One in seven is in pain 'for more than a decade'
One in seven people has endured living with pain for more than a decade, a new survey has revealed.
And as many as one in four has suffered pain for at least six years, the findings from the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists show.
They warned that this is worrying and far too high given that "the longer a person has pain the more difficult it is to manage and more costly to treat".
The biggest problem areas are the lower back, knee, back, shoulder and hip. But it can also involve living with pain in the foot, abdomen, head or ankle. Three in 10 said persistent pain had a severe impact on their sleep.
"Social factors such as isolation, exclusion and loneliness can greatly exacerbate many of the problems associated with chronic pain," physiotherapist Niall Halliday, chair of the society's pain management group, said. "Changes in people's relationships with their family, friends, work colleagues and with other social groups can have serious impact on their pain."
He was speaking in advance of World Physiotherapy Day on Sunday.
"We often find that this is as much an urban problem as a rural one. It is very important people have access to services that have the capacity to help address social factors affecting their condition," he added.
"Currently in our community health services co-ordinated care of pain conditions is non-existent and waiting lists extremely long."
Brona Fullen, of UCD's School of Public Health, said physios could help people cope with pain through manual therapy and structured exercise programmes.