Physiotherapy could ease chronic pain

But of the 1,200 with chronic pain who responded, only 23 per cent had been referred to a specialist.

The national healthcare charity says ‘approximately 7.8 million people live with pain from day to day yet there is only one pain specialist for every 32,000 sufferers’.

The report found more than a third of those questioned said they had suffered from chronic pain at some time.

But of the 1,200 with chronic pain who responded, only 23 per cent had been referred to a specialist.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray said including the many physiotherapists who are also pain specialists would significantly improve the ratio of specialists to patients that was given in the report.

‘Physiotherapy is proven to be an effective treatment for chronic pain that enables people to live full and active lives,’ he said.

But Mr Gray said the finding that only one in four people with chronic pain was referred for specialist care was ‘deeply concerning’.

‘The NHS must address regional variations in access to care but we also call on GPs to recognise the importance of services such as ours in helping people to tackle this debilitating condition’, he said.

The Patients Association is asking the government and healthcare professionals to establish a clear care pathway for pain services in the NHS, to recognise pain as a disease in its own right and to ensure that patients have access to the information they need.

To see the Patients Association report on chronic pain, Public Attitudes to Pain, go to:www.patients-association.com

Author
Janet Wright

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