About chronic pain
Chronic pain affects around 20% of Australian adults.
Chronic pain is usually defined, in medical terms, as constant daily pain that is present for at least three of the preceding six months. Chronic pain can have many causes, sometimes it's the result of a severe injury or a disease (eg, arthritis) but it can also have no diagnosable cause.
The following pages look at chronic pain that is not the result of cancer. Chronic cancer pain is treated quite differently to non-cancer pain.
Find out more
- What is chronic pain
- Living with chronic pain
- Managing chronic pain
- Talking to your health professional
- Chronic pain communication tool
- FAQs about chronic pain
- Useful links and resources for chronic pain
For health professionals
Most patients with chronic pain use at least one medicine – and many rely solely on medicine to manage their pain. However, chronic pain is complex and good management requires a mix of physical, psychological and medical treatment. Often opioids are prescribed as 'pain killers', but their use is limited. Medicines should be seen as part of a comprehensive pain management plan, rather than an end in themselves.
This hub provides more detailed information on effective management of chronic pain.
Our CPD activities
Consolidate your knowledge on chronic pain, brush-up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.
- Clinical e-Audit Chronic pain: opioids and beyond
- Online case study Chronic pain: opioids and beyond
- Book an educational visit on Chronic pain: opioids and beyond
- Online learning module Chronic abdominal pain in adults – when is imaging indicated?
- Pharmacy Practice Review Chronic pain: opioids and beyond, supporting a multimodal approach
- Key points
- Management plan
- Opioid medicines
- Non-opioid medicines
- Monitoring treatment
- Resources and management tools
- For your patients
- Professional development
Other tools and resources
- Medicinewise News: Chronic pain – Because of the biopsychosocial contributors to chronic pain, a multidimensional approach to treatment is required.