The True Cost of Chronic Pain: It's Not Just Financial

Chronic pain is more prevalent than ever before. With more than 20% of Americans dealing with long-term pain, chances are good that you or someone you know is struggling.

And while physical discomfort takes a toll on its own, chronic pain also takes a toll on your mental health. Various research studies have illustrated a concrete link between chronic pain and anxiety, insomnia, and depression. (Read more about that here.)

But what are the true costs of chronic pain? Below we look at some of the ways chronic pain can be detrimental to your quality of life and well-being.

A Prescription for Alpha-Stim May or May Not Be Required

The financial burden that pain sufferers often face can be immense. You want respite from your pain, so you spend money on treatment after treatment, seeking one that will finally bring you relief. Or perhaps you’ve consulted with multiple doctors and tried a variety of therapies, each one adding to a mounting pile of medical debt. The cost of prescription drugs today is on the rise as well, making it even harder for those with chronic pain to get the help they need while still having enough funds for other life necessities like a mortgage or rent, groceries, and gas.

Looking at the country as a whole, the estimated cost of chronic pain is “$560 billion to $635 billion per year, composed of direct health care costs ($261 billion to $300 billion), days of work missed ($11.6 billion to $12.7 billion), and lower wages ($190.6 billion to $226.3 billion.) 

The cost of pain [is] more than that of heart disease and cancer treatments.” Clearly, pain can be devastating to your financial health as well as your physical and mental well-being.

What makes treatment for chronic pain so expensive? Many people have copays for doctor appointments, physical therapy, and prescriptions, as well as hefty out-of-pocket expenses for surgeries or diagnostic scans. Even when copays and out-of-pocket payments for appointments and treatments are relatively small individually, they add up over time.

Missed Opportunities at Work or with Friends

In addition to the direct costs of seeking and receiving treatment, many people who suffer from chronic pain have to take time off of work, or even change their career altogether. 

Says one woman interviewed for an article in Marie Claire, “At one point I wanted to be a journalist, but there’s no way I could work those long hours.” The emotional cost of missing out on the life you want to lead cannot be quantified.

Chronic pain can also lead to mood swings, increased irritability, confused thinking, and trouble focusing, resulting in decreased productivity and altered behavior

Social Disconnection and Isolation

Alongside the changes to your mood and ability to take advantage of fun activities, the compounding effects of chronic pain often lead to psychological costs stemming from a disrupted social life. 

Maybe you’re watching your budget so closely, to pay for your medical expenses, that you can’t afford a night out with friends. Maybe you no longer feel the desire to be around others or do the things you used to love and are constantly fatigued. Pain often provokes emotional responses in people, and with chronic pain, both chronic anxiety and depression are extremely common. And as pain keeps you from connecting with others, the effects of depression may get worse as well. 

Options for Treating Chronic Pain

While many options exist today for managing or treating pain, some are riskier than others. Chronic pain treatments can range from over-the-counter and prescription medications to invasive surgical procedures and implanted devices. And these options can pose serious risks including addiction or nerve damage or may not be an option due to a pre-existing health condition. 

A safer option for treating chronic pain is the Alpha-Stim M device, which is FDA-cleared to provide long-lasting relief from acute, chronic, and post-traumatic pain without the need for surgical implantation or medication. It’s also a safer financial option, with a one-time cost for the device that you can use FSA and HSA funds to purchase! 


And unlike with medications, results with Alpha-Stim are cumulative over time. The more you use it, the better you’ll feel, and the less you’ll need it. This is a stark contrast to many pain medications, which require you to increase your dosage over time to reap the same level of benefit.

*FDA-cleared for anxiety, insomnia, and pain only, with approval for depression outside of the United States.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop