Tasmanians can seek advice about their chronic pain conditions from world-leading pain scientists as part of the 2019 Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour commencing in Devonport on March 16.  

Supported by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), the 700km cycle around Tasmania will be completed by a group of 25 health professionals whose work spans physiotherapy, psychology and medicine - all of whom have unique insights into treating and supporting patients suffering chronic pain.

At more than $34 billion annually, the cost to the Australian economy from chronic pain conditions is more than the cost of cancer and heart disease combined. Chronic pain is also a well-known precursor to other debilitating illnesses including depression, cancer, stroke, heart disease and drug addiction. 

Lauded pain scientist, APA honoured member and Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of South Australia, Professor Lorimer Mosely, is leading the Pain Revolution tour. Riders will be accompanied by a support crew of specialist pain researchers and clinicians aboard the Brain Bus – an experiential science lab on wheels which will host demonstrations and community talks to help demystify the causes and effects of chronic pain, and how best to prevent and treat it.  

The tour will take in 10 locations around Tasmania, finishing in Hobart on Saturday 23 March. Bicycle Network Tasmania is also lending its support to the cause, with its members meeting tour riders on the lawns of Parliament House before commencing a social ride to promote the role of exercise in pain management.

A total of 19 pain education seminars for health professionals and community members will be delivered across the eight days of the ride. Money raised in the lead up and throughout the Pain Revolution ride will assist funding for 19 new Local Pain Educators, all from rural and metro Tasmania, who will be trained to deliver pain management expertise to their communities.   

More than 5000 Tasmanians take over the counter codeine medicines* for non-medical purposes, leading to heightened risk of serious harm from chronic use and unintentional overdose. Chronic pain is particularly concerning in regional and rural areas of Tasmania, with those living in lower socio-economic circumstances most likely to become dependent on codeine and risk serious side effects.   

The Pain Revolution’s Brain Bus experts will present research and experiments that give insights into the science of pain and alternative management options that do not rely on chronic opioid use.  

APA chair of the national pain group, Dianne Wilson, says that this pain education and understanding of personal pain triggers is vital if we are to turn around some of the alarming statistics on pain in rural communities.

“Rural Australians often don’t have ready access to the expertise of specialists when it comes to managing complex health issues, and pain management is no exception. The Pain Revolution brings this science and practice directly to rural communities, allowing these communities to seek advice for their specific concerns. The Pain Revolution will help fund the training of local health practitioners to become pain educators and support their patients living with chronic pain.”

“Our vision is that all Australians will have access to the knowledge, skills and local support to prevent and overcome persistent pain.”  

The Pain Revolution Outreach Tour takes in the following locations: Devonport (Mar 16), Burnie (Mar 17), Smithton (Mar 18), Launceston (Mar 19), Scottsdale (Mar 19), St Helens (Mar 20), Swansea (Mar 21), Hobart (Mar 22), Glenorchy (Mar 23) and Hobart to Huonville loop (Mar 23).


* The rescheduling of codeine: a Tasmanian perspective; Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmanian Government.

Professor Lorimer Moseley and Dianne Wilson are available for interview or comment.


Related tags