The pain clinic treats patients with persistent pain - pain that
continues despite investigation and intervention. Chronic pain is
usually defined as pain which has lasted for three months or
longer, beyond the expected time of recovery.
You may be referred to the pain clinic by your GP or by a
consultant working in another hospital department.
Pain management unit
Once referred, you will receive an initial assessment
to explore the most appropriate direction of treatment,
which will be discussed with you. A management
plan will be organised and appropriate treatment and support
This may mean you working with one or more members of the team
or joining the pain management programme. This is run by all
staff on the unit and aims to help you understand and
manage your pain and lead your life as effectively as possible.
The pain management unit aims to help you regain control of
your life and, despite being in pain, to find a way of enjoying
each day instead of feeling overwhelmed by your pain. This is done
by helping people:
- deal with negative (but normal) emotions such as anger,
sadness, frustration, isolation and helplessness, which are
very normal when one has to deal with pain;
- understand the nature of chronic pain in your body;
- maintain a general level of physical fitness so that you are
better able to feel healthy and deal with your pain;
- plan your daily activity so that you have meaningful ways of
occupying your time and distracting yourself from the pain but
without doing so much that you are over-taken by fatigue and
- learn to pace yourself;
- develop new skills, strengths and activities to replace
the ones you can no longer participate in, which bring a level of
pleasure, accomplishment and self-esteem back into your lives.
You and your family need to understand your pain, as
well as support and encouragement. In order to meet your
needs, the clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of
consultant anaesthetists who specialise in chronic pain, a clinical
psychologist, experienced nursing staff and a receptionist.
There are several treatments and interventions that may help,
which include medication, acupuncture/low level laser therapy,
injections and TENS.