Mildura Weekly : Friday June 27 Vol 8 No 34
www.milduraweekly.com.au 6 Mildura Weekly – 27/06/14 FOR most of us a bad head- ache, toothache or body pain can be more than a little dis- tracting. It can be a nuisance that prevents us going about our daily work or lifestyle. However, in most cases, waiting a couple of days or taking a couple of mild pain- killers is enough to get us by. But spare a thought for those forced to endure months of debilitating pain which is seemingly endless and inescapable. It can lead to depression and anxiety and put pressure on families and peoples’ ca- reers. Up until now, Sunraysia residents in this unfortu- nate predicament have been forced to travel a minimum of 400 kilometres to get spe- cialised help to manage their pain, sometimes even further. But the opening of Lower Murray Medicare Local’s Inte- grated Pain Management Ser- vice this week is set to finally bring relief for chronic pain sufferers in the region. Chronic pain is pain that has been present for three to six months, which is longer than the normal healing time expected after surgery, trauma or other causes. LMML’s Integrated Pain Management Service takes a multi-pronged approach to managing a patient’s pain, utilising specialists including oncologists, neurosurgeons, psychologists, physiothera- pists, occupational therapists, pharmacists and geriatricians among a host of medical ex- perts and therapists. Patients must be referred to the service by their GP be- fore their condition and med- ical history is assessed and a course of treatment, whether medicinal, psychological or physical, or a combination of all three, is started. LMMLs Regional Care co- ordinator for Pain Manage- ment, Bertilla Campbell, said a holistic approach was cen- tral to treating chronic pain sufferers. “The aim is to get a per- son to what’s classed as ‘pain neutral’ - a realistic level of management of their pain,” Ms Campbell said. “Once a patient’s in a pain neutral situation they can manage their flare-ups, learn to pace themselves and devel- op strategies to manage their condition, such as learning to modify their activity and set realistic goals for themselves.” Ms Campbell said treat- ing pain is a very complex task, made more difficult by its subjective nature - what may be painful for one per- son may be manageable for another. “The key message for us is that we recognise that all pain is real, even though no-one else may see it,” she said. “We recognise that pain is a whole experience for that person, and management of that pain is best served by a multi-pronged approach, such as looking at biological, psycho-social as well as life- style factors.” LMML chief executive, Lydia Senior, said this week’s opening had been a long time coming and was the culmi- nation of a four-year battle, sparked by demand in the community. “Consistently, over many years, people have been very stressed about having to trav- el to Melbourne, Adelaide and Bendigo to access pain management services,” Ms Senior said. A feasibility study was commissioned in 2010 to de- termine how a pain manage- ment clinic might be estab- lished, what it would entail and what it would cost. A report was put together and a request made for gov- ernment funding, however these requests were repeat- edly knocked back, until last year. “In 2013, we put another submission to the Common- wealth, putting more evi- dence in the submission and were finally granted funding to open a pain clinic in Mil- dura,” Ms Senior said She said the fact that the Federal Government spends about $34billion a year on pain management illustrates the extent of the problem in Australia. Mildura Rural City Coun- cil Mayor Glenn Milne offi- cially opened the new clinic this week, highlighting the addition of yet another vital service in the region. “Medicare Local is about looking for gaps in services in our community and I think this is one that they’ve iden- tified quite clearly,” Cr Milne said. “We live in a great com- munity and our services are getting better and better. “We’re progressing, we’re becoming a bigger and better city and moves like this are re- ally exciting because it means that as we get older, we’ve got facilities and services that we really need locally, and don’t have to travel as much.” Finally, something for the pain • CUTTING EDGE: Lower Murray Medicare Local chief executive, Lydia Senior, Mildura Rural City Council Mayor Glenn Milne and LMML Regional Care co-ordinator for Pain Management, Bertilla Campbell, officially open the Integrated Pain Management Service this week. MFC fund- raiser MALLEE Fam- ily Care will host a fund-raiser tomor- row at the Wool- worths fuel station in Lime Avenue from 11am to 2pm. Volunteers will be offering a car service which will include pumping petrol, cleaning windscreens and checking tyres. All donations will go towards pur- chasing new toys for the Murray Mal- lee Child Contact Centre Service. Historical society meeting THE Mildura and District Histori- cal Society will be holding their monthly meeting at the Carnegie Centre Wednesday, July 2 from 7.30pm. More informa- tion is available by contacting Barbie Cornell on 0427 113 090.
Friday June 20 Vol 8 No 33
Friday July 4 Vol 8 No 35