GOOGLE the word “pain” and more than 190 million results appear.
Now try describing “pain” to a friend or colleague.
Communicating your ache, throb, spasm or soreness is a challenge, not only to you but to your listener.
Pain has millions of descriptive words, but many struggle to convey their individual predicament.
This is especially true for chronic pain, or that which lasts for three months or more.
National Pain Week, which begins on Monday, July 23, gives voice to the millions of Australians living with some form of pain.
Organised by Chronic Pain Australia, the week aims to represent the one-in-five Australians living with chronic pain.
Because chronic pain is associated with age, experts predict that number will rise in coming years, as our population ages.
Chronic pain needs a multi-disciplined approach to its management.
“Any decision taken that affects people living with pain must be done in partnership with people in pain,” Chronic Pain Australia executive director Benjamin Graham said.
Any decision taken that affects people living with pain must be done in partnership with people in painChronic Pain Australia spokesman Benjamin Graham
Pain is subjective; we all experience it differently, despite having similar injuries.
Because of its complex nature, there is no “one size fits all” approach to pain management.
Which is why, in National Pain Week, Mr Graham wants people to adopt the multi-disciplined approach, particularly to chronic pain.
The first step to accessing this is a referral from your GP.
Multi-disciplinary pain management involves medical, physical and psychological therapies.
It helps boost function and mood and thereby reduce disability.
There are a number of pain management clinics across Australia, usually linked to a public hospital. You may have to join a waiting list, however, once you’re admitted to such a clinic, experts will assess how pain is impacting your life and work with you to improve quality of life by providing relevant information, treatment and advice.
Key to this is learning self management skills, and a pain program may be offered to learn these skills which will help you cope with pain.
Experts will help you return to work, or enjoy a walk with your dog. For more information, visit painaustralia.org.au