Understanding pain

What is chronic pain?

TIME Magazine - Understanding PainPain – whether acute or chronic - is the most common reason people seek medical help - from General Practitioners and in pharmacies. While acute pain resulting from injury or trauma is generally short term and relatively easy to treat, chronic pain is far more complex, persisting long after the normal healing time of three to six months.

It is now widely understood by pain experts that chronic pain can become a disease in its own right – a condition which persists in the absence of any apparent injury or illness and is associated with physical, psychological and environmental changes. This is confirmed by brain imaging which shows that chronic pain is associated neuroplastic changes within the nervous system, at spinal cord and brain levels.

This new knowledge has led to the understanding that chronic pain is best addressed through a multi-disciplinary, chronic disease management model, rather than seeking cures through medication or any other single form of treatment.

Read all the facts



Professor Michael Cousins2

"Pain is one of the biggest health issues in Australia today – every bit as big as cancer, AIDS and coronary heart disease. Yet it remains one of the most neglected areas of healthcare"

Professor Michael Cousins, AM
Chair, National Pain Summit / Director, Painaustralia




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Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the millions of people living with chronic pain, and to minimise the burden of pain on individuals and communities across Australia.


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