Friday 9 December 2016

Chronic pain sufferers urged to seek help

Published 03/05/2016 | 02:30

Chronic pain
Chronic pain

Many chronic pain patients are not talking about their condition and find it difficult to describe their symptoms, according to Dr Paul Murphy, pain consultant in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

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"This can have a negative impact on their care," he said.

Persistent pain is now considered to be a disease in its own right, he added. It is associated with a range of changes in nerve function, mood, cognition and social function.

"Early assessment is essential in devising a strategy to help chronic pain sufferers," he advised.

It is estimated that approximately 1.65m people in Ireland have pain. And more than one in five have lived with the pain for 10 years or more. Dr Murphy was speaking as a new questionnaire 'mypainfeelslike' was launched. The initiative aims to improve the communication between patients and doctors.

The better people are able to explain their symptoms the more likely they are to get an accurate diagnosis.

John Lindsay, chairman of Chronic Pain Ireland said: "Living with chronic or nerve pain affects people's well-being, their ability to be independent, their productivity and relationships, which can lead to feelings of depression.The 'mypainfeelslike' campaign will help raise awareness of the impact of chronic pain and give people living with this disease the tools to re-evaluate their pain management plans."

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