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The Impact of Pain

Chronic pain has a massive impact both on those suffering with it, and on society as a whole.  Many people are surprised by just how common it is: the Pain in Europe Survey showed a frequency of almost one in five (19%) adults surveyed across Europe.  The results at their key findings page clearly demonstrate the impact of the pain not only on them but their families and carers and the wider society.  

Very recently a UK study, instigated by the British Pain Society and Arthritis Research UK and published in BMJOpen, showed even higher figures:

  • 43% of the estimated 65 million population experience some form of chronic pain and 14% of UK adults live with chronic widespread pain.
  • 8% of UK adults experience chronic nerve (neuropathic) pain
  • 5.5% live with fibromyalgia - a long-term condition that causes simultaneous pain in many different parts of the body.
  • Women were more likely than men to be affected by chronic pain, irrespective of age or pain type

    For many years Pain has not been given the emphasis that it needs as a condition.    Thankfully this is now beginning to change and the UK Department of Health now considers it a priority, and the 2008 Chief Medical Officer's report  stated Chronic Pain to be one of the five most important areas for focus. This report, and the Pain in Europe Study, also gives considerable evidence to back this up.

    In response to the Chief Medical Officer's report, the British Pain Society and Dr Foster Intelligence carried out the first National Pain Audit, the report of which can be accessed from this link.



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    Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
    email: pain.webmaster[at]

    Page updated 11/7/2016