When we experience pain, we’re often more preoccupied with alleviating it—or ignoring it—rather than acknowledging what we’re feeling.  

Acute pain is your body’s normal reaction to injury or illness. It’s sudden and often a warning, but it’s short-term: when your body heals, the pain usually goes away. Chronic pain, however, is persistent. It can range from mild to severe and lasts beyond normal healing, generally longer than six months.  

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s chronic pain report: 

  • 1.6 million (1 in 5) Australians aged 45 and over had chronic pain in 2016 
  • People with chronic pain are five times as likely as those without pain to be ‘limited a lot’ in daily activities 
  • GPs are seeing more people for chronic pain—patient encounters have risen by 67% over 10 years 
  • In 2017–18, there were nearly 105,000 hospitalisations involving chronic pain. 

People living with chronic pain often feel isolated by their pain, both physically and emotionally. It can affect their ability to work, exercise, socialise and live independently. Chronic pain can also lead to mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and fatigue. 

It is for this reason Connection is the theme for National Pain Week 2021.  Rather than ignoring chronic pain and suffering in silence, Connection is a timely reminder encouraging people to: 

  • connect with their bodies and acknowledge their pain 
  • seek support and advice from others. 

The following open access research, held in Griffith Research Online (GRO), is a snapshot of the research being undertaken to target the management of chronic pain: 

Visit GRO to discover more research on chronic pain.