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  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

How People Are Managing (Or Not) Their Chronic Pain

Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer who evaluates your specific situation.

According to the CDC, "In 2020, 54 million US adults with chronic pain managed their symptoms with a mix of medication and nonpharmacologic therapies..." Interestingly, about 25% relied on medication alone. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See here for VIDEO about how the ALJ may consider or disregard your pain complaints in your SSD claim, so you can better ensure he/she DOES consider it well.


Apparently, over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers were the pharmacologic of choice (which beats Opioids, some may say). For those using non-pharmacologic therapies, excercise was the most common choice. (National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)). This sounds positive to me...

NHIS apparently also determined that prescribed opioid use for pain decreased from 15.2% to 13.5% between 2019 and 2020. (Curious, did CoVid barriers cause this, shut downs, etc.?) The CDC seems disturbed by this simply because there was not a concommitant increase in non-pharmacologic therapies to offset the decrease in opioids. This may be implying then, the belief that cause of pain did not go away during such shut down time, only that now more people were not treating and were just suffering. Curious: Could it be that people were not working in 2020 like they were in 2019, due to governmental bans on working. For those whose work duties (standing a lot, lifting, sitting long in work chair) do aggravate pain, such as back pain, the lack of working in such arena thereby decreased the pain aggavation caused by the work, reducing need for pain treatments? "Older adults, those with low incomes, uninsured individuals, and those living in the South were among those least likely to turn to nonpharmacologic treatment for pain." (Well, duh. Getting physical therapy costs money, right?

(By non-pharmacologic, it is presumed the article is referring to exercise, physical therapy, etc. Presumably, (and I could be wrong), CESIs, LESIs and other steriod injections performed in-and-out/outpatient visit, would be pharmacologic as it is a drug administered by the professional, vs. issued by pharmacy to patient for his own administered dose of medicine.) All statement or considerations stem from the attached article:

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