Camden Pain Service (formerly known as CPAMS) is made up of medical consultants, specialist physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and nurse specialists.
Everyone works closely as a team to support people struggling to live with long term pain. Unfortunately it is not usually possible to cure pain but the CPS team will help you find ways to manage your pain and do more of what matters to you.
-What to expect
The first step is to have a consultation with a specialist medical doctor or advanced physiotherapy practitioner (APP). They will review any test results you have but the focus will be on asking questions about your pain. By building up a picture of your pain experience they will be able to give you an explanation of why your pain persists and how it might be managed. The appointment will also involve a review of your pain medication and changes may be advised, with a discussion about whether other interventions could be helpful.
In many cases you will then be given an appointment for assessment with a clinical psychologist who specialises in pain management. They will explore the way in which pain is impacting on your quality of life, such as leaving you feeling low, cut off from friends and family or unable to do the things that really matter to you in life. This will help direct your care in the best way.
The next step is generally to work closely with the team to find new ways of managing pain. This might involve one or more of the following:
Pain management physiotherapy: This will be different from traditional physiotherapy and will look at your day to day function and pain management strategies. It does not involve passive therapy such as massage or acupuncture, but instead focuses on active approaches to rehabilitation and building confidence to self-manage long term pain.
Individual clinical psychology: This can help you change your relationship with pain so that it has less impact on your life and you can return to doing the things that are important to you. It can also help you to cope with the emotional impact of living with pain.
Medication review and support: to manage medication with a specialist nurse.
Pain Consultant review: to discuss interventions, medication and overall care.
A group based Pain Management Programme (PMP): run by both a physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist where you can learn skills to self-manage pain and meet other people living with pain.
Exercise Classes: to improve fitness, strength and confidence with movement. This can help prevent disability from pain and improve functional ability.
All members of the team meet on a weekly basis to help co-ordinate your care and ensure a joined up approach.
The Camden Pain Service may not be appropriate for everyone and therefore, following your initial consultation, you may be referred directly to another service if it is better suited to meeting your needs.
-Understanding pain management – useful information
It is helpful to understand as much as you can about long term pain and self-management strategies before you attend the clinic. We recommend the following information leaflets, you-tube clips, websites and books as a good place to start:
Living Beyond Your Pain: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Ease Chronic Pain by JoAnne Dahl, Tobias Lundgren & Steven C Hayes.
Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing by Vidyamala Burch & Dr Danny Penman