Chronic Pain: Who Can Help?
Chronic pain has become very common in the UK. In fact there are currently about 28 million people suffering. You are not alone. We will look at ways to help you manage, treat and cope with your pain.
Your first go to guide should be your PHARMACY. You can use any pharmacy you like and do not require an appointment. You could even give an online pharmacy like ourselves a call to have a quick word of advice. Many patients feel their pain is not controlled to a level where they can manage. A pharmacist can offer you a basic assessment and work with you to develop an action plan and set realistic goals in helping you cope. Pharmacist may not always be able to cure the pain, but they can help people live a more active and productive life.
The second option is your GP surgery. You will have to arrange an appointment to see a doctor who may discuss your pain and medication history and record your current level of pain. It is important to identify where the pain is coming from and what may be causing the pain. This may require a physical examination. It is also important to discuss how the pain is affecting your quality of life.
If appropriate, your GP may suggest prescribe you medication for you pain and advise for you to stay active, which can help ease pain and improve your general well-being. The doctor may refer you onto a support group or pain clinic if necessary.
There are lots of self-help advice available from a variety of organisations such as:
There are certain charities that specialise in more specific medical conditions that may offer more targeted support.
Pain clinics are set-up for patients with moderate to severe level of chronic pain. They can put you on a medication therapy which may include pain-relief injections or the use of TENS machines. They often provide you with a personalised exercise regimen to cater to your condition. Psychological and complementary therapy sessions can also be set-up as part of the treatment plan or you may be offered a pain-management programme (PMP).
The aim of a PMP is to improve your quality of life through gentle exercise, relaxation and mindfulness sessions. They may teach you how to manage emotions related to long-term pain by learning to pace yourself to avoid pain flare-ups and group discussions.
For more information from the NHS click here.
(sources: nhs.uk, pharmacist.co.uk)