The theme of National Pain Week 2021 is “Connection”
People living with chronic pain often feel isolated by their pain.
The aim of National Pain Week 2021 is to remind friends, family and professionals that connection is key to addressing the social isolation that pain can create.
This year’s theme encourages people to connect with their bodies and to acknowledge their pain.
Equally, it encourages people to seek support and advice from others rather than ignoring it and suffering in silence.
What is Chronic Pain?
Pain is an unpleasant or uncomfortable body experience caused by activation of the nervous system. It is typically caused by a known injury or illness, but sometimes the cause of the pain can be unknown.
Most of us will experience acute pain from time to time. It often occurs following surgery, trauma, or short-term illness and usually lasts for a short time before the body heals and the pain goes away.
Chronic or persistent pain is pain that lasts for more than three months, or in many cases, beyond normal healing time.
Chronic pain can be a symptom of a known illness or injury it can also exist without a clear reason at all. Sometimes the long-term nature of the pain is not indicating ongoing disease or damage.
- 1 in 5 Australians live with chronic pain – including adolescents and children.
- This includes 1 in 3 people over the age of 65.
- 1 in 5 GP consultations involve a patient with chronic pain and almost 5% report severe, disabling chronic pain.
- The prevalence of chronic pain is projected to increase as Australia’s population ages-from around 3.2 million in 2007 to 5 million by 2050.