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'No need to suffer pain in silence'

13th October 2006

A pain doctor has urged the one in five of us who have pain on a daily basis not to suffer in silence.

Dr Beverley Collett, a pain management consultant at the University Hospitals of Leicester, has said that there are other consequences of pain, such as depression, which may be termed weak or neurotic but are in fact a natural physical consequence.

"In fact, feeling anxious and fearful is a natural physical consequence because the pain messages transmitted up the spinal cord go to the limbic system in our brain, which deals with emotions," she told the Daily Mail.

"It is possible to manage chronic pain well, with specialist teams offering a raft of lifestyle and psychological measures as well as medication, but sadly the scale of this problem is not matched by the resources available on the NHS," she added.

The most common causes of chronic pain are backache and osteoarthritis.

As well as asking to be referred to a specialist pain clinic, many people try alternative therapies or even find that positive thinking – although difficult – can help to make a difference.