Thursday, April 17, 2008

Promoting awareness.

This is my post for HTCwP's April Blog Carnival.
The April Pain-Blog carnival will be up soon.
http://www.howtocopewithpain.org/blog/231/pain-blog-carnival-april/
How to Cope with Pain is now offering a monthly Pain-Blog Carnival during the last week of every month, to include each month's best posts. New bloggers are always welcome to contribute.
As some are aware I am devoting this year to promoting awareness and gaining interest in educating and funding for research. In Australia we have been given a unique opportunity to have our say about future directions for our country. This weekend there will be a 2020 Summit http://www.australia2020.gov.au/about/index.cfm
I took the opportunity to join a local 2020 Summit at which I gave a submission. This will be taken and considered with other submissions at the summit this weekend in Canberra.
Due to my recent accident I was not able to forward my submission in time to be placed on the government website. For that reason I've decided to post it here. People often ask me how to spread awareness. Sometimes I think you need to grasp the opportunities as they present themselves.

Submission for 2020 Summit


Re Topic 5 – Long term health strategy

It costs nothing to think smart.

There are numerous low cost treatments that are well documented but infrequently used. Two of these with which I am familiar are a simple exercise to fix some cases of Benign Positional Vertigo (BVP) and new brain science treatments for pain. Importantly also, I am aware of protocols which, if used, can prevent a chronic pain syndrome after surgery.

I met an elderly woman who had been given the drug Stemital for benign positional vertigo for over two years. She had signs of Parkinsonism as a side affect of Stemital and was never given the option of an exercise to correct the cause. If her doctors or therapists were educated about this simple non-drug, effective treatment and had used it, then she could have been saved years of nausea, dissatisfaction with the health system and the government would have saved over $1000 in treatment costs. BPV is more common as people age.

I have a chronic pain syndrome which I am successfully treating at home with a mirror. The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, and their emotions and pain. The brain decides if we experience pain. Retraining the brain with the “it’s ok” message using a simple mirror stops pain at its source.

Mirror Therapy is very successful and is not just mind over matter but a measurable change in neural activity. Australia’s high cost of pain alone reveals a $34 billion price tag. With an aging population this is set to increase. Mirror visual imagery, once taught can be done at home for the cost of a mirror. There are other low cost, non-drug, non-invasive treatments which retrain the brain.

The potential savings in pain costs alone is millions.

I developed a chronic pain syndrome after a wrist fracture (37% of people with a wrist fracture develop this). Scientific studies have proven that this syndrome can be prevented by taking 1 gram of vitamin C for 50 days after the break. A high percentage of people with orthopaedic surgery develop this syndrome. Protocols including pre-emptive analgesia and vitamin C have been developed to prevent this syndrome which causes intractable pain and a huge drain on the health system. The economic impact of my case alone is estimated to be close to a million dollars.


My recommendation is to think smart by utilizing what is already known in the first instance and researching and teaching what is known but not well documented.

I suggest this is done by:

  • Compiling a document of non invasive, non-drug treatments proven to work.

  • Distributing a hard copy of this document to doctors and providers for easy reference.

  • Providing training to support the document and also training about legitimate alternative options.

  • Identifying treatments known to work but needing further research.

  • Educating stake holders to the advantages of funding research into what is known to work but not rigorously researched. Share the burden.

  • Being pro-active in creating culture change towards living physically and mentally healthy.

  • Developing performance review guidelines for providers including their provision of lowest cost, lowest impact options.

  • Addressing Indigenous health issues with empowerment and respect.

Let’s review health in terms of obtaining the best outcomes, wisely, compassionately and cost effectively. Above all let’s educate our providers with what is known and fund further research into what is known but not published or adopted. Let’s bring our health system to the cutting edge towards 2020.

2 comments:

Barbara K. said...

I continue to learn from and be energized by your pro-activity and self-reliance.

jeisea said...

Thanks Barbara
I think persistence and staying focused is the key to being heard. I intend to continue from here. I think we fight for things in which we fervently believe.

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