July 24 – 30 is National Pain Week, convened by Chronic Pain Australia.

Chronic pain is something that those who have not experienced it find hard to understand. Chronic pain cannot be seen; however, its invisibility does not mean it is unreal. Often, people living with chronic pain are be stigmatised as hypochondriacs, or worse, drug addicts, because of their dependence on medication.

Chronic Pain Australia aims to disrupt the stigma. Their vision is that no Australian living with persistent pain should suffer alone, or without access to resources and information that help them effectively manage their pain in a manner promoting dignity and self-respect, regardless of age, gender, culture, belief, and socio-economic or compensation status.

In Australia, one in five people, including children and adolescents, lives with chronic pain. This figure increases to one in three people aged over 65. Chronic pain can be the result of disease, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, or the result of injury and post-surgery conditions.

Pain is the most common reason for seeing a doctor, with one in five GP consultations in Australia involving a patient with chronic pain. For some people, chronic pain is severe and disabling, affecting their ability to work, and diminishing their quality of life. Regardless of the level of severity, persistent pain affects all aspects of the person’s life – physical, mental and social.

Chronic pain is Australia’s third most costly health condition, after cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal conditions (often associated with chronic pain). However, less than 10% of those experiencing chronic non-cancer pain have access to effective care, despite increased knowledge relating to pain management. Pain services appear to be inadequate with multi-disciplinary pain clinics confined to capital cities, and lower level services existing in major regional centres only.

Sunshine Coast residents living with chronic pain can get help and support through the Persistent Pain Management Service at the Nambour hospital, and through Sunshine Coast Rehabilitation Services at Noosa hospital. Various online resources can be accessed also – Pain Australia has a number of fact sheets available for download, as does Chronic Pain Australia.

Given the statistics, it is likely that you could know someone or encounter someone in your first aid course who experiences persistent pain.

To schedule your next Sunshine Coast Provide First Aid or CPR training course, please book online via our secure website, or phone 07 5438 8888.

Allens Training on the Sunshine Coast offer practical, fun and hands on first aid and CPR courses. 


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