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Chronic Pain Up Almost 40 Percent Among U.S. Workers In Past Decade

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:34pm

San Francisco Chronic Back and Wrist Pain Center Comments on Recent Chronic Pain Study Results:

We have been helping our community battle chronic pain related conditions for 15 years now at our San Francisco Financial District location. Some of the conditions we see the most are things like chronic low back pain, sciatica (leg pain), neck pain, arm and hand pain, headaches, and upper back and shoulder pain. And, usually there are other issues such as digestive disorders, insomnia, heart problems, obesity, chronic fatigue, and cancers. All in all, the state of the union is not good when it comes to health. So, what I decided to do this morning is perform an on-line search to see if there where any current news stories on chronic pain. I found is very interesting article on the Medical News Today website which supports our clinical observations. In the past 10 years, chronic pain is up almost 40 % with full time U.S. workers. This is a remarkable statistic. Here is an excerpt:

"Chronic pain appears to be increasing in prevalence among U.S. workers as Americans age and lead more sedentary lifestyles,"  said Rollin Gallagher, M.D., M.P.H., editor-in-chief of the NPF Web site (, a founding and current member of the Board of the NPF and clinical professor and director, Center for Pain Medicine, Research and Policy of the University of Pennsylvania. "This survey indicates that employees with chronic pain must become their own advocates, understand the impact of their chronic pain and work with their healthcare provider to identify appropriate treatment options."

Personally, I do not find this surprising at all. We know what the typical American diet is like (loaded with fat, sugar, animal protein, and processed foods). And, we know what our exercise habits are. Geez, 65% of U.S. citizens are considered obese. Here in the Financial District of San Francisco it is not uncommon for workers to spend 10-12 hours a day in front of their computer drinking Starbucks coffee all day (eating candy bars). While at the same time stressing out over deadlines and mortgage payments. When you consider that our bodies were designed to be running around the jungle (exercise) hunting for food (plant foods), it's easy to see how they can break down when we neglect them. Dis-ease processes often manifest when our internal and external environment are not healthy. It would be like putting cheap gas into an Indy race car.

So, what is the solution ? Well, the solution is to try to create more favorable conditions (context) for health to manifest (vs. treating the symptoms with harmful medications). Fortunately we know what these conditions are. The science of creating favorable conditions so the the body can heal and stay healthy is called " Contextual Healing". In fact, this entire Blog is based on these lifestyle principles. In a nutshell, we need to eat right (plant based diet), exercise (including aerobics/stretching) , relax (meditate and visualize), sleep right, and hopefully do things we enjoy. If it's all work and stress, coupled with a poor diet and lack of exercise, you create unfavorable conditions for health and dis-ease is likely. So, if you need help getting started with the plant based diet, make an appointment to meet with me, or come to one of our FREE health care classes every other Thursday from 12-12:45pm (call Mari at 415-392-2225 to register)

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