According to the Department of Health1:
Chronic pain affects nearly eight million men, women and children of all ages in the UK and research suggests that numbers are rising
One in four people diagnosed is eventually unable to continue working, and chronic pain is commonly reported in the decade between 40 and 50 years of age
Back pain alone has been estimated to cost the economy £12.3 billion per annum, mainly due to work days lost
Adolescent pain has been estimated to cost the NHS £3.8 billion per annum
Chronic pain is the second most common reason for claiming incapacity benefit.
For decades it has been known that persistent pain can lead to profound and sometimes long-term changes in the body. And yet until recently, chronic pain has been regarded as nothing more than a symptom of something else. Dealing with chronic pain is frustrating for doctors as it is debilitating for patients.
Patients and clinicians realise that there are few easy solutions and that every patient is different. But all patients agree that everyone affected by chronic pain deserves access to the best mix of medical and psychological therapy and support from the right professionals, regardless of where they live.