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    Living with chronic / persistent pain: Managing change

      Living with chronic /persistent pain can be difficult as often it requires us to change. There is an expression used to describe the reality of living with chronic / persistent pain, it is the ‘new normal’. Life may change, it may be more limited in many ways, but it is still life and a ‘normal’ can be established. New routines, new choices, new challenges and opportunities will be there. There will still be a richness. Choices are like clearings in a forest. We cannot determine when we will come across a clearing, we cannot determine what it will be, but we can determine whether or not to enter the clearing and experience what it has to offer. We often cannot change what has happened…

    Coping with chronic pain in the summer. Dr Sue’s top tips

    Most of us feel better in the summer, warmth often seems to ease chronic pain and the sunshine lightens us all up, doesn’t it? A better mood makes it easier to cope with chronic pain in many circumstances, so get out and enjoy it.  You will enjoy the sun even more if you watch out for some pitfalls which can come when you get out and about in the nicer weather.  Heat and joint swelling Watch out for heat and especially humidity if you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis as changes in temperature can cause swelling in your joints, which of course can increase your pain. Many of you may already notice that changes in barometric pressure can lead to a spike in pain….

    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…

    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…

    Chronic Pain and depression: let’s tackle them together

    I know many of my clients say they are depressed when they come to see me. Chronic pain, and how it seems to take over a life and crowd everything else out, can make life seem very bleak indeed. So, depression has been a professional concern of mine for a long time, and I am now embarking on a new venture with the well-known hypnotherapist Steve Miller, Hypno Antidepressant. This will be available soon. It seems a good time, therefore to look at the links between chronic pain and depression. We know that chronic pain and depression are linked, either one can worsen the other. According to figures from the United States more than half of people who go to the doctor with chronic pain…

    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…

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