Persistent pain can be defined as pain lasting for more than three (3) months. There may be many different reasons for your pain. You may have a condition in which all further definitive medical or surgical management has been ruled out. You may also not know what is causing your pain and all life threatening or serious conditions have been excluded.
Persistent pain is very different to acute pain. It becomes all consuming. Persistent pain is difficult to understand for yourself, those around you and often your doctors. It begins to affect your ability to work and physical function, your relationships with others and social life, along with your self esteem. Even doing simple day-to-day tasks can become difficult. It is very common to have coexistent symptoms of depression and anxiety. Overlying this are past experiences and interpretation of your pain.
Persistent pain is therefore a complex and personal experience, requiring individualised and multidisciplinary management by specialists and allied health staff experienced in pain management. We work with you and your GP or referring specialist to improve your understanding of your pain and quality of life.
Persistent Pain Program
The Persistent Pain Program is suitable for patients who have been suffering from pain for three (3) months or more. Our team of Doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists are experts in managing all forms of persistent pain.
- Improve physical functioning
- Return to everyday living activities
- Return to work or study if appropriate
- Optimise pain medication(s)
- Become better educated about the cause of your pain and how to manage your pain
- Become more self confident to manage pain with tailored strategies
- Improve your self esteem
The Persistent Pain Program is an intensive four (4) week program, three (3) days per week on an outpatient basis.
As a patient you will be part of a small group that will focus on self management skills such as how to pace and schedule daily activities, improve physical functioning and develop a tailored exercise program.
You will learn to set appropriate goals, learn how to relax effectively and develop mindfulness skills. You will learn and practice strategies to manage unhelpful thoughts and emotions and develop a deeper understanding of pain and your nervous system. You will also have plenty of time to practise these skills under the teams guidance, so you will be able to continue to use these techniques to manage your pain on an ongoing basis on completion of the program.
Am I Suitable for the Persistent Pain Program?
As a patient, you will first have a consultation with one of our pain specialists who will ascertain your suitability for the Persistent Pain Program. The specialist will advise you of your suitability for the program as well as any other treatment that may be necessary.
You will also be assessed by the other members of the team prior to commencing a program.
If you are unable to attend the Persistent Pain Program but would benefit from education on persistent pain then the START program is an alternative option.
The START pain education program is a two-day program that focuses on pain management strategies. It consists of education on pain physiology, the link between emotions and pain, an introduction to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and pacing, an exercise program and an introduction to mindfulness and relaxation training. This program is suitable for people who cannot attend the four-week program but would benefit from persistent pain education.
The START Pain Education Program includes:
- Education on pain physiology and the link between emotions and pain
- An introduction to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and pacing
- An exercise program
- An introduction to mindfulness and relaxation training
The START Pain Education Program, Persistent Pain Program and individualised therapy sessions are conducted by experienced therapists in our modern gymnasium and seminar rooms on Level 4 (up one level from the foyer).
St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital
457 Wickham Tce
Spring Hill Q 4001
T: 07 3834 4285
F: 07 3834 4291
To Get Started
You need a referral to access the Persistent Pain Program or START Program. Your referral can be provided by your GP or specialist. If you have been recently discharged from hospital, your treating Doctor can provide a referral. The referral can be made out to StAMPS or one of our individual pain specialists.
We have agreements with all private health funds and have tier one provider status with Department of Veterans' Affairs. You will need to confirm your rebate entitlements with your health fund before you start. The Persistent Pain Program is offered to patients who are not privately insured. Please contact StAMPS on further information about this by phoning 07 3834 4285.
The Persistent Pain Program and START program take place at StAMPS, Level 4 of St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital.
Parking is provided underneath the hospital, via North Street. The cost of parking for StAMPS patients is $10.00 per visit.
The Spring Hill Loop is a free Brisbane City Council bus service sponsored by the hospital that runs to and from the Brisbane CBD.