Ballarat SCI Regional Network August/September 2016

19 September, 2016

For their August and September meetings the Ballarat SCI Regional Network participated in a two day Pain Management Workshop at the North Ballarat Sports Club on the 25th August and 1st of September.

The workshop was highly engaging and generated a lot of group discussion, both during and after the sessions. 

Presented by Dr Andrew Sinclair and Melissa Alemis, the workshop explored the nature and impact of chronic pain and techniques for better pain management. The workshop also provided participants with a welcoming setting to share their experiences, knowledge and peer support with others who also live with chronic pain.

The first session began with participants setting some guidelines to ensure the workshop was a respectful and safe space in which everyone could contribute. The group went on to share their personal experiences with chronic pain and the impact it has had on their lives. The group also shared ideas and tips about past treatments and self-management strategies that have helped.

Trying to keep a positive outlook, maintaining connections with family and friends and being involved in hobbies and interests were found to be common and effective strategies when living with chronic pain.

Other strategies included:

  • Pacing yourself
  • Finding a purpose
  • Setting goals
  • Spirituality and Prayer
  • Acceptance
  • Job satisfaction
  • Joining new groups
  • Keeping to a daily routine
  • Physical therapies
  • Distractions
  • Rest

At the end of the first session, Dr Sinclair instructed the group to spend the next week closely monitoring their pain and report back in the second session. The group was instructed to identity and reflect on the triggers, sensations, emotions, thoughts, behaviours and level of pain during an episode, as well as to pay close attention to what eases or exacerbates their pain.

The second session included discussions on active ways to manage pain, including making links and winding down the central nervous system, as well as how to challenge yourself, unhelpful thinking styles, how to flourish and behavioural interventions.

Dr Sinclair has offered to do a follow-up meeting in a few months to see how the group is progressing with their new found skills and strategies.

The North Ballarat Sports Club made the group feel extremely welcome and has plenty of accessible parking, easy access to the club and delicious meals!

The next Ballarat SCI Regional Network meeting will be held on 20th October with the venue and time to be confirmed.

For more information, or to join the Ballarat SCI Regional Network, contact Barbara.

Details of our next event

Thursday, 20 Oct 2016

11:00 AM

Ballarat Yacht Club

Wendouree Parade, Ballarat Central VIC 3350


[email protected]


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