One in five adult Canadians suffers from chronic pain, and there is a clear association between chronic pain and mental distress.

A whitepaper from Cira Medical Services, “Chronic Pain: The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment,” finds that more than 70% of people waiting for care at Canadian pain clinics report that chronic pain interferes with their normal work activities. More than 50% have severe levels of depression, and 35% report thinking about suicide.

Chronic pain is associated with the worst quality of life as compared to other chronic diseases such as chronic lung disease or heart disease.

The cost of chronic pain in adults in Canada, in terms of healthcare resources and lost productivity, is estimated to be $50 billion to $60 billion annually.

“When risk factors for the development of chronic pain are identified early on, appropriate treatments can be initiated when they are most likely to have a positive impact,” notes the whitepaper.

Wherever possible, it is vital that treatments engage those suffering from persisting pain as proactive participants in their own recovery. The odds of preserving or regaining functionality in this context are dramatically increased.

“For employers and insurers, the benefits are also marked,” the whitepaper states. “Employees are more likely to adhere to treatment recommendations and successfully return to work. This results in a lowering of cost of long-term insurance benefits.”

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Copyright © 2021 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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