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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Optimise

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About us

The Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit is staffed by a team of experts in the management of pain-related disability.

These include:

  • specialist physiotherapists
  • a pain specialist clinical psychologist
  • an assistant practitioner
  • access to a Disability Employment Advisor.

Rehabilitation for patients with persistent (chronic) musculoskeletal - and neuropathic pain is offered. Patients may have localised or widespread pain-related disability, often with associated distress and/or fatigue.

Where possible, there is a seamless link between other diagnostic and treatment services. This ensures that medical opinions or investigations can be undertaken where necessary, particularly in relation to spinal pain.

Rehabilitation programmes are offered to many patients. These are of differing duration depending on individual needs. Rehabilitation is delivered as a combined physical and psychological approach (as recommended in the NICE Pathway for Low Back Pain and Sciatica 2017)) and the Balanced Life Programme adheres to the British Pain Society guidelines for Pain Management Programmes for Adults. The Pain Consultants are based at the Churchill Hospital in the Oxford Pain Management Centre.

It is widely accepted that pain rehabilitation is best delivered within a group. However, in some special circumstances, patients may be offered one to one treatment. Research involving patients attending our three week 'Get Back Active!' rehabilitation programme at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre demonstrates functional improvements equivalent to that of spinal stabilisation surgery.

Patients may be offered an assessment with the specialist clinical psychologist. Outcomes are likely to include either: attending a pain management programme, one to one sessions, advice on self-management, recommendations to the GP/rehabilitation team or referral to other mental health services. Audit data following rehabilitation programmes shows that many people are greatly helped with their symptoms of anxiety and depression.