Home > Chronic Pain, Health Crisis > New report shows Chronic Pain is a serious issue. The health system is failing these patients but there are more effective alternatives…

New report shows Chronic Pain is a serious issue. The health system is failing these patients but there are more effective alternatives…

According to a new report into chronic pain in Australia:

  • 29% of Australians say they experience chronic pain. With women (31%) more likely to experience chronic pain than men (26%).
  • Among those who experience chronic pain, 47% say it is the result of a diagnosed condition such as arthritis, an inflammatory condition, multiple sclerosis or cancer.
  • 5% of Australians with chronic pain have attempted to commit suicide because of their pain and a further 20% have thought about suicide.
  • Chronic pain is reported across all age groups ranging from 19% of people aged 18-29, to 29% of those aged 66 and over.
  • Forty per cent (40%) of people in pain say chronic pain has followed from a life event such as an operation or accident-related illness.
  • 13% of people in pain report there is no identified medical reason for their pain.

Principal Physiotherapist, Dianne Hermans performing real time diagnostic ultrasound.

Not only that, but our health system often fails these patients, take the case of the Gold Coast patient who had to wait 4 years for an appointment or the recent report tabled in the WA parliament which expressed concern at over 22,000 West Australian’s addicted to opioids such as morphine, while having to wait 12 months to see a pain specialists.

The travesty is that many of these patients could be well served with innovative therapies such as those practiced at the Lifestyle Pain Clinic at Lifestyle Therapies. In general, the hospital system is far too conservative and entrenched in the pharmaceutical and surgical medical model. While the clinical evidence does favour the delivery of medication and surgical solutions, more consideration needs to be placed on the potential harm to patients and side effects of interventions and the cost to the health system.

For instance, surgically implanting a neurostimulator for chronic back pain is sometimes the best available therapy, but at a cost of around $30,000, over 30 patients could be treated at the Lifestyle Pain Clinic. After many hundreds of patients treated and a more than 50% success rate in rehabilitating chronic pain patients, that’s potentially a huge saving and a lot of unnecessary suffering avoided.

The innovative therapies at Lifestyle Therapies include Q magnet therapy, which delivers a unique magnetic field gradient deep into the tissue which has a strong tendency to dampen down sensitized nerves that are amplifying the pain signal so they stop overacting and return to a normal state.

Low Level Laser Therapy and InterX are other innovative therapies that in and of themselves are capable of significantly reducing the debilitating effects of chronic and persistent pain.

Finally, once patients regain function it’s time to start moving and rebuild core strength. This is where  real time diagnostic ultrasound is a state of the art technology to help develop targeted exercise programs to strengthen core stability which is invariably problematic for long term back pain sufferers.

Physiotherapist, Dianne Hermans providing low level laser therapy for pain.

While many chronic pain sufferers are left languishing in a poorly coordinated health system and being directed to costly and potentially harmful procedures, patients such as Sharon find their way to Lifestyle Therapies and now live a normal life. The difference this makes to the patient is enormous and the savings to the health system huge. Click here for Sharon’s chronic pain case study.

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