For the majority of Americans, pain — either chronic or the kind that comes and goes — is a way of life. More than half of us suffer from physical pain, which means that if you were to stop someone randomly on the street and ask “Are you in pain?” chances are high that they’d say yes.
This finding comes from a nationwide phone survey of over 1,200 Americans, sponsored by Stanford University Medical Center, ABC News and USA Today. Back pain was the most common type of pain reported, followed by knee and shoulder pain, joint pain and headaches.
When pain strikes, about 80 percent of Americans reach for over-the-counter drugs or home remedies to help. 60 percent have also tried other pain-relief methods including prescription drugs, bed rest and prayer. More than 10 percent of adults now rely on prescription painkillers everyday (interestingly, the survey reported that prayer and prescription drugs worked best, and equally well, in addressing Americans’ pain).