25 Apr, 2023 @ 18:00
1 min read

Chronic pain in Spain affects over nine million people – a quarter of the adult population

Chronic pain in Spain affects over nine million people – a quarter of the adult population
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

OVER NINE MILLION people in Spain- some 25.9% of the adult population- suffer from some form of chronic pain.

The biggest issue is lower back pain(58.1%) according to a survey carried out by the Cadiz University pain observatory and the Grunenthal Foundation.

They define chronic pain as affecting somebody for more than four days a week and persisting for longer than three months.

7,058 people in Spain aged between 18 and 85 were interviewed for the study, which clarified some of the unwelcome consequences of pain.

42.1% of chronic pain sufferers have used health services in the last month with 86.7% of patients going to their local medical centre.

As for specialised services in hospitals, 69% of people with pain used those with traumatology leading with 47.7% followed by physiotherapy on 36.7%.

Chronic pain presents a financial cost with 28.6% of patients in the last year needing to take time off work.

Cadiz University’s Inmaculuda Failde, said: “This study gives us better awareness of what is going on and what pain represents at a social, economic, and health level,”

There are 417 public hospitals in Spain that have pain units but Failde says that’s not enough.

“There need to be more pain units with patients complaining they are not be referred to such facilities but that is always not necessary as they can be treated at a Primary Care level,” she added.

“There has to be more cooperation between all health departments as relieving chronic pain should be a national priority,” Failde concluded

The impact of pain also causes a lack of independence with getting out of bed or out of a chair recording the greatest difficulty at 59.9% with just over 10% of respondents saying they need assistance.

22.2% of chronic pain sufferers said they got depression as a result of their condition and an additional 27.6% people said they were prone to anxiety.

People aged between 55 and 77 years had the highest incidents of pain with women(58.75%) more prevalent than men.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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