It’s time to rethink Chronic Pain
April 4, 2023
A refreshingly simple approach to treating chronic pain
Chronic and persistent pain affects a multitude of Australians everyday; some suffer through consistent pain cycles for years on end, whilst on the other hand, there are some taking steps to seek medical attention and explanations, with and without success. Pain affects all of us at some point in time, where most times we know and understand that the pain is temporary, we can see the source of pain, and we can see tangible healing steps. But what happens when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? When pain is persistent orchronic, and when we can’t see pain, or healing for that matter?
Chronic pain is a significant health issue affecting many Australians. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimated 3.4 million Australians (approximately 14% of the population) experienced chronic pain in 2018-19. Chronic pain can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including their physical and mental health, employment, and social relationships.
Some common effects of chronic pain include a changed or reduced quality of life: chronic pain can lead to reduced mobility, sleep disturbance, and fatigue, impacting a person’s overall well being. Along with this, mental health complications, work disability and social isolation also accompany chronic pain, with often reduced income streams and decreased social support. We can all appreciate that chronic pain also has a significant effect on the healthcare system, and those suffering usually look to increase their healthcare utilisation, often requiring ongoing medical care, consultations with doctors and specialists, diagnostic tests, and medications. It is not only a debilitating condition, but a very financially expensive one.
General practitioners (GPs) play a crucial role in the management of chronic pain. There are several reasons why it is essential that GPs can help assist with chronic pain:
– Early intervention: GPs are often the first point of contact for patients with chronic pain. They can identify the underlying causes of the pain and provide early intervention to prevent the pain from becoming chronic.
– Holistic approach: GPs can take a holistic approach to managing chronic pain by considering the patient’s overall health and well-being. They can provide advice on lifestyle modifications, including exercise, diet, and stress management, which can help reduce pain levels.
– Coordinating care: GPs can coordinate the care of patients with chronic pain, ensuring that they receive appropriate referrals to other healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists or pain specialists, if needed.
– Monitoring medication use: GPs can prescribe and monitor the use of pain medications, ensuring that patients receive appropriate doses and avoid potential side effects or addiction.
– Improving patient outcomes: By providing ongoing management and support, GPs can help improve patient outcomes, such as reducing pain levels, improving physical and mental health, and improving the patient’s quality of life.
Permission to Move
Permission to Move, founded by Dave Moen, have worked to develop online treatment tools for patients and offer chronic pain treatment via video consultation to people all over the world. In addition to courses and 1-on-1 consultation, Permission to Move have published a book outlining their clinical practice model, and offer an Affiliate Program for clinicians interested in delivering best-practice pain treatment. It was Dave’s experience with pain, which he later explored the psychological impact of, which developed his interest for understanding the ways in which we perceive pain.
“The most important thing I have learned is that our own understanding of pain is important – it underlines our response to pain in our own lives, and also our response to pain in others. For clinicians looking to integrate principles of pain science into practice, my recommendation is to reflect on your own ideas about pain and your threshold for Safe to Move. If particular movements make you uneasy – for example, lifting bodyweight from the floor, pressing weight overhead, or going for a run – then you might decide to undertake some mastery experience of your own. It’s very difficult to ask others to do things that you would not do yourself.” – Dave Moen
Tools and training to deliver best practice pain treatment
Permission to Move offers online modules and clinician training programs in an easy-to-use online learning platform, accompanied by video lessons and note templates. Suitable for private practices, hospitals, pain programs and individual clinicians to upgrade their existing model of care and integrate digital learning in their patient treatment approach. Not only do clinicians benefit from the Permission to Move program, but tokens can be bought by real- world patients, to access support and understanding between appointments; further reducing the flood of chronic pain patients in the healthcare system and practitioners.
These courses and more are available through Med CPD via the link: