Women in Pain Survey Results

Women in Pain Survey

N = 2,598

Q1. Are you male or female? Response Percent
Male 0.0 %
Female 100.0 %
Q2. What is your age?
18 to 24 4.3 %
25 to 34 13.5 %
35 to 44 21.5 %
45 to 54 29.5 %
55 to 64 24.8 %
65 to 74 5.7 %
75 or older 0.9 %
Q3. Do you have chronic pain?
Yes 100.0 %
No 0.0 %
Q4. What chronic pain conditions or diseases do you have? (Check all that apply)WIPS-Pain Conditions
Fibromyalgia 59.9 %
Back pain (scoliosis, sciatica, degenerative disc, etc.) 59.6 %
Other (please specify) 37.6 %
Migraine 34.2 %
Osteoarthritis 34.0 %
Neuropathy 26.6 %
Rheumatoid Arthritis 11.1 %
Lupus or another Autoimmune Disease 10.9 %
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD) 9.7 %
The cause of my pain is unknown and/or undiagnosed 7.8 %
Trigeminal Neuralgia 7.5 %
Multiple Sclerosis 1.5 %
Cancer 1.3 %
Q5. Do you feel you are treated differently by doctors because you are a woman?
Never 16.3 %
Sometimes 56.3 %
Usually 19.2 %
Always 8.3 %
Q6. Do you feel doctors take your pain less seriously because you are a woman?
Yes 65.4 %
No 34.6 %
Q7. Do you feel more comfortable being treated by a female doctor?
Yes 55.2 %
No 44.8 %
Q8. Do you think female doctors understand your pain better than male doctors?
Yes 49.4 %
No 50.6 %
Q9. Have you ever felt pressured by a doctor to have a surgery, test or treatment you didn’t want?
Yes 50.9 %
No 49.1 %
Q10. In general, do you think the healthcare system (doctors, pharmacists, insurers, etc.) discriminates against female patients?
Never 9.0 %
Sometimes 67.3 %
Usually 19.0 %
Always 4.7 %
Q11. Do you feel that doctors are less inclined to prescribe an opioid pain medication to you because you are a woman?
Yes 48.8 %
No 51.2 %
Q12. Do you currently use an opioid pain medication?
Yes 59.9 %
No 40.1 %
Q13. Do opioid pain medications make you constipated?
Never 11.8 %
Sometimes 34.3 %
Usually 17.6 %
Always 17.9 %
Not applicable 18.4 %
Q14. Have you ever stopped taking an opioid pain medication because it made you constipated?
Yes 16.8 %
No 63.4 %
Not applicable 19.8 %
Q15. If you are experiencing constipation from an opioid pain medication, has it reduced your quality of life?
Yes 22.7 %
No 35.0 %
Not applicable 42.3 %
Q16. How does your menstrual cycle affect your chronic pain condition?
Makes my symptoms worse 38.1 %
Lessens the pain 0.4 %
No effect 6.4 %
Not applicable 55.1 %
Q17. If you are post-menopausal, how has that affected your chronic pain condition?
Made my symptoms worse 20.9 %
Lessened the pain 2.0 %
No effect 23.3 %
Not applicable 53.8 %
Q18. What is your relationship status?
Divorced 12.7 %
Married 56.4 %
Widowed 3.3 %
Single 12.6 %
Significant other 15.0 %
Q19. Is your partner supportive of you as you cope with chronic pain?
Never 1.9 %
Rarely 9.0 %
Usually 32.5 %
Always 33.7 %
Not applicable 22.9 %
Q20. In general, do you think women are more sensitive to pain than men?
Yes 35.2 %
No 64.8 %
Q21. Has a doctor ever said the following to you? (Check all that apply)WIPS-Doctor Said
The pain is all in your head. 44.8 %
You look good, so you must be feeling better. 51.4 %
Your pain was caused by a childhood trauma. 17.4 %
I don’t know what’s wrong with you. 56.9 %
You’ll have to learn to live with your pain. 75.1 %
Other (please specify) 31.8 %
Q22. Did you experience any of the following traumas as a child? (Check all that apply)
Emotional abuse 43.6 %
Bullying 35.3 %
I did not have any childhood trauma 28.5 %
Sexual abuse 27.9 %
Witnessed domestic violence 24.4 %
Physical abuse 23.5 %
Death of a parent or close loved one 16.8 %
Neglect 15.0 %
Other (please specify) 13.2 %
Serious accident 11.5 %
Victim or witness of violent crime 7.9 %
Natural or manmade disaster 3.8 %
Q23. Do you think your chronic pain is linked to a physical or emotional trauma you experienced?
Yes 22.1 %
No 55.3 %
Don’t know 22.6 %
Q24. In the last 12 months, have you tried any of these alternative treatments for pain? (Check all that apply)WIPS-Alternative Treatments
Vitamins or supplements 70.2 %
Exercise 65.1 %
Massage 49.1 %
Prayer 48.3 %
Physical therapy 45.4 %
Meditation 41.8 %
Yoga 26.8 %
Chiropractic 25.5 %
Other (please specify) 21.3 %
Acupuncture 19.8 %
Medical Marijuana 18.3 %
Hypnosis 4.0 %
Q25. Which, if any, of these alternative treatments have helped relieve your pain? (Check all that apply) WIPS-Helped Relieve Pain
Massage 30.6 %
Acupuncture 9.3 %
Medical Marijuana 16.3 %
Meditation 15.6 %
Chiropractic 13.9 %
Vitamins or supplements 17.8 %
Physical therapy 18.8 %
Yoga 10.0 %
Hypnosis 1.6 %
Exercise 22.4 %
Prayer 17.8 %
None have helped 29.3 %
Other (please specify) 21.9 %




50 Responses

  1. Shirley says:

    I am glad I took part in this survey and now I have read the results feel the comfort of knowing that I am not alone. Have had contact with a few understanding health professionals but most still regard FM as a psychiatric problem. How on earth can the severe symptoms be classed as imagination, attention seeking or whatever. Relapses seem to be worse as I become older and I wonder how much longer I can put up with a restricted lifestyle. I cannot find a doctor who is interested in giving support if nothing else.
    Medical people have a lot on which to ponder but will they?

  2. Dr, Charles E. Greer says:

    Naprapathy- A scientific, Evidence based, integrative, Alternative form of Pain management and nutritional assessment that involves evaluation and treatment of Connective tissue abnormalities manifested in the entire human structure. This form of Therapeutic Regimen is unique specifically to the Naprapathic Profession. Doctors of Naprapathy, pronounced ( nuh-prop-a-thee) also referred to as Naprapaths or Neuromyologists, focus on the study of connective tissue and the negative factors affecting normal tissue. These factors may begin from external sources and latently produce cellular changes that in turn manifest themselves into structural impairments, such as irregular nerve function and muscular contractures, pulling its’ bony attachments out of proper alignment producing nerve irritability and impaired lymphatic drainage. These abnormalities will certainly produce a pain response as well as swelling and tissue congestion. Naprapaths, using their hands, are trained to evaluate tissue tension findings and formulate a very specific treatment regimen which produces positive results as may be evidenced in the patients we serve. Naprapaths also rely on information obtained from observation, hands on physical examination, soft tissue Palpatory assessment, orthopedic evaluation, neurological assessment linked with specific bony directional findings, blood and urinalysis laboratory findings, diet/ Nutritional assessment, Radiology test findings, and other pertinent clinical data whose information is scrutinized and developed into a individualized and specific treatment plan. The diagnostic findings and results produced reveal consistent facts and are totally irrefutable. The deductions that formulated these concepts of theory of Naprapathic Medicine are rationally believable, and have never suffered scientific contradiction. Discover Naprapathic Medicine, it works. FEEL BETTER AFTER YOUR FIRST VISIT or PAY NOTHING
    Visit our website. https://www.skyalternativemedpainandlaser.org

  3. adele fleming says:

    really should of had the question what benefit opiates have had instead of the two on constipation. would have liked to see what down side question for other drugs like steroids and antidepressants that are no problem for any dr to hand out for pain that have a list as long as your arm of awful side effects.

  4. Pat Anson, Editor says:

    Over 2,400 women responded to the survey.

  5. M. Mckee says:

    N=? Please tell us the total number of respondents. Thanks.

  6. Rene'e H. Gazarkiewicz says:

    Well I as others was disappointed that the questions not asked about our ops. meds. that do work. I for one like so many had other women was told it was in my head by a Dr. My response to him I think rather shocked him & myself too honestly. I was insulted & offended for some jerk to blow me off without listening to me.

    Your right it is in my head since the brain is the receptor of the pain signals being sent there. Now get up off your asse & help me by figuring out what’s wrong. I hurt my shoulder you all have had it immobilized but then the pain went down to my elbow & now It’s from my shoulder to my hand. Why isn’t it going away instead getting worse?
    He looked at me & send I need to run two test. Nope wasn’t that or that so he fought for me to get sent to a specialist. I finally approved to see him. I spent maybe 15 minutes with him & he told me what he thought I had. R.S.D.S. AKA C.P.R.S. 1&2. He did my first Block score warm arm linker tones.
    I was later DXED., with Fibromialgia, Myofaclio Syndrme, C. F. S., CHRONIC Migraines, TMJ, rosacea, & Sjoregens Syndre.



  7. dawn Littlefield says:

    I’m about to start a website for people who know pain patients who committed suicide or are considering it now due to lack of proper pain control.I’m on the phone with different representatives.I’d like the ammo of our deaths to show them and get the problem in the media.I’m facing the same issues and lost my mom,daughter,aunt and uncle to suicides in one year period and wish now we’d filmed them saying I don’t want bro die but I can’t live like this and drs don’t care band my government has chosen death other than care.it has to be public or they’re going to see us continue to die and say it’s accidental over dose.no chronic pain patient is accidentally over dosing.stop using us in that lie.

  8. Virginia S. says:

    I have fibromyalgia and am currently only taking Lyrica for my symptoms, which have greatly improved. Back when I was on opiates for my severe pain, there was a rash of robberies in pharmacies in our state. The crimes were perpetuated by people looking for opiates. There was some talk fo pharmacies perhaps discontinuing the sale of opiates in the future.

    “Oh my gosh!” I said to the pharmacy clerk, with whom I had done friendly business for years. “What will people with severe pain do if they can’t get their meds?” (I naively thought she might offer a solution.) She was most unsympathetic. “Well, what about us in the pharmacy?”

    Good grief! While I sympathize with the people in the pharmacy, their job was to provide the meds that sick people, many of them in severe, chronic pain, need. Surely something could be done to deal with the problem rather than discarding their patients.

    People in pain, especially severe, chronic pain, need to have a support system. With her words, I felt abandonded.

  9. Willie says:

    This survey say it all fibromyalgia is awful the pain never stop if e did not have the pain medicine we would be in bed,everywhere head to toe,depression,headaches ,eye problem,sinus, fog,balance,walking,sitting, it go on and the suffering, it take minute by minute to go thru each day, and tears come rolling out of your eyes no one understand living with pain,you have to beg for medicine and made feel like you don’t beg right because no one know but you how bad it is, we did not give fibromyalgia to each other it is sad that we have to be treated this way because others don’t want to hear how bad the pain is.All we want is help in getting some relief so we can live a normal life as best as we can like fix a meal.I cannot use a tens machine because of my Pacemaker. Hear us we are in pain.

  10. Mandy Taylor-Delmont says:

    I suffer from a few conditions cfs and fibromylagia n it’s always nice to see if you are the not the only one who is treated like rubbish by Dr’s n nurses ect even my carers treatment is despicable and I am on the brink of sacking them now it’s become so bad . I think it would be useful to do it with just males to see if they are treated just as bad , and I am sure that it’s a bit different because of the risk of being punched for the other person being out right rude . Iv been to pain clinic to be told they are not able to help me to be told that they have one option of a lidocaine infusion that helps to protect you from pain for upto 6 months n ur able to get 2 a yr , and at the very same hospital I visited .

  11. Gibber says:

    Here, MM is legal but do you think I can get a doc willing to sign the paperwork? No. It’s an awful experience asking. Right now I’ve got pain that they tell me they have no answers to. I’m often told I’m a oddity or extreme case. It makes me feel like a freak of nature.

  12. Kristy Aucoin says:

    More people should be trying medical marijuana. Nothing works for my fibromyalgia pain better than cannabis. I have been suffering from Fibro and Rheumatoid arthritis for decades, and nothing alleviates my pain like cannabis. I wish more people had access to it, and that the stigma related to this medicinal plant would be lifted.

  13. Kristine says:

    Good to see these report results, although I would have asked a more specific set of questions about pain meds, specific meds and how they work for us. I have ME/CFS and RA with a completely “worn” spine. I won’t walk sometime in the future, so I am fighting tooth and nail to move around and do things. I am on a quest to take off and travel in a small camper for the winter months because I cannot take the cold weather anymore and I end up in bed all winter with CFS. This journey will be very hard — there will be days and weeks when I can’t even drive, so I have to find good campgrounds along the way. I am concerned about some of the comments here that say there are pharmacies which won’t fill opioids. I will have Rx slips with me for my Oxycodone. ( I take 8 a day and my doctor has written it in my chart that it is a prescription to be on “for life.”) I live in a large city so I’ve not run across this problem. I’d better do some research! Hope to see more surveys in the future and maybe a little more thought-out on the questioning. BTW, in case someone is interested, I also take 3 (800mg) Ibuprofen a day and 3 aspirin every 4 hours. I am still in pain at all times, but the regime helps.

  14. Kristina Schwende says:

    I am thankful that this study was done. As others have said - I’m not surprised by the results either. How can millions of people be treated so deplorably?? We are being treated like criminals (apparently hysterical ones at that). How are these tactics supposed to stop the people who are abusing these medications or using them illegally?? I am encouraged to see so many organizations and individuals banding together to fight for our right to access proper pain medication. This deplorable treatment of people living in pain must be penalized. It is cruel and inhumane - period!

  15. Lauren says:

    Another comment concerning this subject of pain. I have always said that if Virginia would legalize marijuana, I would be camped out at my doctors front door so I could be first in line for a card. I have friends who have found relief from the oils and the food products (more so than smoking the plant). But, if the government won’t give us Vicoden etc without a hassle I can’t see them giving us marijuana anytime soon. And I laugh to think of the state of VA ever doing it.

  16. Bonnie says:

    Kathryn, I don’t know where you live but, coincidentally, when I read your comment I had just finished talking to a friend with unremitting pain. She had a severe neck/back injury and ended up with a titanium rod supporting some of her spine. She’s recently been able to go off the heavy meds, like hydrocodone, because her dr. switched her to a medical marijuana card. So far, it looks like it takes much lower quantities of marijuana for her to get through the day than it took with opiates. This is an option not available to many of us, however.

  17. Cindi C. says:

    Thank you for sending the results of the Survey.On October 6, 2014 The DEA and Louisiana has passed laws restricting Medications prescribed for Control of Pain by MD. As most of those who posted , I to live in Chronic Pain constantly.

  18. Thank you for doing this. We must work together to change the way pain is perceived judged and treated. Women were among one group that was identified as discriminated against in the IOM report “Relieving Pain in America…” Men as a gender were not. This may be why are not targeted in the media. Keep them coming.

  19. Danielle says:

    I have fibromyalgia, an underlining form of lupas, tendonitous in both hips and 5 bulging disks in my lower spine. My doctors will not give me opiate meds, claiming they wont help because the fibro is nerve pain. What about my other dx’s? Their response is always the same…you need to see a shrink because you are depressed. No crap I’m depressed, not one of the many doctors I’ve seen care! Straight to the point of one doctor literally laughing at me and saying it’s all in my head!!!! 3 years later and I’m about done suffering like this!!!

  20. I am astonished at the percentage of people told to live with the pain. I am one of those women and would like an answer from someone as to what I can say to my doctor, because whenever I see her, she has the ‘Oh God its her’ on her face. I feel very much like I have been forced not to attend anymore and am gettting more and more depressed. But what do I do????

  21. Susan F says:

    As a member of the scientific Community (non-medical) i can’t tell you how much I appreciate this survey. Research studies generally use less people than what this survey’s numbers are. I’m hopeful the medical community will start to truly understand the impact they have on the pain communit. The DEA And FDA must start to work together to understand that pain is a serious problem. The suicide rate because of passion is through the rough. Simply just living with it is not acceptable. We should not be cast away. I am a mother of two small children and I can’t run or pay with them as a mother should. The cry for help is too great to constantly be ignored.

  22. Sarah Kramer says:

    The survey was a good start but lacking issues on pain medication working or not. Being able to view the results lets me know a) I am not alone and b) many women are dealing with multiple medical issues. Would be interesting to know if one issue triggers another dormant condition.

  23. Lynne H says:

    I to am from Australia, and agree with Betty it’s the same here. I guess the one big difference is I ( don’t know about others) am able to get opiate medications. I was dx 23 years ago have multiple immune system problems, have had multiple operations, so fortunately have over the years been able to get some pain relief . Just enough to take the edge off though. Here we have no medicinal marijuana. At the moment it is against the law to use . Some families who are giving cannabis oil to their ill children to relieve pain and suffering are hounded by the legal system. My doctors will increase my opiate meds if I ask but I’m not allowed cannabis oil … ! When it’s is trialled here in Australia I want to be at the top end , 23 years of non stop unrelenting pain is enough, do I and others like me not deserve a pain free life ?

  24. nancy moore says:

    The number 75%…told they have to live with the pain…jumped out at me. That statistic is completely unacceptable!! I have been on both sides - nurse & patient. I can honestly tell you men are treated differently.
    Thank you for conducting this survey. You help us to know our voices are heard.

  25. Pat Anson, Editor says:

    The survey was completed by over 2,400 women. You can read about it at https://nationalpainreport.com/women-in-pain-report-significant-gender-bias-8824696.html

    Frankly, the survey generated so much information we couldn’t possibly release it all at once. Expect to see several more stories on the website next week.

    As for the “other” comments — there were many, thousands in fact! We promised anonymity to everyone, however, and we just can’t release all of them as there are personal details involved in some. We are screening the comments to see what we can release and what we shouldn’t.

    Thank you for your comment.

  26. Kathryn B. says:

    We now need a survey as to how many of us are struggling to find a pharmacy that is willing to fill our narcotic meds?

  27. Kathryn Benedic says:

    Thanks for publishing the results. None of the responses were surprising to me.
    My symptoms began in 1982 before Fi bromyalgia had a name and after seeing many specialists referred by my PCP in Houston, nothing was accomplished even though every doctor said, “I can see that something is going on, but the test results are inconclusive”.
    Finally I saw a Rheumy who at the time diagnosed Lupus and Fibrositis. I was put on Elavil with terrible results. He was convinced there was an autoimmune response even though the tests were negative.
    After moving to yet another state with my job, I continued to search for doctors who could help. This began the inception of the “everything is Fibromyalgia” phase in medicine, and it may be a hysterical response to childhood trauma including sexual abuse. That is all they needed to hear to feel certain that something mental was going on. I kept trying to explain the vicious cycle of physical and mental interaction, trying to cope with chronic pain causing an emotional response, and visa versa, one leading to another, over and over again.
    When I was finally diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) with underlying scleroderma, and my colon being removed, locked in the diagnosis finally in 1996.
    I spent most of my free time looking for answers, searching the net for answers. I began treatment aT a Pain Clinic and went on SSDI. I began opioid treatment, and spinal injections. None of it really helped munch but I had reached the end of my search for help. There was no where else to go.
    This has been my life since I was 29 yrs old. Now the DEA is on a mission to take away the pain meds that do provide at least enough help to get me thru the day. God help us all because the day is here where we will not be able to get our meds filled by any pharmacy. Every month is a struggle to find a pharmacy willing to fill my medications. I would give up if there was an acceptable option but there is not. I have been treated so badly by even the pharmacies I have done business with for over 20+ yrs! humiliated! refused to order my meds! or discuss my situation. I have left each pharmacy feeling like a criminal. My. Final step is to file a complaint based on failure to provide according to the American Disabilities Act (ADA) since my. Disability clearly states I am disabled due to chronic pain. Am I afraid? Yes, very much so. I don’t want to deal with the Govt for fear of retaliation! But in the long run, I am already singled out as a target by them by denying me the pain meds I need.
    God Bless Us All. This is not the USA I was brought up to love and respect.

  28. Tazandra says:

    I’m glad we are able to see the results of the survey we participated in. Thank you very much.

    I wish the survey showed exactly (or at least a rough estimate of) how many women filled out this survey. That way we could get an idea of what the actual numbers are when it comes to the percentages given, for example.

    Also, I wish we could view a synopsis or something similar of the “Other” category … letting us know what the “Other” applies to in response to reach question.

    I agree with other commenters in regards to the questions involving medication. Why were there questions involving constipation included in the survey …. But the MORE important questions involving the effectiveness of opiates and/or other prescriptions in treating our chronic pain NOT included? Yes … constipation is a pain in the butt (literally haha) … BUT as the medication I take for my RSD works well in helping me maintain a bit of sanity in my life…as well as enabling me to be the best mommy I can be while also living with RSD…the possibility of going through or having constipation is WAY outweighed by the benefits and relief my medication brings to my life.

    Again, thank you for allowing us to have a voice concerning the chronic pain we live with on a daily basis. Maybe we could take another survey one day that is a bit longer and more detailed. I bet many, if not ALL of us would love to help anyone and everyone understand living with pain.

  29. Joyce says:

    I agree with the poster who asked why a question wasn’t included such as, “If you use opiates, do you find them helpful for your pain.” You didn’t ask that, but skimmed over something that should have been very obvious to include, and went directly to “constipation”.
    Also would like to know what the “other” causes of pain were given be respondents. At just over 37%, I feel this was a significant enough to qualify for some type of answer, but nothing was listed.

  30. elizabeth gilhooley says:

    Thank you for this report. I took the survey and I live in Australia. We are struggling with the same problems world wide. It took me 13 years to get my diagnosis for Fibromyalgia. I was told it was in my head and over the 13 years I was given antidepressants and they were increased every time I complained of my pain. I have every problem under the sun with my spine and was told that was where all my pain was coming from andbi needed to learn how to deal with it without prescription painkillers. My saviour was my tens machine. 2years ago I got another Chronic Fatigue Syndrom episode which this time lasted for a year. By this time I had a wheelchair just so I could get outside. My dr still told me it was all in my head. In a way it was as I had the CFS headaches and cluster migraines. I was sent yo a sleep specialist who diagnosed R.LS and others. Headaches worried her, she sent me for a brain scan and that is where I met a neurologist who got it. Diagnosed Fibromyalgia and took me off the massive dose of antidepressants and managed my symptoms. I found out through all this that my spine was not responsable fir all my pain. I had to change drs as my old dr still insists Fibro is all in my head. 13 years is too long to wait. My daughter has it too. Thank you for a chance to voice this. Betty

  31. Julie says:

    Thank you for sending me the results of this study. I found it very interesting and am going to take it to my doctor to see, He is a very understanding man. His wife has Fibromyalgia, so I consider myself lucky to have him.

  32. Bonnie says:

    I’m not represented in the statistics on childhood trauma because when I filled out the survey, my thought was that I had not been in a “serious” accident. Afterwards, it occurred to me that being struck by a playground “merry-go-round” hard enough to make me pass out was indeed significant, even though it wasn’t taken seriously at the time. So I’m thinking the incidents of childhood trauma are likely higher than the survey shows. I’m not sure whether the wording discouraged me from marking the item, or whether it was a carry-over of the dismissive attitude of my childhood.

  33. Beth says:

    Thank you for caring enough about us to create this survey.

  34. Michael Langley, MD says:

    I must note that I saw a young man, who developed a chronic pain syndrome from sexual abuse, as a child. It is, very often, a contributing factor in Women’s chronic pain. Could it be similar to fibromyalgia’s rate of, only, 10-20% males. I often wondered if there was a hormonal contribution to the incidence of pain, as well.

    Good to see the results on paper. We do know the root of the word “hysteria” is from the word for uterus in the base language, Greek, I think. Both were, obviously, associated with women in the ancient societies! It has, wrongly, labeled women since antiquity.

  35. Rachel says:

    Good but I’d rather have seen the “Other Specify” group for people suffering with Arachnoiditis weren’t listed. This is a major cause of severe chronic pain for men and women around the world.

  36. Deena Berg says:

    This is a wonderful bit of research. I would love to see a follow up with more questions. One area I would like to know more about is early education about our bodies and muscles. In my day there was still body shaming about natural processes and less opportunity for individual non-competitive exercise, like yoga or dance, that would have helped with posture. I was bullied at home, in P.E. and on the playground because of my lack of coordination and small size. I also didn’t fit in the school chairs and had to twist my body to balance and get one foot on the ground. I’ve been in intense, intense massage and yoga-type therapy to correct muscle damage (x-rays show curvature, but not torsion), neither covered by insurance nor recommended by doctor.

  37. In Oregon, most of us who have Chronic Pain are being relieved of most or all our pain medication because the Doctors are scared of loosing their licenses. Oregon, south of the Portland Metro area have no big business with benefits which = Poverty = depression, confusion = addicts, Overdoses = Crime, etc. The past 2 years+, Women are 2nd class citizens when it comes to severe chronic pain, that I am in right now. I searched many Doctors for pain head to toe and finally found one 9 years ago. He ran all tests, sent me to specialists constantly. Fibromyalgia, (Agoraphobia at 25 Yrs old-1st reason for being on SSDisability) Neuropathy can’t walk far, Diabetes beginning, Blinding temple migraines, eye pain from Optic neuritis, much more. The Dr changed drastically along with all other Drs in Oregon because of the death rate of Overdosing. Why should I be punished for other peoples actions. Dr knows I’m no Addict but the DEA has put non-addicts with Chronic pain in the same category as Heroin, Meth, addicts.For many years before I met my Dr now that use to believe giving me pain opiates because he knows I need them to have some kind of life has done a 180 because of Washington DC, DEA and I don’t know my Dr. Anymore, it took so many Drs to find him. Now he is going to take the last amount away and no more, I haven’t had any Quality of life for 2 yrs now. I’m 54 and if I didn’t believe in a hell after death, I probably would of jumped into the river by now. All because of Oregon being the top 3 States for Addicts and Overdosing. I need help, period, Mr. President.

  38. Melissa says:

    Bravo! Thank you for the effort and time that went into making this study. The results confirmed so many of my beliefs regarding chronic pain, and I sincerely hope that others will benefit from the knowledge the results offer. I am fortunate to now have understanding and knowledgeable physicians - it was not always this way. My prayers go out to those who are still muddling through our largely ignorant healthcare system.
    I believe that until EVERYONE (including the patient) in the healthcare system understands the diseases behind our chronic pain, there will be no compassion, empathy or healing.

  39. Kristine says:

    So what are you going to do with all this information? Will any of it be seen or heard by anyone of our own doctors?

  40. Looking at alternative methods tried versus which ones worked is interesting. I also see that it looks like medical marijuana has the highest percentage of “worked” compared to “tried”. Maybe much more research should be done in this area.

  41. Susan Arthen says:

    Interesting but not surprising (to me) results. I understand, I think, why the therapies on the alternative treatment list are there but what then is left as “traditional” treatment? Basically, that leaves drugs and injections…and yet many of us can not get drugs with sufficient strength to really ameliorate the pain.
    Shouldn’t physical therapy and chiropractic be considered tradional?

  42. Mia says:

    I cannot believe that so many women suffer with Fybromyalgia , yet most doctors have no idea how to treat it and some have never even heard of it. Why is’nt more research done on fybro ? The last time I visited my Dr he said there was nothing more they could do and that I would have to live with it , how many other diseases would they say that to their patients, no wonder we suffer with depression because of fybro.

  43. lauren says:

    Doctors now make us-the chronic pain patients- the criminal. when I was taking an opiate (vicoden) for pain, I had to go for “random” urine tests-as if I would give my pain meds away; and I had to go back to the doctor every month for the “script. I was being punished for using them correctly and the ones abusing the meds are running around free. I quit all meds and as I was told “I try to live with the pain and the problems it causes”. Thankfully Lidoderm patches and a tens unit help.

  44. Jane Rock says:

    Why did you not ask what percentage were helped by opiates? I have been to pain management clinic and all they concentrate on is the various “natural” ways to cope with chronic pain. Yes, some of those do make a difference for some. But for some others they only scratch the surface. If there is an underlying physical cause for pain then why are doctors not prescribing what Helps them???? Because of drug abusers who have now made prescribing any opiate a crime/sin/bad medicine. It’s gone way too far in the other direction. Why don’t they realize many people have REAL reasons for being in pain due to Physical damage to the body??? This is extremely frustrating. Doctors need permission to treat as they see necessary? And not have the FDA coming down on them for how many they write? I am furious. Why do we have to see 10-20 doctors to get what is clearly what we need as evidenced by test results?

  45. Kate says:

    Thank you for putting together this survey & publishing the results. I believe knowledge is power. After 3 years of searching I finally found a Rheumatologist to treat me who is educated & compassionate. I would like to see another survey that deals with pain levels.

  46. Pat Anson, Editor says:

    Hi Malia. Actually, the phrase “you should see a psychiatrist” was not included in the survey — although it originally was. However, that answer is still included in the survey results due to a technical error (which is why it has a 0% response). Many women did leave comments in the survey saying they had been told to see a psychiatrist. I’m sorry about the confusion that creates.

  47. Pat Akerberg says:

    This is a great start to use the results to hopefully educate the medical system; they are the ones that need to become aware of their impact on patients who are legitimately in need of help and relief.
    Next time another question that I’d offer in addition to how many doctors have you seen before getting help. It’s: how often did your own research help you to be better informed that your treating doctor or practitioner was?
    In my case the answer is Almost Always… how unfortunate!!

  48. Malia says:

    Thanks so much for this survey, I find t comforting to see so many feel as I do. I find it interesting that the number one comment was “It’s all in your head.” Yet “You should see a psychiatrist,” didn’t rank at all. Pain Doctors do not use mental health specialists to help with coping skills, but they are willing to let us believe we are crazy.

  49. Jan K. says:

    I’m blown away by the amount of us (women in pain) that have suffered from emotional or physical childhood trauma. Do you know if that’s typical for American’s in general, or do you think it’s specific to women that have chronic pain?

    Did you happen to capture what states the participants were from? I’m curious if there are regional differences.

    A good question for the next survey is how long did it take to find a doctor or professional that was able to help, and how many doctors. In my case, I went to ~ 15 doctors in 20 months until I found one that believed me enough to aggressively treat the pain with opiods. It’s a long and frustrating process that has our families wondering if we’re exaggerating which just adds to the pressure and depression.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Lots of good info here!

  50. rebecca smith says:

    what did not get put on there was pain and other things that are associated with pain that are a physical response because of pain and they take the pain to be psychiatric I have been going through this for 2 years with doctors everywhere and I just want to get help so I can relieve the pain that is not due to my the degenerative back. Thank you for researching it. A study may lead to changes not just for women but others as well.

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