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Persistent pain affects travel plans

49 per cent of people living with persistent or chronic in Ireland find travelling difficult due to their pain, according to research announced today by the ‘mypainfeelslike…’ campaign. While over half stated that they discuss their pain with a healthcare professional once a year or more, almost one in five have claimed to never discuss their pain with a healthcare professional.

Persistent or chronic pain is defined as any type of pain that lasts more than three months. It lasts longer than acute pain and often does not indicate ongoing damage, although it may feel like it. This new research has revealed that over half of those with persistent pain have experienced both headaches (55 per cent) and lower back pain (51 per cent).

52 per cent of people living with persistent pain claimed to always take their medicine as instructed, while a third admitted to taking their medication until the pain eases. An additional 49 per cent have not had their treatment or medication reviewed in the past year.

“Persistent pain has a serious impact on people’s lives and wellbeing”, said Dr Paul Murphy, Consultant in Pain Medicine in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. “Engaging in an active management plan can help patients reduce pain symptoms, improve mood and increase function. It is also crucial that people comply with any treatment prescribed by their care team to help manage their pain – be it medication, exercises or other treatment options like mindfulness and relaxation practices”. Just over four in ten of those surveyed said the car is their preferred mode of transport when travelling to help manage their pain. Only 24 percent take extra medication, just 17 per cent pack light and lift their luggage in stages and 35 per cent use a neck support when travelling to try and manage their pain. The ‘mypainfeelslike…’ campaign is a collaboration between Grünenthal Pharma Ltd and Chronic Pain Ireland, supported by Multiple Sclerosis Ireland and The Parkinson’s Association of Ireland.