Who Experiences Pain in the UK?
8 million people have chronic pain of
at least moderate intensity. A further 6 million have
some chronic pain of some form.
6-8% population have severe pain that prevents
some or most activities.
The prevalence of chronic pain doubles
over the age of 65, but chronic pain can be experienced by anyone.
Acute pain is something we all experience when we injure ourselves or suffer some form of trauma, such as an operation. It is also our bodies’ way of warning us when an underlying disease process may be developing, prompting us to seek help. In the vast majority of people, the pain settles down as the body’s healing processes take effect or when a disease is brought under control.
Chronic pain is a persistent pain, which continues after healing or is the result of ongoing damage. This includes spinal pain, post-traumatic pain (e.g. after amputation or surgery), pain involving the central or peripheral nervous system (e.g. post stroke pain, complex regional pain syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia and sciatica) and pain associated with other chronic diseases such as angina, arthritis, endometriosis, headache and pancreatitis. I also treat pain associated with cancer (I hold an Honorary Consultant contract with Farleigh Hospice).