Let’s Talk about Persistent Pain!

Busting myths, new ideas, management and recovery.

Recent changes to opioid medication availability have put persistent pain back into the spotlight. Poorly managed pain is a critical public health issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We are fortunate enough to have some of the world’s leading pain science researchers right here in Australia, and our understanding of why things hurt and how to treat people with persistent pain has changed significantly over the past twenty years or so. It’s time to start applying this information in a clinical setting, and for health professionals to start working together to tackle persistent pain.

What do we know about pain?

  • Pain is always real
  • Pain is one of the body’s protective systems
  • Pain is not an accurate measure of the state of the tissues in the body
  • Pain relies on context
  • Education and understanding is an essential part of recovery from persistent pain

Did you know that there are numerous MODIFIABLE FACTORS that can influence the body’s pain response without using medication? Some of these include:

  • Beliefs about pain
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Physical activity levels
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Movement patterns, fear avoidance and adaptive behaviours
  • Emotions, relationships, stress and anxiety

Recovery from persistent pain isn’t easy.  There are no “quick fixes”. It’s a long and challenging road, requiring openness to new ideas and willingness to make changes to lifestyle and beliefs. The co-ordinated support of knowledgeable and understanding health professionals is essential, and referral to a physiotherapist is an excellent place to start the journey. Physiotherapy can help with:

  • Education and reassurance
  • Identification of modifiable factors that are contributing to an individual’s pain
  • Setting realistic, individual and achievable goals
  • Correcting unhelpful adaptive movements, activities and positions
  • Facilitating exercise and activity
  • Advice regarding gradual loading and monitoring response to load
  • Directing referral to other health professionals as required

Persistent pain can stop people doing the things they enjoy, and have a negative impact on relationships and general health. If you would like more information about recovery from persistent pain, or would like to know more about how physiotherapy can help, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Remember, if nothing CHANGES, NOTHING changes!