We know that pain can have an impact on many areas of life: exercise and movement, work and hobbies, finances, sleep, relationships, mood, and thought processes. These areas of life also have an impact on how people manage their pain. This is why the pain management service has clinicians from different professions, each specialising in different areas, working together to look at the whole of the person’s life and experience of pain.
The physiotherapists in this service specialise in supporting people who live with long term, persistent pain. This means that they are likely to take a different approach to physiotherapists who you might have worked with before. They work with patients to find ways of making the most of their mobility, taking a “whole person” approach.
Some people are concerned that there is a psychologist involved in some of the assessments and programmes (such as the Pain Management Programme, and Backpack) as they may worry that the psychologist may think that the pain is "all in the mind". This is not the reason that psychologists work in our service, as we know that your pain is real. We are also clear that this pain can have a significant and unhelpful effect on the way in which people think, feel, relate to others and sleep. Together this can challenge people’s self-esteem and confidence, how they view themselves and their self-identity. This can, understandably, be hard to cope with and people can begin to feel stuck. Working with a psychologist who specialises in persistent pain can help to explore other ways of managing these difficulties with the aim of improving overall quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
Occupational therapists empower people to engage in activities of daily living. They are interested in understanding what motivates you to do different activities. If these activities are difficult or even seem impossible, an occupational therapist can support you in modifying or exploring alternative activities so that you live a meaningful and purposeful life. We will introduce you to a set of skills that will allow you to realise this.
We are fortunate to have the support, time and energy of former patients who have previously had input from the pain management service. They get involved in many ways:
- Programmes: If you are offered a Self-Management Programme, they are co-facilitated by a lay tutor so they will be there every week delivering the programme with the health professional. Lay-tutors also provide regular input into Pain Management Programmes. They know what it is like to wake up every day in pain and their lived experience means they can offer invaluable advice to patients who are new to pain management work.
- Testimonials and videos: Before you sign up for appointments with the pain management service, you can view several videos of former patients talking about the input they received and this will help you decide if this is right for you. You can access these videos on this page, or when you attend an initial information meeting.
- Service Users Satisfaction meeting: Here patients get involved in the development of the service. They provide feedback on new ideas and resources that are to be implemented by the team, and they help to shape how these ideas are taken forward.