Chronic Pain Statistics

Chronic Pain Statistics From Around the Web

[highlight color=”green”]The 5 most interesting chronic pain statistics from around the web[/highlight]

  1. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Click To Tweet
  2. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability. Click To Tweet
  3. 100 Million Americans live in #chronicpain. Click To Tweet
  4. Chronic pain costs US society at least $560-$635 billion annually. Click To Tweet
  5. 85% of people worldwide will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Click To Tweet

From PainMed.Org

ConditionNumber of U.S. SufferersSource
Chronic Pain100 millionInstitute of Medicine of The National Academies (2)
Diabetes25.8 million
(diagnosed and estimated undiagnosed)
American Diabetes Association (3)
Coronary Heart Disease
(heart attack and chest pain)
16.3 million

7.0 million

American Heart Association (4)
Cancer11.9 millionAmerican Cancer Society (5)

*Credit to for assembling this information.

From the National Health Institute

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  • Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
  • Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system. It is a leading cause of disability and it is a major contributor to health care costs.
  • According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2006), approximately 76.2 million, one in every four Americans, have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours and millions more suffer from acute pain.
  • Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability.
  • The diversity of pain conditions requires a diversity of research and treatment approaches.

*Credit to the National Institute of Health for assembling this information.

From the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

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  • Overall in 2011, an average of 31% of Americans reported having a neck or back condition.
  • 26% had a knee or leg condition.
  • 18% had another condition causing recurring pain.
  • In all, 47% of Americans reported having at least one of the three types of chronic pain, including 7% who reported all three types.
  • Americans’ reports of chronic pain conditions increased most sharply from their mid-20s to late 50s.
  • 13% of 18- to 23-year-olds report knee or leg pain.
  • Low-income and overweight Americans are significantly more likely to suffer from chronic pain conditions.[/tie_list]

*Credit to Gallup for assembling this information.

Arthritis Statistics From Around the Web


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  • An estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States were told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.
  • One in five (22.7%) adults in the United States report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • In 2010-2012, 49.7% of adults 65 years or older reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • By 2030 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have arthritis.
  • An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition – this represents 1 in every 250 children in the U.S.
  • The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 27 million adults had osteoarthritis in 2005.
  • 1.5 million adults had rheumatoid arthritis in 2007.
  • 3.0 million adults had gout in 2005, and 6.1 million adults have ever had gout.
  • 5.0 million adults had fibromyalgia in 2005.
  • Of persons ages 18–44, 7.3% report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Of persons ages 45–64, 30.3% report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Of persons  ages 65 or older, 49.7% report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Twenty-six percent of women and 19.1% men report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition; this represents approximately 1 in every 250 children in the U.S.
  • 2.9 million Hispanic adults report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • 4.6 million Non-Hispanic Blacks report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • 667,000 Asian/Pacific Islanders and 280,000 American Indians/Alaska Natives report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Almost 44% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report no leisure-time  physical activity compared with 36% of adults without arthritis.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis (31%) between the ages of 18 and 64 report arthritis-attributable work limitation.
  • Among all civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. adults ages 18-64, 5% (8.2 million) report arthritis-attributable work limitations.
  • State-specific prevalence estimates of arthritis-attributable work limitation show a high impact of doctor-diagnosed arthritis on working-age (18-64 years) adults in all U.S. states, ranging from a low of 3.4% to a high of 15% of adults in this age group.
  • Among older adults with knee osteoarthritis, engaging in moderate physical activity at least 3 times per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47%.[/tie_list]

*Credit to the CDC for assembling this information.

Back Pain Statistics From Around the Web

From the American Chiropractic Association

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  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Further, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.[/tie_list]

*Credit to the American Chiropractic Association for assembling this information.

From PainMed.Org

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  • Low back pain is the most common source of pain.
  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old.
  • More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.
  • 28% of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have low back pain.
  • Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain.[/tie_list]

*Credit to for assembling this information.

Fibromyalgia Statistics From Around the Web

From the American College of Rheumatology

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  • Fibromyalgia affects two to four percent of people, women more often than men.
  • Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on all the patient’s relevant symptoms, no longer just on the number of tender places during an examination.
  • There is no test to detect this disease, but you may need lab tests or X-rays to rule out other health problems.
  • Though there is no cure, medications can reduce symptoms in some patients.
  • Patients also may feel better with proper self-care, such as exercise and getting enough sleep.[/tie_list]

*Credit to the American College of Rheumatology for assembling this information.


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  • 3 to 6 million Americans have fibromyalgia (American College of Rheumatology/NWHIC
  • 4 to 8 million adult cases of fibromyalgia in the US (NIH, The National Women’s Health Centre, 2004)
  • 90% of cases of fibromyalgia occur in women in the US (NIH, The National Women’s Health Centre, 2004)[/tie_list]

*Credit to for assembling this information.

Headache Statistics From Around the Web

From the World Health Organization

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  • Headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system.
  • It has been estimated that 47% of the adult population have a headache  at least once within last year in general.
  • Headache disorders are associated with personal and societal burdens of pain, disability, damaged quality of life and financial cost.
  • A minority of people with headache disorders worldwide are diagnosed appropriately by a health-care provider.
  • Headaches have historically been underestimated, under-recognized and under-treated throughout the world. [/tie_list]

Credit to the World Health Organization for assembling this information.


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  • 69 percent of males experience tension headaches
  • The most common type of headache is the tension headache  with 80-90% of the population experiencing it at at least once in their life. 
  • 88 percent of females experience tension headaches
  • Average age of first onset of tension headaches is between nine and 12 years old
  • 25 percent of women suffer a migraine at least once
  • 8 percent of men suffer from migraines at least once
  • 60 percent of migraines are unilateral, or present on one side
  • 85 percent report some sort of trigger that kicks off their migraines
  • 157 million work hours are missed each year due to migraine headaches
  • Average age at onset of migraines is between five and eight-years-old
  •  First onset of cluster headaches is usually between 20 and 30 years old
  • Average age of cluster headache victim is 30
  • 69 of 100,000 people suffer from cluster headaches[/tie_list]

Credit to for assembling this information.

Tendonitis Statistics From Around the Web


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  • Tendonitis refers to inflammation and irritation of tendons.
  • Tendonitis is referred to by several different names: Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Pitcher’s Shoulder/Swimmer’s Shoulder, Jumper’s Knee.
  • The most common form of tendonitis in the shoulder is rotator cuff tendonitis.
  • Two forms of tendonitis commonly involve the elbow: lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis. Both are very common overuse injuries among athletes involved in throwing and racquet sports.
  • Tennis elbow affects 40% to 50% of all adult athletes who play racquet sports.
  • Achilles tendonitis is responsible for 15% of all running injuries.
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) causes pain on the inner side of the elbow.
  • Tendonitis in the knee – Jumper’s knee, the most common form of knee tendonitis.
  • In the wrist, tendonitis commonly appears in the form of de Quervain’s disease, a condition that causes pain in the back of the wrist at the base of the thumb.
  • Achilles tendonitis is a form of tendonitis that affects the Achilles tendon, the large ropelike tendon attached to the heel bone at the back of the foot.[/tie_list]

Credit to for assembling this information.