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Pain Management Service

This page was last updated: September 20th, 2021

Our integrated multidisciplinary team promotes and provides person centred specialist advice, management and rehabilitation for adults with complex long term pain.

We are a small specialist team embedded within the Pain Service at RCHT. The team is made up of Clinical/Counselling Psychologists, a Specialist Occupational Therapist and a Specialist Physiotherapist. Meet the team here

Please watch the video below to find out more about persistent/chronic pain in Cornwall

Further information about the Pain Management Service

We are a small specialist team embedded within the Pain Service at RCHT. The team is made up of Clinical/Counselling Psychologists, an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist.
We currently see people with a diagnosis of persistent (chronic) pain associated with a known or suspected musculoskeletal condition (of non-malignant and non-inflammatory origin) where pain is the primary factor where:

  • Biomedical intervention may not be appropriate or helpful
  • Individuals are able to consider and engage with an alternative rehabilitative approach to managing pain

We deliver a holistic model of care considering the physical, emotional and social impact of pain which aims to:

  • Introduce alternative ways of thinking about pain management
  • Promote positive changes in habits, lifestyle, health, and relationships
  • Increase wellbeing to help people to live a meaningful life alongside pain
  • Encourage a self-compassionate view of managing pain
  • Develop strategies for self-management/coping
  • Enhance physical engagement in activity and exercise

Following triage from the Pain Service, if appropriate, we will offer individuals an initial assessment to determine their pain management needs. Together, we will agree on an appropriate management plan. This might include:

  • A group based Pain Management Programme
  • Time-limited individual interventions to support self-management of pain and/or prepare individual readiness for group intervention
  • Sign-posting to alternative services where appropriate

What is a Pain Management Programme?

Our pain management programme is an evidence-based intervention structured in accordance with British Pain Society guidelines. This supports individuals to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to become more active and improve their quality of life.

In broad terms, a 10-week programme includes:

  • Understanding the differences between acute and persistent pain
  • Developing an awareness of how the brain and body work in the context of persistent pain, stress and sleep
  • Using psychological frameworks to highlight the interaction between persistent pain, thoughts and emotions which may affect the overall experience of pain. The models we currently use are Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
  • Introducing mindfulness and awareness skills as part of a widely evidence-based strategy for managing pain
  • Considering how individuals connect with meaningful and enjoyable activities
  • Promoting increased engagement and balance in daily activities
  • Exploring the physical impact of the persistent pain cycle, and the role of exercise in managing pain and reconditioning the body
  • Learning how to manage flare ups and temporary set-backs by using the pain management principles
  • Broadening understanding of the role of medication in persistent pain

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