The term “chronic pain” refers to pain that persists beyond the time normally expected for healing following injury or disease. This is often defined as more than six months, although this is arbitrary and pain can become chronic much earlier. Chronic pain impacts on many areas of a person’s life, and cannot always be resolved by medical or physical treatments.
Pain can affect just about every aspect of someone’s life including:
the way they move
how much they can do and what activities they can take part in
how far they can walk and drive
whether they can manage to do their job
their relationships with others
how well they sleep
their memory and concentration
how confident and optimistic they feel
how much they enjoy life.
As time goes on the effects of pain become can more complicated.
Pain management aims to improve people’s understanding of their pain and reduce the problems that pain causes. We work with people to look at what they can do to improve their ability to manage pain. This covers both physical and psychological aspects of coping with pain. Pain management is not trying to cure pain, although some people say their pain has reduced afterwards.
Solent NHS Trust has three pain management services which cover the following areas: Southampton, Portsmouth, and South East Hampshire. Each team is different because it is commissioned (paid for) by a different group of commissioners.
Each of these services has a specialist multidisciplinary team whose main aim is to help people to live well with chronic pain. All of the teams provide advice, guidance and support in management of chronic pain conditions. Our work is guided by up-to-date research and we aim to follow national standards of best practice.
The team in the Southampton Service includes nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, and an occupational therapist. The team offers both individual and group based treatments including a Pain Management Programme. You will normally meet with one member of the team first for an initial assessment, and your treatment plan is developed from there. You may also be invited to attend an information session, in which you will learn more about chronic pain conditions and ways of managing them.
The Portsmouth Service includes physiotherapists, psychologists, a nurse, and an exercise and rehabilitation instructor. You will first of all be offered an assessment with one of the clinicians, and your treatment plan is discussed after this. You may also be invited to attend an information session, in which the team explains more about chronic pain and pain management. The service offers both individual and group based treatments including a Pain Management Programme.
The South East Hampshire Service includes physiotherapists, psychologists, a nurse, and an exercise and rehabilitation instructor. This service provides group treatments only. The first step is to come to an information session, in which the team explains more about chronic pain and pain management. There is then the option to do a pain Self-Management Programme.
An online Pain Management Programme is also available through each of the above services.
Each person is different and will benefit from the service in different ways. We hope that after coming to our service you will experience some or all of the following:
A better understanding of what chronic pain means and causes pain to persist
Improved confidence about ways in which pain can be managed
Better physical functioning
Greater confidence about movement
Improvements in mood
More able to communicate with others about your condition and how it affects you
Meeting other people who understand what it is like to live with chronic pain and forming a support network.
Southampton Pain Team
Adelaide Health Centre
Tel: 0300 123 6675
Portsmouth Persistent Pain Team
Long Term Conditions Suite
Tel: 023 9268 4805
South East Hampshire Pain Service
Long Term Conditions Suite
Tel: 023 9268 4899
The British Pain Society produces information on a range of topics related to chronic pain. Find them at www.britishpainsociety.org