If you’re reading this blog, I guess you want to know something about your pain. It is absolutely paramount for you to become your own pain expert. No one else can feel your pain. No one else knows where it hurts, how it hurts, what effect it has on how you feel about yourself and what you can do.
Did you know?
- One in five people in Australia suffer from persisting pain
- Chronic pain costs taxpayers $35 billion each year
- More than 80% of people with chronic pain don’t get treatment that could improve their health and quality of life
Pain is complicated and is caused by many different factors. Unfortunately, there’s usually not one simple treatment that will address the management of your pain. However, on the positive side, that means there are multiple ways to improve things.
What strategies are there to address my pain?
- Education: taking the time to learn about your pain condition and treatment options, so you’re an informed patient. Asking questions of your health care professionals about why he or she is recommending one treatment versus another, so you know what their thinking is.
- Identifying triggers. For many issues in pain management, patients have specific triggers that may target or increase their pain. Identifying triggers and collaboratively figuring out a plan to address this issue as well as remaining active is critical.
- Client centred treatment:Treatment for chronic pain often takes many types of treatments all working together. It takes time to see results, so be patient, which is hard when you’re in significant pain.
- Multidisciplinary approach to pain: a second opinion or another method of treatment is always an option. Don’t be afraid of offending your health care professional – all good health care professionals encourage second opinions in regards to chronic pain. Pain is complicated and evidence suggests that physiotherapists and other health care professionals play a critical role in assisting people to live with chronic pain.
- Whatever treatment works best…stick with it:Is a particular treatment working more than another? Whose overall approach do you approve of? Is supportive to you? Communicates with other stakeholders? Is at a comfortable mix of evidence based and conservative treatment? Stick with what works for you.
Check out the video below for further strategies to manage your pain.
Physiotherapists work across the lifespan continuum assisting patients with their pain in primary care settings with the aim of diminishing pain, improving quality of life where possible and preventing acute and sub-acute painful conditions developing into chronic pain.
- Blyth et al (2001) Chronic pain in Australia: a prevalence study. Pain Volume 89, Issues 2–3, Pages 127–134.
- Access Economics Pty Limited (2007). The high price of pain: the economic impact of persistent pain in Australia. Report for MBF Foundation in collaboration with University of Sydney Pain Management Research Institute