Understanding Persistent Pain

In addition to continual discomfort and frustration, persistent pain takes a major toll on your ability to do the things that are important to you daily, such as cooking a meal, having a shower, looking after your family, going to work and going out with your friends. Left unaddressed, it can cause you to lose your independence, leaving you little or no alternative but to rely on others to do the things you used to be able to do on your own.

Medical researchers now understand that various elements are simultaneously at play in someone with persistent pain. These elements can be:

  • Physical – your body, issues in your tissues, infection, inflammation;
  • Mental – beliefs, fears, worries, anxieties; and
  • Environmental – heat/cold, pressure, chemical exposure, pathogens.

Researchers have even discovered that our social and cultural environment can affect how we experience and cope with pain. Pain is complex, and to manage it successfully, we will have to understand its many elements.

What is Neuro Orthopaedics and how does this treat persistent pain?
Don’t let the term scare you. It’s just a fancier way of saying “brain-body”. Some people call it neuro-rehab or brain retraining, but the idea is the same. It illustrates an approach of therapeutic rehabilitation that recognises the interplay amongst the various systems in our body (e.g. nervous system, musculoskeletal system, endocrine and immune systems etc). We are applying what has been discovered in the fast-evolving field of neuroscience research to help people with disabling conditions, such as chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia) and other neurological conditions (e.g. stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, dementia etc). Watch the following video to get an idea: Understanding Pain in Less Than 5 Minutes.

TADWA is at a unique position on creating new services that combines both Therapy and Technology to help people with disabilities. To kick start the process, we are currently establishing a service focused on pain care. We will be leveraging on the various skillsets already available in the organisation (i.e. occupational therapy, mechatronics, mechanical engineering etc) to offer this new service. With this multidisciplinary approach, we hope to explore new exciting interventions, such as using virtual reality to treat pain (e.g. video 1 and video 2). We will also be collaborating with other healthcare organisations (e.g. hospitals, GPs, allied health organisations, disability support carers) to facilitate for better referral process and clinical outcomes.

We are excited to welcome Ian Cheok to our TADWA team.

Ian has had a number of years’ experience in Occupational Therapy, specialising in pain care, neuro-rehabilitation and smart assistive technology. He will be heading up the new service in neuro-orthopeadics.

If you are experiencing persistent pain or to find out more about our service, talk to TADWA on 1300 663 243 or email therapy@tadwa.org.au.