A virtual challenge aims to raise funds to support Australians living with persisting pain.
Go the Distance is an initiative of Pain Revolution, an organisation set up to modernise the understanding of pain in rural and regional communities.
It challenges participants to run, walk or ride as far as possible while raising awareness and funds.
Go the Distance will be held in October, and all funds raised will support chronic pain patients and their practitioners in rural and regional Australia through Pain Revolution’s initiatives.
“This is for anyone challenged by persistent pain or anyone who loves, parents, works with or sees the immense personal cost of persistent pain,” said Professor Lorimer Moseley, a pain scientist at the University of South Australia and CEO of Pain Revolution.
He said the event was an opportunity to improve outcomes and show solidarity and support for those who live with chronic pain.
“Sure, you could just make a donation to the cause, but why not make it work for you personally – gather your mates or colleagues and in the process, take the opportunity to share your knowledge of hope, opportunity and possibility that modern science offers people in pain,” he said.
Physical challenges in the name of charity are nothing new, but this one has a direct relevance to the cause.
“There is very strong evidence that movement is medicine,” Professor Moseley said. “Our muscles, bones, ligaments, skin, tendons – you name it – LOVE movement.”
He said learning and movement were two essential ways to promote recovery from persistent pain.
“Go the Distance is challenging everyone to learn a bit more about pain and get moving, and walking, running and cycling are three easy ways to do it.”
Go the Distance has replaced the annual Rural Outreach Tour, which has been the major Pain Revolution fundraiser in the past. “Like many events in 2021, covid has meant that we had to find an alternative to the Tour,” said Professor Moseley.
Participants can sign up as individuals or join a team at painrevolution.raisely.com.
Pain Revolution runs two main programs to promote modern pain science among health professionals in rural and regional Australia.
The Local Pain Educator Program trains rural and regional GPs and health professionals in modern pain science and management. They, in turn, provide public outreach and training to support their community with evidence-based active, psychological and self-management strategies.
The other project is called the Local Pain Collectives. Pain Revolution helps rural and regional health professionals establish community-based, interdisciplinary networks that meet regularly to build their skills in contemporary pain education and care.
Since the first inaugural Rural Outreach Tour that saw Pain Revolution’s team cycling from Melbourne to Adelaide in 2017, the organisation has supported 54 local pain educators and established five local pain collectives across NSW and Western Australia.
“[These educators] are driving change in their local communities by delivering pain education to health professionals and the general public,” said Professor Mosely.