Persistent Pain

At least 1 in 3 Americans will experience persistent pain sometime during their lifetime. This often means more health care visits, more hospital stays, disability, lost workdays from reduced productivity, loss of sleep, increased medication use, depression and serious psychological stress, increased expenses, and interference with even simple activities of daily living. Learn more below about Americans’ opinions about pain medications, get statistics on persistent pain, and read an overview on how to understand and safely treat pain.

Related Pages

#SafeMeds Twitter Chat

Date: March 25th, 2016

This is a transcript of the #SafeMedsChat held on March 23, 2016.

Safe Medicine Use, Storage, and Disposal

Date: January 11th, 2016

Every day, millions of Americans turn to over-the-counter medications to treat their pain, colds, fevers, stomach upset, and more. But these same medications can cause harm if they aren't taken safely. These resources walk viewers through:

  • Choosing the appropriate OTC pain medication
  • Taking it safely and according to directions
  • Storing it Up and Away and out of sight of little ones
  • Disposing of it when they no longer want it

Three pocket films, a patient quiz, and links to other important resources are included.

Press Room

Press Kit for OTC Pain Medication Safe Use and Storage Films

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 2nd, 2016

This is the press kit for the OTC pain medication films. 

Before Seeking Relief, Know Your OTC Pain Medication

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 2nd, 2016

The Alliance for Aging Research has debuted two animated “pocket films” focused on educating consumers about how to safely choose, take, and store OTC pain medication.

New Survey Shows Americans Prefer Education Over Restricted Access When It Comes to OTC Pain Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 9th, 2015

Results Also Reveal Many Older Adults Use OTC Medications to Relieve Pain

Growing Burden of Persistent Pain Calls for More Medical Innovation

Date: February 20th, 2013

Today, the Alliance for Aging Research released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation on persistent pain.

Alliance for Aging Research Urges You to Take Control of Your Pain

Date: July 7th, 2003

The Alliance for Aging Research has a new tool for helping manage the aches and pains associated with growing older,  Take Care of Yourself, Take Control of Your Pain.


Public Comments

Comment Letter on CDC Opioid Guidelines

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: 2016

The Alliance for Aging Research wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting modifications to the 2016 CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Specifically, the Alliance recommended the CDC modify the guidelines by: 

  • Including a statement calling for further investment of federal resources into clinical research to assist providers in tailoring long-term opioid use.
  • Requiring Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide an updated clinical evidence review of the guidelines
  • Calling on public and private payers to broadly cover the cost of non-pharmacologic interventions for pain sufferers. 
  • Adding more resources to on the safe use of non-opioid pain treatment
  • Removing the non-evidenced based dosage recommendations
  • Removing the time/specific pill limit for acute pain treatment

Fact Sheet

Practical Facts for Health Care Providers: Assessing and Treating Persistent Pain in Older Patients

Date: 2009

Persistent pain is a common problem in older adults, yet many are reluctant to discuss it with their health care provider. They may see pain as an inevitable part of aging, or believe it’s not possible to relieve their symptoms.

Many times it is left up to the health care provider to ask questions of their elderly patients and figure out if pain is a problem. This fact sheet is a summary of the 2009 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) guidelines on the management of persistent pain in older persons. It highlights the AGS panel's main recommendations on assessing and treating persistent pain.

You may also want to share our patient brochure that provides important pain management information.


Pain Management Survey

Author: Clarus Research Group

Date: 2009

The Alliance for Aging Research commissioned a nationwide survey of 800 U.S. adults age 65 and older to better understand their attitudes, perceptions and concerns regarding age-related pain management and changes under consideration by the FDA to over-the-counter acetaminophen products. Clarus Research Group conducted the survey on behalf of the Alliance for Aging Research between September 14 and September 18, 2009. Support for the survey was provided by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc.


HROTW: Video on What to Know About OTC Meds

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 3rd, 2016

Our Health Resource of the Week is a new video that introduces you to what you need to know about over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. 

HROTW: Quiz on OTC Pain Medications

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 10th, 2016

This Health Resource of the Week challenges you to test your knowledge about OTC pain medications.

New Pocket Films on Safe Medication Usage and Storage

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 5th, 2016

The Alliance has released two new pocket films on safe OTC pain medication use and storage.

Talking about Your Medicines

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: October 7th, 2015

Today we want to talk about your medicines, as October serves as Talk about Your Medicines Month. 

HROTW: Infographic on What Americans Feel about Pain

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 23rd, 2015

For our Health Resource of the Week, we share this infographic to make you aware about what Americans feel about pain and what they do to treat it.

Infographic on Pain Incidence and Management

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: March 10th, 2015

Today we released a survey of 1,600 Americans ages 18 and over that reveals insights on pain and OTC pain medications. This infographic offers a summary of the results.

Alliance Takes Part in Hill Briefing on Medicare Advantage

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: January 15th, 2015

Type: Article

Yesterday the Alliance had the privilege of participating in a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) on the value of Medicare Advantage.

Consumer Reports Is Feeling No Pain

Author: Susan Peschin

Date: August 4th, 2014

Type: Blog

Alliance President and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS, writes about a Consumer Reports article on opioids and acetaminophen.


Resources to Introduce You to Medication Safety

Date: March 9th, 2016

We have all the resources you need to learn about medication safety. And join us on March 23 for a Twitter chat on safe medication use, storage, and disposal!

Alliance Pain Survey: Focus More on Education about Acetaminophen, Don't Restrict Access

Date: March 31st, 2015

One hundred million Americans feel persistent pain. We asked 1,600 of them to share what they felt about it.

Pain and Confusion: Figuring Out How to Safely Treat Pain

Date: May 1st, 2010

Are you or a loved one dealing with persistent pain but confused about what medications are safe? Understandably so! Treating persistent pain can be challenging and now warnings about the risks of leading pain relievers have left many of us wondering what we can do to safely treat our pain.

Don't Be Such a Pain!

Date: February 1st, 2003

Pain is an unpleasant subject. Whether it's a knee that acts up when the weather changes or that nagging twinge in your lower back, pain is something we all experience occasionally. Pain is nature's way of telling you something is wrong, so it's not something to be ignored - as if we could.

Related Topics: Persistent Pain