Pain Press

October 2019

Hello and welcome to Pain Press, the monthly e-newsletter from Pain Concern, the charity working to support and inform people living with pain and those who care for them, whether family, friends or healthcare professionals.

Latest News

Pain Concern's Annual General Meeting

Where? When?

Pain Concern’s AGM will be held on 7th November 2019 at 10.30am and is open to all members of the charity. It will take place at 62-66 Newcraighall Road, Edinburgh EH15 3HS and by telephone conference.

You can join in for free by phone and text.

How to join in

It is very easy:

  • Contact the office before 7th November – email or phone 0300 102 0162
  • We’ll give you the Freephone Number to call and a Joining Code.
  • Dial the number on the day and listen in.
  • You can even ask questions and participate in the discussion
  • You’ll also be able to text your questions during the meeting.

For more information click here.

Pharmacists and intervention for long-term opioids

Researchers are to design pharmacist-led intervention for patients using long-term opioids, according to an article in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's publication, The Pharmaceutical Journal.

A five-year research programme has been launched to develop and test a pharmacist-led intervention for patients taking regu
lar opioids for long-term pain.

Led by researchers at Keele University and funded by the National Institute for Health Research, the ‘proactive clinical review of patients taking opioid medicines long-term for persistent pain led by clinical pharmacists in primary care teams’ (PROMPPT), will use a range of methods to find out about patients, pharmacists and GPs’ experiences and views on the use and management of opioids for long-term pain.

To read the full article, click here.

Understanding Pain in a Complex World

The British Pain Society is sharing the interests of their Philosophy & Ethics Special Interest Group with a wider audience through their first themed Study Day on the topic of 'Understanding Pain in Complex World'.

Discussions will include topics such as; Pain after surgery - the role of developmental trauma, Complex pain - a philosophical challenge and Integrating the art of healing with the science of curing, amongst others.

For more information, visit The British Pain Society's website.


11th Congress of The European Pain Federation

The 11th Congress of The European Pain Federation (EFIC) took place in Valencia on 4th-7th September, 2019. The congress programme included various different active and interactive session formats such as: Educational Workshops, Scientific Symposia, Meet the Speakers, Special and Plenary Lectures, Young Investigators‘ Sessions and Refresher Courses.

Visit the EFIC website for full details of the event.


Molecular link between chronic pain and depression

A study by Hokkaido University observed changes in the neuronal pathway caused by chronic pain in rats. The study claims to have clarified the mechanism by which the brain reward system is supressed and as Professor Masabumi Minami says the study has ‘found the missing link between chronic pain and depression’. Minami also says that the benefit of this study and its findings could ‘not only lead to improved treatment of emotional aspect of chronic pain, but also to new therapeutics for depressive disorders’.

Click here for the full article.


Pain Matters magazine

We are delighted here at Pain Matters HQ to have the neuropathic pain team from University College Hospital London Pain Management Centre guest-editing issue 73.This edition of the magazine takes an in-depth look at all aspects of neuropathic pain, from what it is to how best to manage and treat it, taking in points of view from those living with it to the healthcare professionals trying to help them.

Also in issue 73, writer Robert Ilson describes his half-century struggle to find an answer to his facial pain, including all the treatments – traditional and not – gone by the wayside, before concluding that, sometimes, ‘living with pain can become a way of coping with pain’.

Out October 31st 2019

To buy or subscribe, click here
For a digital version, click here

Airing Pain episode 118: Pain Management in Young People

How chronic pain in adolescence requires different pain management strategies

In this edition of Airing Pain, Paul Evans looks at the issues concerning pain amongst adolescents, including the impact on parents. Paul speaks to Dr Jeremy Gauntlet-Gilbert, principal clinical psychologist at the Bath Centre for Pain Services, to talk about the 'end of the road' residential pain management programme the Centre has for young people from across the UK who have not had success at other institutions. With added contributions from Amyra and Taylor, two young people who have first-hand experience of the programme, and Louise and Sandra, who provide the parents' experience on both the programme and the effects of chronic pain on young people and their siblings.

  • Dr Jeremy Gauntlet-Gilbert, Principle Clinical Psychologist at the Bath Centre for Pain Services
  • Louise Bailey, parent
  • Sandra McCann, parent
  • Amyra, young person
  • Taylor, young person.
More information:
To listen to this episode, and over 100 other episodes, visit Airing Pain's homepage, or subscribe via Audioboom.

Pain Matters digital edition

Back by popular demand is the digital edition of Pain Matters, available via Pocketmags. If you’re thinking about the trees or want access to our catalogue at the push of a button, new and previous issues of our magazine can now be read on your mobile, tablet or computer for as little as £1.99 for a quarterly subscription or £6.99 for an annual subscription of four magazines. If you just want to dip in and out with a single issue, you can do that too, for £2.99 per issue.

For more information and to subscribe, click here.

However, if you still prefer the feel of paper, physical issues can still be bought here, either by themselves, or as part of a four-issue annual subscription.

This includes our latest issue, #72, which continues our format of inviting a guest editor and sees the Southampton Pain Team and Portsmouth Persistent Pain Team from Solent NHS Trust at the helm.

Magazine of the month

This month, Pain Press would like to highlight 'Will there ever be a cure for chronic pain?’, a long read in 1843, the sister magazine of The Economist, by freelance journalist Sophie Elmhirst.
In the article Elmhirst interviews the scientist who believes he has discovered an end to chronic pain, a sufferer of fibromyalgia who discusses her long journey through diagnosis and finding treatment as well as several other people from different parts of the chronic pain world.
The article begins with Peter McNaughton, a pharmacology professor from King’s College London, discussing his decades long work in the field which led the discovery of a drug which he hopes can eradicate chronic pain. McNaughton also discusses the business side of getting his new drug tested and put into use. Elmhirst then follows this up by talking to Phil L’Huillier, head of business development in Europe of Merck, an American pharmaceutical company who have reached a deal with King's College to further develop McNaughton's research. L’Huillier discusses the implications of the potential chronic pain drug and how the real-life effects could differ from the laboratory results.
Later in the article, Dr Parashar Ramanuj, a consultant psychiatrist at the Royal Northern Orthopaedic Hospital in London, talks about his scepticism about McNaughton's claims, suggesting that the physical and mental aspects of chronic pain are not as equal as they should be, and he admits to having doubts about certain medications and how effective they really are in practice. Many people instinctively reach for their medication as soon as a flare-up starts, which could potentially create a dependency on drugs.
Elmhirst also uses the article to discuss the trials and tribulations of living with chronic pain with Louise, a suffer who gives a personal account of the difficulties of not just living with condition like fibromyalgia, but having it accurately diagnosed and finding a suitable treatment.
This article shows the breadth of the debate around drugs and chronic pain, not just amongst those who live with it, but throughout the healthcare profession as well. For example, pain is relative; a 3/10 on the pain scale for one person could be a 7/10 for another. But, as Elmhirst points out, a world without pain would feel like ‘a whole dimension of existence would be missing’.
Read the whole article at
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