I am over here in Perth attending our National conference and plan to bring you snippets from the workshops, the Key Note addresses and the presentations. Today I attended a workshop on managing persistent pelvic pain (PPP) and then one on writing journal articles this afternoon. The morning session was wonderful with all speakers on the same page about the management of chronic pain. The key message was about the value of a team approach – involving medical staff, Continence and Women’s Health Physios (and those who specialize in men’s health as men get pelvic pain also), psychologists, dieticians and OT’s. There are dedicated Pain Management Centres in capital cities but if you are not able to access such a service it is important to research and find therapists who understand about the bio-psychosocial approach to pain management – that the cause and treatment of the pain isn’t only about the end organ or what’s going on in the periphery, there is an important role played by the central nervous system- which is wonderfully plastic and able to be recalibrated (in many cases).
Vanessa, a wonderful lady who herself suffered with PPP, who was featured in my blog on PPP, was telling her story to the gathered audience. She had us spellbound with her pain journey. She has suffered for many years, but her story was positive and with the support of her wonderful family, her talented and dedicated physio, Judith Thompson and her surgeon in Sydney, she has come a long way and has restored quality to her life.
This evening I presented at a free public lecture called ‘Fun Fitness and the Pelvic Floor’ with over 160 people attending. The people of Perth excelled – and especially the men- there were SO many men there it was brilliant- the audience were attentive, asked lots of great questions and enjoyed the delicious food that was supplied. The CFA are doing an amazing job at running these education forums and must be commended for their valuable contribution to the gross national product of Australia. Incontinence costs Australia $42 billion and simple education and behavior changes can improve outcomes with incontinence and other pelvic floor dysfunction and improve our bottom line- figuratively speaking and in real dollar terms!
The main conference starts tomorrow, Thursday and goes until Saturday, so keep an eye out for all the latest info from our leaders in Continence management.
Now, bed beckons. It’s been a long day!