Pain Management Programme

  • Reference Number: HEY-886/2017
  • Departments: Pain Medicine

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information regarding the pain management programme. Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

The aim of the Pain Management Programme

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information regarding the pain management programme.

There is no cure for chronic pain but a pain management programme (PMP) can help each individual person manage their pain effectively.  The aim of the PMP is to break the pain cycle that many patients find themselves in.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of looking at a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours.  Each of these influences the other and pain plays its own role in this process.

When we have pain, we reduce activity to reduce the pain. When we stop doing the things we love we feel low.  In turn our thoughts become negative and it is more difficult to cope with the pain. It is important to understand all these elements have a role in effectively self-managing pain.

When and where?

The programme will consist of a series of appointments with a professional such as a nurse, physiotherapist or psychologist. The appointments will either be face to face or over the phone at a pre-arranged time.

What does the programme consist of?

The programme concentrates on both the physical and the psychological aspects of pain management. This is because pain involves both the mind and the body and for maximum effect need to be tackled together.

Goal setting

Setting realistic goals will help to build strength and confidence. Small achievable goals are set to start with, which then build to larger goals. Goals can be changed according to a person’s needs.

Pacing

Pacing is a method of balancing activity and rest. By balancing activity and rest you are able to slowly build up what you are able to do increasing strength and stamina. When we have a good day we tend to “overdo” it. We then have more pain/ fatigue in the following days. This is called the boom bust cycle. In this cycle the pain is controlling the person’s activity. By using pacing the person is able to break the cycle to achieve more activity with less pain.

Flare up plan

A flare up of pain is a period of uncontrolled pain. There is not always an identifiable cause of the increase in pain. As part of the programme you will be shown how to develop your own “flare up” plan which you can use to guide you when your flare ups occur. The more effective the pain management, the less the flare ups will occur, the shorter they will last and the less severe they will be.

The benefit you gain from this course will depend on how much you put into the programme. It can be hard work and a difficult challenge to face at times but the staff are there to guide you through the process. We will not be focusing on one specific area of pain but will be looking at what you can achieve in spite of the pain.

Objectives of the programme

  • To increase knowledge and understanding of pain
  • To develop an effective personalised flare up plan
  • To increase self-confidence
  • To promote self-help

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