Pain Management Programme
The Western Trust pain management programme (PMP) is a 10 week multi-disciplinary group programme, currently delivered online via Zoom only, for people with persistent pain to manage their pain and everyday activities better. Persistent pain is pain that continues for more than three months. If you learn to manage your persistent pain in a better way, you may find your quality of life also improves. Our programme is offered across the Western Trust in Altnagelvin Hospital, Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex and South West Acute Hospital.
About the Programme
PMPs are run by healthcare professionals with specialist skills to help you manage your pain. A psychologist, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and pharmacist deliver the programme. These specialist staff will assist you in developing skills to deal with and manage your pain.
These skills include:
- How to manage everyday activities, including hobbies and work;
- How to do gentle exercise;
- How to relax both your mind and body;
- How to avoid overdoing activity and increasing your pain;
- Understanding the psychological effects of persistent pain; and
- How to improve your confidence to cope with persistent pain.
Who is it for?
PMP is for people with persistent pain, which can be disabling and frustrating, and can affect your relationships with family, friends and work colleagues. It is usually recommended after you have had all appropriate investigations for your pain and tried other treatments.
How do I get on to a Pain Management Programme?
This is usually organised by your GP who can refer you to the Pain Clinic where the referral will be triaged by the Consultant Anaesthetist. Your GP can give you more advice about local arrangements.
Before being invited to attend a PMP you will need to attend an assessment to see if it will be helpful for you. This usually involves a discussion with the PMP team and you may need to fill in some questionnaires. During this assessment you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the treatment.
Physical Health Psychology
Living with Persistent Pain can impact greatly on your psychological wellbeing. Psychologists have skills in a range of therapies which are designed to help you deal with the emotional impact of pain and to teach you skills to re-focus your life.
Patients experiencing Persistent Pain have described much time and effort being used to ‘get rid of the pain’. When this has been unsuccessful, disappointment often follows leading to frustration and low mood. The Pain Management Program takes a different approach to managing your pain. Rather than trying to get rid of the pain we explore and focus on the areas of your life that the pain has impacted and use strategies to help you adapt to improve your quality of life, despite the pain.
We will work together with you to help you understand and manage the emotional effects of Persistent Pain and in turn help you to gain control of your life once again.
Physiotherapy in the Pain Management Programme
The Physiotherapist working in the Pain Management Program delivers treatment in a group setting with the focus on education, patient empowerment and promoting exercise.
One in four people experience persistent pain which is described as lasting for more than three months and when tissue damage is not the main issue. The Physiotherapist will help you to understand this and the science behind it. You will be assessed by the team and identify your fears and worries about your pain. The physiotherapist will assess your movement and discuss everyday tasks you find difficult. You will be introduced you to an exercise program and given the confidence to do this independently.
Flare ups are common and the Physiotherapist will help you understand them better, identify triggers and develop a flare up plan that will help reduce their severity and frequency.
Although Persistent Pain is a long term condition, Physiotherapy can help you to understand it better, reduce your fear with movement and live better alongside pain.
Pharmacy in the Pain Management Programme
The Pharmacist provides an awareness and information session on medicine use in persistent pain in the group setting. This aims to highlight the need for safe and evidence based use of any medication as part of your wider pain management strategy with an emphasis on promoting treatment goals and medication use review with your prescriber.
Information is shared to increase your knowledge of the types of medications that may be prescribed in persistent pain with a particular focus upon their potential benefits and risks.
The information provided hopes to support you to actively think about whether your medicines help you to manage your pain. You can then use this as a tool to discuss options with your prescriber or healthcare team.
Advice on medication safety and related information leaflets are provided.
Occupational Therapy within Pain Management Programme
The Occupational Therapist works as part of the Multidisciplinary Team in the PMP by supporting clients to live and function productively and to enable clients with chronic pain to participate in activities that have value and meaning to them ,.
Within this context, occupational therapists evaluate the pain’s impact on a client’s desired activities and quality of life, and equip him or her with the skills and strategies to manage these activities. These areas include functional and personal activities of daily living, work, leisure, social integration, education and emotion and cognition.
The occupational therapy intervention will include the use of strategies such as activity management, activity adaptation, the development of coping strategies and vocational rehabilitation and may involve working with patients at home, workplace or clinical setting.
Therapy will be delivered on an individual or group setting.
What others have said
“I was nervous to begin with but it definitely works”
“…learned new coping skills and information that makes being in chronic pain more manageable”
“would highly recommend”
“…the course was in-depth and covered mental health and well-being, living daily with chronic pain”
“did more than I expected”
“…I did not know what to expect but lots better than I thought”
“the information was relevant and having other people go through the same or similar situation gave me more things to try”
“Pacing, management of stress and goal setting was useful”
“the tutors were excellent at explaining to us as a group, everyone got involved which was good”
Further Resources and Videos
What you can do about chronic or persistent pain
What to do about it in less than 5 minutes – VIDEO
Improving pain and wellbeing without opioids
Brainman stops his opioids – VIDEO
See further resources regarding pain here.
Pain Management Programme
Clinical Care Centre
Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex
7 Donaghanie Road