Pain Management

Overview

One in five Australians, including children and adolescents, will suffer chronic pain in their lifetime. The majority of people living with chronic pain are missing out on treatment that could improve their health and quality of life. Chronic pain is pain that has lasted for a period of three months or more in the past six months. Left untreated, chronic pain can have a devastating impact on the life of the person in pain and their significant others. People with chronic pain are at increased risk of anxiety, physical de-conditioning, poor self-esteem, social isolation and relationship breakdown. Children and adolescents with chronic pain are absent from school more often than their peers and participate in fewer sporting activities which may impact on their academic potential. A person with chronic pain may find the following:

  • their condition is not officially recognised as a disease or public health issue
  • their family, friends, employers, schools and health professionals may not believe they are in pain
  • many health professionals will have received little or no training on how to treat pain
  • they may have to wait for more than a year for an appointment at a service that can help them
  • they may have little access to community-based support

The National Pain Strategy for Australians published in 2010 is a result of collaborative work by health professionals, consumers and funders, who agreed that an integrated approach was needed to improve care for all types of pain. CESPHN aims to:

  • improve the quality of life for people with pain and their families, and to minimise the burden of pain on individuals and the community
  • facilitate access to an interdisciplinary team of health professionals in the community
  • to improve community understanding of the of the nature of chronic pain and evidence based best practice management
  • have access to a variety of clinical practice guidelines, pain assessment tools, patient information leaflets and other resources
  • liaise and facilitate GP referrals of patients to pain clinics for management
  • identify needs and gaps in pain management within CESPHN
  • train and support health professionals in pain assessment and management

NSW Health Chronic Pain Services

NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation - Pain Management Network

  • Click here to visit the new website for health professionals and consumers hosting management strategies, resources, management tools and statewide pain referral information.

Pain Clinics for Children and Adults

  • Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH) Tel: (02) 9767 7830 or switch board (02) 9767 5000 Fax: (02) 9767 7841
  • Pain Management Centre Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Tel: (02) 9515 9870 or switch board (02) 9515 6111 Fax: (02) 9515 9831
  • For other pain centres in NSW, click here, Chronic pain services in NSW

Pain Centres for Children

  • The Children's Hospital at Westmead Department of Pain and Palliative Care Westmead Tel: (02) 9845 2572 or switch board (02) 9845 0000 Fax: (02) 9845 0566
  • Sydney Children's  Hospital Pain Management Clinic Randwick Tel: (02) 9382 1816 or switch board (02) 9382 1111 Fax: (02) 9382 7946

 Referrals to RPA and CRGH pain clinics

Please see pain management flowchart, the pain clinic referral guide and use the pain management referral form when you refer you patient/s to RPA or CRGH pain clinics.

Resources

GPs, Allied Health Professionals and Consumers

Clinical Practice Guidelines
Educational Resources
Consumers
Pain Assessment Tools

Useful websites