Social Impact of Pain Response

  • Alan Gonzalez Cota


The social impacts of pain are far-reaching and encompass many aspects of human life in the USA and across the globe. Despite the consensus of the international medical community that treatment of chronic pain is a human right, approximately 75% of the world’s population suffering from chronic moderate-to-severe pain has no access to pain relief treatment. Even if the majority of chronic pain patients had the financial means and geographical access to pain specialists, this number is seriously inadequate to serve the vast numbers of chronic pain sufferers in the US population.


Chronic pain Quality of life Cost of illness Pain management Pain burden Undertreatment of pain Socioeconomic impact of pain Pain as disease Opioids 

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Breivik H, Collett B, Ventafridda V, Cohen R, Gallacher D. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. Eur J Pain. 2006;10:287–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gaskin DJ, Richard P. The economic costs of pain in the United States. In: Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education. Relieving pain in America: a Blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education, and research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US); 2011. Appendix C. Available from: Scholar
  3. 3.
    International Association for the Study of Pain. Annual Report. Declaration that access to pain management is a fundamental human right. 2010.
  4. 4.
    Lohman D, Schleifer R, Amon JJ. Access to pain treatment as a human right. BMC Med. 2010;8:8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    McDonnell WM. Special Report: Inadequate pain management: a growing liability risk. 2007 May. Available from:
  6. 6.
    NIH factsheets: pain management. NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT). 2013. Available from:
  7. 7.
    Paice JA, Von Roenn JH. Under- or overtreatment of pain in the patient with cancer: how to achieve proper balance. J Clin Oncol. 2014;32:1721–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Passik SD, Weinreb HJ. Managing chronic nonmalignant pain: overcoming obstacles to the use of opioids. Adv Ther. 2000;17:70–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Raffaeli W, Arnaudo E. Pain as a disease: an overview. J Pain Res. 2017;10:2003–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosenberg M. Undertreated pain epidemic: multi-modality approach to pain management. J Manag Care Med. 2012;15(1). Available from:
  11. 11.
    Scoping document for WHO Guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of persisting pain in adults with medical illnesses. 2012. GRC-08-04-0052A. Available from:
  12. 12.
    Torrance N, Elliott AM, Lee AJ, Smith BH. Severe chronic pain is associated with increased 10 years mortality. A cohort record linkage study. Eur J Pain. 2010;14:380–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    UN News Centre Report. Over 5 billion people worldwide lacking access to essential medicines, says UN report. 2015 Mar. Available from:
  14. 14.
    Zelaya CE, Dahlhamer JM, Lucas JW. QuickStats: age-adjusted percentage of adults aged ≥18 years who were never in pain, in pain some days, or in pain most days or every day in the past 6 months, by employment status — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Gonzalez Cota
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.A.I.M. Interventional Spine DivisionRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Legacy Pain Management RehabilitationBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.KureSmart Pain ManagementAnnapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations