Global Year Against Pain

IASP sponsors and promotes the Global Year Against Pain, a yearlong initiative designed to raise international awareness of pain. Each year, IASP focuses on a different aspect of pain that has global implications. The focus for the 2014-15 campaign, which launched in October 2014, is Neuropathic Pain. 

Why focus on pain?

Pain — particularly chronic pain — is a serious problem that reduces many people’s quality of life. As the average lifespan increases, the issues surrounding pain will continue to grow. In developing countries in particular, a number of serious diseases can cause severe pain, but often little or no pain relief is available.

The control of pain has been a relatively neglected area of governmental concern in the past, despite the fact that cost-effective methods of pain control are feasible.

IASP’s leaders and members believe it is time to raise the profile of pain care and treatment worldwide and promote the recognition of chronic pain as an important health concern. Although few people die of pain, millions die in pain — and even more live in pain.

How did the Global Year Against Pain evolve?

The European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC) first launched the Global Day Against Pain when David Niv, IASP member and EFIC president (now deceased), conceived the idea in 2001. The success of this initiative led the IASP Council to recognize the need to develop an even more powerful statement to raise the profile of pain worldwide.

In 2004, supported by various IASP chapters and federations holding their own local events and activities across the globe, IASP launched its first Global Year Against Pain with the slogan “The Relief of Pain Should be a Human Right.” Subsequent topics included Pain in Children (2005-06), Pain in Older Persons (2006-07), Pain in Women (2007-08), Cancer Pain (2008-09), Musculoskeletal Pain (2009-10), Acute Pain (2010-11), Headache Pain (2011-12), Visceral Pain (2012-13), and Orofacial Pain (2013-14) .