Either by observation or self-experience, you and I know that pain affects the majority of the population in repeated moments of his life. Medical consultations are constantly receiving patients with a pain that afflicts personal, social and / or professionally. Medical studies shed that people with painful conditions have deteriorated quality of life.
For decades, biologists, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists ...., are increasing their interest in the study of pain in the search for solutions to prevent, treat or eliminate it. Realizing that the pain has an important implication in society and in the quality of human life, achievements are not only gaining a scientific understanding but also humanitarian. Dr. Eduardo Ibarra, author of the initiative to the United Nations to raise the treatment of pain and palliative care application to the rank of Fundamental Rights of Mankind, he says: "good health and treatment of disabling conditions, as chronic pain, not only must be understood as a consequence of the development of peoples, but a way of achieving development. "
Finding a suitable definition of pain that encompasses all its magnitude is quite complex. The IASP (International Association for Study of Pain) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential damage or described in terms of it. Is a right and proper definition but only describing the pain from their appearance symptomatological. The Spanish Society of Pain (SED) completes this definition: the pain is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential damage or described in terms of it, and if still no remedy available to alter the cause or demonstrations a disease itself.” The SED explained that the recognition of certain types of chronic pain is a disease "per se" and that this specification should be included within the definition of pain S. XXI.
It is important to distinguish between acute and chronic pain. Pain has a sensory component and one affective. While acute pain is of recent onset (hours to days) and represents an alarm through which our body starts healing protection mechanisms, and in the predominantly sensory component, chronic pain carries a strong affective component as it extends over time and presents neurobiological disorders and even visceral pathologies. Chronic pain is considered a syndrome, or a set of psychic manifestations, behavioral and social. While the border between the pains is not well defined to generate confusion among professionals, exist three requirements must be met to consider and chronic pain:
- Cause uncertain or not amenable to treatment
- Ineffective medical treatments
- Persistent pain for more than a month after the end of the normal
- course of acute disease or healing reasonable time
- Some studies on pain
The first study conducted in Spain on the prevalence of pain in the general population was conducted in Catalonia in 1995 and consisted of a sample of 1964 adults by telephone survey. 78.6% of respondents reported having or having had one or more bodily pain parties during the last half year. The women reported pain more frequently and there was a tendency for the prevalence increases with age, although only the group of people over 70 years showed a significantly lower than the group of less than 30 years. The locations most frequently cited were: back (more on women and younger people) and lower extremities (mainly in women and elderly).
Another study on pain is the Cabinet by Bernard Kiev Sociological Studies in 1998 on a sample of 15,167 persons, obtained by interviewing the head of the family of 5068 urban households, which examined the presence of pain during the 2 months. This study found a prevalence of 54.9% pain in the 2 months preceding the interview, with a predominance in women and people over 61 years. The types of pain were the most frequent otorhinolaryngologic origin (25%), rheumatism (21%) and musculoskeletal (12%).
The study CAVIDOL (Quality of Life and Pain in Primary Care) made in the Lugo province in 2005, shows a sample of 347 individuals with an average age of 63 years, from a survey of quality of life. The most frequent diagnosis was the process painful osteoarthritis (arthrosis of knee) and coxarthrosis (hip OA) with 12.69% of cases, followed by spinal osteoartrisis (10.27%). For appliances, the most affected is the muscle-skeletal (37.76% of cases), followed by nervous system (3.63% of cases). In our sample, women have more pain (both acute and chronic) than men and people aged 65 or older have more chronic pain but, and this is the differential, less severe pain that people with less than 65 years.
CAVIDOL results match a pain study, conducted on a sample of 4695 adults by telephone interview, in which pain was discussed on the day before the interview, the treatment and the consequences for the patient. The survey found a prevalence of pain of 30.1%. Also confirmed the higher prevalence in women and its relationship with age. The most common locations were the back legs (which increased with age) and head. The conclusions we reach are:
People who present with painful conditions have their deteriorating quality of life than those who consult for other processes
Chronic pain impairs quality of life more broadly than the acute
The most common cause of pain is osteoarthritis consulted / coxarthrosis
The device most commonly affected by painful processes is the musculoskeletal
Sex has no influence on the deterioration of the quality of life and the degree of perceived pain of those who suffer, whether it is acute and if it is chronic. Under these circumstances, the age influences only one aspect of HRQOL (physical function impairment)
Women suffer more pain (acute and chronic) than men and people aged 65 or over suffer from chronic pain, but less acute than the younger ones.
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