National Pain Week has recently been a hot topic – 24-30 July 2023.
National Pain Week aims to raise awareness about chronic pain across Australia, silently impacting many families. Pain can be isolating and lonely, so raising awareness is an important way to promote education and management of pain, and improve quality of life.
In doing so, this reduces the social stigma and barriers created by pain, as well as prevents fear associated with pain.
“The themes for this year’s National Pain Week, ‘Let them know how strong you are’ and ‘Painchanger,’ are a powerful call-to-action to break down the barriers that prevent people from discussing their chronic pain and accessing care.”
To start the conversation, we have provided some of our therapist insight into how pain can impact areas of life, types of pain, and how an occupational therapist can help.
Impacts of pain:
Pain is both an emotional and a physical experience (e.g. feeling lonely, and the physical experience of the pain). Because of this, pain can affect many aspects of life, including:
- Mental health
- Eating patterns
- Family relationships
- And many more aspects of life
Acute vs chronic pain:
Pain is our protective system, and is there to prevent us from harm. Sometimes our protective system becomes overprotective, and prevents us from engaging in everyday activities.
Acute pain: lasts less than 3-6 months (e.g. broken bone, constipation)
Chronic pain: lasts longer than 3-6 months and may come or go (e.g. initial injury has healed, however pain still remains)
Role of Occupational Therapy in Pain Management:
When pain stops us from engaging in daily activities, this is when we may need support to get back on track. An occupational therapist can discuss with you different ways or approaches to help support and manage chronic pain, turning down the volume of pain, and increasing engagement in valued activities. This means you are in control of your pain, rather than pain having a say in what you are going to participate in.
It can be encouraging to know that there are many strategies or things one could be doing to better manage pain. Please see the resources and references below for more information. Consider talking to your doctor about an interdisciplinary persistent pain team, who can support you or your child on this journey.
- Understanding pain in less than 5min
- GrrOUCH! Pain is like a Grouchy Bear (Author:
For some children and families, pain is having a significant impact on their level of engagement. Whether that’s because of recent surgery, or chronic constipation, your occupational therapist at Kids That Go will be able to provide you with strategies and support to assist both your family and your child. Feel free to contact us on 07 3087 1904.