A group of world-leading pain researchers will cycle more than 870 km between Melbourne and Adelaide next month to bring their findings to regional and rural communities.
Led by UniSA Professor of Clinical Neuroscience, Lorimer Moseley, who has been at the forefront of research on pain and the brain for two decades, the ride will help to focus on what Prof Moseley believes is a much needed revolution in how society talks about and treats pain.
Treatment for persisting pain is Australia’s biggest healthcare cost, yet the best evidence-based treatments reach only a fraction of the one in four Australians affected by the condition.
Kicking off early in April the cycling researchers will be stopping at key rural centres along the way to conduct community outreach events and talk with the local health professionals.
“It is time to put all the amazing pain discoveries of the last 20 years into practice,” Prof Moseley says.
“The best way to do this is to get everyone speaking the same language about pain.
“Persisting pain is an epidemic in developed countries and we know that treating persisting pain with medication alone is an incomplete solution, which has led to further problems of addiction.
“Pain involves a person’s whole life, and their understanding of pain is a critical first step to recovery.”
Prof Moseley believes that traditionally strong communities in the country and regions can play an important role helping people recover from pain conditions.
“We can make a huge impact in rural communities because they are exactly that – communities,” he says.
“The communities in the bush are used to pulling together to help themselves; and if we can get them all on the same page about pain, and how to help each other, our bold aims can be achieved.”
The “Pain Revolution” cyclists will be accompanied by the “Brain Bus”, an interactive health learning centre on wheels.
People can experience the science of the brain through illusions, experiments and virtual reality applications.
“Science shouldn’t only live in the lab,” Prof Moseley says.
“We want everyone to understand the amazing science of pain because we know that when they do, their sense of possible shifts – hope returns and, critically, a pathway to recovery emerges.”
Money raised and connections made during the Pain Revolution ride will be used to create a network of local pain educators in rural Australia.
Donations will be used to educate health professionals and community members on an ongoing basis, fund further research to support the program and ensure it is evidence-based and effective, and create a model for community-based pain interventions that can be used by people worldwide.
For more information or to make a donation, visit the Pain Revolution website