Our ‘life changing’ public health tour

Flippin’ Pain has completed a week-long tour across the Tees Valley area!

With an overall goal of changing the way people think about, talk about and treat chronic pain, the team organised six days of free events and activities, taking the campaign messages to towns and cities across North East England.

Public seminars and workshops for healthcare professionals were held throughout the week, which included talks by pain academics, clinicians, and other experts in the field, including world-renowned pain scientist and educator Professor Lorimer Moseley.

A series of photos showing public and professional talks by Flippin' Pain

The interactive ‘Brain Bus Experience’ also pitched up at Middlesborough’s James Cook Hospital, Darlington town centre, Yarm, Whitby Bandstand and Durham Marketplace. Passers-by were invited to ‘flip’ their understanding of how the brain works – walking the plank off the roof of a city skyscraper via virtual reality and feeling phantom fingers through a perception exercise.

A series of images of the Flippin' Pain Brain Bus

Across the six days, a 25-strong team of cyclists rode the footprint of the roadshow fundraising for national pain charity, Pain Concern. The peloton comprised event speakers and panel members, such as people who live with chronic pain themselves, health professionals, and pain experts. In total they raised £7873.

A series of photographs showing the Flippin' Pain Peloton Team

“My hip pain has gone completely”

A photograph of AmandaOne of the people who visited the tour was 54-year-old Amanda Craggs, from Guisborough, who has experienced persistent pain since her teens and has fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and ME.

She attended the public session at St Nicholas Parish Church Hall in her hometown. Though initially sceptical, she found the information and advice she received transformed the way she thought about her pain.

She later said: “It changed my life. My whole outlook on life and everything has completely changed. I felt I was listened to and that things were explained to me in a user-friendly way.”

Best of all, Amanda has experienced a reduction in pain, that means she has significantly reduced the level of painkillers she is taking. While she still has it in her hands and the rest of her body, she found that within a day of attending the event, the pain she in her hip had completely gone. She has even stopped using the walking stick that was a vital aid before.

“I still can’t fathom it or comprehend it,” she said, “But my hip pain has gone completely.”

Amanda also identified that the events she attended took away some of her fear around chronic pain, even though until that moment she says she hadn’t realised quite how much fear she was holding about it.

Flippin’ Pain Campaign Director, Richard Pell, said: “Spending six days touring the North East and getting out into the local community to meet people affected by chronic pain was so humbling and we couldn’t be prouder of the response we’ve had to our events.

“Feedback from people like Amanda is what motivates us. Our aim is to share our very best understanding of pain, with as many people as possible. This reduces some of their fear and frustration and can be the catalyst for people – to make those vital first steps to taking back control and getting their lives back.

“Thank you to everyone who came along to the face-to-face sessions or joined virtually and to our fantastic project team, pain ambassadors, partners, and peloton riders.”

A photograph of the Flippin' Pain Tour Team

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