Chronic Pain Essay

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The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”. As such pain is an essential sensory input that involves emotional and psychological features and which, when followed by a proper reaction, prevent or avoid further damage to our bodies.
The sensation of pain is not a static system. Acute pain is followed by a number of physiological adaptive changes and reactions such as hyperalgesia (increased pain from noxious stimuli) in the afflicted area, allodynia (pain from normally innoxious stimuli) and in some cases analgesia (absence of pain) as in the case of an acute
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2001, Gerdle, Bjork et al. 2004).
The socio-economic cost per year for patients who suffers from moderate to severe chronic pain (a score of 5-10 on a 1-10 NRS) in Sweden was estimated to 87.5 billion SEK (or ~9.7 billion EUR) in the year 2003 of which 80 billion SEK were indirect costs (SBU 2006).
It has also been estimated that an elder (≥ 65 years) patient who suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain costs 570 EUR (or ~5250 SEK) per year in direct costs, which would amount to a cost of 1 billion EUR (or ~9.2 billion SEK) when applied to the total population of Sweden (Bernfort, Gerdle et al. 2015).
Development of Chronic Pain
Several risk factors have been identified for the development of chronic pain which shows the complex and biopsychosocial aspects of pain. Some of the risk factors for the transition from acute pain to chronic pain are physical and sexual abuse, stress, depression, anxiety, fear-avoidance, catastrophizing, lack of social support (Linton 2000, Turk and Okifuji 2002), job dissatisfaction (Linton 2001, Turk and Okifuji 2002) and work relations (Linton 2001) while some risk factors of pain onset and pain worsening are repetitive work tasks, high physical workload and awkward postures at work (Leclerc, Chastang et al. 2004, Andersen, Haahr et al. 2007). It should be noted that there is no evidence that a certain pain-prone personality
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2006, Miller and Cano 2009).
The purpose of this project is to determine the prevalence of chronic pain in the elder population, the prevalence of comorbidities and to further investigate the comorbidity of depression, anxiety and insomnia in elderly individuals who suffer from chronic pain, its correlation to location and intensity of pain, its relation to quality of life and how they all relate to gender and age.
Subjects and Methods
The study sample consists of 10,000 individuals from Östergötland county equally divided into five age strata, 65-69 years, 70-74 years, 75-79 years, 80-84 years and 85 years or older. The study sample was randomly picked, within their respective stratum, from a total sample population of 49,320 individuals gathered from 3 registers and 2 surveys.
The study was approved by the regional Ethics Research Committee in the county of Östergötland, Sweden (Dnr: 2012/154-31).
General Information
The questionnaire included questions about age, gender, length and weight.

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