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Chronic Pain Blog Series – Chronic Pain in Australia: Understanding its Prevalence, Impact, and Cost

Chronic pain is a widespread health concern affecting nearly 3.6 million Australians, causing persistent discomfort lasting over three months. (1) This enduring pain deeply impacts individuals, families and communities.

With one in five Australians aged 45 and older coping with chronic pain, the striking prevalence is stark, especially compared to global patterns. (2) For instance, in the United States, over one in five adults grapple with chronic pain. (3)

In my clinical experience, I have witnessed a rise in clients presenting with suffering emotionally and physically with chronic pain. This growing issue prompted me to pen a series of blogs on chronic pain and inspired my upcoming book, Breaking Beta: Your Pathway Out of Physical and Emotional Pain, due for release in July 2024.

The economic toll of chronic pain in Australia is staggering, amounting to an estimated $139 billion in 2018, mainly due to diminished quality of life and productivity losses. (4) These expenses encompass direct costs like medical care and indirect expenses such as reduced productivity.

Additionally, chronic pain can trigger a harmful cycle of suffering and emotional turmoil, straining relationships and perpetuating poverty cycles in some communities. (5)

Despite these challenging statistics, chronic pain remains a significant societal hurdle. The latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare projects that the annual cost of chronic pain in Australia will soar to around $215 billion by 2050. (6)

My blog series will discuss different facets of pain, covering its definition, how pain becomes chronic, and strategies to break the cycle of physical and emotional suffering associated with it. These insights offer valuable guidance to individuals coping with chronic pain and equally benefit those seeking to enhance their overall wellness.

Prepare for my upcoming blog post in this series, where we define pain from a biopsychosocial perspective. Our journey through these posts aims to guide us from “Chronic Pain towards Wellness Gain,” leading up to the launch of my book, Breaking Beta: Your Pathway Out of Physical and Emotional Pain.

1. Chronic Pain Australia:
2. AIHW:
3. CDC:
4. AIHW:
5. Illawarra Medical:
6. AIHW:

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