National Pain Week, 22 – 28 July

Understanding chronic pain

by Communications Volunteer, Leesa
Chronic pain can be life-changing, but treatments can help.

 

WHAT IS PAIN?

Everyone experiences pain during their lifetime; it could be the result of an injury, an accident or a medical health condition.  Chronic pain affects about one-in-five Australians, but for people over 65 years, this jumps to one-in-three.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACUTE AND CHRONIC PAIN?

Acute pain is when we experience brief pain from time-to-time through our lifetime, from something like a cut, a pull or a strain.  The pain goes away and doesn’t come back unless you do it again.  Chronic pain is different.  

While it is often thought that ‘chronic pain’ is extreme pain, the term chronic pain describes how long the pain lasts – though chronic pain can also be severe.

Chronic pain, or persistent pain, lasts for more than three months and in many cases it may not heal because it is the result of ongoing disease, as such as arthritis, cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis or any disability.  People who have experienced physical trauma during their life may have chronic pain as a result of surgery that had after-effects, a car or work accident, or a fall.  The chronic pain also be the result of a minor injury that leaves ongoing pain. 

Many people with chronic pain are in pain for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it never goes away.  This can have a huge impact on their daily lives as the never-ending experience can be exhausting.  People who live with chronic pain summon much strength and courage.

HOW TO REDUCE THE PAIN?

Chronic pain sufferers usually use some of these different treatments to reduce their pain:

  1. Cold and heat
  2. Exercise
  3. Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  4. Mind-body techniques.
  5. Yoga and tai chi
  6. Biofeedback
  7. Music therapy
  8. Therapeutic massage

At Connect Health & Community we offer a range of services to support those experiencing chronic pain, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, community nursing and counselling.

For more information on the support available, call us on 03) 9575 5333 or visit our physiotherapy page through this link.

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