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Are You Living with Chronic Pain?

Older man showing shoulder painImperial College London has just completed a huge research paper into chronic pain in the UK. They compiled the results of 19 UK studies into pain which included access to the medical records of over 140,000 people.

This is considered a very significant study and for the first time it gives a clear indication of the real effect of damage to our physical structures.

The study discovered that 28 million people, 43% of the population, had experienced pain that had been present for more than 3 months.

This is a huge number and the real impact of this becomes more obvious when you consider how your behaviour changes when you are in pain.

Often sufferers will become short tempered with those around them, choose to stay at home rather than venture out and reduce the aspects of life that help us enjoy ourselves and experience a fullness of life. This can have an enormous impact on families and children in particular.

They found that 1 in 7 people under 25 years of age experience chronic pain. The indication is that with an increased use of computers, reduced exercise and commonly a reduction in dietary quality, this number is likely to rise.

For those in the 18 to 39 years of age group, the study found that 3 in 10 are in ongoing pain. This group takes into account those who have pregnancy and post pregnancy pain, as well as a large number of sporting injuries. Previous studies indicate that many have headaches and back pain which some carry throughout their lives.

Shockingly and worryingly the researchers found that for over 75’s 2 out of every 3 people suffer ongoing, permanent pain.

Whilst these figures include types of arthritic pain many people who consult a chiropractor, even those with arthritic pain, have a notable reduction in their symptoms. A part of this is related to the fact that these studies look only at symptoms and not at function.

When we walk, run, lift, climb stairs or undertake any activity we use a variety of different joints in an interconnected way which is called a ‘chain of movement.’

When joint damage occurs at a joint the whole chain of motion is affected and becomes inefficient. Joints that are restricted for a period of time become stiff, with the surrounding tissues losing their flexibility to harden. Over time calcification occurs, which is the degenerative process known as osteoarthritis (wear and tear).

It is likely that for many of those with pain, early intervention would have reduced the pain they experience later in life.

One of the most common thing clients express is, “I wish I had come years ago.” Much of the suffering in older life could be prevented or reduced with earlier intervention.

I am constantly amazed that many clients suffer for several years before consulting us. It is always a joy to help sufferers get relief and regain the lifestyle they thought was gone forever.

Who do you know who has been suffering pain for many years? Why not suggest they call for advice and see if we might be able to help them experience a fuller and more enjoyable life?

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