Monthly Archives: March 2015

Pain Adelaide – Probably the best little pain meeting in the world


pain adelaide


I have spent the last four days in a row sitting on my bum.  I don’t usually sit for such long times and normally my back would be in all sorts of trouble with such an unaccustomed biomechanical stress.  However, I haven’t had even a niggle of discomfort.  I am pretty sure it is because I am doing what love and pursuing the things that matter to me.  Sorry – too much psycho -babble?  I  will give it some context later.

I have had the good fortune to have been at a 3 day pain seminar in Melbourne, finishing with a final day in beautiful Adelaide for Pain Adelaide – “probably the best little pain meeting in the world” – is how they describe it, and I would have to say I agree.  In a one day, multidimensional and multidisciplinary pain bonanza, 19 presenters spoke about pain – from cultural aspects of body pain versus “self” pain, to how new technology in G coupled protein receptors might lead to breakthroughs in targeted drug therapies, and everything in between.   Here is the range of my responses to the different speakers:

  • Wow! That sounds amazing.  I really have very little idea of what you are talking about, but it sounds very complicated, you are obviously very passionate about it, and I can see that some very exciting things might come out of that research. (some of the PhD presentations and receptor pharmacology information)
  • You are unreal! If only we could bottle you and distribute your sensibleness to practitioners around the globe. (Peter O’Sullivan and Kevin Vowles)
  • Are things really that bad? I guess they are…… Lucky we have you on the team and there is so much momentum.  Standing ovation deserved.  (David Butler) 
  • Are you sure you are a Rheumatologist? That presentation was awesome (Sam Whittle on Fibromyalgia)
  • Whoa – I had never thought about pain in that context. I think it is breaking my brain. Fantastic!   (Jim Hearn on Pain and the Human Condition)
  • You mean you think that the data is telling us that the only things that have any effect on a patient’s pain are talking to the patient and reassuring them? Mindblowing, but at the same time not that surprising. (James McAuley, Neuroscience Research Australia)


The thing that has most floated my boat in the last few days has been Kevin Vowles’ material on ACT and its use in treating chronic pain.  The crux of the idea of ACT for pain,  is that in pursuing a meaningful life – one that taps into your values and recognises the things that are important to you, pain doesn’t have to play such a big and central  role in defining our behaviour.  It ties in beautifully with mindfulness approaches.     I will write about it in more detail in the coming weeks. For now, I am off to explore Adelaide!


Find out more about some of the speakers here:

Peter O’Sullivan : Website and this fantastic podcast

David Bulter and Co : NOI goup

Lorimer Moseley and Co: Body in Mind

Dr Sam Whittle: @samwhittle

Pain Adelaide – Keep an eye out for it for next year and save the date!  A fantastic day.