To address the complex issues involved in managing pain, Anaesthetist and Pain Specialist Dr Tan stresses the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.
“These days, we approach pain in a holistic way – we prescribe pain medications, certainly, but we work with other health professionals to get people moving and improve quality of life.
“Results are very successful when a multidisciplinary team is used – pain nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists.”
Through medication, psychological techniques and exercise, this team can help people to live with their pain.
Counselling Coordinator Stephanie Jones at Murdoch Community Mental Health says the attitude we take to our pain determines the experience we have of it.
“We know that we can be distracted from the pain, for example during a riveting scene in a film or a sudden shock,” says Ms Jones.
“The pain has not gone away in those moments, but other information is filling our attention channels.
“In practicing pain management, we develop skills which will help to put the pain at the back of the mind.”
Ms Jones says health professionals can work together to tackle the bio-psycho-social elements of pain.
“We can manage it physically as much as we can with medications, injections and sometimes surgery, with psychological strategies such as breathing techniques, visualisation or modifying our thoughts to help us to take control of the pain and with physiotherapy to help gain the confidence to do the things you used to enjoy without making the pain worse.”
Contact Murdoch Community Mental Health on 6226 9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org