Back to Top

IMPORTANT: We have recently made some significant updates to our software system. We have had to ask everyone to reset their passwords as a part of this update. So, if you have not logged in recently, you may need to reset your password to access the system. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you experience any technical difficulties - we're here to help

Pain Course for SCI

The Pain Course is a free online and internet-delivered program designed to provide good information and teach practical skills for the management of chronic pain and emotional wellbeing. We have been developing and evaluating the Pain Course since 2011 with the aim of making it suitable for people experiencing chronic pain with a broad range of initial causes - e.g., pain that has developed after a broad range of injuries, as a result of numerous diseases, following surgery and different treatments, and also pain that has developed for unclear reasons. You can read more about the Pain Course HERE.

In 2014, we partnered with the iCare Lifetime Care and Support Authority ensure the Pain Course was suitable and helpful for adults with chronic pain as a result of a spinal cord injury (SCI).

Chronic pain is a very common consequence of spinal cord injury, with around 2 in 3 Australians with paraplegia and quadriplegia (partial or complete) experiencing chronic pain. Unfortunately, we know that many people with a SCI face significant difficulties accessing pain management programs, which can help to manage pain and difficulties with anxiety, worry, low mood and depression.

Initially, we carefully modified the Pain Course to be suitable for adults with SCI and chronic pain. We then offered the modified Pain Course to numerous Australians with SCI to ensure it was suitable and helpful. We then further modified and improved the Pain Course based on the feedback we have received.

What does the Course involve?

  • 5 online lessons that provide information and teach practical skills for managing chronic pain, anxiety and low mood.
  • 5 Do It Yourself (DIY) Guides to help you practice those skills.
  • Lots of Additional Resources and Case Stories from others.
  • Brief weekly contact with a clinician via email and telephone.

The Pain Course is delivered over 8 weeks and is designed to provide practical information about chronic pain and proven skills for managing chronic pain and its impacts. This Course is not designed to treat chronic pain. However, the skills taught in the Course have been found in numerous scientific studies to help with the management of chronic pain and the maintenance of emotional wellbeing, despite pain.

The Course aims to provide the information and skills that you would normally receive if you attended a specialist Multidisciplinary Pain Management Clinic. Multidisciplinary Pain Management is considered best practice. Please Note: Many people with chronic pain have had the regrettable experience of being told that their pain may be imaginary, psychological or all in their mind. Please be reassured that all pain is real. The Pain Course is designed to help people maximise their ability to cope with the very real pain they experience and maintain their emotional wellbeing despite pain.

Who is the Course Suitable For?

  • Adults aged 18 and older.
  • With chronic pain - that is, pain that they have experienced for more than 6 months.
  • With symptoms of stress, anxiety, low mood and depression.
  • Who want to learn information and skills to improve the quality of their lives and emotional wellbeing.
  • Who have at least 4 hours per week to spend working on the Course and practicing the skills taught during the Course.
  • Who have had their pain examined by a medical doctor to rule out any malignant or treatable causes to their pain.

Unfortunately, the course is not designed for people who are currently suicidal or who are not Australian residents. We also strongly recommend you discuss your participation in this Course with your GP. Maintaining a good working relationship with your GP is essential when you have chronic pain and they help you decide whether this program is going to be suitable for you.

Not sure if this course is right for you? Please contact us, click HERE.

Our Research Results

We have now completed and published a trial of the modified Pain Course for adults with a SCI - see below for the details of the scientific manuscript describing the results. The results were very encouraging with more than 90% reporting the Course was 'worth their time' and that they would 'recommend the course'.

Participants reported improvements in their confidence to manage pain and the impact of pain on their day-to-day activities and quality of life. They also reported improvements in their emotional wellbeing and symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, most participants said the course was hard work, and it was important to do the course at the right time for them.

Dear, B. F., Nicholson Perry, K., Siddall, P., Middleton, J., Johnson, J., Monypenny, F., Karin, E., Gandy, M., Titov, N. (In press). The Pain Course: Exploring the feasibility of an Internet-Delivered Pain Management Program for adults with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord .

When is the Next Course Being Offered?

All the modifications and improvements to the Pain Course are now complete. We have also been trialing a new course called the Chronic Conditions Course for people with SCI with very good results.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in participating a course, it may be worthwhile considering our Chronic Conditions Course, HERE. This course contains all of the same information as the Pain Course and the SCI Pain Course, but is designed specifically for people with a broad range of significant chronic health conditions including spinal cord injury.

Of course, if you have any questions about the Course please feel free to contact us, click HERE.