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Pain is the principal reason we visit the doctor. Pain is our natural, biological alarm, which warns us that something is wrong and often is a signal to stop before permanent damage occurs.
According to U.S. News & World Report, 34 million Americans suffer from chronic pain which eventually takes its toll on quality of life, personal income, and productivity. Americans spend more than $40 billion for relief from body aches. Of those with arthritis, one out of three has to limit daily activities.
When you consider that in the United States one of every four sick days taken—50 million work days total—is because of pain, it becomes clear that it is a significant problem.
An aspect of pain that is troubling to doctors, is that it is subjective. People are surprised to learn that there is no diagnostic test that will confirm the presence of pain or measure its severity. With all of medicine’s advances, we still are left to measure pain based on a person’s subjective perception of it. Doctors, for example, use pain scales that ask a patient how bad their pain is on a one to ten scale, with ten being excruciating.