What is pain?

What is pain?

woman with a bad neck

The term 'pain' relates to the sensation of hurt, distress and discomfort. It can vary in severity and frequency, either remaining steady and constant or pulsating.

Pain is a very individual experience - everyone feels it differently and has a different tolerance. Only the person experiencing the pain can describe it properly. This can make it difficult to treat, unless the source of the pain is clear or the type of pain described is easily associated with a certain health condition or problem. 

There are a huge number of causes for pain, from accidents such as a fall to medical conditions and sports injuries. Some pains or aches are very common such as back, neck and shoulder pain, often experienced as the result of day-to-day life. Others can result from chronic medical conditions. The cause is often connected with the intensity of the pain and how long the pain is experienced - injury from an accident will hurt until the body has healed, whereas medical conditions will cause pain until an effective treatment or cure is identified. 

Almost 10 million Britons suffer from pain on a daily basis

woman with bad back

Pain can have a major impact on their quality of life, self-esteem and social interactions. Any type of pain will inhibit physical movement and often restricts sufferers in some way. When pain persists, it has also been linked to psychological issues such as depression.2  

What's more, pain can have a huge affect on UK businesses and in turn the economy. Although it is difficult to estimate exactly how many days off work are taken each year due to pain, the Office for National Statistics suggests that:3   

  • 30.6 million working days were lost due to sickness absence caused by musculoskeletal conditions (such as neck and back pain)
  • 27.4 million working days were lost due to minor illnesses such as accidents, infectious diseases, skin disorders and diabetes
  • 1.7 million working says were lost due to headaches and migraines

What's more, the cost of back pain alone to the exchequer is estimated to be in the region of £5 billion per year.1

Fast and effective pain relief is essential

For all these reasons, fast and effective pain relief is essential. The triple action4,5,  Difflam 3% Cream is a topical analgesic and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent designed to provide quick relief for a variety of problems such as sprains, strains, sore muscles and stiff joints.




  1. The British pain Society. Media resources. FAQs. Link  https://www.britishpainsociety.org/media-resources/ [Accessed January 2016]
  2. Marwan N. Baliki, Paul Y. Geha, A. Vania Apkarian and Dante R. Chialvo. Beyond Feeling: Chronic pain hurts the brain, disrupting the default-mode network dynamics. Journal of Neuroscience, 6 February 2008, 28(6): 1398-1403; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4123-07.2008
  3. Office for National Statistics (2014). Full report: Sickness absence in the labour market, February 2014. Link www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html [Accessed January 2016]
  4. Difflam™ 3% Cream, Summary of Product Characteristics. 
  5. Difflam™ 3% Cream, Patient Information Leaflet.


UK/DIF/15/0002d Date of preparation: January 2016