100th meeting milestone as 800 people have been helped to have their pain managed
28 April 2015
The chronic pain service at Southend Hospital has celebrated its 100th pain management programme, which uses meditation and exercise as well as learning more about the science of pain and strategies to improve quality of life, such as better sleep, healthy eating, managing stress and pursuing goals.
Participants attend every Monday and Wednesday for eight
sessions over as four week period. It's run by Mary-Anne Therrien,
a specialist physiotherapist, and Tricia Rose, a counselling
psychologist, who have both been a part of the programme since it
began in 1999.
During the last 16 years the programme has seen over 800
patients, the youngest attendee has been a 17 year old and the
oldest has been a patient in their 80s. One in five adults in
the UK have a chronic pain condition but many manage this
themselves in the community. The group see those who need
more support to learn to manage the pain.
Mary-Anne said: "Patients who attend the pain management
programme have been put forward by other members of the chronic
pain team because they have chronic pain, that won't be helped by
any further medical management and this has significant impact on
their quality of life. Chronic pain is pain persisting for over
three months which has not responded to usual treatment and which
may not have a specific cause.
Participants accept that the pain is not going to be cured and
they are willing to learn to manage it differently and are open to
new ideas. Patients who attend have a wide range of pain
Two former members, who completed the programme three years ago,
have become an integral part of the programme as they come along to
each new group, helping to put new attendees at ease.
Barry Mears, 65, from Leigh, said: "We got so much out this and
wanted to give something back, helping people over their 'first day
nerves'. It's been a massive benefit to me and although it doesn't
cure pain it really help mentally against what problems you have
and makes life easier as a result."
Carl Strange, 47, from Canvey, added: "Before I first came I
said to my wife that I don't expect to get much out of it, but the
programme has really changed my view and it has really taught me
how to relax."
New attendee, Joanne Brown, 39, from Westcliff, was certainly
thankful for Barry and Carl's soothing effect. She concluded:
"They've made me far more positive about attending knowing what
positives someone else has got out of the sessions."