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4 million Australians living with chronic pain: survey

More than four million Australians live with chronic pain according to a snapshot survey highlighting the far reaching impact of the condition nationally.

The survey was conducted by Chronic Pain Australia as a part of National Pain Week taking place from 20-27 July.

With experts having previously estimated the cost of chronic pain for Australia at $34.3 billion per year, the poll sourced feedback from some 1443 people living with chronic pain.

Back pain was the most common affecting respondents, impacting 69.2 per cent of respondents. Neuropathic pain was next, affecting 53.1 per cent of respondents. Nerve pain was reported by 48.7 per cent of those surveyed, while head pain - including migraine – was found to be impacting 39.8 per cent of respondents. Meanwhile 12 percent of this surveyed listed their pain as being medically unexplained.

Almost half of all respondents had lived with their pain for almost a decade.

Trauma was reported as a precursor to most respondents’ pain, while more than half (53.2 per cent) of those surveyed urged for a broader public understanding of the link between trauma and pain. Furthermore, the survey identified 76 per cent of respondents used medication to manage their conditions while lifestyle strategies were used by close to two-thirds of respondents, and thinking-strategies by just under half.

Click below to hear from Fiona Hodson, clinical nurse consultant pain management with Hunter Integrated Pain Service and president-elect of the Australian Pain Society.

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