Thursday 22 February 2018

Broadcaster Ivan Yates on how chronic back pain didn't stop him travelling the world

Broadcaster Ivan Yates
Broadcaster Ivan Yates

Daniel O'Connor

Broadcaster Ivan Yates has explained how his battle with chronic lower back pain didn't deter him from travelling the world.

Yates has explained that visiting his doctor and setting up a treatment plan means he is still able to live normally, despite suffering from persistent pain like an estimated 1.65 million other Irish people do.

“Before I went travelling for six months, I made an appointment with my GP to get my back pain re-assessed and to ensure my treatment and medications were up-to-date before I left the country,” Yates said.

A long time sufferer of chronic back pain, Yates still hasn’t stopped himself from being able to enjoy seeing the world.

He has spoken about he did a few extra, simple things in order to manage his condition in a way that doesn’t hamper his enjoyment, such as only packing light luggage and lifting it in stages.

“My GP gave me some useful tips and extra medication so I could manage my pain when travelling.

“But I also know that I must be able to move about and lie down when needed so I had to travel by boat, rail or car – which was a great way to see the country, the good and bad parts.”

Yates has urged sufferers as part of the ‘mypainfeelslike..’ campaign to take these extra steps in conjunction with their GP in order to manage their condition and enjoy going on holiday this summer.

Research released has found found 49pc of people living with persistent or chronic pain face difficulty in travelling or going on holiday due to their pain.

Persistent pain is described as any type of pain that lasts for three months, with headaches and lower back pain being the most common types.

It is often caused by a condition such as arthritis, but can also stem from an isolated incident or something which cannot be traced.

With 1 in 5 people not even discussing their pain with a healthcare professional, Dr. Paul Murphy, Consultant in Pain at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin has recommended that persistent pain sufferers make an continuing treatment plan so that they can enjoy things such as going on a holiday while managing their condition.

“Persistent pain has a serious impact on people’s lives and wellbeing. It requires an ongoing and evolving treatment plan that help people move away from a persistent pain cycle,” Murphy said.

“Engaging in an active management plan can help patients reduce pain symptoms, improve mood and increase function.”

“It is also crucial that people comply with any treatment prescribed by their care team to help manage their pain – be it medication, exercises or other treatment options like mindfulness and relaxation practices.”

Those who are living with persistent pain are encouraged to consult with their GP before going to plan appropriate treatment, and to visit to make use of available resources.

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