When you’re experiencing physical pain, do the wrinkles on your forehead appear more pronounced, or perhaps your glassy eyes reveal just how much you’re hurting?
Chronic Pain Australia (CPA) wants to see your ‘face of pain’ – in fact, it wants to see 10,000 faces.
CPA is asking people experiencing pain to register their name and submit a photo for its ‘10,000 Faces of Pain' campaign.
To mark Chronic Pain Week next week, DPS News spoke to CPA president, Coralie Wales, who says more than half of older Australians experience chronic pain.
“But they often won’t talk about it because some doctors may tell them it’s just a part of being old,” she says.
While Ms Wales understands GPs are “under the pump”, they need to ensure they are educated in knowing how to approach patients experiencing chronic pain.
“GPs put a lot of pressure on themselves to solve things, but pain is one of those long-term issues which requires management strategies and gradually increasing mobility and working closely with a pain specialist.
“Many older Australians have never even heard of a pain specialist,” she adds.
After collecting 10,000 photographs, or signatures, of those experiencing pain, CPA will then approach government to assist in creating consumer-driven educational materials to support medical practitioners.
“We’re planning on getting the message out there in the public arena and debate it rather than have people suffer in silence,” Ms Wales says.
She adds the effects of living with chronic pain can be disastrous, with some people’s lives becoming “quite compromised”.
“It can be hard to live with no help. This campaign is all about putting a face to the pain.
“It’s about stopping the invisibility of chronic pain and at the same time pushing government into discussing it.”
Do you, or someone close to you, suffer with chronic pain? Submit your photograph to the 10,000 Faces of Pain campaign.