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A Call to Revolutionize Chronic Pain Care in America: An Opportunity in Health Care Reform

Don Dillard’s pelvis was crushed on April 5, 1991 when a truck ran over him at a Detroit recycling plant where he worked at the time.

With multiple fractures, the accident changed his life. He was flown to nearest trauma center, spent 40 days in the hospital and was released in a wheelchair—and in agony. Read more

Chronic pain — commonly defined as pain persisting longer than six months — affects an estimated 70 million Americans and is a tragically overlooked public health problem.

The burden of chronic pain is greater than that of diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

A 1998 National Institutes of Health (NIH) report concluded that just the economic toll of chronic pain may be estimated at $100 billion a year in the United States. It has increased significantly since then.