National Pain Week: Nothing about us – without us

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National Pain Week is an annual initiative run by Chronic Pain Australia. This year, the week runs from 23 – 29 July 2018, and seeks to build awareness of the experience of people living with chronic pain.

Chronic pain – pain that doesn’t go away after the injury or illness has resolved and lasts at least three months – is a significant health issue in Australia, with around one in five people of all ages living with this invisible illness. Figures are even more alarming for our older population, with one in three people over 65 years living with chronic pain.

Chronic pain can have significant impact on a person’s ability to work, form relationships, and live an ordinary life. Chronic pain can also have a seriously detrimental effect on the mental health of people living with chronic pain.  However, by working with various health practitioners in a long-term approach, people living with chronic pain can start to combat some of the effects it has on their lives and manage their pain the best they can.

National Pain Week is an annual initiative of Chronic Pain Australia, the national voice of people living with chronic pain. The week aims to destigmatise the experiences of people living with chronic pain while also championing the need for the voice of people living with chronic pain to be heard when any related health policy is developed. This year’s theme, ‘Nothing about us – without us’, further highlights this.

WHAT: National Pain Week

WHEN: Monday 23 – Sunday 29 July 2018

INFO: http://www.nationalpainweek.org.au/.

Main Events:

A Q & A Facebook Live event will be held on Tuesday 24th, from 5 – 6pm. on Chronic Pain Australia’s Facebook page. The panel will explore how a multidisciplinary approach to pain management works in practice. The panel will be taking questions from people living with chronic pain and include representatives from health peak bodies. Further details will be provided closer to National Pain Week.

The National Pain Week survey results will be announced at an event in Sydney on Monday 23rd July 2018. The event will be open to people living with chronic pain, industry colleagues and media. The survey aims to provide a snap shot of what people living with chronic pain are saying about how pain is managed in Australia and what they need from their GPs, pharmacists, federal government and community.

During National Pain Week, people living with chronic pain are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas on the chronic pain forum or on social media using the hashtags #NPW2018, #nationalpainweek, #bebold, #nothingaboutuswithoutus

About Chronic Pain Australia

Chronic Pain Australia is the voice of Australians living with chronic pain. We are a grassroots movement whose membership is comprised of people living with chronic pain across Australia. We help our members by providing high-quality, user-friendly, research-based information and support that puts people living with chronic pain at the centre of our attention. Chronic Pain Australia also works towards de-stigmatising chronic pain in society. De-stigmatising chronic pain saves lives through reducing the social isolation that inherently follows this invisible condition. http://chronicpainaustralia.org.au/index.php

Facts on Chronic Pain:

  • Chronic pain is arguably Australia and the world’s fastest growing medical condition.
    • One in five Australians lives with chronic pain including adolescents and children. This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65.
    • One in five GP consultations involve a patient with chronic pain and almost five percent report severe, disabling chronic pain.
    • The prevalence of chronic pain is projected to increase as Australia’s population ages – from around 3.2 million in 2007 to 5 million by 2050.
    • Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t go away when the injury or illness has resolved – and lasts for longer than 3 months.
    • It can be associated with chronic disease or injury e.g. arthritis, lupus, cancer and even ongoing infection post injury.
    • Many people live with chronic pain that does not have an obvious explanation in the structures of the body. In these situations, the nervous system and brain play a key role.
    • Pain that relates to sensitisation of the nervous system can be particularly problematic. It is invisible and can lead to stigma.

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