Pain Management Unit at Flinders Medical Centre
The Pain Management Unit is internationally recognised for its clinical programs and research into slow release morphine preparations, implantable devices, neuromodulation devices and procedural interventions, as well as pain management programs. It is also the statewide centre of referral for Spinal Cord Stimulator implant.
This multidisciplinary service has specialists in pain medicine, psychiatry, psychology, physiotherapy and nursing. Patients are referred to the service from medical practitioners and specialists, and there is close liaison with patients at home through general practitioners, palliative care and home nursing.
The Pain Management Unit has strong connections with the Flinders University tertiary teaching programs and is an accredited Level 1 training unit for Faculty of Pain Medicine (ANZCA) fellowship training with opportunities in interventions.
What we do
Our team of health professionals work with people living with chronic pain to improve their quality of life.
Chronic pain can affect multiple areas of a person’s life and we assist patients and their families to develop long term skills and strategies to improve their daily physical, social and emotional functioning.
Services we provide:
- Interventional pain procedures, where appropriate
- Pain Management Programmes/Modules : Group and individual programs
- Education on the science of pain and ways to use it
- Non-opioid techniques and strategies
- Individual management plans to support activities close to home and/or with a community service
- Supported by follow-up coaching where appropriate
- Cancer/Palliative pain management
What to expect
Patient referrals from GPs or specialists are triaged and if suitable, will be placed into appropriate care category. Patients will then be placed on the waiting list corresponding to their triage category and be informed when an appointment is available.
Depending on complexity, some patients may be invited to attend an education session first and asked to complete a questionnaire about their chronic pain.
Group education sessions
In some cases, patients might be invited to group education sessions.
This is an opportunity to hear from health professionals about:
- pain management strategies that may help a person with chronic pain
- latest information on chronic pain
- our services : clarity of what we do and don’t do
- Personal pain plan
A personal pain plan form will be given to patients at the end of group education session for them to start thinking about what might be the best pain management approach for them. This plan can be discussed with their family and GP. For some people, this may result in appropriate referrals or access to community services (such as gym, pool, physiotherapy) close to home. For others, GPs may provide an updated referral with more specific goals (in line with the plan) to the Pain Management Unit.
A patient may be offered individual appointments with one or more of our team members, depending on their pain management needs and requirements.
Appointments with our multidisciplinary team
In some cases, a patient may be invited to attend an interdisciplinary team assessment, in particular those who attend a rural or regional outreach clinic. This means a patient may see two or more health professionals at the same time (usually a Pain Physician, Psychologist and Physiotherapist) to assess them.
This enables a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s situation and assesses the impact of pain on the patient’s ability to engage physically, socially, and emotionally in daily life.
It also provides an opportunity for the patient to be actively involved in their care.
Pain Health Coaches
Patients may be offered a pain health coach to support them to put self-management strategies into practice in their own home and daily life.
The coach can be a staff member or a post-graduate student assigned from Flinders University who has specific training to help change and promote health behaviour.
Coaching is often done over the phone or through telehealth, but can also be done face-to-face.
Visit SALHN specialist and outpatient clinics to access referral and management GP guidelines.
Referral forms and processes are outlined in the outpatient referral process section.
- SA Health Chronic Pain
- Chronic Pain Management factsheet
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 296KB)
- Managing Chronic Pain poster (PDF 626KB)
Telephone: (08) 8204 5499
Fax: (08) 8374 1758
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
Location: Level 2, Flinders Medical Centre
Directions: Use Western Carpark, enter through Northern Entrance
Destination will be immediately on the left after entering through Northern Entrance
Map: Flinders Medical Centre Precinct Map (PDF 587KB)