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From: Harvard Business Review

The Link Between Income Inequality and Physical Pain

Harvard Business Review:

The United States is in a pain crisis. The use of pain killers increased by 50% from 2006 to 2012 and one recent estimate put the cost of physical pain on the U.S. economy at $635 billion — a 1,000% increase from 20 years earlier. At the same time, a widening income gap, growing sense of financial desperation, and erosion of the middle class have elevated economic insecurity to the top of the political agenda in the United States.

A growing body of evidence suggests that this fiscal pain and physical pain are linked and reinforce each other. Over numerous studies, both in the lab and in the field, we have found that the experience of economic insecurity leads people to experience physical pain. Analyses of household consumption data, surveys, and controlled experiments demonstrate a causal link between economic insecurity and pain.

Read the whole story: Harvard Business Review

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Thanks for addressing this important topic. For those of us who work with people post-surgically or in palliative care we understand pain and have educated many people about the many non-pharmaceutical interventions to help address pain – meditation, somatic education, somatic movement, self-awareness and more. The somatic approach of noticing the signs of discomfort BEFORE full-blown pain attacks is a most under-utilized resource. It is free except that EDUCATION is involved and access to this information needs to widen. With hope that this is helpful.

Dear author,

please explain, why you equate financial insecuity, which the studies show are related to physical pain, and income inequality, which isn’t directly adressed in the studies at all. All that is shwon here, is that income insecurity is a problem – why mentioning inequality in the title? (Maybe a ideologically biased confundation of the two variables). The text even sais: “that economic insecurity can elicit a pain response in individuals at any point along the spectrum of income and social economic status.” This means, that even high income people, who have an insecure income show higher levels of pain, regardless of inequality.

If the claim were true, that income inequality is the problem, you could solve the problem, by taking everything away from the richer poeple and burning their wealth. By that you would “close the income gap”.

Dario Nalis.

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