Painaustralia eNews Issue 46, 26 August 2014
- Change Your Mind, Change Your Health: The Truth Behind Mind Body Medicine
- Make a Move on Musculoskeletal Health
- Going the Extra Mile with Multidisciplinary Care
- Joe's Video Blog
- Younger Women at Risk of Postmastectomy Pain
- Discovery Could Lead to New Drugs for Depression Related to Chronic Pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Interferes with Pain Treatments
- Headache App to Improve Research Outcomes
- New Migraine Medication
- PHCRIS Policy Issue Review
- Palliative Care Standards Review
- Pharmacists Invited to Help Plan for the Future
- Seeking Volunteers for Research
- Join Painaustralia
At 24 years of age, Sydney-based filmmaker Shannon Harvey was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She was told if her disease progressed, she could end up with organ failure, or wheelchair bound.
After trying everything from drugs to alternative therapies, with no improvement, Ms Harvey realised her symptoms worsened under stress.
She set about changing her mind, through yoga and meditation, and changing her life to reduce stress, in order to improve her health.
The Connection is the culmination of Ms Harvey's quest for answers. It is a film that reveals the science behind mind body medicine, and shows how frontier research is proving a direct connection between the mind and the body.
The film features leading scientists, researchers and doctors – including Australians Dr Craig Hassed from Monash University, whose research has focused on the cause and effects of stress and immune disease, and Dr Damien Finniss from Griffith University, a leading expert in the clinical applications of placebo.
The Connection clarifies the science of emotions, stress and belief, which can impact the way genetic instructions are carried out, and determine the course of illness.
According to Dr Finniss, "Belief is critical because belief has the ability to trigger part of the overall healing response. In simple terms, belief is part of why we get better. It's not the complete answer, but it's one part of any medical treatment, which is important."
Through the power of testimony, the film shows the way in which relaxation can counter the harmful effects of stress, with remarkable true stories of how mind body medicine helped people recover from severe back pain, heart disease, infertility, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
The Connection is a must-see for health professionals and anyone who wants to take control of recovery from chronic illness.
Ms Harvey says, "This is the film I wanted to see when I got sick. It proves that you can change your mind, change your health and change your life."
The film will premiere in Melbourne and Sydney before being screened in the US and the UK. For dates and locations visit www.theconnection.tv/screenings/
There will also be opportunities for private screenings, for organisations, education institutions or other groups, and the DVD can be pre-ordered from the website.
Watch the trailer on the website today. It will be the most inspiring 2:41 minutes of your life.
Make a Move is a campaign to highlight the grossly inadequate level of government funding for musculoskeletal health and wellbeing.
Launched by Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria, the campaign aims to raise $1 for every person who lives with a painful and debilitating musculoskeletal (MSK) condition.
In addition, Make a Move intends to raise awareness about the impact of chronic pain associated with MSK conditions, which affect people in prime working age as well as children, not just the elderly.
"We receive less than one percent of recurrent funding from the State Government. This level of funding sends a clear message to the people we represent. A message that says they are not worth it," said CEO Linda Martin.
"Well, we are here to ensure their voices are heard. We want them to know they are worth it."
The campaign launch at Melbourne's Federation Square included a live performance by Vicky O'Keefe, the daughter of Johnny O'Keefe, whose 1963 hit 'Move Baby Move' features on the campaign community service announcement.
To donate or sign a petition supporting the campaign, visit www.makeamove.org.au
To view the community service announcement, click here
A new private pain clinic, Pain Medicine Sydney, based at Prince of Wales Private Hospital, is embracing a broad range of health care specialties to ensure patients get the best multidisciplinary care possible.
Led by Pain Specialist Dr Charlotte Johnstone, the team of health professionals includes a psychiatrist and nutritionist as well as psychologists and a physiotherapist. The clinic is also about to bring on board a social worker and for patients aged 16 to18, engages the services of a child and family psychiatrist.
Dr Johnstone said it was her involvement in rewriting the pain curriculum for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, which led her to develop a broader approach to pain management at her clinic.
"I realised it was necessary to have a practice with health professionals skilled in many different areas, in order to focus on every aspect of patients' lives," said Dr Johnstone.
"Pain management is more a process than a procedure, there isn't just one thing that will fix the pain."
Using a patient-centred approach, the aim is to help patients take control of their pain. Instead of imposing perceptions about what is good for someone, the team encourages patients to determine their own goals and aspirations, and then helps them to achieve those goals, teaching them new skills, tools and techniques.
"The focus is on coaching patients rather than treating them," said Dr Johnstone.
Physiotherapy is not hands-on, it is about developing a person-specific exercise program that the patient can sustain at home, with tai chi, pilates and yoga recommended for individual patients, and the nutritionist is more a dietary coach than someone offering prescriptive changes.
The approach of the psychologists, too, is a practical form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and all patients learn mindfulness and meditation.
Interventional procedures are offered to patients for whom they are particularly well suited, in order to increase levels of activity.
Although the clinic does not run group pain management programs, many patients are fast-tracked into one of the pain programs at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where Dr Johnstone also works.
"My patients appreciate the personal approach and those who are motivated to refresh their goals, get better. My job is about sending people back into the community to get on with their lives," said Dr Johnstone.
Joe O'Donnell is a man on a mission to improve his life and inspire others to do the same.
Now living with spinal cord injury, his video blog A Monoplegic Goes Walkabout takes the viewer on his travels through Australia's natural wonderland.
In his June video blog, he talks about the cyst on his spine and the excruciating pain that resulted. He also talks about the pain he experiences on a daily basis, as a result of his injury.
After trying many techniques to manage his pain, Mr O'Donnell credits the book Manage Your Pain written by a team at the Pain Management Research Institute with giving him the tools to keep on living life.
He recommends the book to anyone living with pain, saying the most helpful thing he learned was how to accept his pain, and use techniques like pacing and desensitisation.
Mr O'Donnell, who has weaned himself off pain medication, says it's important to keep doing the things you love despite the pain, and maintain a positive perspective on life.
Younger Women at Risk of Postmastectomy Pain
A new study has shown that women of younger age and those undergoing axillary lymph node dissection are at greater risk of developing post surgical chronic pain.
The US study examined 300 patients, who were evaluated for pain within six months after surgery, and found that 110 patients (36.7 percent) reported the presence of chronic pain.
Independent risk factors associated with the development of chronic pain were age – the younger the woman, the higher in the incidence of chronic pain – and axillary lymph node dissection. Radiation therapy was not implicated in the development of chronic pain.
In another smaller study, which examined 36 patients, intravenous lidocaine was shown to be effective in reducing chronic postmastectomy pain.
These studies highlight the need for more research into chronic pain and mastectomy, as well as the importance of effective post-surgical pain management, for the prevention of chronic pain.
Discovery Could Lead to New Drugs for Depression Related to Chronic Pain
A new Stanford University study, published in the journal Science, has helped clarify the link between chronic pain and depression.
Researchers have discovered that chronic pain causes changes in the way a neuropeptide called galanin affects certain neurons in a brain region known as the nucleus accumbens.
The study was based on testing mice for their motivation to search for and get food, before and after inducing chronic pain through injury.
The study found that after injury, the mice were just as interested in food, but gave up trying to locate it, if it required too much work.
Despite the use of painkillers, the injured mice remained under-motivated, with the result that they obtained less food.
According to researchers, this is equivalent to people with chronic pain and depression, who find it difficult to become motivated to do anything, even activities that are important to them.
By breeding genetically altered mice, they found that elimination of galanin restored the function of the reward system in cases where mice with chronic pain had to put in more effort to obtain food.
However, the presence of galanin, even in small quantities, triggered the pathway that reduces motivation in mice.
Clarifying the role of galanin, then, could help design drugs that could moderate the de-motivating influence of chronic pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Interferes with Pain Treatments
Researchers at the University of Adelaide University's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory have discovered that the immune system is defective in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Up to 10 percent of the community is affected by IBS, which is characterised by unexplained gut pain.
The research – the first of its kind in the world – has demonstrated the mechanisms involved, and the differences between the immune pain response in healthy people and those suffering from IBS, which could also help to explain why some painkillers may not offer satisfactory relief.
"This study is the first to give us a real understanding of the interaction between the immune system and pain symptoms in IBS patients," said lead author Dr Patrick Hughes, NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow with the University's School of Medicine.
"The gut contains specialised immune cells, known as monocytes and macrophages. Our research has shown that in healthy people, these immune cells normally secrete opioid chemicals, like morphine, that block pain. But in people with IBS, the opioid production by these cells is defective.
"So it's no wonder that people with IBS are experiencing ongoing periods of unexplained pain. And if the immune system is defective, it may also mean that painkilling medications taken by the patient to relieve their symptoms are not being adequately converted to pain relief."
Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the research assessed samples from more than 100 people, half of them healthy and half suffering from IBS.
It is hoped the findings will lead to more targeted treatments in the future.
The results have been published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity
Headache App to Improve Research Outcomes
Griffith University has launched a new app designed for use in studies to record daily ratings of head pain.
The app will be used in projects such as the ENHANCE project, which is investigating the effectiveness of managing headaches using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a new approach called learning to cope with triggers (LCT).
The Griffith University research team, led by Professor Paul Martin of the Behavioural Basis of Health program, aims to help people with headache become desensitised to triggers such as food, noise and stress, or to build up a tolerance to them.
In partnership with Wexpert Technologies, Professor Martin's team has developed an electronic headache diary that can be used by participants in the study in order to record daily ratings of head pain.
According to Professor Martin, the new app will help improve research outcomes.
"Information recorded via the app can be directly downloaded into data files, saving time and eliminating transcription errors," he said.
"The technology will enable the team to know when the ratings of head pain are made, rather than relying on the self reports of the participants.
"This app will benefit the ENHANCE project but will also be a very useful tool for other headache researchers around the world."
Griffith University has also launched another app, designed to help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome better manage their illness. Called CliniHelp, it is also suitable for patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, allowing them to record symptoms, track them on a weekly basis, and monitor changes in their condition.
New Migraine Medication
Preliminary evidence has shown that the new medication LY2951742, a fully humanised monoclonal antibody to calcitonin gene-related peptide, might be beneficial in migraine prevention.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 proof-of-concept study was carried out by researchers at 35 centres in the US. A total of 217 patients participated in the study. They were aged 18 to 65, with four to 14 migraines per month.
The results showed a decrease of 62.5 percent in the mean change from baseline to week 12 in the number of migraine headache days.
Safety was assessed during the 12-week treatment period and for 12 weeks afterwards, with adverse events including injection site pain, erythema, or both.
Read more in The Lancet Neurology
PHCRIS Policy Issue Review
The Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) is asking health practitioners to comment on its Policy Issues Review into musculoskeletal conditions.
The review summarises evidence related to models and mechanisms for the engagement of allied health practitioners in collaborative care arrangements in primary health care settings.
The aim of the review is to synthesise research into relevant key directions for health policy.
To access a copy of the review and leave your comments, please visit the PHCRIS Policy Issue Review page on the PHCRIS website.
Palliative Care Australia is inviting all interested parties to have their say in the review of the National Palliative Care Standards.
With an impending ageing population, Australia needs an approach that will sustain the best possible palliative care for years to come.
If you would like to contribute to ensuring compassionate and appropriate end-of-life for all Australians, please review the consultation paper and submit your comments by 26 September 2014.
For more information or to download the consultation paper, visit the Palliative Care Australia website.
Pharmacists Invited to Help Plan for the Future
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched a major national survey, in order to help inform the provision of more evidence-based services in the future.
With a view to developing a 10-year blueprint for pharmacist professional services, the survey will look at the role of professional services in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, and at areas such as pharmacists working in GP practices where the PSA and the Australian Medical Association are already
CEO of the PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said, "The profession has been largely focused on the community pharmacy agreements driving practice change, and while the CPAs are important, we need to look beyond the five-year agreements to see more evidence-based professional services delivered by pharmacists in a range of different areas through a range of different funding sources."
The PSA sees the role of pharmacists extending to services delivered in community, clinical and other settings, and will be looking to secure remuneration for services that have been shown to improve health outcomes.
To complete the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/PSAsurvey2014
Seeking Volunteers for Research
IMPACT study: The University of Melbourne Physiotherapy Department is seeking people with persistent knee pain and knee osteoarthritis for a study into different treatment options.
The IMPACT (Internet Mediated Physiotherapy and Pain Coping Skills Training) study will evaluate different treatments delivered over the Internet, including online educational handouts, an exercise program delivered by a physiotherapist through Skype, and an online pain coping skills training program.
Eligible participants must be more than 50 years old, have had knee pain for more than three months, and have an active email account and home broadband access to the Internet.
People are excluded from participating if: they are already receiving physical treatment for knee pain; they have had a joint replacement on their painful side; they are on a waiting list for knee or joint replacement surgery; or if they have systematic arthritis.
Neuropathic pain study: A new neuropathic pain health awareness campaign is seeking the opinions of people who experience chronic pain, carers and family members.
The survey is strictly a market research survey and the results will be used to raise awareness in the general public of nerve pain.
Visit surveys.ekasresearch.com.au/s/Recovery to view the survey and privacy statement.
Answers will be completely confidential and anonymous. This research is being conducted on behalf of a pharmaceutical company and in partnership with Chronic Pain Australia.
The Ride 4 Pain is on again this year, a cycling challenge dedicated to raising community awareness about chronic pain, to be held on 16 November 2014.
With routes that combine a selection of famous road climbs in the Adelaide Hills, over two, four or six hours, the intention is to replicate the pain experience that one in five Australians live with every day.
Next year, on 30 March 2015, Adelaide will host the PainAdelaide event, what is described as "possibly the best pain meeting in the world". Health professionals interested in attending are urged to save the date.
PainAdelaide is a collaboration between the three major universities, as well as Pfizer, WorkcoverSA, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the SAHMRI.
PMRI Visiting Scholars Program
Associate Professor Peter Tuchin will speak about the evidence for spinal manipulation in pain management.
When: 4 September 2014 2014, 4-5pm
Venue: Auditorium, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
Find out more here
4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium
The 4RRHSS will explore the relationship between national data sets (ABS, AIHW, AHPRA, NHPA, Medicare data) and smaller area research and monitoring activities.
When: 2-3 September 2014
Where: Old Parliament House, Canberra
Fore more information, visit www.ruralhealth.org.au/symposium2014/
Pain Management in Practice Workshops
Pain Management in Practice is delivering interdisciplinary one-day and two-day workshops across Australia, to provide training to clinicians and return-to-work professionals who manage people with persistent pain, in order to maximise work and personal function.
When: 11 September (Brisb), 30 October (Syd),
For more information visit www.painmanagementinpractice.com/workshops.html
Sydney Medical School Pain Management Symposia 2014
For healthcare professionals and students with an interest in pain, to learn more about effective multidisiciplinary pain management, in a community setting.
When: 8.30am – 5pm all locations
Locations: Novotel Pacific Bay Resort Coffs Harbour (30 August), Dubbo Convention Centre (24 October)
For more information, click here.
ANZSPM 2014: Palliative Medicine: past, present and future
The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine will be hosting its 20th annual scientific meeting.
When: 2 -5 September
Venue: Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast
For details visit: www.etouches.com/ehome/65181
Over 1000 delegates attend this annual conference each year, which will include a range of active learning modules, workshops, sessions, short paper presentations and CPR workshops to assist GPs to fulfil their QI&CPD requirements.
When: 9-11 October
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide
For details visit: www.gpconference.com.au
Bionomics Merck 2nd Annual Pain Symposium: Pain and Migraine
Special event supported by Bionomics and Merck to celebrate their joint research and discover and new therapeutic for pain.
When: 10 November 2014
For details download the flyer
Making Sense of Pain Inter-Professional Workshop
Healthcare professionals from all disciplines will have a unique opportunity to update their knowledge and skills about pain management, and to effectively transfer them into their clinical practice setting. Australian Physiotherapy Association CPD points (16 hours).
When: Friday 14 – Saturday 15 November 2104, and constitutes
Venue: Wyllie Arthritis Centre, 17 Lemnos St. SHENTON PARK WA
Ride4Pain Cycling Challenge
Ride4Pain is a cycling challenge to raise awareness about chronic pain, with routes that combine a selection of famous climbs in the Adelaide Hills.
When: 16 November 2014
Where: Start and finish at Uni SA Magill Campus
For details click here
50 Shades of Pain Conference 3-5 December
The 50 Shades of Pain Conference will be held 3-5 December 2014 in Brisbane. Hosted by the Australian Pain Management Association and Palliative Care Queensland, it will focus on advanced clinical issues in palliative care and pain management. For specialist palliative and pain management doctors, nurses, allied health practitioners, educators and volunteers from across Australia.
For details or sponsorship opportunities contact: John-Paul Kristensen on 07 3256 2486 You can also download the flyer.
Australian Pain Society's 35th Annual Scientific Meeting 15-18 March
The theme of next year's conference is Managing Pain: from mechanism to policy This is the only multidisciplinary conference in Australia offering insights into the complex nature of pain management from medical, nursing and allied health perspectives. The program will include: brain pain, immune stressors, acute pain, chronic pain, opioids, neuromodulation, emerging interventional techniques, paediatrics, physiotherapy, psychology. Speakers include Professor Herta Flor, Central Institute of Mental Health, Germany, Dr Mary Lynch of Dalhousie University, Canada and Dr Frank Porreca from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, USA.
When: 15-18 March 2015
Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Join the APS blog
Visit the website
If your organisation cares about people in pain and wants to make a difference, please consider becoming a member of Painaustralia.
Our capacity to influence government policy and improve understanding and management of pain is directly related to the strength of our membership network.
We are currently preparing a four-year report on progress with the National Pain Strategy. If your organisation has contributed to this progress, or would like to do so in the future, we would love to hear from you.
Please also consider making a donation to Painaustralia, to help us continue to advocate for better healthcare for all Australians.
Your support could make all the difference.
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