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Studies on Living with Chronic Pain

It’s important to have clinical studies to describe and quantify what it’s like to live with chronic pain, but sometimes I read the news and think, “Well, of course.” Two studies presented at the International Association for the Study of Pain’s 11th World Congress of Pain that elicited this response were Study Suggests it is Unsafe to Drive when Suffering from Chronic Pain and An Evaluation of the Impact of Chronic Pain on Quality of Life. Again, they are valuable studies, but people with chronic pain have known these things for years.

An interesting aspect of the second study is that headache is described as localized pain that doesn’t affect the whole body, thus doesn’t reduce quality of life as much as full body pain, like fibromyalgia. While I can’t compare the pain to fibromyalgia, I don’t think of headache as confined to the head. Or am I confusing headache with migraine?

Two other studies presented at the World Congress of Pain reviews the impact of prevalence of pain worldwide and the social, economic and governmental barriers to pain management in Europe. They are both summarized in 20% Around the World Suffer from Chronic Pain yet there are Still Barriers to Adequate Pain Relief. The worldwide and European trends addressed in these studies are fascinating.

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