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Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

'Chronic pain' (or persistent or long term pain) is defined as lasting more than 3 months. Pain lasting less than that is 'acute pain'.

7.8 million people in the UK suffer chronic pain and some studies show even more - maybe 30-50% of adults. And it's not just for old people; 70% are under 60 years old. However, 53% of over 75 year olds will have long term, persistent pain, so it does often accompany the ageing of our bodies, though nowadays we consider pain as more than simply 'wear and tear'.

Pain isn't something you can pick up and measure and show someone. It isn't something you can simply cut out and remove. It is a very personal experience and this can make it very hard to explain to others, make them understand and share your pain, not even to healthcare professionals or those closest to you. This can be very frustrating and demoralising.

And it can affect many, or all, aspects of your life, including finances, of course and your relationships.

It's very complex. There is a lot that is still unknown and considerable research underway. New ideas arise all the time and often our old ideas are shown to be wrong. Medication is often not very helpful for chronic persistent pain and some types can cause more problems and may even lead to more pain or becoming dependent.

The Pain Cycle is a useful concept described fully in the Pain Toolkit (from where this image is taken). The site is linked below and explains how people easily become trapped by their pain and how it often seems as though there is no way out.
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Pain Toolkit A fantastic site built by a person who experienced chronic pain. It explains the nature of pain in great detail and advice on how to manage it and put you in control of your life. It offers a free downloadable booklet and a free pain management course, videos, workshops, podcasts, exercise programmes and a whole load of other practical and useful resources.
Escape Pain Digital support tools to help you continue exercising safely in your home. The digital tools are free resources produced in the NHS by the Health Innovation Network and Salaso Solutions Ltd.
The free-to-use ESCAPE-pain Online programme and smartphone app can help people remain active and manage their joint pain during this time.
Flippin’ Pain™ is a public health campaign with a clear goal: To change the way we think about, talk about and treat persistent pain
Flippin’ Pain has a number of key campaign messages focused on raising awareness of the problem of persistent pain, spreading the word about a modern scientific understanding of pain, and giving people knowledge, skills and hope for a better way forward.
Breathworks is a registered charity working with individuals and organisations helping to deliver mindfulness courses to help unlock pain. They have a scientific evidence-base showing the effectiveness of our approach and partner with health services and academics. Funding grants are available.
Action on Pain is a charity run entirely by volunteers who either have chronic pain or are affected by it in one way or another. PainLine is a telephone helpline has developed a reputation of giving straight talking friendly advice that is both down-to-earth and realistic. AOP promotes the positive side of living with chronic pain through its range of publications and the information it provides via the website. It can also help with cheap TENS machines.
Telephone helpline "Painline'  03456031593
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