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    Sleep Talk

        It’s been a busy few weeks, I have had the pleasure of talking to the ladies of Sandy WI about 5 steps to successful sleep.  To give you a little flavour of the talk, I outlined the 5 steps to successful sleep based on: S – the science of sleep L – let it go! E – environment E – excuses, no more! P – your own personal sleep programme. The science of sleep – I started the talk by explaining briefly about the different stages of sleep in non REM and REM sleep, and what happened to our bodies during each stage. I talked about how the circadian rhythms and sleep wake homeostasis mechanisms worked together to remind us to sleep. This…

    Getting to Grips with Fibromyalgia

      Getting to grips with Fibromyalgia There is no doubt that living with chronic /persistent pain, fatigue and brain fog is challenging for people with fibromyalgia. However, you don’t have to put your life on hold waiting for these symptoms to go. There are ways to learn to live with fibromyalgia. Yes, it often means making adjustments, to many aspects of your life, but if you do, you can still achieve things and have fun, just perhaps in a different way to what you originally thought. By taking charge of your condition, you can feel a sense of control over your life and your self- esteem and confidence improve, enabling your quality of life to improve. Working with many people suffering from fibromyalgia, I have…

    Endometriosis: so common, so painful and so ignored

    Dr Sue Peacock

    Endometriosis: so common, so painful and so ignored. As it is International Women’s Day I thought I would focus on a medical condition which is often ignored or at least not taken seriously enough. This is endometriosis. It’s astounding we do not hear more about it when as many as one in 10 women in the UK are suffering from the condition. Many doctors are still woefully ignorant of the condition and it is very hard to diagnose as the symptoms can be very different from woman to woman. Endometriosis happens when cells from the womb enter the pelvic cavity, or other parts of the body, yet still behave like the cells in the womb. Like the cells in the womb they break down and…

    Focus On Pain News

    An inspirational story of a lady who manages her chronic pain If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know some of the things I recommend as part of my pain management regime. I know these work for the clients I see in my pain management clinics in Bedford and Milton Keynes. While I was looking around the web I found this lovely story from a lady call Beth Thorp about how she manages her pain. She has a coping plan, she exercises even when she is in pain, she gets out in the fresh air even if she does not really feel up to it as a change of scenery, she belongs to a support group saying ‘until I joined this…

    My latest publication: Break the Pain Cycle in 28 Days

    I bang on all the time about the need for a routine if you are going to manage your chronic pain well. But for a lot of people it is difficult to get into a routine. I know from clients who come to me for psychological techniques for pain management, that it is very easy to start off well and then something intervenes and you lose track. It can be a family situation, or work pressures, or you can have a bad day when your pain gets worse and you just give up. I decided to produce something which is do-able, easy to use and feels like a help rather than another mountain to climb. My answer is a simple diary which you can keep…

    What I have been reading lately …

    As a pain specialist, I am always on the lookout for the latest news . . . our understanding of pain and how to control it. There is a lot out there, and I can’t cover it all, but these three things caught my eye over the past couple of months and I would like to share them with you. Surgical pain has a psychological element Dr Charles Dinerstein, a Senior Medical Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health and a retired vascular surgeon has written a very interesting article on how surgical pain could be better managed. One point he makes is that following an operation, people often have to wait for pain medication, asking for medication as their pain worsens, and…

    Pain: It’s a Family Affair – Part Five: How to enjoy social events

    I know from my clients that one of the real low points, if you suffer from chronic pain, is when you have to cancel or miss out on a family event. This may be familiar to you. The anxiety rises as an event approaches and you feel tense which then worsens your pain, you worry more … and it’s a vicious circle. Over my many years of helping clients, I have worked out some tips and tricks which may help you. At the heart of these is planning and not being afraid to say you have a problem with pain and ask for some help and support. I would advise you share these tips with your family and all discuss together how you can best…

    Pain: It’s a Family Affair – Part Four: When your child is in chronic pain

    There is nothing worse for a parent than seeing their child in pain. I am going to set out here a simple technique you can use with your child to reduce and manage their pain. If you have a child who suffers chronic pain you may find this pain reduction technique helpful. It is not that different from a tried and trusted technique which I recommend to adults, and often I find that children pick it up even quicker. The reason for this is they have very active imaginations and are used to playing games. Make this technique playful and use it as a game and you will get excellent results. Storytelling pain away Storytelling forms an important part of hypnosis for chronic pain. You…

    Pain: It’s a Family Affair – Part Three: Talking to teenagers about your chronic pain

    This can be both easier and harder than talking to younger children. It is easier because they will have more understanding of the physical causes and your experiences. It is harder because teenagers often have so many changes going on themselves it can be difficult for them to step back and realise that you sometimes have to put your needs first. Here are my ‘Dr Sue pain expert’s 5 top tips for talking to teenagers’ Give them space. As they negotiate the world around them they will be trying out their independence so make a deliberate effort to allow them to have their own time and time with friends which is away from your pain. Remember they are going through the quite normal process of…

    Opiate medication for chronic pain – the crisis of our time

    Those of us who work in the field of pain management may have noticed that recently there is a growing move by medical practitioners to try to get their patients off of opiate medication. There are several reasons for this: the addictive qualities of these drugs the impact on the life of patients the cost and hassle to GP practices of prescribing a controlled drug. The move has also been fuelled by a growing realisation of where over-prescribing can lead. The situation in the US has been described as an ‘epidemic’ and now much stricter controls on the prescribing of opioids is in place as we discussed in a previous blog post. And it is certainly the case that prescriptions for opioids were on a…

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