The Cost of Pain

“…the annual cost of pain was greater than the annual costs in 2010 dollars of heart disease ($309 billion), cancer ($243 billion), and diabetes ($188 billion) and nearly 30 percent higher than the combined cost of cancer and diabetes.”

I have seen quite a few clients who live with pain that affects their lives in a variety of ways. It may make waking up and doing simple things, like putting on a shirt or bending to tie shoes, and fun things, like walking the dog or playing with their kids, difficult to do. Sometimes it affects how well or often they can do their job, which in turn affects their income, family and self-esteem. Pain compounds stress, may affect sleep and may have you taking prescription medications to keep it under control.

I’m no stranger to pain, myself. I have chosen to push through pain on many an occasion, in athletic endeavors and in my massage practice, and the result is typically the same: I hurt more. For longer. This “hurt more for longer” then takes its toll on my life, and sometimes my clients’ lives. I can’t do good work when I’m in pain. None of us can, really. So, multiple areas of my life suffer as a result of ignoring what my pain is trying to tell me.

According to the article the beginning quote is pulled from (Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research, by Darrell J. Gaskin, Ph.D. and Patrick Richard, Ph.D., M.A.), for those 100 million adults in the US in 2008 who suffered from chronic pain, it adversely impacted their quality of life. Pain can also make treating other medical conditions more difficult.

One of the crazy things about pain, though, is that we can often learn to tolerate it. Live with it. Think “well, this is just how my life is now.”

Sound familiar?

Suffering isn’t fun, especially when it messes with how you can live your life, limits what you can do and leads to chronic problems.

If you’re saying in your head, “too late! I’ve already got chronic pain,” there’s still hope. If you’ve tried conventional treatments and still have to live with pain, maybe there’s another option. Massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and nutritional changes are some alternative solutions to try.

Sometimes, tingling, numbness, soreness, stiffness and restricted movement come from muscle tissue issues. In those cases, massage therapy may be able to help. I have many clients who leave the office with better range of motion, less stiffness and reduced soreness. Clients who have lived with pain for a long time leave the office feeling better than they believed they could (check out our Testimonials). Can you imagine how that impacts their life for the better? Can you imagine having less discomfort and stress?

How much is your life, living a more pain-free, less-stressed, more-fun life, worth to you? Yep, sometimes we have to spend some time, invest in ourselves a little bit. But we only get this one body, and the only time we have is now.