Back to accessibility links

Brainman Pain Management Resources

Hunter New England Local Health District
Project Added:
24 October 2014
Last updated:
26 November 2015

By Hunter Integrated Pain Service

Brainman, the “brainchild” of the team at Hunter Integrated Pain Service at John Hunter Hospital and Hunter Medicare Local, has become a YouTube celebrity since making his debut in late 2011. Since that time Brainman’s first film “Understanding pain and what to do about it in less than five minutes” has had almost 500 000 views and been translated into nine different languages.

Now the University of Washington and The University of South Australia have joined the team to collaborate in producing two new and updated videos. 

In releasing the new videos John Baillie CEO of Hunter Medicare Local said “Despite the success of Brainman’s first video, the consistent feedback we had from clinicians was “make it shorter”. These two new updated videos are less than 2 ½ minutes in duration. The first “Brainman stops his opioids” holds the succinct message that opioids are no longer recommended for chronic non-cancer pain. The second video shows the choices Brainman makes as he transitions toward an active evidence based approach”. 

Dr Chris Hayes, Director of Hunter Integrated Pain Service at John Hunter Hospital speaking on behalf of the whole team said “We all accept medicine advances as knowledge grows. In treating chronic non cancer pain, there’s been too much focus on opioid medication and not enough on the most effective ways to improve pain and wellbeing. 

“Knowledge changes. We now know that when it comes to chronic pain, use of these drugs often makes matters worse. Opioids are no longer recommended for chronic non-cancer pain. Instead, the evidence recommends people get support, they get an active recovery plan and get started”. 

Deb Gordon RN, from the University of Washington said “These videos represent a change in direction. Chronic pain can change, it’s not always an enduring disease or problem. The first thing still remains to get assessed and rule out anything dangerous then it’s time to “shift focus”, get informed and manage pain from a broad, active perspective. 

“Everyone can benefit from making the mindbody link. Drawing a timeline helps make sense of the emotional impact of life events before, during and after the onset of pain. Addressing underlying depression or anxiety early is critical to reducing pain over time.” 

Professor Lorimer Moseley from University of South Australia says “This is not just new age thinking. These discoveries have shifted the world’s understanding of how best to treat pain. Decreasing pain starts with knowing about pain and choosing to work on sustainable strategies”.

Watch the Brainman videos


Subtitled / Translated Videos

These videos have also been modified with community language subtitles or translations. These are available from YouTube.

Understanding pain and what to do about it in less than five minutes 

Understanding pain: Brainman stops his opioids

Understanding Pain: Brainman chooses

Related Resources


Physiotherapist Pain Management
Hunter Integrated Pain Service, Division of Surgery and Pain Management
Hunter New England Local Health District
Phone: 02 4922 3435

Search Projects

Browse Projects

Submit your local innovation
and improvement project