A word from Painaustralia’s new Chairman, Em Professor Ian Chubb AC
Em Professor Ian Chubb, Painaustralia Chairman
My career as a researcher focussed predominantly on neuroscience, and we now know what was not as clear then: pain is neurologically complex, involving responses generated throughout the brain.
Until recently, chronic pain remained ill-defined, somewhat misleadingly, as “pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing.” In reality though, as anyone who lives with chronic pain knows all too well, pain is the condition rather than a symptom.
We do know better now. We know that the bio-psycho-social approach, where pain is viewed as a dynamic interaction within the biological, psychological, and social factors unique to each individual, is crucial to solving the complex puzzle of chronic pain.
As I take on the role of Chair of Painaustralia, we now have 3.37 million people living with chronic pain in Australia today, taking an unimaginable toll on our communities. This is an issue that has ravaged countries across the globe now, with countless lives impacted by our inability to manage pain well.
This is why greater awareness of pain and pain management, more timely access to consumer-centred interdisciplinary services and research to underpin greater knowledge of pain and its causes as well as new treatments, and harnessing leaps in research, clinical evidence and technology are key priorities that I hope to drive forward at my time at Painaustralia.
I am given hope and confidence by the steady progress we have made in Australia. From the 2010 National Pain Strategy, to the Government’s National Strategic Action Plan on Pain Management, we have taken great leaps to recognise the problem at hand and are fortunate to have a Government and Minister committed to reducing the burden of chronic pain.
We now have the unprecedented opportunity to take real and enduring action and implement a nationally coordinated policy that drives better outcomes for millions of people. I embrace the challenge to work with my colleagues across the pain sector as we embark on this endeavour together to make pain a genuine national health priority.