The World Health Organisation (WHO) have updated their classification of chronic pain, in a way that should improve patient care and chronic pain research efforts worldwide.

WHO recently completed the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is used in diagnosing health problems and in the decision making process for treatments, so changes can be quite consequential for patient care, as well as research. 

The exciting news is that, for the first time, the updated ICD contains a new classification system for chronic pain, which includes common chronic pain conditions. This classification will allow more effective efforts to measure the quality of treatments for different conditions. Research of this kind is likely to significantly improve the understanding of these conditions, and possibly improve the effectiveness of available treatments as well.

Vidyamala commented: "This is an excellent development as it means chronic pain is seen as a clinical condition in its own right, rather than solely as an aspect of some other clinical state.

Modern scientific thinking about chronic pain sees it as a dysfunction of the nervous system and treatment needs to address this understanding. It's very promising that the World Health Organisation is recognising this latest research.

Mindfulness can be effective at rebalancing the Nervous System and bringing about improvement in chronic pain conditions. The Breathworks approach to mindfulness not only includes meditation for chronic pain; but also includes lifestyle changes such as pacing activities to avoid 'boom and bust' as well as gentle exercise and establishing supportive daily routines."

This update is a result of a great deal of work across the globe from the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Find out how Breathworks can help with chronic pain and health conditions here:

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