News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Launch of NZ Pain Foundation


5 November 2013
Media Release

Launch of NZ Pain Foundation

Wellington musculoskeletal and pain specialist Dr Giresh Kanji has launched the NZ Pain Foundation to help provide answers for people suffering from mental and physical pain.

The foundation will fund research to investigate simple self-treatments for people suffering from lower back pain, neck pain, migraine, depression and obesity. The initial research will be undertaken by six masters students supervised by Dr Kanji and Massey University Associate Professor Rachel Page.
Dr Kanji has been a medical practitioner since 1990 and has been treating chronic pain patients since 2002. He was recently awarded a PhD for his research into how chronic pain spreads and amplifies over time and how it can be reduced.

“I started working full time in pain medicine over 10 years ago and recall going to work with a feeling of dread. What was I going to do to help these patients? Prescribe medicine that never seemed to cure the suffering and often caused side effects? I was no longer happy prescribing medications without trying to understand the cause of people’s pain. So I decided to investigate why people developed pain and how to reduce it,” Dr Kanji says.

His work over several years trying to unlock what he calls the “pain puzzle” has now led him to establish the NZ Pain Foundation. His vision is that it will help his fellow medical practitioners get to the root of what causes pain so they can provide more effective treatment.

He points to chronic back pain as a key example of the extent of the “pain puzzle”.

“Chronic lower back pain is a significant worldwide medical puzzle with reportedly no cause found in up to 85% of cases. Lower back pain is the most common pain complaint in the world, and over the last three months one out of every four New Zealanders would have suffered from it. In addition, one in six people would have suffered migraine and one in six neck pain. The ACC bill for lower back pain alone is estimated to be around $300 million a year,” he says.
Dr Kanji says we should not underestimate the financial costs or emotional toll of pain.

“One in six New Zealanders suffer from depression and more than 500 commit suicide each year – one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

“Currently over 25% of the population suffer from common pain complaints. Most do not even know the cause of their symptoms, and this severely restricts their chance of managing their condition.

“So what do you do when you cannot find the cause and treat pain? Call in the psychologist and psychiatrist to help people cope with their symptoms? I feel that the medical profession has failed these patients. Many patients do not understand why they are seeking psychological help, often feeling that the doctor thinks the problem is in their head! After seeing numerous specialists without any answers, a patient may believe this to be true,” Dr Kanji says.

In his PhD research, Dr Kanji researched self-treatments as an alternative or complement to relying on medication to treat pain. In particular, he conducted a clinical trial that showed heat treatment through regular use of a sauna was as effective as mainstream medication for people suffering from chronic tension-type headache.

“Research on simple self-treatments is lacking in the medical literature due to insufficient funding, as – unlike pharmaceuticals – self treatments cannot generate profits.”

Dr Kanji hopes support for the NZ Pain Foundation will enable it to build on his initial work by providing further insights into pain and researching a wide range of self-treatments for common pain conditions.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news