01 Sep 2017 It’s time to stop pain.
Most people, as they get older, have a little nagging pain somewhere – maybe it’s their shoulder, their knee, or their neck, perhaps their hip, or their back.
It’s okay though, because it’s normal, right?
Just because we’ve been told it’s ‘normal’, or because you’re ‘used to it’, doesn’t make pain okay.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, or where the pain is, long-term pain is always significant. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong – so it is important that you listen to it.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that you’re not supposed to hurt; you’re not supposed to be in pain. And yet, one of the most recent comprehensive studies found that somewhere between one third and one half of adults in the UK suffer from chronic pain.
That doesn’t happen without pain being ignored, without pain being normalised, and it won’t end without more people realising that the pain they suffer from is chronic and that they should be taking action to do something about it.
This is why I am starting a campaign to Stop Pain. I want to raise awareness about chronic pain, to get those suffering to acknowledge their pain, to seek answers and to seek treatment.
Treatment doesn’t have to mean medication. Chronic pain can be indicative of an underlying condition that needs attention, or it could be your body’s way of telling you that you need a lifestyle change. The reason behind the pain will be part of the answer to treating it.
Many people believe that the pain they suffer with isn’t ‘bad’ enough or hasn’t been going on for long enough to be chronic pain. But chronic pain is simply defined as pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks. 12 weeks isn’t that long, but it’s long enough for your body to send you a very clear message: something is wrong, and it needs to addressed.
I want more people to realise this; to see pain not as a part of life, but as a prompt from your body that something needs to change. I want to raise awareness that chronic pain is incredibly common, and describes what a great deal of people suffer from, but there are many things that can be done about it.
If you know someone who has complained of a particular pain for longer than 12 weeks, whether it’s you, a friend, an acquaintance, or a loved one, make sure they seek help. No-one’s pain should be disregarded and no-one should be left to suffer as part of this silent epidemic.
In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing tips about how to tackle pain and advice on how to achieve a pain-free life. I’d love to hear your stories about this issue – it’s vital that we start to talking about it more – so please do get in touch.
Don’t ignore it. It’s time to stop pain.