Pain Management Programme

Why have I been referred to the Pain Management Programme?
The Pain Management Programme is designed to help people with long-term
pain problems. Unfortunately some people still have pain despite medical
treatments from doctors. When doctors are unable to offer any more
treatments to improve or cure the pain, a different approach is needed.


Will the Pain Management Programme cure my pain?
No, the Pain Management Programme will not cure your pain.
The programme aims to provide you with other methods to cope with long term
symptoms. It will help you learn how to manage your pain yourself so
that you feel more in control of your life.
Sometimes people find their pain improves, but this is considered to be a


How does the Pain Management Programme work?
A lot of different factors can influence a long-term pain problem. Just some of
these are:
joint stiffness, muscle weakness, incorrect posture, poor sitting and
sleeping positions, incorrect lifting techniques, over and/or under
activity, thoughts and emotions (e.g. worry, anger, sadness)
Through short, informal talks, practical sessions and home-based tasks, the
programme aims to minimise these factors by enabling:

  • improved fitness and mobility
  • recognising links between emotions and pain and examining
  • thoughts
  • more effective performance of daily activities
  • stress management and relaxation skills


How is the programme structured ?
The programme runs groups for approximately 8 patients over half a day a
week for 10 weeks. Groups are run from both
St Albans City Hospital and Jacketts Field Rehabilitation Unit at Abbots
Langley. Each session includes talks, discussion, exercise and relaxation and
there are home-based tasks to practice the new skills.


Who runs the programme?
The programme is run by specialist staff with experience of working with
people with long term pain. The team consists of a Physiotherapist,
Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist and Specialist Nurse.


What happens when I first see the team?
First you will be invited to an assessment appointment with the team. This is
to gain a full picture of your problem and for you to ask any questions you
may have. The assessment is to decide with you whether the programme is
right for you at this time.


What happens next?
If the programme could be helpful for you, you will be invited to attend the
next appropriate group.
Sometimes an individual approach or a referral to see another specialist is
more appropriate. The way forward will be discussed with you at the end of the assessment.

Is there anything I should do before seeing the team?
If you have any questions about your pain problem or are uncertain whether
all appropriate medical investigations and treatments have been tried you
should discuss this with your doctor before the assessment.
What will I need to do if I come on the programme?
Full attendance is essential to benefit from the programme. The course works
as a whole, with each session building on the last. You will be given the group
dates in advance. If you are unable to commit to a particular group it would be
better to wait for a later group that you can complete.
The course aims to teach you skills to manage your pain. It is therefore
important to practice skills at home between the group sessions. You can then
discuss any problems with the team.

What happens at the end of the programme?
The programme aims to teach you skills to manage your pain over the longterm.
It is anticipated that you will continue to master these skills long after the
end of the programme and continue to use them in your life.
You will be invited to reviews at approximately 2, 6 and 12 months after the
end of the group. These are to see how you are getting on and to address any ongoing concerns.



Dr. Claire Winchurst, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Ms. Caroline Waterstone, Specialist Physiotherapist


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