hi gc is it the persistent pain program at varsity lakes or the persistant pain team at robina? the latter is a 2 year wait where as the program at varsity is rather quick. i have just started the program and itbseems to be going okay im on the right track hopefully or more i have a plan. Its run by a woman who studied in norway and has a physio and pharmacist and can send you off to allied health services. You need a referral from your doctor
Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by lej. Reason: adding more
Thought this thread needed an update. These clinics seem to have changed their focus (at least in SE Qld).
First, some definitions.
Chronic pain? It doesn't go away. Drugs (or many combinations of drugs) may help, but stop the drugs and the pain's still there. There's something going on in your body causing it, (proving the pain is there for a reason, though of course it could also be a brain injury, still it's pain) and it can be severe but not everyone's is. Sometimes it's something that you're just waiting on surgery to fix, sometimes it's something that nothing can be done about (or it's not severe enough to warrant surgery - yet).
Persistent Pain? It is pain that persists despite you having the op, and nothing now showing in xrays or imaging. It is often seen when people are addicted to their drug they took for former Chronic Pain and is very real to them, despite not being 'real' or provable. (Of course, there's another kind of pain - the kind that persists, the doctors saying you're just a drug addict, and then they discover the physical problem)
The Pain Clinics used to be wonderful -but the current regime offers a one year course where you're supposed to start by going there twice a week for 5+ hours a day (because of course, people in constant agony are completely able to do that!). They no longer refer anyone for anything outside because they think they can treat everyone in-house because they think all your pain is in your head. We mentioned Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation (our doctor had sent Mr to the clinic specifically to get RFNA, which he's had before, referred by the previous Pain Clinic there) and the staff claimed (wrongly and completely without any factual basis) it was dangerous. It would also be something their clinic makes no money out of.
Mr has discovered new useful drugs, new techniques, new day-patient treatments (many of which Pain Clinic Pain Specialists referred him for) and other methods in pain clinics over the last 30+ years, but he won't be going back to the current ones. The people doing the seminar kept using anecdotal stories as 'evidence' and waffled continuously, the man (no idea what his qualification was) kept interrupting the woman psychologist to the point where i wanted to tell her to grow a spine. (Neuro joke there) They kept saying 'no judgement here' then would proceed to judge the people who hadn't made it to the intro session, assuming they were lazy people who were lying at home in bed out of sheer sloth.
The clue is in the name - they are now PERSISTENT PAIN clinics - and are for people who despite having had treatment can't come off their opioids and still claim to have pain despite there being no actual physical basis. When we said "but Mr has actual pain because of actual visible changes in his spine AND he's not on any opioids" they still tried to make him stay. We weren't the only ones, there was a stroke victim, injured people waiting for ortho or neuro-surgeries, and all of them were being told "it's just in your head, but it's ok, we know it's real for you." We left despite strong opposition.
Our GP was surprised by this, he (like the other GP's at his practice) had been referring people there thinking it was a CHRONIC PAIN clinic. Perhaps you could still get some good out of it - the pain management techniques would be useful, but their avowed purpose is to stop people taking opioids, ignoring those of us who aren't in an escalating spiral of taking them. (This can signal addiction, or could just be your pain's getting worse and/or the drugs no longer work.) They completely ignored the facts of opioids - that for some people, they are the only drugs that work on wiping out at least some of the pain. However, when useful therapies like hydrotherapy are given literally 4 hours in an entire year of forced attendance, i'm not sure it's worth attendance.
They even say in the small print, that attending this clinic (for a full 12 months) does not guarantee you will actually see a pain specialist - and that's exactly who you want to see. Better to find an actual pain specialist and get a referral.