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Pain Management - How Can Podiatrists Help

Pain management is required when helping people with longstanding pain and discomfort. Pain is an unlikeable experience in the body and a feeling we have all experienced. Consequently, most people don’t know that 1 in 5 Australian’s actually live with Chronic pain – including adolescents and children.

Acute Pain:

Acute pain is a response to injury, with familiar classical presentations.  We can often hurt ourselves i.e. cuts/scratches, strain and sprains and experience pain. With healing and treatment of the underlying conditions, this kind of pain goes away and this is normal.

Chronic Pain:

Chronic pain doesn’t fit in this category. Acute pain is your body’s message/warning system about danger. In contrast, chronic pain is often much more complex. Many people think chronic pain refers to severe pain. Chronic pain can be severe and intense. Despite this, it actually refers to how long the pain has been present rather than severity.

Chronic pain is complex and persistent. It can have a major impact on a person’s life. Physical consequences of chronic pain can include muscle deconditioning and postural changes, changes to the psyche, sleep patterns, appetite and finally behaviours.

Chronic pain be somewhat mystifying. It can be caused by a variety of diseases like arthritis in all forms, or a consequence of trauma.

Pain Management:

Pain management requires a multidisciplinary approach. By working with your GPs and other allied health practitioners we can help produce the best results for patients living with chronic pain. Your GP can help you assemble a team of health care professionals to aid your treatment. Here are some points you need to remember when selecting your team. Pck people who:

  • Know about chronic pain and how to treat it (or is prepared to learn)
  • Believe you are in pain
  • Listen attentively and understand your goals
  • Encourage you to ask questions
  • Are willing to work with your family or friends
  • Will work with you to develop a pain management plan

When managing chronic pain, you need to change the paradigm from “pain cure” to “pain management”. Consequently, allied health professionals want to work through the available treatment options. So you can return to normal daily activities as soon as possible. If all activity is avoided, and we “wait” for complete pain relief, this can lead to further disability and above all can be quite disheartening.

How Can a Podiatrist Help with Pain Management?

A podiatrist can be part of the health care team, and work to develop individualised management plans. The plan will help try and manage your chronic pain and set goals to get you back to the activities you enjoy. Although some of questions we ask may seem a little personal, we want to know your expectations and goals of treatment to help determine the most effective strategy.


For more information on Chronic Pain Management you can download some fact sheets from Chronic Pain Australia.


Andrew Slessar – Podiatrist at Walk On Podiatry Hastings