"One in five Australian adults suffers from chronic pain. As well as posing large costs for the healthcare system, the human cost on individuals and families is also significant. However, there are positive steps you can take manage chronic pain and improve your quality of life." Dr Christine Bennett, Chair, Medical Advisory Panel, Bupa Australia
Chronic (or persistent) pain is something that continues, usually for more than three months - even after you've healed from an injury, surgery or another condition.
Short term (or acute) pain is brief and acts as a warning for the body to seek help. However, if pain doesn't go away and has a physical and psychological impact, this pain can become chronic and a problem in its own right. Chronic pain can result in sleep deprivation, depression, irritability and fatigue, and may affect a person's personal and social relationships.
There are positive steps you can take to help prevent chronic pain or at least manage it effectively.
Two of Bupa's Positive Health Guides focus on how to better manage chronic back pain and arthritis. These guides are based on up-to-date evidence-based medicine and research.
Pain Management Research Institute. About pain - Who suffers from pain? [online] University of Sydney. c2010-2011 [last updated 16 March 2011, accessed 28 June 2011] Available from: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/pmri/pain/index.php
Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Medicine. Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence, 3rd ed. [online] 2010. [accessed 28 June 2011] Available from: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/synopses/cp104_3.pdf (PDF, 3.4Mb)
Access Economics. The high price of pain: the economic impact of persistent pain in Australia. Nov 2007. The high price of pain: the economic impact of persistent pain in Australia. [online] MBF Foundation in collaboration with University of Sydney Pain Management Research Institute. 2007 [accessed 28 June 2011]
Download: Bupa Health Foundation Pain Report (PDF, 1.7Mb)
Last published: 30 July 2011
This information has been developed and reviewed for Bupa by health professionals. To the best of their knowledge it is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.
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