Media Release: 3 May 2021
- New research reveals Australians are letting pain impact their daily life before seeking support from an allied health professional
- Despite referrals to pain experts occurring in less than 15% of GP consultations, two in three over 45s and one in two under 45s are reaching for medication to manage pain
- This Osteopathic Healthcare Week (2nd – 8th May), Osteopathy Australia is encouraging Australians to ‘Move Better with Osteopathy’
New research reveals Australians are letting pain impact their daily life before seeking support from an allied health professional. In fact, the prevalence of chronic pain is estimated to increase from 3.37 million Australians in 2020 to 5.23 million people by 2050.
With referrals to pain experts occurring in less than 15% of GP consultations1, the research carried out by Osteopathy Australia suggests that Aussies are becoming too reliant on pain killers to manage chronic pain. A staggering two in three (65%) Australians aged over 45 rely on medication to manage their pain, with the issue also prevalent in Australians aged under 45 (53%).
President of Osteopathy Australia, Dr Michelle Funder says, “Our research reveals that people are letting pain impact their daily life before seeking professional help. And, often, taking supermarket painkillers may not be the answer.
“Chronic pain can affect a person’s ability to participate in work, daily activities and exercise. Many cases are due to work, lifestyle, and environmental factors rather than a specific injury, which means they can be easily and safely managed with appropriate healthcare to improve general health and wellbeing,” says Dr Funder.
With 70% of Australian adults being either sedentary or having low levels of physical activity, allied health professionals have a growing concern for the number of Australians relying on medication to get through the day, instead of moving their body to improve their pain.
Osteopathy is one of 15 regulated healthcare professions in Australia and provides a holistic approach to a patient’s musculoskeletal system. By understanding how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and circulation functions as a unified body, osteopaths develop treatment plans based on the source of the pain.
“Healthcare professionals, such as osteopaths, can help people to make informed decisions about their health and support them to live active healthy lives. Our approach is to use evidence-based science to find the root cause of a person’s pain and educate and advise them on how to manage their lives to work, rest and play better.
“Irrespective of age, one of the best things we can all do to have a long and active pain-free life is to move more,” Dr Funder says.
This Osteopathic Healthcare Week (2nd – 8th May), Osteopathy Australia is encouraging Australians to ‘Move Better with Osteopathy’ and ask their doctors for long-term best practice solutions for chronic pain, instead of the quick fix of pain medication.