Pain is a very common condition. The occurrence of pain rises as people get older, and women are more likely to experience pain than men.
There are two main types of pain.
- Acute pain – a normal response to an injury. It starts suddenly and is usually short-lived
- Chronic pain – continues beyond the time expected for healing. It generally lasts for longer than three months.
Pain may be anything from a dull ache to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme. You may feel pain in one part of your body or it may be widespread.
Studies suggest that a person’s emotional wellbeing can impact the experience of pain. Understanding the cause and learning effective ways to cope with your pain can improve your quality of life.
Key pain management strategies include:
- Pain-relieving medicines
- Physical therapies (such as heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy and exercise)
- Psychological therapies (such as cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation)
- Mind and body techniques (such as acupuncture)
- Occupational therapy
- Community support groups.
The most common causes of pain in adults include:
- Medical conditions (such as cancer, arthritis and back problems)
The most commonly reported types of pain are headache and back pain (although pain involving the limbs, shoulder and neck is also common)