November 07, 2005 12:24 ET

ACTION: Half a Million Canadians Suffer from Neuropathic Pain

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2005) -


ACTION: An estimated half a million Canadians - and 15 million people worldwide - suffer from Neuropathic Pain, a type of pain that is characterized by severe cramping, burning, pin prick, tingling and/or shock-like sensations.

The Canadian Pain Coalition has designated the week of November 5 to 12 to raise awareness of the economic and human costs of both neuropathic and chronic pain.

Neuropathic pain (NeP) is caused by damage or dysfunction in the nervous system. It is distinguished from chronic pain, which include ailments such as arthritis or lower back pain. NeP can be caused by conditions such as diabetes, breast cancer surgery, cardiac bypass, chemotherapy, kidney or liver failure, lung cancer or hernia repair, infections and inflammation, trauma, , 'shingles', multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions.

Eighty-seven per cent of Canadian neuropathic pain sufferers say their pain is constant; 94 per cent say it is always present at least a "little bit", according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive.

"There is a tremendous cost to our economy, estimated at $100 million in direct costs and several billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity," said Val Shaw Lewis, a spokesperson for a voluntary association called ACTION for People with Neuropathic Pain. "But there is also a serious human cost. As a sufferer myself, I can attest that this pain robs me of normal human activity."

ACTION is a volunteer organization that includes health care professionals and those who suffer from neuropathic pain. Its mandate is to champion public policies for sufferers, identify barriers to new and effective care, and raise awareness of the plight of sufferers.

For Further Information, Backgrounders and Interviews

ACTION West can provide further information and access to spokespeople who are health care professionals and NeP sufferers.

Contact Information