40% of local residents are thought to experience persistent pain and parts of the county rank highest in England for high dose opioid use.
Over 100 people from Lincolnshire heard from leading pain experts and those living with pain yesterday (Tuesday 18 February) at a public engagement event designed to challenge common misconceptions and outdated beliefs around persistent pain.
Flippin’ Pain is a public health campaign, championed by Connect Health the largest, independent provider of integrated community musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain services in the UK and supported by NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. Its event titled ‘Pain: Do You Get It?’ held at The Blue Room in Lincoln, was the third of its kind in Lincolnshire, following previous events in Boston and Grantham in 2019.
Guest speaker Professor Lorimer Moseley started his journey in understanding persistent pain following a football injury that left him with debilitating back and leg pain for over a decade. He then became a physiotherapist and is now arguably one of the world’s leading pain scientists and its most renowned pain educator. He co-hosted the event with Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation at Teesside University, Cormac Ryan. Cormac started his clinical career as a physiotherapist working in Glasgow within an NHS musculoskeletal out-patient clinic and has been researching in the field of pain and pain education for the past 15 years.
Cormac is co-editor of Pain and Rehabilitation – The journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association and was recently appointed a Connect Health ‘Community Pain Champion’. The duo shared enlightening research-based insight into pain and concluded, that learning to change your understanding of pain can have lifechanging benefits for people living with pain, their families and their loved ones.
As part of his talk, Prof Moseley, who has for the past four years spearheaded Australia’s Pain Revolution, explained: “Pain does not equal tissue damage, it actually means protection. Pain is about perceived risk and is not a good measure of damage or injury.”
Prof Ryan added: “Pain is a marker of perceived threat or danger and it does a wonderful job of keeping your body safe.”
An interactive discussion and audience Q&A followed the guest speakers and included opinions and tips from people with experience of persistent pain and clinical experts, including Carolyn Johnson from Skegness.
Carolyn has suffered with pain for over 20 years, which led to her being diagnosed with Spina Bifida Occulta (SPO) 12 years ago, a malformation of the spine. She said:
The pain had an impact on every aspect of my day, and I feel like I have missed out on more than 10 years of my life. I couldn’t spend time with my family, such as going for a walk with my grandchildren – I won’t ever get that back.
Panel member Fen Kipley from the county also talked about how worried she was about going to the gym but was amazed at how she was able to use the cycling machine without pain in her knee.