As National Pain Week ambassador, Clarke has opened up about the chronic back pain he has suffered from for more than half his life.

The 35-year-old is helping raise awareness about those suffering ongoing discomfort.

He says during his cricket career there were days he failed to complete the simplest of tasks.

“Mornings were the hardest,” he said. “Putting shoes and socks on in the morning was the toughest part of my day.

“A lot of the time I’d get [my wife] Kyly to put my shoes and socks on and by 10am I was walking out to bat for Australia.”

Clarke admits since retiring he has had to take responsibility to better manage his back pain.

“Now I don’t have so many people taking care of me, in the last 6 months I’ve had to really look into on a daily basis to get it feeling as best as it possibly can.

“Touch wood, I’m feeling great.”

Clarke revealed he played with pain through his whole career.

“I probably suffered more with stiffness and discomfort through my lower back through the majority of my career,” he said. “I lost strength in my right calf, I’ve still got pins and needles that run through my right foot, and my big toe is still pretty numb.”

The former Australian skipper is not alone – the latest figures have shown more than 20 per cent of Australians live with chronic pain.

In his role as ambassador, Clarke said he wanted to encourage people to seek help.

“Having chronic pain shouldn’t stop you from chasing and fulfilling your dreams,” he said.

“There are tough days there’s no doubt about it and without support of family and friends it makes it very difficult.”