Pain Poll: Many Americans in Pain
Survey Shows Back Pain Is the Most Commonly Reported Source
WebMD News Archive
Pain's Impact on Daily Life
How much did pain hamper mood, activities, enjoyment, relationships,
work/chores, and sleep?
The responses were split. Just more than half said that when they had pain,
it didn't interfere with those areas of life very much (56% or higher in all
However, the others said pain had "some" or "a great deal"
of interference with life. In this category, for instance, nearly four in 10
(39%) said pain interfered with their sleep and 43% said it affected their
Still, the vast majority of people -- 91% -- said they were "very"
or "somewhat" satisfied with their life.
Attempts to Ease Pain
Most people (63%) said they'd talked to a doctor or health care professional
about their pain. Nine out of 10 of them said they thought the doctor or health
expert had understood them "very well" or "somewhat well."
However, fewer people (59%) said they'd gotten at least a "good
amount" of pain relief after consulting their doctor.
More than eight out of 10 people said they felt they had at least some
control over their pain. Another 11% said they had "hardly any" or
"no control at all" over pain.
Pain Relief Resources Tried
The survey also covered pain-relief methods. Here are those results, with
the percentage of people who said they'd tried each one:
- Over-the-counter drugs: 84%
- Home remedies: 81%
- Prescription drugs: 60%
- Bed rest: 58%
- Prayer: 58%
- Chiropractic: 28%
- Massage: 28%
- Homeopathy: 16%
- Yoga: 14%
- Alcohol: 12%
- Marijuana: 6%
- Acupuncture: 5%
Most people who reported trying those methods said they worked well.
However, there weren't enough users of acupuncture or marijuana to get feedback
in those areas.
Of the people who said they used prescription pain medications, nearly one
in five (19%) said they used them on a daily basis. Most people (66%) said they
used them less than once a month.
As for the most common remedy -- over-the-counter drugs -- 33% said they
used them every day or at least once a week.
The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3%.