Chronic pain is severe pain that is ongoing and long term. It often continues long after you have healed from an injury or after a condition has been treated.
The Chronic Pain service helps support you if you have ongoing pain. Services are coordinated by doctors who specialise in pain management. They will work with you to better manage ongoing pain, understand pain and learn techniques that you can use in your day to day activities.
There are a range of health professionals who work in the Chronic Pain service including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and social workers.
What we do
Once you have been seen by specialists within the team, it may be recommended that you attend an 'Understanding Pain Education Group'. This is a one-off, two hour group session that will help you better understand ‘pain’ and be introduced to what the clinic has to offer. The focus of this session is to help you better manage everyday activities.
You may then be offered an appointment with a specialist pain management doctor for medical management and/or another specialist clinical member of the pain team.
The Chronic Pain service runs a number of treatment programs and groups:
- Understanding Pain Education Groups (these are run in community settings)
- Pain Management Group sessions which expand what is presented in the first Understanding Pain Group education session, including:
- 'Medical treatment and biology of pain’
- ‘Lifestyle and wellness’
- ‘Psychology of pain’ (considering thoughts and emotions)
- ‘Action and activity’ (focusing on function)
- Lower Back Pain Education Group, specifically for those with low back pain
- Senior Pain Education and Management Group
- Tai Chi for Pain Management
- Pain Management Programs (Intensive programs). In these programs, people from various areas of the hospital help you to learn to better manage your pain. Your doctor and treating team will recommend how long you should attend the program for.
For those people with significant disability that is related to their pain, it may be appropriate for the staff to organise admission to the hospital.
Who can use our services
Anyone who has ongoing pain is eligible for this service.
How to access this service
Hospital staff may discuss your eligibility for this service during your visit. Your GP will fax your referral to the hospital.
Once we receive the referral, we will contact you.
If there is a waiting list, we will advise you what to do.
What to bring
Every time you come to hospital
Every time you come to hospital for a test, day procedure, surgery or treatment, you should bring:
- Medicare card
- Health Care card (if you have one)
- Concession card (if you have one)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Medications you are currently taking, including any that you have bought without a prescription
- X-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results you have which are related to your procedure
- Private health insurance card (if you want to use it)
- Aids (glasses, hearing aid, walking frame)
For a clinic appointment
If you come for a clinic appointment, you should also bring:
- Your appointment book
- Your letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- TAC or Workcover claim number
In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.