Chronic Disease

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8 Benefits of Exercise

By | Body Systems, Chronic Disease, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Men's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health | No Comments

Living a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial to your health, prevent some illnesses and diseases and can help to improve your mental health! Here we look into 8 benefits of exercise. 

1. Exercise boosts and benefits your mood

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Exercise helps to block negative thoughts and distracts from daily worries and stresses. It  only releases the levels of, but also increases the levels of chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that can moderate responses to stress. It’s a win win!

benefits of exercise improve mood healthmint 2. Exercise assists in weight loss and helps prevent unhealthy weight gain

Exercise is extremely helpful in the journey of weight loss and weight management. Exercise speeds up metabolism, and increased activity levels increases the body’s fuel consumption (calories).

Regular physical activity combined with a healthy diet will increase the chances of weight loss.

8 benefits of exercise control weight loss healthmint3. Exercise reduces the risk of and helps to manage cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of heart attack, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure

Regular physical activity can greatly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and can actually also help to lower blood pressure! Lowering the levels of cholesterol and keeping your arteries clear of fatty deposits by undertaking regular exercise can reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

8 benefits of exercise cardiovascular health heart healthmint4. Social interaction and exercise go hand-in-hand

Find an exercise buddy – grab a friend or family member and hit the pavement. Let’s face it, exercise is more fun with someone and it works both ways to motivate each other and keeps each other’s exercise goals in check.

8 benefits of exercise socialising healthmint5. Build strong muscles and bones

Exercise that involves weight bearing like walking, stair climbing, weightlifting helps to preserve bone mass which can help protect against osteoporosis. Exercise also builds and strengthens muscles which in turn protects the bones from injury and support and protect the jones that might be susceptible to or affected by arthritis. It also improves the blood supply to muscles and can help prevent age related loss of muscle mass.

8 benefits of exercise strong kids dad family healthmint

6. Reduce the risk and help manage Type 2 Diabetes

For those with Type 2 Diabetes, physical exercise is a critical party of the treatment plan. Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood! It helps with keeping blood glucose levels in check and in the correct range. Controlling blood glucose levels is essential in combating long term complications such as heart problems.

7. Exercise helps with sleep quality and benefits energy levels

When you exercise, your body naturally depletes its energy stores which helps when trying to fall asleep. When exercising, you may have longer, deeper and greater quality sleeps which helps make you feel more energised throughout the day. Around 30 minutes of exercise is all it can take for a better nights sleep and more energised days!

8 benefits of exercise boost mood aid sleep healthmint8. Lower the risk of falls with exercise

Exercise is a proven way to prevent falls by improving balance and strengthening the muscles that keep us upright.  As we get older, a fear of falling may limit the decision to want to undertake exercise – but this can have a damaging affect and actually increase the risks of developing chronic diseases and the probability of falls.

Of course, there are many more reasons other than these 8 benefits of exercise to consider. Being regularly physically active will always have positive effects on your mind, body and soul, it’s just about finding the types of exercise that suits you and your lifestyle, setting small, achievable goals to start off with, and building up the process of becoming a healthier, happier YOU!

Before undergoing any new types of exercise make sure you have a medical check from your HealthMint GP. You can even get a FREE* Health Check Up (valued at $159) to get you started on your journey to great health and on your way to your fitness and exercise goals.

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Food and Diet For Symptoms of Depression

By | Chronic Disease, Diabetes, Nutrition | No Comments

Food and diet changes that help with symptoms of depression

As well as aiding in weight loss, food and diet changes can also have a positive impact on the symptoms of depression.

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health illnesses throughout the world.

A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that those who change their diet may see a greater improvement in the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Foods that put you in a good mood!

Various vitamins, fatty acids, minerals and fibre consumed as part of a healthy diet could also impact the brain and help to improve mood.

The following foods and nutrients may play a role in reducing the symptoms of depression:

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seafoods
  • Oily fish
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
display of healthy foods diet healthmint

Ditch the junk food!

While we have established that a healthy diet can help to improve mood, an unhealthy diet can have the opposite affect.

While it’s okay to have the occasional treat or overindulge sometimes, it’s the long term unhealthy diets that contain lots of foods that are very high in energy (calories) and low on nutrition. Here’s a list of foods to limit:

  • Fried foods
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Sugary snacks and drinks
  • Take away foods
  • Processed foods and meats
  • White breads, cakes and pastries
donut unhealthy food diets

Don’t forget to exercise too!

It’s well documented that the inclusion of regular exercise into your routine can have a dramatic impact on your mental health. So while you’re eating better, move better too!

Taking small steps on your journey to good health doesn’t have to be daunting – begin with a walk around the block, and gradually increase as your fitness levels do. Exercise releases endorphins, which help keep you happy!

Small dietary changes can make a big difference in how you feel over time.

Not only can they help improve your mood, but they also keep you healthy for many other reasons!

eat more of what makes you happy

Book an appointment with Saabira here

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Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

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Coeliac Disease

By | Chronic Disease, General Wellbeing, Nutrition | No Comments

Coeliac Disease – What You Need to Know

There is an increasing amount of awareness around coeliac disease. However, many people still misunderstand the condition. Here are 6 things that you need to know about coeliac disease.

Coeliac Disease is an Abnormal Response to Gluten

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. When a person with coeliac disease ingests this protein, their immune system over-reacts, damaging the small bowel. The bowel is lined with tiny, finger-like villi that help absorb nutrients from food. When a coeliac eats gluten, the villi become inflamed and flattened, which reduces the surface area of the bowel and therefore reduces the surface area available for nutrient absorption. Symptoms relating to inflammation can also occur in other parts of the body.

All Types of People Can Have Coeliac

Coeliac disease affects people of all ages, both male and female. You must be born with certain genes to develop coeliac disease, although it is often triggered by environmental factors. If you have a close relative with coeliac disease, you have a 10% chance of having it yourself. Coeliac disease affects around 1 in 70 Australians.

You Could Have Coeliac Disease and Not Know It

While approximately 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease, around 80% of them remain undiagnosed. That means the majority of people who have it haven’t ever been diagnosed. There are more cases diagnosed in recent years – partially because our awareness and rates of detection are increasing, but also because there is an actual rise in the number of people who have the disease.

Tests Can Confirm Your Diagnosis

Many people with coeliac disease are aware that something is not right with their bodies, but they may not know what the problem is. Some people feel very unwell, while others don’t have symptoms. Some common signs of coeliac disease are:

  • Feeling unwell after eating gluten
  • Vomiting
  • Problems with growth
  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Mouth issues
  • Problems with fertility
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Other general symptoms, such as joint pain, headaches and irritability

If you suspect you might have coeliac disease, the first step is to go to your doctor. They will arrange for you to have tests. Do not stop eating food with gluten – if you do, it could produce a false-negative result. Firstly you will receive a blood test. The next step to confirm the diagnosis is an endoscopy.

There’s No Cure, But It Can Be Managed

As far as we know, someone who is diagnosed with coeliac disease will need to avoid gluten for the rest of their lives. However, managing coeliac disease is as simple (and complicated) as avoiding gluten. Strict avoidance of products containing gluten lets the small bowel lining heal. Gluten can be found in a daunting number of products in some form – obvious choices like bread and pasta made with wheat are out, and some tricky ingredients like some types of soy sauce and other flavourings make other products unsafe.

Products in Australia are required to disclose any gluten-containing ingredients. If you have been newly diagnosed with coeliac disease it can be daunting when you realise how many modern products include gluten. The easiest way to approach your new diet is to start simply and get more complicated as you find substitutes for your regular ingredients. Meals that contain basic ingredients like meat and vegetables will be gluten free (but pay close attention to any sauce or flavouring). From that point, you can begin to make your meals more complicated – just be sure to read the labels on everything so you can be sure they are free from gluten.

There Are Consequences For Undiagnosed Coeliacs

If someone has coeliac disease that goes untreated, they are subjecting their system to years of chronic inflammation, poor nutrition and malabsorption of nutrients. There are a wide range of very serious complications that can occur as a result of undiagnosed, unmanaged coeliac disease.

Seeing a doctor is the first step in getting a diagnosis. Without good management, coeliac disease can have serious long and short term consequences. By working with your doctor, you can help reduce your risks of further complications and enjoy the benefits of healthier living.

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here

4 Reasons Everybody Should Think About Their Lungs

By | Body Systems, Cancer, Chronic Disease, General Wellbeing

4 Reasons Everybody Should Think About Their Lungs



We take around 22,000 breaths every day, but more than half of all Australians do not think about their lung health.  November is Lung Health Awareness month, which is a good time for everybody to pause and think about their own lung health, as well as having a supportive attitude towards other people who have been diagnosed with lung disease.

Lung disease symptoms often increase slowly, which causes people to adjust their daily life or treat their symptoms instead of getting help.  Lung disease does not discriminate, and can affect people of any age, any gender, smokers and non-smokers. Yet people with lung disease often feel judged and misunderstood. Here are 4 reasons why we should all take time to think about our lungs.

  1. Most people don’t take lung health seriously

Three out of five Australians who participated in a Lung Health Foundation study were found to have symptoms or risk factors that increased the possibility that they might develop lung disease, while more than one in ten have been diagnosed. Lung health is something that every person should consider. According to Lung Foundation Australia, 1 in 7 Australians die because of lung disease every year, yet many people continue to ignore or misunderstand the signs and symptoms of lung disease.

  1. Lung disease is a very serious diagnosis

Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer – only 15% of those diagnosed are alive five years after their diagnosis. One Australian dies every hour from lung cancer, which makes it the leading cause of cancer death in Australia – more than prostate, breast and ovarian cancer combined. Early detection gives the best chance of a positive outcome, making it even more important that we are conscious of changes to our lungs.

  1. Lung cancer sufferers face discrimination

While there are many factors linked to lung cancer, almost 90% of Australians think that smoking is the only lung cancer risk. This misinformation has led to a third of Australians believing that people with lung cancer have only themselves to blame.

While factors such as smoking and poor lifestyle decisions do increase the risk of lung disease, many people who are living with a diagnosis have never smoked in their life. Regardless of their status as a smoker, people with lung disease still deserve the compassion and understanding that we would give to anyone suffering from a life-altering illness.

  1. There are symptoms we can all look out for

Most symptoms should be compared to your usual lung functions, so it’s important to be aware of your lung functions even if you don’t think there is a problem. Some of the symptoms that might indicate a problem are:

  • Breathlessness, especially compared to others of your age
  • Chest tightness or wheezing
  • A persistent, new or changed cough
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood, mucus or phlegm.
  • Unexplained weight loss or fatigue
  • Frequent chest infections

Also, you should pay extra attention to your lungs if you have a family history of lung disease, are a past or present smoker, or have worked in a job that exposed you to dust, gas or fumes. If you have any concerns, talk to your GP as soon as possible so they can help you on the road to healthy lungs.

Click here to book an appointment with a GP to discuss your lungs –>


Headaches and Migraines – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

By | Chronic Disease, General Wellbeing

Headaches and Migraines – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Headaches are a very common condition, experienced by nearly everybody. However, the severity and frequency of headache and migraines vary widely. Not everybody has a correct diagnosis for what they are experiencing – in fact, up to 50% of migraine sufferers may be undiagnosed. Knowing more about the kind of headaches you suffer from can help you to manage them.

What are headaches?

Headaches are pains in the head that normally come with sensations of pressure and/or aching. They normally occur on both sides of the head simultaneously, and the pain is most often felt in the forehead, temple or the back of the neck. Tension headaches are the most common type, but there are many other varieties of headache. They can last from a few minutes to a week, from mild to extremely severe. Headaches can be a symptom of a larger problem but are most often just painful rather than dangerous.

What are migraines?

Migraines are severe headaches that have other symptoms associated.  Some common symptoms that migraine sufferers have in addition to pain are nausea, vomiting, light (or sound) sensitivity, pain behind one eye or one side of the temples, seeing an “aura” which is usually flashing lights or spots, and a wide range of less common symptoms. Pulsing and throbbing sensations are usually associated with migraine. Migraines can be diagnosed from childhood, but are most commonly diagnosed between age 20 – 40.

What causes headaches and migraines?

Headaches symptoms tend to run in families, particularly migraines. When both parents suffer from migraines, there is a 70% chance their children will too. One parent with migraines makes the risk drop to around 50%.  There are many possible triggers, which are different for everyone and aren’t always even the same for one person. It can also take a combination of factors to trigger a headache or migraine, which makes it even more difficult to identify.  Some common triggers for headaches include sickness, stress, and environmental factors such as chemicals, weather changes and lighting. Migraine triggers can be stress, foods and additives, caffeine, changes in hormones or sleep patterns, or skipping meals.

What are my treatment options?

Most migraines respond to treatments available over the counter from the pharmacy, but others need regular preventative medication. Most headaches respond well to aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol. There are also alternative therapies that are said to help, such as relaxation, acupuncture and heat therapies. Most types of headaches will occur less frequently with reduced stress, and eliminating common dietary triggers like caffeine and alcohol.

As there are so many types of headache and as headaches affect each person differently, it is important that you consult your doctor, especially when starting a treatment plan. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing frequent or severe headaches and work out a management plan that is right for you.


Click here to book an appointment with a GP to discuss headaches or migraines –>

Staying Ahead of Hayfever

By | Body Systems, Chronic Disease, General Wellbeing

Staying Ahead of Hayfever



Spring is a beautiful time of year, but hay fever makes some people more nervous than excited.  While many people self-manage hay fever using over-the-counter medications, working out a strategy with your GP is the most effective way to control symptoms. Learning about your options can help you reduce the negative effects of hay fever and get back to enjoying the weather.

What is hay fever?

The proper term is “allergic rhinitis” and while the condition is stereotypically set off by springtime pollen, there are many triggers that cause different people to react. Hay fever affects around 500 million people worldwide. When the body encounters an allergen in the air, the over-sensitive immune system releases histamines and other chemicals that produce unpleasant symptoms – for example, a runny nose, facial itchiness, headaches, sneezing, puffy eyes, fatigue, and wheezing.

Allergic Rhinitis can be seasonal or occur all year round (perennial). Hay fever can’t be cured but it can be controlled, and if you haven’t seen a doctor recently you might be unaware of new options for treatment.

Hay fever triggers.

Hay fever symptoms are triggered when your body detects a harmless substance that it wrongly perceives as a threat. Allergens are different for everybody. Reactions to airborne allergens can also be made worse by other factors (such as your diet), which is why an individualised plan is important.

Some common seasonal allergens are pollen, fungal spores and other plant matter.  Perennial allergens include mould and fungal spores, dust mites, skin flakes from pets, smoke and air pollution.

Medical intervention.

There are many hay fever medications available without a prescription, but consulting with a doctor will help you get the right medication for your symptoms. Most medications have minimum and maximum dosages for the most effective use, and some nasal sprays can actually make symptoms worse if you use them for longer than three days.

The doctor might advise or prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids or decongestants in a range of strengths and delivery methods. People with severe hay fever symptoms might require immunotherapy treatments.

Combat your symptoms.

When you have identified the allergens that are most likely to trigger your symptoms, you can create a specialised plan to help you combat your hay fever. Some strategies for common allergens include:

  • Keep pets outside, especially their bedding
  • Keep windows shut, especially at night
  • Monitor your local pollen count
  • Wear a face mask on high pollen-count days (or small nose masks that fit inside your nostrils)
  • Limit alcohol because it contains histamines – alcohol can double the risk of symptoms
  • Buy new pillows every spring
  • Don’t dry clothes and bedding outside on high pollen days
  • Find and kill all household mould

Make an appointment with your GP, follow their suggestions, and then report back on your progress. It might help you to bring a list of symptoms and their frequency and severity to your first appointment. Sometimes hay fever can mask other serious conditions such as asthma, which is another reason to get symptoms checked. You might not be able to cure your hay fever, but with the help of your GP you can get your symptoms under control.

Click here to book a GP to discuss managing your hay fever –>

Living Well With Epilepsy – Are You SUDEP Aware?

By | Chronic Disease

Living Well With Epilepsy – Are You SUDEP Aware?



Epilepsy is a complex condition that is not well understood. What we do know is that if epilepsy is not properly managed, the seizures it causes can have tragic consequences. World SUDEP day was created to raise awareness of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, where a previously healthy person with epilepsy dies without known cause.

Approximately 3 – 3.5% of Australians will have epilepsy at some point, which includes 25,000 new diagnoses every year. It pays to understand something about the condition and to learn how to manage the risks to help people with epilepsy to stay healthy and safe.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system, causing seizures. Someone who has had two or more unexplained seizures is usually diagnosed with epilepsy. Epileptic seizures happen when the brain’s electrical activity is disturbed – this could be hereditary or due to brain injury, but more often has no known cause.  Anti-epileptic medication is fully effective in around 70% of people, and another 3% find help through surgery. For the rest, a combination of medication and control of lifestyle factors is used to manage the condition.

Reducing Seizure Risk

Because seizures can cause accidents, injuries and even SUDEP, anyone with active seizures should work closely with their team to reduce their frequency. The most common seizure triggers are stress, anxiety or lack of sleep; alcohol and/or recreational drugs; and rapid changes in medication or forgetting to take your medication.

The factors that put you at the highest risk for SUDEP are:

  • Seizures at night
  • Not taking medication
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Depression/psychiatric illness
  • Pregnancy
  • Infrequent epilepsy reviews
  • Have had epilepsy for more than 15 years
  • Male gender
  • Being young

Personalised Care

Anyone having seizures, no matter if it is every day or once a year, is said to have “active seizures”. Seizures can cause injury, falls or accidents, and also cause SUDEP. Different types of seizures have different risks, which is why it’s important to be seizure aware and work with a team to manage your seizures.

Becoming aware of triggers, taking your prescribed medication and working with clinicians such as your GP, specialist nurses are the best ways to manage and prevent seizures from occurring. The Epilepsy Foundation suggests that you base your approach on preparation, prevention and teamwork to help avoid seizure episodes.

 Combating SUDEP

Because SUDEP is linked to seizures, the best way to reduce the risk is to have as few seizures as possible. Work with your team to manage your epilepsy symptoms. Report any changes in your seizures, take your medication, have frequent reviews, and report any major life changes to your doctor such as starting a family or changing careers.

You can take your own steps to staying healthy – avoid alcohol and drugs, keep a seizure diary to help identify triggers and use an alarm if you have seizures at night. Besides avoiding SUDEP, you are reducing your risk of accidents and injury. Your GP can work with you to create a personalised plan to reduce your risks and help you live a healthy life with epilepsy.


Click here to book a GP to discuss epilepsy and managing seizures –>


Beating Breast Cancer – How to Be Breast Aware

By | Cancer, Chronic Disease, Clinic News, Women's Health



Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among Australian women (and men can also get breast cancer). Early detection ensures the best rate of survival, so it’s important to be aware and check your breasts regularly. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a great reminder to be proactive about your breasts.

Here are four important ways you can stay aware of your breast health.

1. Know your risk factors

Your risk factors determine how likely or unlikely it is that you will get breast cancer, but even people assessed as very low risk can be diagnosed with this cancer. Some factors can’t be changed. Being a woman, getting older, and having relatives with this cancer makes it more likely that you could get breast cancer.

If you have these risk factors, focus on increased awareness and reducing the risks you can control. There are simple steps that even people with a low risk of breast cancer should take. These include limiting alcohol, eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy body weight through exercise. If it an option for you, breastfeeding for more than 12 months in total has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. No matter how low your risk, it still pays to check yourself regularly.

2. Have mammograms (where appropriate)

While many people think of mammograms as the best way to detect breast cancer, that isn’t true for everyone. Mammograms are not very effective in women younger than 40, and women who are older than 70 need to discuss their options with their doctor.

Breasts gradually become less dense as women get older, which makes the early signs of breast cancer easier to see. The ideal age group for mammograms is from 50 – 70. In Australia, women aged 40 and older are offered a free mammogram every 2 years. Your doctor can help you decide if mammograms are right for you.

3. Check yourself

The most important thing you can do to catch breast cancer early is to become familiar with the shape and feel of your breasts. There are many techniques available, but as long as you visually and physically inspect your breasts you should be able to notice changes.

Some things you might look out for are lumps or lumpiness (especially only on one side), a change to the nipple including discharge, crusting, redness or if your nipple inverts, skin changes (for example, becoming red or dimpling), a pain that doesn’t go away, or a change to your breasts’ size or shape.

4. Talk to your doctor

Nine out of ten breast changes are normal and not due to breast cancer, but you should check with your doctor to be sure. Remember that early detection has a large impact on survival rates. 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer survive five or more years beyond diagnosis, and the survival rates in Australia are continuing to improve. See your GP if you have any concerns or notice any changes to your breasts, and make sure you and your loved ones stay breast aware.

Click here to make an appointment with a GP to discuss breast cancer or a breast check.

Managing your Asthma

By | Asthma, Chronic Disease

Managing your Asthma


Asthma can be confusing because it means different things to different people – from wheezing after a short run, to being admitted to hospital. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important to know that asthma is a manageable condition. While there might not be a cure, here are some key areas that can help you get control over the symptoms.

Asthma action plan

An asthma action plan is written in conjunction with your doctor, and tells you what medications you should take, how to tell if your asthma is getting worse, what to do if you have worsening symptoms, and what to do in the event of an asthma attack. If you find that you are having symptoms more than once or twice a week, your asthma could probably be better controlled. Chat to your GP about starting or updating your plan, as your needs will change over time.

Correctly using your inhaler

If you do not use your inhaler correctly, you will not get the full dose of medicine – and up to 90% of people are thought to be using their puffers incorrectly. There are many different types of inhalers available, so there is potential for change if your current model is not working for you. Spacers can also be used help you get the whole dose of medicine, so children should always use a spacer for both preventative and reliever puffers, and adults may be recommended to use them with preventative puffers. There are different types of spacers as well, so work with your doctor to find the right combination for you.

Identifying triggers

Asthma can be triggered by many factors or combination of factors. It could be a cold that you catch, something you inhale such cold air or irritants in the air, strong emotions, physical activity, food or alternative medicines, or other factors in your environment.

Some triggers you should avoid, such as smoking and air pollution inside. Some you can’t really avoid, such as catching a cold or stress – but you should try to minimise your risks. Other triggers like exercise, sex and laughing shouldn’t be avoided. If you find these triggers are causing asthma episodes, you and your doctor should consider a change in your management plan and medication so you can maintain your quality of life.

Complimentary therapies

There are some well-researched practices that you can speak with your doctor about using to help manage your asthma. Caffeine has been shown to increase lung capacity, and there are some promising signs that eucalyptus oils can help. Other therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicines and supplements, breathing exercises and hypnosis may also help, but do not have enough evidence to say with certainty that they are safe and effective.

Managing your symptoms is a team effort. If you would like a review of your asthma management plan, talk with your GP to discuss what could work for you.


Click here to book an appointment with a GP to discuss asthma management –>


A Painful Subject – Living With Chronic Pain

By | Chronic Disease, Chronic Pain

A Painful Subject – Living With Chronic Pain


Acute (or short-term) pain is a normal function of our nervous system, meant to let us know that something is wrong and to hopefully encourage us to fix the problem. Chronic pain is pain that stays for the long term. Even though it is very common – one in five Australians live with chronic pain – people who have this condition can feel isolated and misunderstood. Here are three areas of life with chronic pain that we should talk about.

  1. Sometimes, acute pain can turn chronic

Some conditions have chronic pain as a common symptom; for example, osteoporosis, arthritis, and migraines. Pain as the result of an injury or condition that lasts beyond the expected healing time can also become chronic (or on-going).  For example, if a person had surgery, they would expect to feel some pain afterwards until the wound healed. However, if the wound had completely healed but the patient still had pain, it has become chronic. Often, delayed or incorrect treatment is the reason acute pain becomes chronic.

  1. People can feel pain even when there is no physical damage

Pain is a signal that is sent from the nervous system and interpreted by the brain. In some conditions such as nerve disorders, there is no physical damage that is causing the pain.  If acute pain is not correctly treated, the body can modify its nervous system to continue to send pain signals – even when the original problem is no longer there.

Not only can a person with chronic pain feel the same pain sensation as someone with physical damage, it can be much harder to treat because the issue can be with the nerve signals instead of a result of a treatable injury.

  1. Chronic pain often comes with social and mental issues

Because pain is not visible or measurable by other people, a person with chronic pain can feel misunderstood and unsupported by not only the people around them, but even by some medical professionals. Mental health issues are common in people with chronic pain. The rates of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse are much higher than in the general population.


Imagine being in pain every day. Maybe it’s worse on some days than others. When you first talk about your pain, people are sympathetic and understanding.  As the months stretch on, some friends, family and co-workers begin to lose interest or become frustrated with your inability to resume your normal activities. Many people bear the pain silently, or isolate themselves as a result.


Where someone has pain, it is very important that a pain management plan is developed as soon as possible. If you have experienced acute pain, stay in contact with your GP if you feel the pain is not resolving as quickly as expected. If you suffer from chronic pain, find a GP that will commit to working with you long-term to manage your symptoms. Pain is a serious condition that deserves to be prioritised, and there are many options available to help you manage symptoms.


Click here to book in with a GP to discuss pain management –>

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