It’s not surprising some people struggle when asked to rate their level of pain on a scale of one to 10.

Is it preferable to be stoic and pick a low number or is it best to go right to the top end to ensure your pain is taken seriously?

Yes, pain is subjective.

A few years ago, I was brought crashing down to earth by a herniated cervical disc which caused excruciating pain (okay, I rated it 9 out of 10). Heavy-duty drugs barely made a dent, and the recovery was slow. 

But the experience gave me a small insight into what people with chronic pain have to endure.

This month, we explore a range of perspectives on pain, from the management of fibromyalgia to new approaches to help people live with pain rather than looking for a magic bullet.

Pain control is one of the possible uses for medicinal cannabis, which we also feature this month, with its developers arguing it holds real promise in the treatment of many diseases.  

But our e-poll of subscribers suggests many doctors want more evidence, and that could come from the dozens of clinical trials underway.

Pain control is one of the possible uses for medicinal cannabis, which we also feature this month, with its developers arguing it holds real promise in the treatment of many diseases.  


Pain comes in all shapes and sizes and is no stranger to two of our guest columnists. After suffering horrific injuries in a cycling accident, Dr Bruce Powell was forced to re-invent himself.

And Catherine Hughes channelled grief from losing her baby son Riley to whooping cough into much-needed advocacy for vaccination, and how timely is that right now?