Right now, one in five people in Australia are living with chronic pain.
The statistics are even more alarming for older people, with one in three people over age 65 living with the debilitating condition.
That’s why Western Sydney Local Health District is encouraging clinicians and people living with chronic pain to put their heads together during National Pain Week (July 24 – 30).
Blacktown Hospital will run a workshop on July 26, specifically designed to team up healthcare professionals and patients to brainstorm ideas to best manage chronic pain in the future.
Westmead Hospital will host the National Pain Week Conference on July 28, offering a safe space for people to talk about managing chronic pain.
This year’s National Pain Week theme is Be bold: let’s manage pain together.
Western Sydney Local Health District staffer and Chronic Pain Australia president Dr Coralie Wales said the week aimed at reducing the isolation of people living with chronic pain.
“This year’s theme is about creating a team around the person in pain, all focused on taking small steps to help that person – this is what the evidence supports and what people in pain say works well,” she said.
“In western Sydney, we support our hospital system in building better and stronger partnerships with our GPs and other clinicians so that they, along with people in pain, are better able to manage pain closer to home.”
More than four million Australians suffer from chronic pain or pain that lasts longer than three months. The pain can be associated with chronic disease or injury like arthritis, lupus or cancer, and even ongoing infection post-injury.
“Nearly 80 per cent of people suffering with chronic pain are under-treated or not treated at all – National Pain Week gives us the chance to raise awareness of what people deal with. Understanding pain is critical to learning how to manage it,” Dr Wales says.
The National Pain Week conference is open to clinicians and the community, and will be streamed live. The workshop will be held from 2pm – 4pm at the Western Sydney University auditorium at Blacktown Hospital.
To register or for more information, visit www.nationalpainweek.org.au