The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines Chronic Pain as any pain lasting for 12 weeks or more. While acute pain is a sensation in the nervous system which alerts you of any possible injury, on the other hand Chronic Pain is very dissimilar. It often lasts for months or even longer durations of time.
Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Chronic Pain is one symptom to many chronic illnesses and visible and invisible disabilities. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, also accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina which eventually causes difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities and hence, leading to disability and despair.
India is a country of 1.3 billion people (approx). A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 15 centers across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States of America demonstrated the prevalence of chronic pain in approx 30% of the population.
India Today in 2015 quotes Damayanti Datta, “India is a nation in pain”. According to a point prevalence study done by Dureja G.P. et al. published in Pain Practice journal in 2014, “There is no published literature available on prevalence of chronic pain in India. The study was the first pain prevalence study that included a total of 5,004 respondents across eight different cities in India.” They came to a conclusion that, “A significant population of India suffers from chronic pain, and their quality of life is affected leading to disability.”
Another study done by Saxena AK (2018) on “The Prevalence of Chronic Pain among Adults in India” stated a prevalence of 19.3% with a higher prevalence in females (25.2%) with a significant impact on work and daily function.
On the other hand a study done by Deshpande AN(2018) on the “Prevalence of chronic pain based on Public Health Centre data from a city in central India” stated a prevalence of 29.63% with female patients more in number. That being said, we cannot even comprehend the number of Indians silently bearing the pain of chronic illnesses. With the advent in technology, the internet has facilitated leaps and bounds making us believe the vast pool of information has created significant awareness about anything. But the truth is non-concurring to it especially when it comes to chronic pain and illnesses which cannot be seen with an unaided eye. Pain warriors have been often misunderstood and misled for decades, leading to physical & mental trauma. Chronic Pain India, wants to be the harbinger of change in this sector, paving the way for better lives and lifestyles for all pain warriors.