Women between 35-50 years of age with headaches and back pain are most exposed to pain. And stress makes the situation worse
One in five people in Europe suffer from pain. In Italy, the incidence reaches 24-25%, one of the highest in the whole of the old continent. It is therefore necessary to take the appropriate countermeasures. And above all, what represents the first item of health expenditure in Europe must be carefully addressed.
Milan will host the World Congress on Pain in the coming months. To find out more, here are some suggestions from Paolo Marchettini, Head of the Pain Medicine Center of the Italian Diagnostic Center in Milan and of the Pain Medicine Center of the San Raffaele Hospital and Professor of Pathophysiology and Pain Therapy at the University of Italian Switzerland .
Who is most exposed to pain?
Women are at greater risk, obviously considering all types of pain. "The typical patient is a woman between 35-50 years of age, with headaches and widespread pains, an average family income between 20 and 40 thousand euros per year, subjected to many stress factors and with a medium-low education , as for example it can happen if you have not gone beyond compulsory school ”- explains the expert. "
The most frequent pains are back pain and headache, but it should be noted that the age group that suffers the most from pain is between 35-50 years. It is therefore necessary to dispel the myth that pain only increases with the passing of the years. In particular, migraine is a juvenile problem, which becomes more serious in young adults. Back pain, on the other hand, is a problem with peaks of intensity in the average age, only the pain of the large joints increases with the years ".
It is certainly striking that the degree of education is inversely proportional to the degree and persistence of the pain. Suffice it to say that 30% of citizens with low-medium educational qualifications experience severe pain, while the incidence drops to 17-18% in the population with a high educational qualification.
“This phenomenon is explained by the presumed better ability to communicate with the doctor than a more educated person – is Marchettini's comment. And good doctor-patient communication is essential to avoid chronic pain, bringing huge savings to healthcare and improving patients' quality of life. The next goal, which we want to launch precisely with the World Congress on Pain, is the realization of the guidelines on doctor-patient communication, with pain therapy that can be the ideal training ground for developing the culture of listening on the one hand and other than the story.
Beware of stress
In this historical period, characterized by widespread stress in the population, feeling pain seems easier. "We are witnessing the explosion of what we can call" crisis pain ", with a considerable increase in cases of bowel and bladder congestion, muscle pain, a widespread sense of exhaustion and difficulty in resting – reports Marchettini. Although it is precisely mental stress that causes this damage, the pain does exist and patients should not be considered "imaginary sick".
In situations of threat and danger, the body needs to get rid of everything that is an "obstacle", emptying the bladder and intestines. On the other hand, when one experiences continuous stressful situations, such as tension, worry, the loss of one's social role, there is a risk of congestion that can lead to stomach ulcer, colitis, cystitis etc.
Furthermore, in this period of widespread stress, there is a greater incidence of fibromyalgia: a chronic, long-lasting pain, which affects different muscle areas of the body and is accompanied by a sense of fatigue, exhaustion and difficulty in finding rest with adequate sleep. The increase in this condition is not accidental in periods of great concern: it is during sleep, in fact, that our perception of pain occurs and the lack of sleep is at the same time responsible for widespread muscle pain ".