As National Pain Week (July 22-28) is held, the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is calling on the federal government to properly fund evidence-based treatments for those experiencing chronic pain.
Chronic pain affects one in five Australians, rising to one in three for those aged over 65, the APA says.
“We need to turn around the cycle of increasing disability that many chronic pain sufferers become part of, simply because they are unable to access the best treatments when they need them,” APA Pain Group Chair Dianne Wilson said. “Physiotherapists should be part of every health team treating chronic pain.”
Ms Wilson says physios can play a vital role in not only educating those who suffer from chronic pain but also help them work through their fears.
“Movement helps the body heal and boosts the immune system,” she said. “Avoiding healthy activities often leads to an increase of disability and further loss of wellbeing.”
A survey by Chronic Pain Australia indicated that while most people suffering chronic pain wanted to continue to see allied health professionals, including physiotherapists, they found these services to be unaffordable due to their lack of government subsidy.