Woman feeling shoulder pain

You may have had a couple of big days in the garden digging the soil ready to plant next season’s veggies and are now feeling a twinge of pain in your back or hands.

You make a note to yourself to ask your next-door neighbour about the new type of secateurs she bought last week. According to her, they are the next best thing to sliced bread, free moving and wonderful to use! Moreover, she feels no pain in her hands afterwards. A warm bath and a cup of tea will usually ease the pain you feel. For many, this is the scenario after a good work out in the garden or doing other manual work not readily practised.

For so many others pain is a constant in their lives and for some, it is chronic pain. According to Akii Ngo from Chronic Pain Australia, as she spoke on a recent interview with Trevor Chappell on ABC Overnights, chronic pain is that which lasts longer than 3 months. It can be a variety of manifestations of pain due to illness, nerve issues, cancer, autoimmune conditions, surgery or injury.

“Your pain is valid and your pain is indeed real,” she said. The word ‘painsomnia’ has been coined to unite those people who lie awake at night feeling pain and who can’t sleep because of it.

The theme for National Pain Week 2020 is ‘Faces of Pain’ and has a series of videos from a variety of Australians (Akii Ngo included) who share personal stories of challenges with pain. While educating the public on what chronic pain is, the videos will also let people realise they are not alone in their plight. They will also let the medical profession see what many of their patients are dealing with on a daily basis. These videos are available on the website.

To complement National Pain Week, the National Pain Survey 2020 was released on Monday 27 July 2020. This is a detailed survey done each year by Chronic Pain Australia to bring attention to and allow people experiencing pain to put forward their views. For this year’s survey over 1200 people took part and responded to the many questions that relate to different aspects of their lives. Included in the survey were questions relating to COVID-19 and the impact it was having on them.

Chronic Pain Australia has very active social media platforms to assist people to share their experience. There is also an Online 24-hour Forum where people are able to talk anonymously. This can help those who are suffering from ‘painsomnia’ and either need advice and support or want to offer similar to other participants in a safe space.

For further information go to Chronic Pain Australia 

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