Sarah Steventon Pain Management Clinic Warwickshire. Leamington Spa, Solihull

Pain Clinic - Pain management

Pain is the number one reason why people visit their GP.

My main area of interest in is Pain Psychology, and with the latest neuroscientific findings explaining the experience of pain, we now understand that in many circumstances, we have to also work from a psychological approach to make any real progress.

To reduce pain and accelerate healing, I work with clients around every aspects of their specific issue, and deal with other factors that also influence and effect pain.

Often pain affects people psychologically, so it can lead to anxiety and depression - both of which exacerbate pain, so it becomes a vicious cycle. Having the knowledge and experience to know how to treat every client who presents with different symptoms is key to their recovery.

Pain however, can also be brought on by anxiety or depression in the first instance... and this is often not picked up on, or gets missed, as the patient may not mention it as they don't realise the link.

However your pain started, and whatever form it takes - all pain has a psychological element to it. Whether you have chronic pain, back pain, acute lower back pain, joint pain, sciatica, arthritis.....regardless of your specific pain - all pain is an output from the brain.

Many people think of pain as a purely a physical sensation, and of course it is felt in the physical area.....however, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factor to it - and sometimes there will be no permanent relief from your pain until the other elements are address too.

Unfortunately we generally to still look at pain from a very black and white perspective, and in my experience the best results are achieved not by focusing on conditions and symptoms as medicine tends to do, but to also focus on identifying the underlying causes - especially before we head off for any radical surgery.

If we look at pain from every angle, we can apply an integrated treatment approach. I work with clients on the psychological and emotional element, and I work very closely with professionals who look at the physical element. The ultimate aim is to reduce pain as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Pain can be caused by many different things, a torn or pulled muscle or ligament, after lifting a heavy object, a sudden movement, poor back posture, or a sports injury. Pain can also be caused by a physical injury or an accident, such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall.

Studies have also shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury, but also by stress and emotional issues too. In particular, people who have experienced trauma and are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are often at a higher risk to develop chronic pain.

Chronic pain is defined as prolonged physical pain that lasts for longer than the natural healing process should allow. This pain might stem from injuries, inflammation, or neuralgias and neuropathies (disorders of the nerves), but some people suffer in the absence of any of these conditions.

Chronic pain can debilitate one's ability to move with ease, may hinder their normal functioning, and the search for relief can lead to pain medication addictions, which compound the problem. Chronic pain is also often accompanied by feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety which can lead to depression.

Many people are already familiar with the fact that emotional stress can lead to stomach aches, and headaches - however many people are unaware that it can also cause other physical complaints and even chronic pain.

Studies have found that the more anxious and stressed people are, the more tense and constricted their muscles are, over time causing the muscles to become fatigued and inefficient.

More subtly, one might develop psychosomatic symptoms or stress-related symptoms because of unresolved emotional issues. These are not new discoveries; researchers have studied the mind/body interrelationship for several decades.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with pain - and with conditions such as fibromyalgia, and its cardinal feature chronic widespread pain (CWP).

'Game Changer Therapy' was created to offer a rapid style of cognitive therapy. It is an immensely powerful style of working that incorporates totally modern methodologies and cutting edge techniques to work effectively with a great number of human problems and difficulties including pain

Many people who are in pain, will probably have heard, or been told by their GP, how using therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT] can help - but might not understand the science as to why. It might seem incomprehensible that anything other than pain killers or surgery or some physical intervention can help....and that is understandable....

Using your brain to stop pain certainly isn't easy to explain in a nutshell.....It is extremely complex and there is a need to understand how the brain works in terms of how it creates pain in the first place.

We have learned more about pain in the last ten years than we have in the last hundred. Progressive and rapid research from the field of neuroscience, physical therapy and psychology have slowly unearthed the mystery of how the brain is the 'boss' when it comes to pain.

The term 'neuroplasticity' - which derives from the word 'neuron' and 'plastic' - which basically is your brains potential to reorganise itself, by creating new neural pathways and adapting as needed.....which is incidentally how we learn new skills and abilities....but is also has the potential to help us create pain.... this is how our thoughts can affect how we experience pain...and for how long.

Many people understand that pain killers actually work by stopping the pain when we think about it, we know that it is created in our brain...

Using the latest neuroscientific findings to explain the experience of pain, and what is actually going on in the mind/body system, allows us to have a better understanding of what we can do to reduce suffering when pain persists.

Whether you have chronic pain, back pain, acute low back pain, joint pain, or nerve root pain that occurs with low back pain that can give referred pain into the leg and foot, known as sciatica, arthritis.....whatever your specific pain, all pain is an output from the brain.

Though pain is never pleasant, it’s an important signal our bodies use to warn there’s something wrong. Usually, what’s wrong is that you have an injury of some kind - but in some cases what is wrong is that your body is misfiring pain signals.

It can also be self-perpetuating - over time, the constant barrage of pain signals can change nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord - so even after the injury has healed or the condition has been treated, you’ll still feel the discomfort.

So now we know, and scientists have shown, that the brain plays such a central role in many different conditions around pain, including chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, migraine, chronic tension headaches, osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) we have a much better understanding of how we can deal with it.

Pain science shows that pain itself often modifies the way the central nervous system works, so that a patient actually becomes more sensitive and gets more pain with less provocation. This is called “central sensitisation” because it involves changes in the central nervous system ( CNS ).

As pain is filtered through your brain, it means all pain is an output of your brain, no matter what type of pain you have - and now we know that there is a strong connection between your brain’s ability to adapt and change (neuroplasticity) and your perception of your pain, whether it physical or even emotional pain....we can work towards helping you heal your pain.

Prof Lorimer Moseley, one of the leading experts in the world on pain gives an explanation on how the pain system works and demonstrates how we can sometimes either get the wrong pain message or how other factors can exacerbate the pain signal.

Pain in the first instance is important, because it lets us know we need to take action, but sometimes the pain message has actually lingered on for longer than is necessary, and for longer than we require it. By using a range of psychological pain management techniques and interventions we can help relieve pain and promote recovery.

If you have been experiencing long term pain, please arrange an appointment at one of the pain management clinics - full details of all the clinics can be found on the website.

Specialist training

Dr Grahame Brown - leading consultant in musculo-skeletal, sport and exercise medicine and a specialist in occupational medicine at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Birmingham.

Dr Brown has developed considerable expertise integrating orthopaedic, osteopathic, sport and exercise, psychological, pain and occupational medicine for the benefit of persons who are experiencing musculoskeletal problems that are impairing their health related quality of life or participation in sport and exercise at any level.

Co-author of Liberate Yourself from Pain, which takes a deeper look at understanding pain and accelerating healing through the bio-psycho-social mode.

Book into one of my pain clinics for your consultation - Warwick, Leamington Spa, Stratford Upon Avon and Solihull

An approach to pain relief that leverages the latest pain science to retrain your brain and calm a sensitive nervous system.
Reduce chronic inflammation, and unlock the built-in ‘medicine cabinet’ in your brain and start living life again.

All clinics are centrally located and within easily access from main motorway networks, ideally situated for clients within Warwick, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth, Solihull, Dorridge, Knowle, Lapworth, Henley In Arden, Stratford Upon Avon, and Coventry.

Arthritis osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout. All of them cause pain in different ways.

Pain Management . quality

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