Childhood trauma increases risk of chronic pain in adulthood

with No Comments
Childhood physical abuse was associated with a higher likelihood of reporting both chronic pain and pain-related disability. Photo: Pexels


(André Bussières/ McGill University) — Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or neglect, either alone or combined with other types of childhood trauma, increases the risk of chronic pain and related disability in adulthood, according to new research. The findings from an international team of experts, including several McGill University researchers, underscore the urgency of addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) – potentially traumatic events that occur before 18 years of age – and taking steps to mitigate their long-term impact on people’s health.

The study reviews research carried out across 75 years, involving 826,452 adults. Published in the peer-reviewed journal European Journal of Psychotraumatology, it reveals that individuals who have been exposed to various forms of traumatic events in childhood are at an increased risk of experiencing chronic pain and pain-related disability in adulthood, particularly those subjected to physical abuse. The cumulative impact of exposure to multiple ACEs further exacerbates this risk.

“These results are extremely concerning, particularly as over 1 billion children – half of the global child population – are exposed to ACEs each year, putting them at increased risk of chronic pain and disability later in life,” says lead author André Bussières, from McGill’s School of Physical & Occupational Therapy. “There is an urgent need to develop targeted interventions and support systems to break the cycle of adversity and improve long-term health outcomes for those individuals who have been exposed to childhood trauma.” (…)

read full story