Unfortunately, one in four suffer from chronic pain. One in four Austrians suffer from chronic pain. This was announced by the designated President of the European Association of Pain Researchers, Dr. Hans Georg Kress from MedUni Vienna on Wednesday at a press conference on the occasion of the 10th Austrian Pain Weeks.
Consequential social costs of pain The 10th Austrian Pain Weeks are part of a Europe-wide campaign with the motto "The overall social impact of pain". Pain should be made one of the most important health problems and politicians and opinion leaders should be given arguments to provide the resources needed in therapy. "More resources have to be made available in therapy, otherwise there will be enormous costs due to sick leave, care and incapacity for work", emphasized Kress and added that "the decision-makers (...) are not really aware of the health and social area" In the context of the expert, the societal follow-up costs should also be taken into account more in the discussion.
Back pain most common Two-thirds of chronic pain affects the musculoskeletal system, with back pain being the most common by far. As early as 2000, researchers in the UK came to the conclusion that back pain per patient has higher direct and indirect costs than coronary artery disease. Accordingly, everyone has to expect to suffer from back problems at least once over a longer period of time in the course of their life. In Germany, a comparable study has shown that back pain is the most common cause of counseling in everyday German practice and represents a serious economic problem with costs of 49 billion euros, 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product. Similar results are available from a Belgian study that came to the conclusion in 2006 that in Belgium direct costs of up to 272 million euros are caused by back pain
Chronic pain as a result of violent experiences Dr. Wilfried Ilias, President of the Austrian Pain Society, from the Hospital of the Barmherzige Brüder in Vienna also pointed out on the occasion of the 10th Austrian Pain Weeks that "the development of chronic pain (...) apparently violent experiences have an influence". Bad or painful experiences during childhood in later life can lead to chronic pain. Experts estimate that around 35 to 50 percent of all patients with chronic pain symptoms were abused, mistreated or emotionally neglected in childhood. Although the relationships have not yet been sufficiently investigated, there are indications that this physical and psychological violence of early childhood memories can be recalled into the pain memory and so often causes chronic pain. Since it is usually not easy to make the predominantly female victims of domestic violence speak, Dr. advises Ilias urgently to intensify cooperation between pain therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. (fp, 21.10.2010)
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