Shifting the pain perspective
In September, the Central West (Bendigo) Regional Network gained a better understanding of how one's perception of pain affects its intensity. It was a informative discussion with Network members sharing their unique experiences in their pain management journey.
The Network welcomed Ryan, Physiotherapist from the Pain Rehabilitation Clinic, to the complement the discussion. Ryan explained that he is part of a multidisciplinary team that supports patients to live an improved quality of life with chronic pain. They have pain specialists who can help reduce medication use, as well as OT, exercise physiologist, psychologist to support physical health, mental health, and sleep habits. People in the community can be directly referred by GP or self refer to the Clinic.
Chronic pain is complex. Chronic pain occurs due to changes to the nervous system which keeps the nerves firing and signalling pain, even though the initial injury is physically healed.
The group shared some of their pain management strategies:
Keep your mind active as a distraction from pain. If you don't focus on pain, then it may not feel as painful.
Keep your body active. Routine stretches and being physically active can help reduce severity of spasms.
- Do things you enjoy to relax.
Break big tasks into small manageable tasks.
Know your trigger to pain e.g. clothes too tight, bladder infection, seeing a place of trauma.
Get a medication review every few years with your GP, as your circumstances and pain management will have changed. Medications can be helpful in the right circumstances.
Be your own expert and work with a multidisciplinary team.
Make changes slowly, don't rush. It takes time to time to manage pain in a different way. For some members, it took them up to a year.
Learn about pain through online courses:
– What is pain? Professor Lorimer Moseley discusses his experience with pain
– Maquarie University Chronic pain management course (SCI) - Free, 8 weeks course, focuses on practical skills for managing pain, phone calls from clinician on progress. Many members have found it useful.
– Spinal Cord Injury Pain - written practical information on managing pain
– "Explain Pain" book by David Butler and G. Lorimer Moseley. Further information can be found at https://www.noigroup.com/shop/
Details of our next event
Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020
From the comfort of your home
"Pushing through the SCI bog" - sharing tips on reaching out and getting out of bog
Spire at 9489 0777 (toll free 1800 999 128) or [email protected]