Pain which is more persistent – otherwise known as ‘chronic pain’ is usually managed as an outpatient. The IMPACT Pain Rehabilitation Team is based at Haywood Hospital, Stoke on Trent.
WHAT WE DO
The IMPACT team is an inter-professional team of physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and a doctor. As a team we provide pain rehabilitation support to maximise quality of life for adults living with persistent pain. Following a process of careful assessment, you will be offered support in either a group format or individually. This service is currently only available to patients with a GP in North Staffordshire CCG.
WHERE WE DO IT
The IMPACT group pain rehabilitation programme takes place at the Haywood Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent.
IMPACT individual treatment clinics take place at Milehouse Primary Care Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Haywood Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent and Leek Moorlands Hospital Outpatient Department.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT MY APPOINTMENT
Prior to your appointment you will be sent a short questionnaire, please bring this with you to your appointment. Your assessment will be with either a doctor or physiotherapist who specialises in helping people with persistent pain. They will discuss your pain history and the impact that it has on your life. They will then help you to understand why you have pain and discuss how we can support you to live better with your pain. You will then agree a suitable, individualised management plan together.
WHAT IS CHRONIC / PERSISTENT PAIN?
Persistent pain is any pain that goes on for longer than would be expected after an injury or illness. Pain is initially produced to let us know something is wrong. When we have an injury or illness our bodies produce chemicals which cause our pain nerves to become more sensitive so that we get pain as a “warning sign” before we injure ourselves further. Normally, once the injury or illness gets better our nerves go back to normal and the pain stops. Unfortunately, in some people their nerves stay too sensitive. This means that they continue to get pain even though there is no longer any problem with the body’s tissues.
Not everyone develops persistent pain following an injury or illness. Some people find that their symptoms start without any obvious cause. We know that other things can also cause the nervous system to become too sensitive, for example, poor quality sleep, low mood and stressful life events such as bereavement or losing a job.
Sometimes people with persistent pain become concerned about the cause of the pain and worry about making things worse. This often results in low mood and people reducing activities that are important to them.
This short video explains it further.
It is important to understand that Physiotherapy cannot “fix” your Persistent Pain problem. The Physiotherapists in the IMPACT team are specially trained to listen to you and understand how your chronic pain problem is impacting on you and your life, and try to work with you to formulate a plan to help you to:
- Understand your specific pain condition and more about chronic pain
- Understand more about the different tests and treatments you have had for your pain
- Feel reassured and supported to start to make changes to improve your quality of life despite your pain
- Support you to try and respond differently to your pain to help to better manage flare-ups
- Feel confident in movement and activity despite your pain
- Find a range of exercises based on valued activity that will be helpful in maintaining your flexibility and strength which should be beneficial in the long term
- Feel more in control by using a range of self management strategies
- Understand the importance of pacing activities and how this applies to your life
- Help you to access other useful self management resources
The Psychology team do not believe that your pain is ‘all in your head’; and they understand that persistent pain can be a very distressing experience that can have a significant impact on your quality of life. A Clinical Psychologist will assess the impact that pain has had on your mood, work, social activities and family life. The IMPACT team use an Acceptance and Commitment therapy approach to strongly inform our practice.
The aim of any psychological intervention is not to reduce the pain itself but to effectively reduce the problems that are caused by the pain. The Psychologist’s role is to help you explore and discover what things in life are important and meaningful to you and what factors past and present are standing in the way of you being able to achieve your goals. Learning new ways of coping will help you to gradually regain control of your life despite the pain, both now and in the future.
Group Pain Rehabilitation Programme
Pain Rehabilitation Programmes are for people with persistent pain that causes reduced valued activity and unhappiness. A Pain Rehabilitation Programme (PRP) is a group treatment which uses classroom and gym based sessions to help people with persistent pain to improve quality of life.
The PRPs run on all day Tuesday and Wednesday for four weeks and are run by our Specialist Physiotherapists and Clinical Psychologists with input from our Consultant in Pain Medicine.
Whilst attending a PRP, people develop skills that help them to deal with and self-manage their pain. These skills include:
- Learning about managing everyday valued activities, such as hobbies and work
- How to do gentle exercise with confidence
- How to relax both mind and body
- How to stop unhelpful thoughts and feelings driving your behaviour
- How to avoid overdoing activity and increasing pain
- Understanding the psychological effects of persistent pain
- How to improve confidence to cope with persistent pain
Chronic Pain Rehabilitation - IMPACT Service Contact Details
Limb Fitting Centre, Haywood Hospital, High Lane, Stoke on Trent ST67AG
Tel: 01782 673751