The Real Cost of Headaches- Lost time from work, family and fun

Did you know that headaches are nearly epidemic in the United States? Don't just take my word for it. Consider the following statistics:

  • The National Headache Foundation says up to 45 million Americans suffer from repeated tension headaches. (Forbes Magazine, June 8, 2004)

  • According to Dr. Ellen Drexler, director of the Headache Center at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, chronic daily headaches afflict 4 to 5 percent of the American population. (July 14, 2004 interview in Healthscout)

  • About half of the people in the world who suffer from a headache don't get any treatment, according to the World Health Organization, which also says that more than 80 percent of adult women and two-thirds of adult men suffer from headache disorders. (July 14, 2004, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  • Americans spend over $4 billion annually on over-the-counter drugs and therapies for chronic headaches. Muscle tension accounts for about 90 percent of all headaches. (Health and Fitness Magazine, July 8, 2004)

  • One in eight American workers is in pain and losing productive time at work, costing U.S. businesses an estimated $61.2 billion annually, with headaches being the most common type of pain, according to a November, 2003 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Reuters, Nov. 11, 2003)

  • A Cleveland-based study in 2004 found that over 20 percent of 680 children and adolescents involved in that study overused such pain relievers as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Overuse was described by Dr. A. David Rothner of the Children's Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic as taking these medications at least three times a week for six weeks. (Cleveland Plain Dealer on June 12, 2004).

  • According to Dr. Rothner, children under the age of 19 shouldn't use aspirin because it puts them at risk of Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder. Other risks of overusing over-the-counter pain relievers include kidney failure, liver problems, intestinal and stomach bleeding, and occasional headaches becoming chronic, Rothner said. (Reuters, June 10, 2004)

  • Women get more headaches than men, and people with advanced degrees suffer more often from tension headaches than the less educated, according to the a
    1998 study by the John Hopkins University School of Public Health

  • Americans make more visits to non-conventional healers (some 600 million visits a year) than they do to medical doctors and spend more money out-of-pocket o do so - about $30 billion annually. (Newsweek Dec. 2,2002)

To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.

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