As with any form of pain management, different resources or techniques will suit different people. Please remember that you may need to try out more than one book, CD or website before you find something which is helpful for you.
There are many factors that can influence the pain experience. This includes cognitions and mood alongside sensory information. Frequently people experiencing persistent pain find it difficult to engage in valued activities.
Social prescribing could be one way of enabling patients to re-engage with a life that is meaningful to them. Both Camden and Islington have social prescribing services. Please click the links below to find out more, including how to be referred to their services:
Understanding Persistent Pain
Pain is a personal construct. You know it is going to hurt. Professor Mick Thacker talks about latest understanding in pain science inthis informative TeEDx talk.
How pain works. Physiotherapist Jackie Walumbe and Clinical Psychologist Dr Katy Bradbury use this animated video to explain how pain works: including the impact of pain, the difference between acute and chronic pain and the integrated physical, psychological and social influences on pain.
Tame the beast is an animated video narrated by Professor Lorimer Moseley. The video aims to increase the viewers understanding of persistent pain in a visually stimulating way: https://
Why do we hurt? Engaging and humorous TEDx talk by Professor Lorimer Moseley answering the question: https://
Explaining persistent pain in 5 mins. Whiteboard explainer video: https://
Everyone experiences pain -- but why do some people react to the same painful stimulus in different ways? And what exactly is pain, anyway? Karen D. Davis walks you through your brain on pain, illuminating why the “pain experience” differs from person to person. https://
Three pain scientists talk about pain: Professor Lorimer Moseley, Dr David Butler and Dr Tasha Stanton answer common questions about pain. https://
Common low back pain myths: Professor Peter O’Sullivan uses real patient interviews and stories to debunk common myths about back pain. https://
The science behind pain, what pain is and why pain might be experienced differently by different people. Dr Janet Bultitude from the University of Bath’s Department for Psychology / Centre for Pain Research explores: https://
The use of psychology in managing pain (Part 1. Prof. Tamar Pincus explains the interaction between thoughts (cognitions), mood and sensory information to combine to inform the pain experience. The information in this video is framed within a GP consultation. https://
The use of psychology in managing pain (part 2). In the second part of this video explainer, Prof. Tamar Pincus touches on the differences between clinical depression and pain related depression and looks at the interaction of patient and GP.
The experience of pain. Joshua W. Pate investigates the experience of pain in this Tedx video. Explore the biological and psychological factors that influence how we experience pain and how our nervous system reactions to harmful stimuli.
Acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain. Prof. Tamar Pincus explains acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain. ‘It took me a long time to understand that acceptance was not the same as giving up or losing hope, but instead a conscious decision to completely engage with life, including pain’
How can you live well with chronic pain. Dr Bronnie Thompson talks about ways to live well with pain.
Louise’s story: After more than a decade and half of trying – unsuccessfully – to deal with her fibromyalgia through opioids, Louise finally decided that one way or another, she was going to have to manage her pain another way … https://
Sean’s story: A helpful video telling Sean’s experience of chronic pain and opioids
Brainman stops his opioids: “Brainman stops his opioids” holds the succinct message that opioids are no longer recommended for chronic non-cancer pain.
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Here are some resources, which may be of use to you:
If you are a local resident, you can access digital or phone support within Psychological Therapies Services (iCope):
- Camden 020 3317 6670
- Islington 020 3317 7252
If you need crisis support, you may find it helpful to contact:
- The Samaritans: www.samaritans.org, Tel: 116 123 (available 24/7)
- Papyrus (young adults) www.Papyrus-uk.org, Tel: 0800 068 41 41
‘Explain Pain’ – Lorimer Moseley and David Butler (Sunyata publisher).
‘Manage your Pain: Practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain’ - Michael Nicholas, Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin and Lee Beetson (Souvenir Press, 2003).
‘Overcoming Chronic Pain’ – Frances Cole, Helen Macdonald, Catherine Carus and Hazel Howden-Leach (Robinson Publishing, 2005).
‘Coping Successfully with Pain’ – Neville Shone (Sheldon Press, 2002). The author of this book has chronic pain.
‘Pain – the Science of Suffering (Maps of the mind)’ – Patrick Wall (Columbia University Press, 2002). This book is a more technical account of pain and pain mechanisms.
‘A Headache in the Pelvis’ – David Wise and Rodney U. Anderson (National Center for Pelvic Pain Research, 2010). The author of this book suffers from chronic pelvic pain. Although expensive, some patients find this book is extremely helpful.
‘Heal Pelvic Pain’ – Amy Stein (McGraw-Hill, 2008). This book is by a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic pain. Although the term ‘Heal’ is misleading, it contains useful advice on activity and building up physical conditioning, which can be incorporated into the pain management techniques learnt on the Link programme.
‘The Back Book’ – Royal College of General Practitioners and the NHS Executive (authors: Martin Roland, Gordon Waddell, Jennifer Klaber-Moffett, Kim Burton & Chris Main; 2002 Edition). This is a very concise book on managing back pain.
For a mindful approach to managing pain and mood
‘Full Catastrophe Living: How to cope with Stress, Pain and Illness using Mindfulness Meditation’ – John Kabat-Zinn (Piatkus Books, 2001).
‘Living well with pain and illness: The mindful way to free yourself from suffering’ – Vidymala Burch (Piatkus Books, 2008). There is also a CD available on Amazon which accompanies this book.
‘Overcoming Depression: A guide to recovery with a complete self help programme’ – Paul Gilbert (Robinson Publishing, 2009). This book is based on the cognitive-behavioural (CBT) model, and an be used with feelings of low mood as well as clinical depression.
‘Mind over Mood: Change how you feel by changing the way you think’ - Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger (Guildford Publications, 1995 This CBT-based book can be used for low mood and anxiety.
Anxiety and worry
‘Overcoming Anxiety’ – Helen Kennerley (Robinson Publishing, 2009). Self-help techniques for worry and anxiety, based on the CBT model.
‘Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness – Gillian Butler (Robinson Publishing, 2009).
Patient Led Websites
Pain took-kit is a site run by Pete Moore. Pete experiences persistent pain himself. On his journey he has amassed many pain management techniques. He now uses his expertise to help other pain patients and health care professionals.
Joletta Belton writes a blog on living with chronic pain from a patient’s perspective. The website aims to make sense of pain through science and stories.
Living well with pain. A blog by Tina. “Through my lived experience of persistent pain, and my professional and volunteer experience working both with people with persistent pain and with healthcare professionals, I hope to help ‘bridge the gap’ between patients and healthcare professionals”
The unchartered collective are a collaboration of ‘creatives’. A group of persistent pain sufferers raising awareness and exploring the pain experience through art and performance. “Our name reflects our sense of living in unchartered territory: when an illness becomes chronic and your life counter-culture. With few role models and little awareness around invisible impairments, navigating this new world can be a lonely thing”
Bronnie Thompson lives with chronic pain andis an Occupational Therapist with a Masters degree in Psychology. She has worked with chronic pain patients for over 20 years and writes helpful articles for patients and health care professionals.
For pain understanding and skills
The Retrain Pain Foundation is an excellent resource with a number of quick, engaging materials around the topic of persistent pain. It has translated the material into a number of different languages.
Pain-ed is a website that is run by experienced clinicians working and researching in the pain management world. Their mission is to inform both the public and health care practitioners about the latest pain research and to dispel common myths about pain, providing a hope for change.
BodyinMind was developed by Professor Lorimer Moseley and Heidi Allen, as a method to promote better understanding of the clinical pain sciences. This site focuses on attempts to better understand the way the body, brain and mind interact.
Tame the Beast was created in collaboration between: a pain researcher Professor Lorimer Moseley, a physiotherapist David Moen and a professional communicator Sam Chisholm. It includes many useful resources and real patient stories
Beyond mechanical pain. Alison Sim is an Osteopath with a Masters degree in Pain Management she has a keen interest in educating health professionals about the latest science surrounding pain, especially pain that hangs around – chronic or persisting pain.
Living well with pain is a website created through the collaboration of Dr Francis Cole (retired GP), Emma Davies (Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner) and Eve Jenner (Physiotherapist). It is written for clinicians and has helpful resources on a number of pain management strategies including opioid management.
www.healthtalkonline.org – this website is run by the DIPEx charity and is based on qualitative research into patients’ experiences of health conditions. It contains medical and treatment information, and accounts of patient’s experiences of various health conditions, including chronic pain. It has video clips as well as written content.
www.britishpainsociety.org – the British Pain Society website. Helpful information section for patients with pain conditions, and details of various support groups, including guidance supported by available evidence on clinical and other pain matters.
www.painrelieffoundation.org.uk – the Pain Relief Foundation website. Information leaflets on pain management can be downloaded or ordered from the website.
www.painconcern.org.uk – provides support for those with pain and their carers, and has factsheets and leaflets on different aspects of chronic pain and self-management. It also contains Airing Pain, a series of regular podcasts on living with pain, which can be downloaded for free.
For specific pain conditions or body parts
For back pain
www.backcare.org.uk – specifically for people with lower back and general back pain. There is a forum and helpline available, as well as useful information on back pain and care.
www.fibromyalgia-associationuk.org – information on fibromyalgia and how to manage the condition, and details of local support groups and helplines within your area.
www.arthritisresearchuk.org – Arthritis Research UK (formerly the Arthritis Research Campaign) website. Contains a very helpful section called ‘Arthritis Information’ with information on various aspects of arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions including hypermobility and fibromyalgia, as well as low back pain.
www.arthritiscare.org.uk – Arthritis Care website. A website specifically for patients with lots of information on different arthritis related conditions, as well as a forum with trained workers, and a helpline. There is also information on local support groups.
For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
crps-uk.org - A patient led organisation for people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, their family and friends and anyone working within the healthcare system. They offer support, education, assist with research and raise awareness of CRPS.
www.crpsnetworkuk.org - The CRPS UK Clinical & Research Network was established in 2006 and is a research collaboration between a number of UK NHS trusts and academic institutions with an interest in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
For pelvic pain
www.pelvicpain.org.uk – the Pelvic Pain Support Network provides information, plus a message forum for members where they can find support and ask advice of other members of the public. Conditions covered include endometriosis, vulval pain, prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and interstitial cystitis.
For vulval pain
www.vulvalpainsociety.org – the Vulval Pain Society provides information and support for women suffering from vestibulodynia and vulvodynia. It is a confidential service for women who suffer from vulval pain. It also has details of support groups which operate in London and other areas of the U.K.
www.vulvodynia.com – information on vulvodynia by Dr Howard Glazer.
www.endometriosis-uk.org – this charity provides information and support on many aspects of endometriosis, from causes to treatment. There is also a telephone helpline run by trained volunteers. Until 2006, the organisation was known as the National Endometriosis Society.
For loin pain haematuria syndrome
www.kidney.org.uk – the National Kidney Federation website has useful information leaflets on loin pain-haematuria syndrome.
For facial pain
For low mood, anxiety, sleep difficulties and other problems
www.mind.org.uk – the National Association for Mental Health provides information on mental health difficulties. The ‘Factsheets and booklets listed by subjects’ section contains free booklets on a wide variety of mental health issues, plus details of other resources and links to other useful organisations.
www.mentalhealth.org.uk – The Mental Health Foundation website provides information on the UK’s leading mental health research, and the ‘Publications’ section offers a number of useful publications for purchase or download.
Pain Charity Websites
Pain Concern is a charity working to support and inform people with pain and those who care for them, whether family, friends or healthcare professionals.
Pain UK is an alliance of charities that operates to make a significant difference for people living with pain whether that is through the support of their member charities or directly.
CD’s & MP3 downloads
‘Living with Chronic Pain’ – Neil Berry. Information on various aspects of pain management, including sleep, goal-setting, medication and relaxation techniques. This is available to download for free at www.paincd.org.uk, or you can buy the CD from the same website.
For low mood and/ or anxiety
‘Beating the Blues’ – Ultrasis. Self-help treatment based on the cognitive-behavioural (CBT) model, for those with low mood or anxiety problems, and which has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. This resource is only available through the NHS, for example via your GP. More information is available at www.beatingtheblues.co.uk.
Mindfulness Practice for Pain Management
Bangor University has a number of guided mindfulness based practices that could be incorporated into a pain management plan: https://
Aura: has mindfulness meditations, life coaching, stories, and music, created by therapists and coaches.
Breethe: aims to help you de-stress, sleep better, get happier & be healthier with guided meditations, soothing music, nature sounds and masterclasses.
Buddhify: focusses on mobile or on-the-go meditation, which you can do wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. They also have more traditional formal meditations.
Headspace: hundreds of themed sessions on everything from stress, sleep, focus and anxiety. Bite-sized guided meditations for busy schedules and ‘SOS exercises.