Healthy Women Image

Kim Ledgerwood

HealthyWomen's Editorial Director

As HealthyWomen’s editorial director, Kim oversees the production of all content and ensures that it is aligned with our mission and meets our high editorial standards.

Kim is an editor and award-winning copywriter with more than 25 years of experience. She started her career as a copywriter and broadcast producer at the Southeast’s largest full-service advertising agency, The Tombras Group. Since then, she has worked for a wide variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to indie authors across multiple industries and topics.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as a master’s degree in advertising from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She lives in Towson, Maryland, with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of pets.

Full Bio
the biopsychosocial model of chronic pain

Learn More About Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a disease that affects 1 in 3 women

Created With Support

HealthyWomen Chronic Pain Graphic

IASP Classification of Chronic Pain

CDC Pain Awareness Month - Weekly Report

Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults

Chronic Pain and High-impact Chronic Pain Among U.S. Adults, 2019

Living with Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions

There's a Better Way to Treat Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than 3 months. High-impact chronic pain is pain that occurs 5 or more days a week for 6 months or more and interferes with your daily living.

Chronic pain affects 50 million Americans a year

Did you know? 1 out of every 3 women lives with chronic pain

High-impact chronic pain affects 20 million Americans a year — and 11.3 million are women

Chronic pain is a disease. And it doesn’t just hurt your body.

It can keep you from living your fullest life

It can interfere with your sleep

It can cause you to have feelings of anxiety, depression and hopelessness

Chronic Pain Is Expensive

Chronic pain costs our nation between $560 billion and $635 billion a year in medical costs, lost productivity and disability programs.

Who does chronic pain affect?

Anyone can get chronic pain — but some groups are more likely than others to live with this disease.

  • Non-Hispanic white adults
  • Women
  • Adults 65 and older
  • Previously employed but not currently employed adults
  • People living in poverty or who use public insurance
  • People who live in rural locations

Many people — especially women — with chronic pain have several overlapping pain conditions, such as:

Treating chronic pain is complex.

Chronic pain is a complicated disease, and what works may vary from person to person. In general, the most effective treatment uses a combination of approaches.

Nonpharmacological Strategies: neurostimulation, injections

Medication: opioids and nonopioids, medicines that are designed for other purposes but also work for pain

Psychological Support: psychotherapy, support groups

Lifestyle Changes: exercise, weight loss, healthy eating

Natrual/Holistic Medicine: massage, meditation/mindfulness, acupuncture

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry): braces, orthotics, electrotherapy

The Biopsychosocial Model




Biological, psychological and social factors play a role in chronic pain. For example, a woman with no history of mental illness (psychological) and a strong support network (social) might find her chronic migraine (biological) more bearable than a woman with the same condition (biological) who lives with depression (psychological) and feels isolated (social)..

Looking at the whole picture and treating a patient from the biopsychosocial lens can lead to better outcomes in patients.

Survey Says:

HealthyWomen surveyed 1,000 women who live with chronic pain.

38% say they do not have access to enough information about pain

65% feel they would benefit from adequately trained healthcare providers

58% would like more support from their healthcare provider

This resource was created with support from Pfizer.

You might be interested in