Millions of Germans have chronic pain

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One eighth of the population suffers from chronic pain

Many people in Germany suffer from chronic pain. The market research institute GfK found in a survey commissioned by the magazine "Apotheken Umschau" that around one eighth of the population in Germany suffers from permanent pain.

According to the results of the current study, chronic pain is particularly common in some parts of the body, reports the "Apotheken Umschau". The representative study carried out by the market research company GfK showed that a total of 13.3 percent of the more than 2,000 respondents suffer from chronic pain, with back pain clearly being the most common complaint.

Back pain the most common complaint picture In the representative survey on the spread of chronic pain in the population, the market research institute GfK recorded the complaints of 2,064 people. Overall, around 13 percent of the study participants stated that they suffered from persistent or regularly recurring pain over a period of six months. Back pain was by far the most common symptom. Around every second study participant (51 percent) with chronic pain suffered from back problems, about a third of the respondents (34 percent) had knee pain and 28 percent of the subjects complained of problems in the neck and shoulder area. In addition, chronic pain in the legs and feet was relatively well represented (27 percent). Painful rheumatic complaints (25 percent), which can be caused by arthritis or arthrosis, for example, were also more common than often assumed. Around 23 percent of the respondents also suffered from hip pain. The particularly feared chronic headache only appears relatively late in the list of chronic pain. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they had chronic headaches, and seven percent said they had chronic migraines.

Chronic pain is often extremely intense When looking at the periods in which chronic pain occurs, GfK experts were able to determine that just under half of those affected (46 percent) suffer from pain permanently. Half of the chronic pain patients give their suffering almost no break. According to the results of the current study, it is particularly critical that the intensity of the pain is often extremely high. For example, 62 percent of the study participants who, according to their own statements, suffer from the pain almost without interruption, classified the intensity of the perceived pain on a tens scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (extreme pain) in the range between eight and ten. However, around half of those surveyed with chronic pain also have pain-free periods. However, the study participants were often unable to say much about the possible causes. Around a third of the respondents (34 percent) stated that the pain occurred irregularly, regardless of times or external circumstances. However, 33 percent reported that their pain was primarily felt after a change in weather.

Chronic pain as an independent clinical picture? Already in March the German Society for Pain Therapy (DGS) pointed out that chronic pain should be regarded as an independent clinical picture. At the German Pain and Palliative Day 2011, the DGS addressed the problem of chronic pain and called for the introduction of appropriate specialist training. The DGS warned that there is "real undersupply", especially among children. According to the experts, many doctors are unable or inadequate to adequately treat patients with chronic pain due to a lack of knowledge and poor fees. It is urgently necessary to adapt the teaching content in the universities and special medical training in order to do justice to the individual health problems of the pain patients, said the president of the DGS, Gerhard Müller-Schwefe. In addition, the DGS criticized the increasing use of pain relievers in self-therapy. According to the DGS President, instead of increasingly using painkillers and exposing themselves to further health risks, those affected should rather get to the bottom of the causes of the pain with specialist support.

Pain therapies for the treatment of chronic pain According to the experts, pain therapies can also bring about considerable relief in patients with chronic pain. Pain therapies in naturopathy include, for example, homeopathic approaches, magnetic therapy, neural therapies, biofeedback or acupuncture (as an approach of traditional Chinese medicine, TCM). In addition, detoxification and deacidification therapies as well as special relaxation methods are used for naturopathic treatment of chronic pain. However, therapies on a psychological level can also be appropriate for chronic pain, since this does not always have to be due to physical suffering. (fp)

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Video: What Chronic Pain Has Taught Me About Resilience. Trung Ngo. TEDxCentennialCollegeToronto

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