Proving that chronic pain does not discriminate, this year's theme for National Pain Week focuses on some case studies that remind us all - it could be anyone of us who has to deal with learning to live a different life.
Mary (58) from the Hawkesbury River area of NSW has a car accident six years ago where she developed a bone fracture which eventually healed.
However, she developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. (CRPS). To try and manage her pain and understand it Mary saw numerous health practitioners and received different advice along the way.
Eventually the pain started to spread into other areas of Mary's body and the pain became quite horrific.
One of Mary's turning points was a pain education program at Nepean Hospital (ADAPT program) which at the time she didn't see as being helpful but has actually been one of the key turning points for her on the road to improving her quality of life.
Now a multidisciplinary health team and education help Mary manage her pain.
During National Pain Week, Mary's story, as well as many others will be available online at www.nationalpainweek.org.au.
Read about Mary's experience living with pain, the importance of mental health professionals in managing pain, the need for patients to self-advocate during their treatments and the need for all Australian health professionals associated with pain to have more mandatory pain education training.