Pain management service
Persistent, chronic or long term pain is complex, and there is rarely a single treatment to resolve it. But our pain management service can help you address all aspects of persistent pain management, and help you live well with pain.
You should provide feedback after your treatment, in order for us to best decide the next course of action. If you do not provide feedback, you may be discharged from the pain clinic.
About persistent pain
Persistent pain is pain which does not go away, even though you might expect it to. This is a recognised medical condition which involves your body’s entire nerve system.
Persistent pain causes the nerves in your affected area to be overactive, sending high levels of pain signals to your brain which makes the area more sensitive. This causes an exaggerated response in the whole nervous system, which makes your pain worse.
Your body’s natural response is to protect your affected area, often by avoiding using it or by changing the way you do things to avoid making it worse. But this can actually cause more problems, and you may find that:
- your pain increases
- you become more depressed or anxious
- you have difficulty sleeping
- your pain impacts your ability to work or take part in social activities
Causes of persistent pain
There may be a clear trigger, like illness, injury or surgery. There may be a known condition, like nerve damage or arthritis. But for many, there is no obvious cause despite extensive investigation.
Persistent pain is complicated and is influenced by a range of factors, including:
- physical health
- mental health
- social circumstances
- your environment
It’s important to learn about how each area can affect your pain, and work to develop strategies which can help.
About the pain management service
We help people of all ages to manage pain which has been present for more than 3 months, although many of our patients will have had pain for much longer than this.
Short lived pain (acute pain) is usually managed by your GP or by ward teams within the hospital, as it usually improves and goes away.
Persistent pain is complicated and responds best to a combination of management approaches, rather than a single one. For this reason, we work as a team made up of:
- your GP
- our multidisciplinary staff
- other healthcare professionals who are involved in your care
The specialist multidisciplinary staff within the pain service include:
- occupational therapists
- administrative and secretarial staff
Find out more in our introduction to the pain management service.
What we do
The management of pain is like a jigsaw. Your treatment will work best when all the pieces are treated with equal importance and they all fit together, to help you live well with pain.
We can help you:
- understand your pain
- get fitter and stronger, so you can move more easily
- access appropriate medical treatment, like injections
- find the best mix of medicine, or adjust your dose
- develop strategies to manage problems associated with chronic pain, like low mood or difficulty sleeping
- communicate better with friends, family and medical professionals about your pain
- find ways to manage your pain at home
We provide appointments with the most appropriate healthcare professionals to help with the specific nature of your pain and the problems it causes.
We can offer phone and video consultations wherever possible, along with face to face appointments. Our range of clinic locations are currently very limited due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Many people benefit from joining a group and meeting others in similar situations. This can help you with confidence, companionship and motivation, while sharing ideas.
Children and young people
Our doctors provide clinic appointments for people under the age of 18 with persistent pain.
We work closely with paediatricians and can assess and advise on the medical management of persistent pain for younger patients.
We have a network of local and regional teams who help us provide a comprehensive service. We also have a dedicated online music programme, which is designed for young people who live with pain.
Referral to the pain management service
Any GP or healthcare professional can refer patients to or seek advice from the pain management service, if:
- pain has been present for 3 months or longer
- investigations to establish the cause of the pain have been carried out and results are included in the referral
- specific treatment has been tried and has been ineffective
- advice is needed on potential medical treatment, like injections
- advice is needed for pain medicine that is not effective or problematic
- help is needed to manage the impact of pain on daily life
If you would like to be referred to the pain management service, please speak to your GP.
Consultant or treatment enquiries
Dr Nishi Patel and Dr Helen Makins
Medical Secretary, Angela Boucher 0300 422 2558
Medical Secretary, Sharon Green 0300 422 3198
Medical Secretary, Jade Innes 0300 422 3383
Medical Secretary, Margaret Humphries 0300 422 2804
If you have a nurse related query, our nursing team runs a voicemail only service which can be reached on 0300 422 2976. This is a non emergency line and is only checked Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
Pain self management
For pain self management queries, please call us on 0300 422 8469.
Here's some useful services that we recommend to our patients.