If you live with chronic pain, the following resources can help you understand and manage your pain. Studies have shown that the more you do to help yourself, the better you will feel. By implementing some of the strategies contained in the self management methods, books and videos, you can improve your quality of life. The information can also help carers and family members who assist people living with pain.
If you visit healthcare professionals on a regular basis, you should also consider signing up for eHealth. This is particularly useful for people who need to visit multiple medical practitioners, specialists and other healthcare professionals. Through eHealth, all data about a patient will be collated and readily available in a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR). For more information download the eHealth pdf or visit www.yourhealth.gov.au
Suffering from chronic Pain?
Chronic Pain is a very common condition but, many people have limited access to or never seek treatment. Many people also experience difficulties accessing effective, evidence-based, treatments that teach them how to manage the impact of their pain on their day-to-day lives.
The eCentreClinic, a not-for-profit initiative of the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia as developed the "Pain Course". This course is a new, free, online and internet-delivered education program designed to provide good information about chronic pain and to teach practical skills for the management of chronic pain and emotional wellbeing.
Rehabilitation counsellors are specialised allied health professionals who work with people with a disability, health condition or social issue which adversely impacts their lives. By professional assessment, counselling, training, job placement and case management they aim to facilitate independence, participation in the community and personal well being. They approach patient treatment in an holistic manner, focusing on an individual's strengths, with the aim of assisting people to determine their own goals in education and training, lifestyle adjustments and to facilitate their return to work .
Rehabilitation counselling has been recognised as a specialist tertiary qualification since the 1970's in Australia and in some countries since the 1950s. Their professional body is the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC). They possess well defined professional competencies and are bound by a Code of Ethics.
Rehabilitation counselling is one of the ten health and allied health professions that meet the requirements for delivering return-to-work services cited by the Heads of Worker's Compensation Authorities (HWCA), to which the majority of Worker's Compensation schemes in Australia and New Zealand are bound. Rehabilitation counsellors work in a variety of settings and may work in teams or as independent practitioners. They may be employed by public and private hospitals, State and Federal funded rehabilitation services, private workplace rehabilitation providers and disability service providers in policy and advocacy settings.
Body Movement Techniques
Alexander Technique: AT is an individualised approach to help people recognise and understand the impact of poor posture on the body. With the help of an AT teacher, people are taught to be aware of their posture, and to change poor habits into good ones, in order to improve movement. AT works on the cause of loss of physical function, not the effects of it, and has proven results in improving low back pain. To find out more, download the AT pdf, or visit www.austat.org.au
The Feldenkrais Method®: Feldenkrais is based on movement education. With the help of a Feldenkrais Practitioner, people are helped to understand their particular habits of thinking, feeling, sensing and acting. The aim is to improve efficiency of body movement and increased consciousness of how it works. For people with chronic pain, Feldenkrais has proven ability to decrease pain and improve wellbeing and physical functioning. For more information, download the Feldenkrais pdf or visit www.feldenkrais.org.au and to find an accredited Feldenkrais Practitioner call 1800 001 550.
- Acupuncture: According to the World Health Organisation, acupuncture can be used to treat neurological pain, musculoskeletal pain, and many types of sporting injuries. Many scientific studies have shown it is an effective treatment for chronic pain, and there is also much anectodal evidence to support this. For more information, download the acupuncture pdf
- Buddhist Meditation: Secular meditation using mindfulness of the body's sensations as a tool to manage physical pain. Based on the teachings of the Buddha, led without religious terminology. One of the guided meditations from their "Meditation for Pain Management" courses is available for free streaming or download at Meditation for Pain Management. Go to the website Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre for more information.
- Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT uses LED light to reduce pain and promote tissue healing, by blocking pain nerves and reducing inflammation, leading to a reduction in central sensitisation and improved circulation. it can be helpful for patients with musculoskeletal pain, migraine, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and neuropathies including shingles and trigeminal neuralgia. Several treatments are required to experience reduced pain sensation. A systematic review of 16 randomised controlled trials including a total of 820 patients, published in The Lancet, showed LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain, and for up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in cases of chronic neck pain. For more info visit www.quantumpm.com.au
- Mind-Body Wisdom: From the first breath there are many non-beneficial influences on the human body. The body responds, sending warning signals when something needs to be addressed. Over time, if the messages are ignored, they can become stronger. Niggling aches can develop into serious physical and/or emotional pain. Yet by working with Mind-Body Wisdom, the body can return to a natural state of health and ease. To arrange a consultation in person contact Heather Wilks on (03) 9572 2970 or 0414 836 654 or email
- Other Complementary Therapies: The experience of pain is highly subjective, and there are evidence-based treatments outside meainstream medicine that may assist them. There is also good research that shows the power of the placebo effect. Read more in the article Evidence Based or Placebo Effect - Does it matter if it eases the pain? (CHF Magazine, Issue 11, Nov 12, page 3)
- Medicinal Cannabis: Federal laws legalising the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products in Australia were passed in February 2016. Since then there have been several major developments to do with regulations, drug re-scheduling and licenses. But many people are still confused about what this all means for their access to medicinal cannabis. Download the pdf to find out more.