Around 14 million people in the UK live with chronic pain, (defined as pain lasting more than three months).   It is a major health problem, leading to a substantial number of GP consultations as well as affecting ability to work and quality of life.

In trying to raise the public, political and professional awareness of a condition so often overlooked in discussions around health policy a Pain Champion Award as been set up and I received the first Award in 2013.  The Award was sponsored by the three main organisations concerned to widen the understanding and improve management of chronic pain:   Pain UK, Chronic Pain Policy Coalition and the British Paediatric Association.

One way of helping people in chronic pain would be if health and care professionals routinely asked about pain, measuring and treating as appropriate – treatment including the important element of self management.  My contribution to this is to have set up an e-petition and I hope members of the SHA will sign this and share it with family and friends.

PAIN: ask about it and measure it

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  1. Pain isnt normal. It signifies something is wrong & needs treatment. Tablets aren’t always the answer although GP’s often behave as if they are. Pharma are responsible for making life easy for GP’s but harder for patients because of side-effects including dependence Selfhelp groups often forge the direction better than GP’s and should be consulted and included in policy and planning..

  2. It has been well established throughout the EU and many other countries including China and Russia that Medical Acupuncture is the means of relieving pain. The British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture has been training doctors and nurses over some years now in this therapy with extremely good results. The cost of this therapy is many times cheaper than the many drugs used on patients.
    It is the answer to this extremely difficult problem both in results and in costs to the NHS

  3. Dean says:

    It must be recognised that chronic pain is multi-faceted and there is never only one answer. Clinicians DO ask about it, but it is frustratingly hard to evaluate and treat, often needing a multi-disciplinary approach ie medication, exercise, education/understanding, talking therapies…. many clinicians are set up only to deal with their own area of expertise, and recognising that they are poorly equipped to deal with the whole issue are likely to focus only where they can be effective. This will often less than fully address the problem.
    The chronic pain sufferer has to understand and accept all of the factors which contribute to their pain, and learn all they personally can, including the right exercise and the ability to talk about the pain. It is not all about the medication…. and having things done TO you. some of the answers come from within…

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