Skip to main content

Chronic pain is a common, costly issue in Minnesota – and the country

  • Author:
  • Updated:

In 2012, one out of every 19 insured Minnesotans had some sort of procedure done to address an issue with continued pain.

That's according to a new study by the state's Department of Health, which looked at health care data from 2010-2012. The department found about 83,000 Minnesotans each year had a procedure done to address chronic pain – which WedMD describes as pain that lasts six months or more.

Treating chronic pain is expensive

Here's why health experts care: Chronic pain affects a lot of people, and it's expensive.

About 100 million Americans deal with it, and every year, the cost associated with treating it reaches more than $600 billion, the Institute of Medicine says.

It's unclear how much exactly is spent in Minnesota – the state's Department of Health says it needs to look at the data more.

What procedures are we talking about?

Chronic pain is usually associated with things such as skeletal or muscular disorders, joint issues (arthritis, for example), back issues and more.

The procedures can involve an injection to temporarily dull the pain, or surgery to create some longer-term fix.

The number of procedures tied to chronic pain is going up, the Department of Health says, jumping 13.2 percent from 2010-2012.

Some other notes from the report:

  • 518 chronic pain procedures were performed for every 10,000 covered Minnesotans within the state – roughly one procedure for every 19 persons.
  • Female patients accounted for 62 percent of procedures.
  • Patients over age 60 accounted for 44 percent.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.


State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.


Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.