“I went from running marathons to essentially being scared to walk to my car. I got lost in that pain, and it got to the point that I felt that my life had no value.”
Lauren Cannell is a police officer based in Tasmania. Having experienced from persistent pain following a number of health-related events, Lauren became convinced that her body was ‘broken’, and that she would never return to living a normal life.
In 2019, when the Pain Revolution riders arrived in Tasmania, Lauren’s life changed. A local pain educator spoke to Lauren about her pain, helping her to understand her history and how that was informing her current pain. While coming to understand her pain was a confronting and lengthy experience, Lauren is now medication-free, back at work, and moving in a forward direction. This year, Lauren will be joining the 2020 Pain Revolution ride.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the launch of this year’s ride, along with Libby Coker MP, as Pain Revolution riders hit the road with the aim of ‘breaking the cycle’ of chronic pain for Australians in regional locations across the country. At the launch in Geelong, there was barely standing room, with the forum packed to capacity - a testimony to the popularity and appeal of Prof Lorimer Moseley and his fantastic team as well as the Outreach Tour.
The Rural Outreach Tour is a high-profile pain specific health promotion initiative. The week-long event brings pedal-powered passionate pain professionals into regional communities to share the latest in pain science and best practice care.
Pain Revolution is a collective of researchers, clinicians, consumers, industry partners and peak bodies that aim to improve access to best practice pain care and education in rural and regional communities across Australia. Pain Revolution has been upskilling and supporting country clinicians in pain care through the Local Pain Educator Program (LPE).
After successful tours in NSW, Tasmania and South Australia, the fourth annual Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour in 2020 is currently cycling across regional Victoria to provide residents with access to the latest information and support to prevent and overcome persisting pain.
We already know that Australians living in regional/rural communities face the same barriers that most people living with chronic pain do, but these barriers are further heightened due to poor access to pain services which is a driver of social inequity and likely contributes to the generally poorer health status of people living outside urban centres. We have highlighted these issues time and time again.
What’s often harder to convey is that best practice guidelines for persistent pain indicate that education, active and psychological therapies as well as self-management strategies are a critical part of first line care. Pain education and understanding pain biology has been shown to improve pain and function.
The Pain Revolution Outreach tour aims to do just that, offering free seminars at each stop to members of the public as well as health professionals to share insights about the latest breakthroughs in pain science and how these can be utilised to inform best practice pain management. The Pain Revolution riders are also accompanied by the Brain Bus, a traveling learning laboratory which provides interactive pain science education using illusions and virtual reality.
This year the Tour will cover 750kms over 7 days starting in Geelong on the 7 March 2020 and travelling through Frankston, Wonthaggi, Traralagon, Bairnsdale, Bright, Omeo - ending in Wangaratta on Saturday the 14th of March. This is an excellent opportunity for people living with chronic pain in these communities, and I hope that many of you will benefit from joining the Pain Revolution riders for a free, easy to understand talk about why you have ongoing pain, and what you can do to change it.