Anybody living with pain knows the mental, emotional and physical toll that pain takes on their lives, from one moment to the next.
It is estimated that the cost of pain to the Australian economy is around $34 billion per annum, placing it in the top 5 mostly costly health problems in Australia – up there with heart disease and obesity. Unfortunately chronic, acute and cancer-related pain is not adequately recognised by the wider public, including some health professionals, and in the words of Harald Breivik (2006):
“We have documented that chronic pain is a major health care problem … that needs to be taken more seriously”.
The Australian government began this journey in earnest at the National Pain Summit which was held in 2010 at Parliament House, the outcome being The National Pain Strategy. The Strategy outlines that 1 in 5 Australians suffer chronic pain (being pain that goes on for longer than 3 months) at some point in their lives and that some 80% of pain sufferers do not receive care that could improve their well-being and quality of life (National Pain Summit initiative 2010).
The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (“AACMA”) put forward a submission to the National Pain Summit initiative regarding pain and for very good reason: it is now widely recognised and established through clinical trials that acupuncture is a safe practice when done by a suitably trained professional, which can provide pain relief without the known side effects of conventional medicine. In fact, the World Health Organisation (2002) states that:
“acupuncture can be regarded as the method of choice for treating many chronically painful conditions”
Clinical evidence shows that acupuncture can provide pain relief for many different pain conditions – be they acute, chronic or cancer-related. If you are living with pain, relief is available to you through acupuncture.
Breivik, H, Collett, B, Ventafridda, V, Cohen, R & Gallacher, D 2006, ‘Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalance, impact on daily life and treatment’, European Journal of Pain, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 287–333, viewed 4 May 2015, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16095934.
National Pain Summit initiative 2010, National Pain Summary, viewed 4 May 2015, http://www.painaustralia.org.au/images/pain_australia/NPS/National Pain Strategy 2011.pdf.
World Health Organisation 2002, Acupuncture: review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials, viewed 4 May 2015, http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/42414.