What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain affects between 20%-30% of Australians, but it is estimated that less than 10% of people have access to effective care. Research suggests that about 70% of chronic pain is the result of injury, arthritis and musculo-skeletal problems, about 30% has no obvious visible cause. However, advances in scientific research over the past decade have led experts to understand that in many cases chronic pain is caused by unhelpful changes in the brain, known as “maladaptive plasticity”. In other words, the pain is coming from the brain.
Many people with chronic pain will report problems such as: Burning pain; Crushing Pain; Feelings of disembodiment or detachment of the affected body part; Gentle light touch is painful; Strange feelings that the affected body part is changing shape, swollen or out of position; Pain that is affected by stress and other thoughts (such as even thinking about moving); and that “Nobody can find anything wrong” or “I’ve been told it’s all in my head.”
How do we help Chronic Pain?
This new understanding that chronic pain can actually come from the brain has resulted in innovative brain-based treatments that in many cases can dramatically reduce long-standing pain within a short period of time. Everybody’s brain is different, and so there is no “one size fits all” approach to successful treatment. At The Perth Brain Centre we use special brain scans, called QEEG, to help pin-point the areas in the brain that are not functioning normally. This information guides effective and personalised treatment which is directed towards reversing maladaptive plasticity and “re-wiring” the brain to reduce long-standing pain. Treatment, which is drug-free, may typically include, but is not limited to: