Chronic pain is a huge problem in Australia, with one in five people suffering from a chronic pain disorder that reduces their quality of life. It is estimated to cost Australia approximately $35 billion a year — a financial burden that is greater than cardiovascular disease and diabetes combined.
Clinical neuroscientist and physiotherapist Professor Lorimer Moseley is the leader of the Sansom Institute for Health Research Body in Mind research group. He and his team are conducting ground-breaking research into chronic pain — shedding light on how the brain produces pain, and in turn developing non-pharmacological treatments to help the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain.
In the first of two presentations, Professor Moseley outlined why pain really is in your head, but not in the way you might think. He considered questions such as what pain is, why we have it and why it often does not go away. Following Professor Moseley, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Tasha Stanton, delivered a presentation focusing on osteoarthritis and the brain. Dr Stanton is at the forefront of novel approaches to the pain of osteoarthritis. Her research interests lie in understanding the neuroscience behind pain and its clinical implications.