own set of complexities. Depending on the patient, pain can manifest itself in different ways, and pain-relieving treatments could have varying results. Furthermore, in some cases, doctors might be unable to diagnose the source of pain.
Despite the sobering news, there are numerous organizations that are focused on providing both assistance and information on pain management. Here are selected links to those resources:
American Pain Foundation