Everybody Hurts - Millions of U.S. adults suffer from pain

American adults report a lot of pain. According to Kantar Media’s 2018 MARS Consumer Health study, nearly 70.6 million U.S. adults currently have or had experienced pain in the last year. Among the close to 30% of that have pain, 3 in 4 classify it as either moderate or severe.

A number of conditions cause pain, but for certain patients pain is a primary symptom.

Experience Pain as a Symptom

Among professionally diagnosed with condition:

Fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondylitis are the top conditions with two thirds experiencing pain. Among pain sufferers, 57% say their pain is the symptom of any condition.

Many feel pain, but to what degree?

One indicator of the severity of pain, is how it interferes with the ability to fall or stay asleep. 19.6 million adults (28%) have severe levels of pain. Of them, the clear majority say it prevents them from falling asleep or staying asleep at night:

79% say pain interferes with sleep

59% of adults experiencing the severe pain are addressing it by taking a prescription drug while 57% take an OTC. Nearly 1 in 3 are taking both an Rx and an OTC medication to treat their pain:

OTC Rx Meds

What other treatments are adults with severe pain using?

Severe sufferers use alternative and other non-conventional treatments to help manage pain:

  • 1 in 4 are treating pain with vitamins/supplements or herbal/home remedies
  • 22% physical therapy or surgery
  • 18% injections
  • 8% medical marijuana

Additionally, 24% of adults with severe pain take a sleeping aid (OTC or Rx).

The impact of severe pain on health and wellness

Pain may significantly disrupt a patient’s daily routine and become psychologically or emotionally detrimental. Severe pain sufferers are 125% more likely to have or have had depression in the last year compared to total adults.

Connecting with others online

Severe pain sufferers value support or health information in the form of online communities and content sharing websites. Compared to total adults, they are more likely to value the following as a source for health-related information:

  • 38% online communities or support groups
  • 36% drug company/brand websites
  • 35% social networking sites

Severe pain sufferers are 23% more likely to feel comfortable registering on a website which consistently offers useful condition information.

To learn more about the MARS Consumer Health study, patient groups, treatment, media usage, health attitudes, behaviors and much more please stay tuned for our next blog post or contact us directly for additional information.

About the study

Kantar Media’s MARS Consumer Health Study is a trusted information source for reaching different patient groups and uncovering deep consumer insights. It provides stable and reliable media and healthcare data that is projectable to the U.S. population to better meet the needs of agencies, marketers, healthcare facilities, insurers and media companies. The study contains detailed information among U.S. adults including online and offline media usage for 100+ consumer magazines, newspapers and health-related publications as well as TV, radio, and internet usage.

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