Pain Management Services Cairns

Pain Management Services CairnsSometimes the cause of the pain cannot be found or there are no available treatments for it. In other cases, the cause may be remedied, but the associated pain lingers on.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for longer than 3 months. At any given time, around one third of Australians are in pain. Management strategies include pain­killing medications and complementary therapies (such as acupuncture and massage). Studies suggest that a person’s outlook and the way they emotionally cope with chronic pain influence their quality of life. It has been shown that people who learn self-management skills lower their levels of felt pain. It is important to learn these skills and to deal with the associated stress and depression in constructive ways.

The main causes of pain include:

  • Medical conditions (such as cancer, arthritis and back problems);
  • Injuries;
  • Surgery.

Pain-killing medications and their side effects

The type of medication you are prescribed depends on your pain. The issues you need to discuss with your health care professional include:

  • The location, intensity and type of pain;
  • Which activities ease or exacerbate the pain;
  • The impact your pain has on lifestyle factors, such as appetite and quality or sleep.

Medication for chronic pain is best taken regularly. If your pain is well managed, you are less likely to take large doses of painkillers and the risk of side effects is reduced. Please note: long term use of some medications can have side effects which affect a person’s quality of life. They may also lose their ability to reduce pain. Some studies have shown that medication can undermine the value of developing self-management skills. This occurs because the person believes they are coping better with pain due to the medication, not because they may have learned effective coping skills.

Complementary pain management therapies

Numerous studies have found that certain complementary therapies are effective in pain management. Some of these therapies include:

  • Hypnotherapy is a recommended treatment for chronic pain patients. The goal of hypnotherapy for “pain management is to produce deep relaxation for the reduction or amelioration of fear, tension and anxiety that is concomitant with pain.” (Longacre, 1997), thereby helping the patient to modify their experience of the pain and thus diminish or end the suffering.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a process of learning to change how you think and, in turn, how you feel and behave about pain. It is part of a process of self-management of chronic pain.
  • Laser Therapy (Low Intensity Laser), the main advantages of which for postoperative sport and traffic-related injuries, in addition to accelerated wound healing, is the prevention of side effects of drugs, significantly accelerated functional recovery, cost benefits and earlier return to work, training and sport competition compared to those who do not use this therapy.
  • Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves the insertion of slender needles into specific points on the skin.
  • Massage is better suited to soft tissue injuries and should be avoided if the pain originates in the joints.
  • Relaxation techniques include meditation and yoga.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy involves a minute electrical current passing through the skin via electrodes, prompting a pain-killing response from the body.

Coming to terms with chronic pain

Sometimes chronic pain cannot be relieved. Suggestions on how to emotionally handle this difficult and distressing situation include the following:

  • If all medical avenues have been exhausted, don’t raise false hopes by searching fruitlessly for a cure;
  • Accept that your pain may not go away and that flare-ups may occur and talk yourself through these times;
  • Find out as much as you can about your condition so that you don’t fret or worry unnecessarily about the pain – fear makes cowards of us all!

Chronic pain management services in Cairns and North Queensland

There are many ways to help manage pain and chronic pain, and its associated mental and emotional responses. Crispian Jones from Seachange Psychology is a certified and highly qualified Psychologist and Hypnotherapist who offers counselling and pain management support services in Cairns and North Queensland.

Contact Seachange Psychology today to find out how counselling and hypnotherapy services can assist you to manage your pain, call 07 4041 4147.

Cairns Psychologist Rebates

Health fund rebates may apply and you don’t need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment. If you do see your doctor and he writes you a Mental Health Care Plan to see a psychologist, you are entitled to 12 sessions in a calendar year and you will receive a rebate from Medicare of approximately $84.80 as at 2015.