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The Pain Management Plan by Robert Lewin and Mike Bryson was published back in September 2010 but I recently bought it after reading about it in a magazine.

The Pain Management Plan – How people living with pain found a better life. The things that helped them and the things that set them back.

It is a self-help guide that is being used by pain management and individuals self-managing their own pain with guidance from their GP. It is a home-based version of just such a pain management programme. It was developed for use in the British National Health Service by three of the UKs leading Pain Management Programmes and leading experts in pain management.

The writer is a strong advocate of the benefits that self management can offer to patients to self-manage their condition ( that’s me). Until you have experienced it yourself it is almost impossible to realise how difficult it is to live with chronic pain. Pain that never really leaves you alone. Pain that usually no one can truly explain or offer any cure for.

Professor Lewin says “research shows that when services do adopt self-management alongside a hospital-based programme they are often able to help more people and reserve their hospital based programmes for people who don’t want to self-manage or have more complex needs”.

Long-term pain is different from the short term pain of injury or an illness that everyone else knows. For one thing it often has no discoverable cause and is pointless and unfair.

Pain Management Programmes have been intensively researched for many years. Over the last 20 years, around the world, many thousands of people have taken part in and benefited from a Pain Management Programme.

Unfortunately though most people living with pain never get a chance to take part because such programmes are few and far between, there are only around 24 such programmes in the UK and each can treat only a few hundred patients a year.

It is hoped that the book will support those suffering with chronic, long-term pain and facilitate and improved quality of life. Until now The Pain Management Programme has only been available as part of an NHS Pain Management Programme. Now, so that more people can benefit, it is being made available for anyone to buy and use at home themselves. I attended one such programme myself many years ago and it definitely helped me understand how to pace myself a bit better but without a book you soon forget some of the suggestions.

It explains to you, in clear plain English, step-by-step, how to develop your own personal pain plan and carry it out on a day-by-day basis over the coming months.

It contains all the materials you will need including a special diary and a stress management programme on an audio CD with guidance on coping with the anxiety and depression that can sometimes come with chronic pain. With long waiting lists to any pain management programme at the moment this is a great resource for people who are desperate for some help with their pain management.

It was developed by people who know and have experienced long-term pain for people who are living with pain now. The experience and wisdom of many thousands of patients are captured in the Pain Management Programme.

Of course, you must discuss the programme with your GP first.

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