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Brussels, October 2th, 2014 – The “My pain feels like…” initiative is presented today at an EU conference hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee under the patronage of the Italian Presidency in Brussels. Active Citizenship Network organized the conference to put forward European good practices in chronic pain management, and “My pain feels like…” has been chosen one of these best practices across Europe.

“My pain feels like…” is presented by its co-developer Dr. Roberto Casale from the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology & Pain Rehabilitation Unit, Montescano, Italy. The initiative has been developed in collaboration with Grünenthal - a company constantly searching for innovative ways to treat patients with pain better and to improve communication between patients and physicians. Key to the initiative is the “My pain feels like…” questionnaire, which helps patients describe their pain in detail with their own words. Doctors’ better understanding of their condition can lead to more successful diagnosis and treatment.

«The “My pain feels like…” questionnaire helped my patients to better describe what is relevant in their pain. – said Dr. Roberto Casale. I also find it very helpful in terms of making the right diagnosis and choosing appropriate treatment» – he added.

In the educational website, patients can find out more about the pain they are suffering from, read other patients’ experiences and download the questionnaire which will help them talking to their doctors.

Over 26 million people worldwide suffer from neuropathic pain1, approximately 60%, can be identified as localized neuropathic pain (LNP) as it affects a circumscribed area of the body2.

Only 40-60% of neuropathic pain patients achieve adequate pain relief3. They often undergo ‘trial and error’ treatments or endure a stepwise treatment approach over months and years3. These patients suffer emotionally, physically, psychologically and socially.

A correct and early diagnose is crucial to find the right treatment. In 80% of cases physicians over- or underestimate the level of pain-related impairment of their patients4. Therefore patients need to describe their symptoms as detailed as possible to their doctor. If physicians and patients have the same understanding of the impact and the type of pain, treatment can start earlier and the success can be higher.

1 Pal M et al (2009). Vanilloid receptor antagonists: emerging class of novel anti-inflammatory agents for pain management. Curr Pharm Des 15:1008-26.
2 Mick G et al (2012). What is localised neuropathic pain? A first proposal to characterise and define a widely used term. Pain manage 2(1), 71-77.
3 Dworkin RH, O'Connor AB, Backonja M, et al (2007). Pharmacologic management of neuropathic pain: evidence-based recommendations. Pain;132:237–51.
4 Müller-Schwefe G., et al (2011). Make a CHANGE: optimising communication and pain management decisions. CMRO 27(2):481–488.

About “My pain feels like….”
The “My pain feels like….” initiative has been developed by Grünenthal in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology & Pain Rehabilitation Unit, Montescano, Italy. On the website, patients can find out more about the pain they are suffering from and also learn from other patients’ experiences. Central part of the project is the “My pain feels like…” questionnaire, which helps patients to describe more in detail how their pain feels like, how it affects their life and where the pain is located. Patients record their symptoms and then print out the completed questionnaire for the next doctor appointment. This assessment can aid healthcare professionals in the diagnostic process and in choosing the appropriate treatment.

Annika Muthmann

Grünenthal Europe & Australia

Grünenthal Group



Phone +49 241 569 2705