Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Treatment of chronic pain

For many people there is no quick fix to the feelings of pain, but it is possible to get our patients back to school, to work and to doing the things they enjoy.

Below is an overview of the strategies we use. These are tailored to our patient's needs and are often extensions to general pain relief.

It is necessary to use the skills of all our team to optimise treatment, but carefully following a stepwise approach can produce remarkable results.

Step 1: Re-evaluation of diagnosis

Onging worry stops engagement with the healing process. Further investigations are not helpful unless specifically indicated.

Step 2: Obtain the understanding and agreement of the patient and family

This is a vital step, without which treatment is often incomplete and ineffective.

Step 3: Identification of loss of normal activity and goals

We look at areas which our patient is having difficulty with and identify their long term goals.

(e.g. back to school full time; back to playing football; walking the dog….)

Step 4: Creation of achievable mini goals

We break the path to the patient's long term goal down into small bite size steps.

Step 5: Assess and correct any imbalances in muscles and tendons

Stretching and strengthening exercises are taught by our physiotherapists.

Step 6: Enhance normal coping strategies

Our psychologist is very good at providing tips

Step 7: Avoidance of unhelpful protective mechanisms

All team members can teach various ways to remain positive.

Step 8: Improve movement, activity and stamina

Our physiotherapists can help to improve confidence, help achieve goals and retrain the pain system.

Step 9: Pacing

This is a strategy to avoid the common problem of overdoing things. This is taught by both our occupational therapists and psychologist.

More about pacing

Step 10: Gentle massage

This increases feedback mechanisms and retrains the pain system by stimulation of skin and muscle nerves.

Step 11: Correct sleep disturbance

A good night's sleep is very important to our general wellbeing. Our occupational therapists can help with this.

More about sleep

Step 12: Focus attention on quality of life not pain

All team members can help with this.

Step 13: Help parents to support this process

All team members can give parents useful tips.

Step 14: Develop skills to cope with any future flares

All team members can help with this.