This April, the Pain Revolution travelled from Sydney to Albury-Wodonga, via Wollongong, Nowra, Canberra, Cooma and Corryong spreading scientific discoveries from the pain world and raising funds for the Local Pain Educator Programme. The group of Cyclists rode the 7-day tour, each of them with a story to tell as pain scientists, physiotherapists, psychologists, exercise physiologists, doctors, anaesthetists – plus a stellar crew of logistics, clinical and scientific experts. NHMRC-funded researchers Tasha Stanton and Dan Harvie drove the Brain Bus into shopping malls and onto village squares, using groovy illusions and fun experiments to open minds about how pain is produced by the brain and what sort of things might change it.
Our outstanding sponsors – platinum sponsor AIA, gold sponsor UniSA and silver sponsor Gallagher Bassett made this massive challenge possible. Internationally renowned pain educator David Butler organised an outstanding series of free public seminars and professional workshops, integrating the diverse expertise among the Revolutionaries into a programme of outreach that simply hasn’t been attempted before. Pain scientists and clinicians brought amazing pain facts to life, in engaging and real-world ways. The key themes were rethinking persistent pain, re-engaging with active, evidence-based and scientific strategies, and taking a journey towards recovery. The Canberra Panel discussion featured a star-studded line up of experts and was attended by over 150 health professionals. The seminars elsewhere were packed out – the surf club at Wollongong, the bowling club at Nowra, the Ex-services Club at Cooma, the Commercial Club at Albury.
The Pain Revolution aims to raise awareness of the problem of persisting pain and the need for a Pain Revolution – a whole-of-community change in how we think about, prevent and treat this problem. The cyclists rode 750km and up Mt Everest 1.5 times, there were 10 outreach events in 6 locations, dozens of media gigs, and hundreds of Brain Bus demonstrations.
Every donation to the Pain Revolution goes straight into scholarships to train, mentor and support rurally based health professionals to serve their community. They train in pain science and education and develop their own community education strategies with guidance from a pain expert. In this way, we're working to grow the seeds of change that are spread by the ride and the outreach events into sustainable changes in the way that persisting pain is treated in rural Australia.