One in five Australians experience chronic pain that is serious enough to disable them, costing the country approximately $35 billion a year. People who experience chronic pain (pain that continues for more than three months) often struggle to find effective treatment, and can experience disability and even depression.
We are conducting research into the nature of chronic pain, looking at the role of our brain in the experience of persistent pain, and changes in the central nervous system that may also occur.
We are also investigating why some people develop excessive pain in response to injury, developing a disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Chronic pain is a significant problem worldwide affecting nearly 8 million Australians. Unfortunately, despite the availability of analgesics and other pain therapies, no treatment has been found that benefits the majority of individuals, and most of the available treatments have significant side effects or risks for serious adverse events, e.g. kidney failure.
Chronic pain, defined as pain lasting for >3 months, typically develops from injuries to deep tissues such as muscle, yet little is known about how long-lasting pain affects a person’s blood pressure or capacity to control their muscles. This project assesses the effects of tonic muscle pain on sympathetic nerve activity and stretch sensitivity of muscle spindles.
Associate Professor James McAuley, says the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration’s rescheduling of over the counter opioids is a positive step in curbing opioid addiction, but it is now more important than ever for clinicians and patients to be aware of opioid-free treatment options for chronic pain. “Drugs are a great solution to pain for the first one to two […]