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• One in five Australians live with persistent or chronic pain

• Chronic pain is the third most costly health condition in Australia

• Sufferers of chronic pain are often left misunderstood or stigmatised in our communities due to the fact that chronic pain is invisible

Understanding Pain

Pain can be defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience with actual or potential tissue damage1. Your brain recognises pain via the pain pathway. This is where a stimulus causing pain in the periphery of the body, for example a finger prick, sends pain messages via nerves to the spinal cord. Signals from the spinal cord are sent to the brain which interprets the message as both an emotional and physical response.

Types of Pain

There are three types of pain:

1. Acute Pain – lasts for a short period of time and is a normal sensation which alerts us to possible injury. An example is a small burn, cut or an ankle sprain.

2. Chronic Pain – pain which persists regularly or constantly longer than three months. It may sometimes exist without any clear reason. It is usually ongoing due to the active and persistent pain signals sent to your brain which continues beyond the injury or illness that caused it. For example, migraine, headache, fibromyalgia or nerve pain.

3. Cancer Pain can occur in all patients with cancer from early stages to advanced stages.

Managing Your Pain

Pain is managed best with a multidisciplinary pain management approach. This involves effective communication between yourself and all health care professional involved in your pain program as well as taking into account the physical, psychological and environmental factors that influence your experience of pain.

Your Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist can provide advice around causes of pain, possible side effects of pain medications and ways to treat your pain. These are common questions your Pharmacist deals with regularly; a good relationship with your healthcare provider can have a significant impact on your pain management.

You can also book in for a personalised consultation at a Chronic Pain Clinic held at selected Blooms The Chemist stores around Australia.

1. Pain Australia. https://www.painaustralia.org.au/.