Affordability of Pain Relief


According to some estimations, as much as 80 percent of the world’s population receives no or improper treatment for moderate and severe pain. This 80 percent encompasses people of all ages including infants and the elderly, while improper or insufficient pain treatment is widespread in all branches of medicine including emergency rooms and chronic pain management. There are several reasons for such high percentage of people not receiving pain relief but they do not include high costs of pain relief medications. On the contrary, they are relatively cheap, especially in comparison to other types of medications, effective, safe and very easy to administer. Medications alone are not enough to manage chronic pain, however, they are often one of the most important pain relief therapies regardless of other pain management therapies received.

Although pain relief is generally affordable for most people worldwide, the actual affordability varies greatly from one country to another as well as from individual to individual. This is due to the fact that medications and access to health care remain a privilege of a minority in many parts of the world, especially in the developing countries as well as due to the fact that many therapies including counselling, physical therapy, etc. which are typically an important part of pain management are relatively expensive for a person without health insurance. The thing is that pain medications alone are insufficient to control the pain in most cases. Pain is a symptom of an underlying condition or injury, while the medications only “shut down” pain receptors in the body. They do not, however, treat the cause of the pain. As a result, the pain returns as soon as the effect of medications wears off. It may be true that the cause of pain cannot always be cured but a long term management which besides pain relief also includes management of the underlying cause dramatically eases the pain and improves the sufferer’s quality of life. Individuals without health insurance, however, are typically excluded from quality pain management because they cannot afford to pay for other than pain medications.

Lastly, it is important to mention that there are also a number of products which promise effective and safe pain relief, and are available over-the-counter or/and in health stores. The mainstream pain management therapies help relieve the pain but they typically do not make it go away. As a result, most people especially those who suffer from chronic conditions experience a certain level of pain even if they receive the best medical treatment. But since the pain can be both physically and psychologically hard to deal with, many people eventually begin to search for “miraculous” treatments which, however, are often very expensive and inaccessible to sufferers who are financially not well situated. The efficiency of these products is often questionable but inability to try them due to financial reasons typically increases the frustration which in turn makes the pain even worse.