Pain Management Programme: Patient Experiences and Common Concerns
We spoke to former patients Penny, Tony and Lisa about their experiences attending on of our Pain Management Programmes. They told us how it had helped improve their quality of life and some of the hurdles they faced when they had finished the programme. They also spoke to us about some worries they had before coming on the programme - worries which in our experience are very common.
Impact of the Pain Management Programme
“I am a lot happier in myself now. I used to be up and down in mood. When you’re in pain all the time it is hard - you feel like you’re no good and useless and you can’t do anything with your kids. But I am doing a lot better. I go out with my young lad now. We do car boot sales on Sunday mornings and that is a thing that I would never have been able to do. I would have had to do it on my crutches in a lot of pain, but I haven’t used crutches since the course, and I haven’t needed to use my mobility scooter. I don’t walk fantastically but I do walk, and I think I will be able to do a little bit more each week.”
“I was always thinking this pain is never going to end; what happens if 10 years down the line I have still got this pain? What happens then? But the course made me think well I accept it, I have got it, and it is not going to go anywhere anytime soon. I know now that I have got to live with it and make my life better, rather than thinking what happens if it goes in 10 years, will I be okay then?.
“My partner was always worried about me too, but the programme has helped our relationship a lot. He would worry ‘oh she is in too much pain I don’t really want to put any pressure on her’, whereas now he realises ‘yes we can do things together.”
“I supposed you are a bit anxious about being in a group as you’re meeting people you haven’t met before. It’s venturing into the unknown, and 16 days sounds a long time. But it was nice to meet people who had some idea of what I was going through, as they’re going through pretty much the same thing - they understand you and are prepared to listen.”
Worry About Exercise
“I was really worried about exercising before I started the programme, but the physiotherapists helped me realise that I could do a lot more than I thought was possible. I used to go everywhere in the car before, even if it was only 2 minutes away, because I knew walking would hurt me. My mentality was, 'why put myself in extra pain?' But when you stop doing things, your legs hurt when you start moving because you haven’t built the muscles up. So I would rather walk everywhere now. I must walk about 50 times more than I did!”
“It’s a bit of a frightening word ‘psychology’, if you don’t understand what it actually is. At first I was wondering why is there psychology in there? But when you get in the group and you are actually talking with the psychologists, it is not as hard work as you think – it’s just sitting down, talking and understanding really.”
Managing on the Programme
“I was worried about whether I was going to be able to sit down for an hour at a time and stay attentive. I think when I first came there was a sense that I couldn’t get up in front of a group of people whilst somebody was talking and walk around the room or change my position without it somehow causing a problem. But it was made very clear on the first day that you could do what you needed to do to ensure you are as comfortable as possible which took my anxiety straight away. Plus you get breaks between sessions which helps you manage any more demanding ones. I liked the fact that you can be together in the break but nobody minds if you go off and sit in another room to grab a bit of peace and quiet.”
Keeping Going After the Pain Management Programme
“I would say one of the biggest and hardest things was keeping up the exercise, because it is a completely different environment at home compared to the programme. When I thought of doing exercise I thought 'how can that be good?' It actually was; it was fantastic, I loved it. But then I went home I was back to thinking 'how can exercise be good?' I went back to that frame of mind, so it was very hard to motivate myself.
“But I started to feel fed up and really sore again and I would just want to stay in bed. I started feeling worse, so I thought 'well obviously exercise is important because I am feeling worse again now'. I pulled myself out of it; I just remember getting my pain management folder out and reading all the information again. I don’t do the exercises every single day that we did on the course, but I do something everyday.”
“The hardest thing is being on your own after the programme ends. It was really nice to meet people that listen and understand. But I carry on as best as I can with what I learned at The Walton Centre. I’ve used it constructively in my life. I have kept my pain management programme folder and I have a look through it now and then. If I am feeling down about my pain, I can pick up the phone and I’ll call one of my friends that I met on the course. I spoke to one the other week and we were on the phone for about 20 minutes. By the end of the phone call, we had cheered up and were talking about things that had nothing to do with pain.”
Page last updated: 13 August 2021