The True Cost of Pain Relief

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Close up of a senior woman taking a pill

Acute pain is something that affects every person at some time in their lives, but some people suffer from extended chronic pain, often resulting in missed work and a lower quality of life. Approximately 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives and it is one of the most common complaints by patients to their primary care doctor. Finding pain relief can sometimes be a long process of trial and error, amounting in an immensity of healthcare costs. Let’s explore the true cost of pain.

Economic Costs of Pain

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine published a research report titled Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. In the economic impact portion of the study, they analyzed the cost of pain as the result of cost of medical care as well as indirect costs such as lost wages, disability days, and fewer hours worked. The findings stated that lost productivity from pain ranged from $299 to $335 billion annually. If you add in the cost of health care due to pain, the total rises to $560 to $635 billion dollars, making the cost of pain higher than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In summation, pain has a major impact on workforce and the health care industry.

Cost of Pain Relief for Individuals

Beyond the impact of pain on society as a whole, pain also presents a lot of cost to the individual. Depending on an individual’s choice in care and insurance benefits, the cost of finding relief could be enough to send someone into bankruptcy. Let’s break down the cost of different types of pain management.

One of the most commonly prescribed solutions to pain is medication in the form of over the counter pain relievers or opioids. A study by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy reports that the total cost of prescription medications for pain was an average $17.8 billion annually from 2000-2007. The average price per pill with insurance varies from $1.50 to $6. At a minimum of one dose per day, the average cost of prescription pain management annually ranges from $540 to $2,190 a year, not including doctor visits and the cost of vulnerability to addiction.

When prescription medications don’t work, some individuals turn to surgery to find relief. According to the book Chronic Pain Management, the estimated cost of lumbar surgery is $27,577. Needless to say, whether you have insurance or not, the cost of pain relief is a burden on any individual’s finances.

Chiropractic Care is a Cost Effective Choice for Relief

More and more, people are turning to non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatments for pain. Along with treatments like physical therapy and acupuncture, chiropractic care is a more cost effective solution for pain relief.

Oakland University’s School of Business Administration published a study highlighting the medical costs of low back pain care, reporting that chiropractic patients save about $1,000 over a two year period in comparison to other pain relief options. At Tuck Chiropractic, the average cost of an initial consultation without insurance is a mere $75. With the following adjustments costing only $50 each and the average care plan requiring approximately 6-8 visits over the course of 2-3 weeks, the cost of relief amounts to about $475. If your insurance carrier covers chiropractic care, the cost is significantly less.

When all is said and done, chiropractic care can save you money, save you time, and save you from the dangers of addiction to medication. If you would like to find out if chiropractic care is a cost-effective solution for your pain, schedule a consultation at a nearby Tuck Chiropractic clinic today. We’re here to help.

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