About 3.6 million Australians live with chronic or persistent pain. It can be a lonely experience that affects many different aspects of life.
At Gen Health, we have a special interest in supporting patients with persistent pain through collaborative, trauma-informed services.
What is persistent pain?
Pain is normally a short-term reaction to an injury or illness. It is designed to protect you, it is meant to alert you to a problem so you can fix it by changing your behaviour or seeking treatment. Usually, when healing is complete, the pain goes away. It’s done its protective work and is not needed anymore.
But pain doesn’t always leave at that point. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than 3 months after normal healing has happened. By now, there’s no obvious physical reason for your pain – and yet it is still there, lingering like a bad house guest. It has wormed its way into your life and your central nervous system has become oversensitive to its presence. It’s now set on high alert all the time and may have started to misread other signals as pain.
What’s it like to live with persistent pain?
It can be very difficult, even debilitating. Chronic pain can affect many aspects of your life, including your sleep, mood, relationships and job performance. More than 50% of persistent pain patients become anxious or depressed due to their pain.
Chronic pain can be stubborn. And it’s often not well-understood, until now. When healthcare professionals find no apparent cause for the pain, patients may feel like their lived experience is being invalidated.
The pain is not ‘all in your head’. It’s very real. And, while it’s not easy to treat, a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach can help.
The biopsychosocial model of chronic pain management
Persistent pain involves a complex interaction of many different factors – your biology, your psychology and your social environment.
One of the best ways to address chronic pain is through something called the biopsychosocial model. This is a multidisciplinary ‘whole person’ approach that uses a combination of strategies to ease your symptoms.
Our collaborative approach to relieving chronic pain
At Gen Health, our goal is ensure everyone has access to collaborative, evidence-based, trauma-informed pain care. If you live nearby, you’re welcome to visit the clinic in person. If not, we’re available through telehealth to patients across Australia.
So, how does it work?
We start by listening to you. Really listening.
Your persistent pain journey is unique and we want to understand so that we can help you make sense of it.
Using our understanding of contemporary pain science, we then develop a holistic, sustainable recovery plan centred on your needs. We work collaboratively with you and your other healthcare providers to address each of the factors contributing to your pain.
What might your plan include?
We take an integrative approach to your treatment, which may include:
Education. Learning about your pain in the first step to recovery.
Physiotherapy & exercise physiology – helping you exercise within tolerable pain levels, overcome fear and improve function
Podiatry – every step you take relies on your feet, ankles and lower limbs. Your podiatrist can help improve your foot function, addressing painful conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions or arthritis
Clinical reformer therapy – run by qualified physiotherapists, this is a form of rehabilitation and preventative care focussing on stability, control and balance. It may prove helpful in relieving many different types of pain including lower back pain.
Your plan may also include input from other healthcare professionals with expertise in chronic pain. We may, for example, recommend that you see a psychologist, a nutritionist or naturopath or an occupational therapist.
After a while, we will review your progress. We’ll ask you how your pain is now and what you’ve found helpful. We’ll develop some fresh goals together and identify the support you might need at this stage of your recovery.
We know that turning persistent pain around isn’t easy and it can take some time. But we also know that it is possible to make significant gains that improve your quality of life. We’re here to help you do that.
Please make an appointment today.
All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.