Since 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has been working diligently to bring awareness to the problem of chronic pain. They have designated September as Pain Awareness Month. Additionally, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon proclaimed September 2013 as Pain Awareness Month for Missouri.
There are over 100 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic pain. Also, more than two million Missourians are living with life-changing pain; this is more than those impacted by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain is a major driver of health costs. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that pain costs the US $635 billion per year in medical expenses, lost wages, lost productivity, and other healthcare costs. Studies show that significant savings could be achieved through better treatment of acute pain, reduction in workers’ compensation costs and lost tax revenues, and a reduced burden of opiod abuse and misuse.