Over 3 million Australians are living with chronic pain every day, an often overwhelming condition that can have a negative impact on all aspects of a person’s life. Mood, relationships, ability to work and general enjoyment of life can all be seriously impacted by chronic pain. In a double blow, the experiences of people with chronic pain are often discounted or minimised simply because it can’t be seen by others – what we call ‘the invisible challenge’.
In reality, chronic pain is arguably the fastest growing medical condition in Australia and affects people of all ages, a fact our Ambassador, cricketing legend Michael Clarke, knows all too well. He’s been living with chronic pain since he was just 17 years old, and is encouraging people to seek the help they need.
“Seeking help has changed my life and allowed me to achieve everything I have through my career. It is all about learning as much as you can to manage the pain as effectively as you possibly can,” said Clarke.
Apart from the impact on individuals and families, chronic pain is also estimated to cost our economy at least $34 billion each year.
July 25 – 31 is National Pain Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of chronic pain on the lives of Australians. Our aim is to reduce the unnecessary suffering and isolation caused by chronic pain in our communities, and change the culture that surrounds people living with chronic pain.
We encourage your readers to attend the major event held at Westmead Hospital on 29th July where Michael Clarke will share his experiences, and where we will hear from experts and people in pain themselves about the latest and best information – what is helpful and what is not.
People who experience chronic pain, or know someone who does, can visit www.nationalpainweek.org.au for information and resources.
As Michael Clarke says, learning to manage chronic pain can be life-changing.
Dr Coralie Wales, President
Chronic Pain Australia – National Pain Week 2016