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Chronic Pain
Teaching Skills, Improving Lives
Written by Pain Management Team   

The Self-Management Approach

For some people, pain comes as a result of injury. In this case, the pain is relieved by medication and, when treated, goes away in the space of a few days or at most a few weeks. However, for some people pain persists after an injury has healed, or pain can be of unknown origin. It is often severe and can cause people to give up work and social activities.

Chronic pain is not imaginary and can cause major disruption to people’s lives. However, help is available to teach people skills to manage their pain and improve the quality of their life. This help is available at Pain Management Programmes around the country. Your local out-patient programme is at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.


Why Choose Pain Management?

Pain Management Programmes have been developed to help people who experience chronic (long term) pain. Many people with chronic pain have had a wide range of medical treatments, but at best have only experienced temporary relief from pain. This does not mean that nothing can be done to help.

Accepting that pain is chronic, and that medical treatment is limited, is difficult. However, research has shown that people who recognise and accept that they have a chronic condition do better in the long run with the self management approach than those who continue to seek a medical ”cure”. The pain management approach aims to equip people with skills and provide information which helps people to begin to take charge of their lives again.


What Happens on a Pain Management Programme?

Pain Management training takes place at St. Peter’s Hospital as well as at leisure centres. Participants meet together in groups of 9-12 people. After an introduction meeting, you will be assessed for the programme most suitable for you.


The programmes are run by a multidisciplinary team:
  • Psychologists teach skills to manage negative thoughts, improve communication and reduce stress. The psychologists and the nurse also teach relaxation techniques.
  • A physiotherapist helps people to establish a gentle exercise programme, aimed at restoring general fitness, posture and function. These exercises are managed by the participants and done at a level which is right for them. Help is then available to build on these exercises slowly. They also teach new ways of managing activity which will reduce the likelihood of provoking pain and guide participants in goal setting for the future.
  • A nurse helps participants to manage their pain medication appropriately. A plan may be developed to reduce the use of pain medication as new skills are acquired to manage pain. The nurse also helps with managing sleep problems.
  • The team work closely with the Pain Management Consultants to provide an individualised package of care.
The team provides education on many aspects of chronic pain. This includes some basic explanations as to the mechanisms involved, and the way in which the nervous system functions, as well as information about body mechanics and general health issues.

The programme aims to help patients make lifestyle changes which enhance the quality of life for both the chronic pain sufferer and those close to them.

If you are interested in this approach please discuss it with your doctor who can arrange for you to attend our ”Introduction to Pain Management” course. This gives people an idea of the self management approach adopted on our programme. Everyone who attends the introductory sessions will be invited to attend for assessment for the full programme.


Audio Relaxation Techniques

To aid relaxation, the Pain Management team have produced a CD that is given to patients as part of their treatment. You can listen to the file below:

Play Relaxation Track (18 minutes)

You can also download the MP3 and WMA versions to your PC or personal music player.


Autogenic Relaxation

You can also listen to our Autogenic Relaxation audio file:

Play Relaxation Track (5.42 minutes)

You can also download the MP3 and WMA versions to your PC or personal music player.


Contact Details

If you would like to discuss the programme with a member of the team, you can telephone us on 01932 722432.

If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message and we will ring you back as soon as possible.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 15:24