Pain management tour visits Sleaford on Monday offering workshop, seminar and interactive bus

A UK-first public health initiative is coming to Sleaford next week with the aim of tackling Lincolnshire’s chronic pain problem – and put power back in the hands of those affected - thought to be around 40% of local people.

Dr Deepak Ravindren is a frontline pain physician and will be speaking at the Flippin' Pain event in Sleaford. EMN-210809-170138001

Led by Flippin’ Pain, the six-day long event, which starts on Sunday September 12, will bring knowledge about pain to the people who need it the most, through a series of public engagement and educational events, spanning 10 regional locations.

On Monday September 13 it will visit The Hub, on Navigation Wharf, Carre Street, in Sleaford.

Already attracting healthcare professionals and those with chronic pain, the tour will feature an interactive pop-up experience village, the ‘Brain Bus’, and will be spearheaded by a peloton of bike riders – including nationally renowned pain experts and those who live with pain.

The Brain Bus will be in situ from 4.30-6pm.

‘Flippin everything you thought you knew about pain’, free public seminar will then run from 6-7.30pm.

‘So you understand pain, what’s next’ is a workshop for health professionals that also runs from 6-7.30pm.

The Brain Bus provides an immersive experience for attendees to engage with. It will be manned by a team of healthcare specialists.

The peloton is a team of 20 cyclists which includes people living with chronic pain, world-renowned pain scientists and clinicians. Together, they will be travelling up to 250 miles across the county during the six days. The team will ride into select locations on the tour and will be spokespeople at events during the tour.

The public seminar is open to anyone who is affected by chronic pain and who wants to learn more.

The healthcare workshop is open to healthcare professionals who want to learn more about pain management treatments and education. Spaces on these workshops are by registration

Chronic or persistent pain affects between 30-50% of people in the UK – that is around 28million, with up to 14% of those reporting it is moderately or severely limiting. Its impact is significant, negatively affecting physical and mental health, social and home lives and people’s ability to stay in work.

Chronic pain is a major problem in Lincolnshire and research suggests that Lincolnshire is rated in the top 10 areas of the UK with high levels of opioid prescriptions for pain.

Flippin’ Pain is a public health campaign, championed by community healthcare services provider Connect Health, and supported by NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. Its aim is to change the way we think about, talk about and treat persistent pain, as there are a lot of misconceptions about persistent pain. Common public understanding is significantly out of step with current scientific thinking.

The tour will visit: Stamford, Spalding, Sleaford, Boston, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Market Rasen, Gainsborough, Horncastle, Lincoln and Grantham.

Among those attending, Niki Jones from Wales competed to a high level in Tetrathlon as a teen and after a couple of university spells, worked for what is now the British Horseracing Authority in the racing department. She developed severe Trigeminal neuralgia in 2002 and spiralled down the biomedical route of drugs, surgery and increasing disability and suffering.

Life was a challenging dance of pain and loss and salvaging some kind of purpose to life for 16 years. In 2018, Niki found a pain management app that helped her to “flip” her understanding of pain, which then helped to reduce pain and medication, whilst learning to manage pain triggers. Despite a severe withdrawal reaction to the drug reduction and the ongoing process of tapering, Niki describes her pain as dramatically reduced and life as dramatically expanded so she is concentrating on rebuilding her physical fitness. She started cycling in the first lockdown and it has become her “me” time.

Tim Atkinson from Boston has suffered with chronic pain for over 25 years and battled with a reliance on medication. Tim, an author, is happy to share his personal experiences of living with pain including how he kept his pain a secret from loved ones and how he now uses exercise (cold water swimming!), meditation and mindfulness, plus other things to help manage his pain.

Dr Deepak Ravindren is a frontline pain physician with over 20 years of experience working in the community Pain service IPASS in Berkshire and also leads the complex pain service at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. He has added qualifications in MSK and Lifestyle Medicine and is a self-confessed trauma informed upstreamist. He is a visiting lecturer and researcher at the University of Reading and is the author of the book “The Pain Free Mindset” - a book for patients and healthcare professionals on the latest advances in Pain Medicine.

Steve Skinner is Clinical Lead for ‘steps2change’, which is the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service for Lincolnshire. As an accredited therapist and member of the national IAPT expert advisory group he advocates for better access to evidence based psychological interventions for patients with long term physical health conditions. He has joined the tour in support of the Flippin’ Pain Campaign as he is specifically interested in how we can support people in better pain management through changing what we think and do.