Pain Issues
Pain Matters: Discovery Channel Documentary Explores Burden of Chronic Pain
Nov 11, 2013 - 3:28:41 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com_ - North Wales, Pa., November 4, 2013 - There are 100 million American adults who live with chronic pain - more than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. A new documentary titled "Pain Matters," airing Nov. 16 on the Discovery Channel, explores the realities of chronic pain through the eyes of individuals who live with it, as well as the perspective from leading national experts in pain management.

The film features a range of stories of people living with chronic pain including a U.S. Navy veteran and a two-time Stanley Cup-winning hockey player. "Pain Matters" chronicles their individual challenges in managing their condition, including validation of their pain due to the difficulty in objectively measuring it and working with healthcare professionals to develop an individualized treatment plan.

"We hope that the personal stories told through ‘Pain Matters' will shed light on the impact of chronic pain on people's lives and will engage and enlighten viewers," said Camilla Carpenter, senior vice president of business strategy and operations at the Discovery Channel.

A new national survey of 1,255 adults with chronic pain and 505 caregivers found that chronic pain is a daily struggle for nearly all people living with it (94%) and many feel that it burdens their closest relationships with loved ones whom they rely on for daily support (82%). According to the Institute of Medicine, the high prevalence of chronic pain - defined as persistent pain that lasts three months or longer - suggests that the condition is not being adequately managed. 

Chronic pain can limit people's ability to participate in fundamental tasks of daily living. It can also have an impact on a person's economic, physical and emotional wellbeing. While there are a variety of options available to treat chronic pain, it often cannot be cured, only managed. The goal of pain management is to help the patient improve function and resume day-to-day activities.

The survey results reflect these challenges in pain management.  Although most people with pain (69%) experience pain daily, nearly one-third (31%) never or rarely discuss with their healthcare professional whether their treatment plan should be changed. Many people with chronic pain do not often utilize other modalities of pain care like exercise (55%), physical therapy (35%) or psychotherapy (6%), all of which can be important parts of successful pain management.

"The stigma associated with chronic pain can make it hard for people to talk about," said Penney Cowan, executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association. "I hope that ‘Pain Matters' and the ‘Individual Burdens of Chronic Pain' survey help facilitate a conversation of how we can better support people with chronic pain and their loved ones, as the burden from a societal and individual standpoint is substantial.

About "Pain Matters"

"Pain Matters" chronicles the stories of six people with pain and their loved ones: a U.S. Navy veteran who sustained debilitating injuries while serving in Iraq, a two-time Stanley Cup-winning hockey player, a car accident survivor, and individuals with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The stories of people with pain are at the center of the film with leading experts in pain management providing perspective on the science behind chronic pain and how it's treated, the effects of untreated pain, as well as the future of pain management.

"Pain Matters" will air on the Discovery Channel Saturday, Nov. 16, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 at 8 a.m. It is also available online at Financial support, clinical input and other expertise for "Pain Matters" were provided by Teva Pharmaceuticals. It was produced by the Discovery Channel in collaboration with seven advocacy organizations, including: American Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Chronic Pain Association, American Pain Society, American Society for Pain Management Nursing, U.S. Pain Foundation and For Grace.

About the "Individual Burdens of Chronic Pain" Survey

The "Individual Burdens of Chronic Pain" survey was conducted on behalf of Teva Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) and the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). The online national survey included 1,255 adults who have chronic pain and are treated with prescription medication, as well as 505 adults who live in the same household as and care for an adult with chronic pain who is treated with prescription medication.

The American Chronic Pain Association has offered support and information for people with chronic pain since 1980. Its mission is to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families so that these individuals may live more fully in spite of their pain, and to raise awareness among the healthcare community, policymakers and the public at large about issues associated with living with chronic pain. Learn more about the American Chronic Pain Association at

The American Academy of Pain Medicine is the premiere medical association for pain physicians and their treatment teams with over 2,400 members. Now in its 29th year of service, the Academy's mission is to optimize the health of patients in pain and eliminate it as a major public health problem by advancing the practice and specialty of pain medicine through education, training, advocacy and research. More information is available on the Academy's website at

About Teva

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to increasing access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic drugs as well as innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world's leading generic drug maker, with a global product portfolio of more than 1,000 molecules and a direct presence in about 60 countries. Teva's branded businesses focus on CNS, oncology, pain, respiratory and women's health therapeutic areas as well as biologics. Teva currently employs approximately 46,000 people around the world and reached $20.3 billion in net revenues in 2012.


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