Multidisciplinary one stop clinic
Dr Peter Cole and Dr Richard Sawyer are our consultants in pain medicine, in this section we include the work of our colleagues Dr Sarah Lack, Dr Sandra Wiltshire pain psychologists and Ms Amanda Wall, pain physiotherapist..for best outcomes we encourage a Multidisciplinary approach to Chronic Pain Management.
Pain that lasts for longer than three months is called chronic pain. The pain can be a result of illness, an injury or accident or have no apparent trigger. It may vary in intensity and be in any part of your body.
When pain killers are no longer providing effective relief, or when side effects of taking medication are intolerable, coping with the pain can leave you stressed, frustrated and tired. At this point a holistic approach is required to help you deal with your pain.
Pain management often involves more than just your primary care physician/GP. You might need a pain management specialist or two to determine how best to successfully manage your symptoms going forward. Evidence shows that a multidisciplinary approach is far superior to standard medical treatment for many long-term musculoskeletal pain conditions.
The multidisciplinary approach works because you have different types of specialists focused on your well-being. Our pain management consultants, physiotherapists and psychologists can help you find ways to cope with pain and get on with living again. They work together to go through every aspect of your problem and its effects on your daily life. From there a course of treatment or combination of treatments is coordinated with you. Each specialist will communicate with others in the team about you and your pain management plan.
With the use of expert advice and treatment from your dedicated team, a self-management plan will be created for you that will offer you tools to help you manage your pain at home.
Physiotherapy. The physiotherapist will review what strategies have or have not worked so far, and what your current levels of activity and fitness are. They will help you identify goals in line with your values or what is important to you, to determine what the next steps might be. They can provide information on the biology of chronic pain to help you understand why your symptoms are ongoing; on managing activity and building this up gently and gradually; on managing tiredness and fatigue; on dealing with flare ups and set backs in your symptoms, and they can introduce you to the use mindfulness and meditation within the scope of movement and pain management.
Psychology. Living with chronic or persistent pain is challenging for anybody, often giving rise to difficult emotions including depression, anxiety, anger, grief and even thoughts that life is no longer worth living. Pain can get in the way of relationships and stop people doing the things which are most important to them. Specialist Pain Clinical Psychologists can help patients to develop skills for managing pain flare ups, distressing emotions and unhelpful thoughts in order to lead fuller lives. Developing these life skills requires regular practice in between sessions, just like physiotherapy. This is so when pain psychology sessions end, patients are equipped with self-management strategies to last a lifetime. Pain psychology sessions can be offered as standalone or part of a multi-disciplinary treatment including pain physiotherapy and pain medicine.