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Airing Pain 98: IASP Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education & Bristol Pain Management Programme

Hello and Happy New Year!

"“If all healthcare professionals in the field of pain did one hour of education for one day in just one year, in terms of the number of people that would be reached it would make a very significant difference."

This month's Airing Pain is on the International Association for the Study of Pain 2018 Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education & the North Bristol Pain Management Programme.

Programme link:

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), formed in 1973, is the leading forum of scientists, clinicians, healthcare providers and policy makers supporting and promoting the study of pain and using that knowledge to improve pain relief worldwide.

Each year IASP focuses on a different aspect of pain that has global relevance. In 2017, IASP focused on pain after surgery, and joint pain was the focus of 2016. In this programme, Paul Evans speaks to Dr Paul Wilkinson, task force lead for the 2018 Global Year for Excellence in Pain Education.

IASP hopes to advance the understanding of pain in the areas of government, professional and research education and ultimately create strategy to communicate the gaps in pain education globally.

Paul also speaks to clinical psychologist Dr Nicholas Ambler, patient trainer Lisa Parry and assistant psychologist Sareeta Vyas at the Bristol Pain Management Programme to find out if there is a correlation between investment in pain management research and development and patient benefit.


- Dr Paul Wilkinson, Director of pain management services in Newcastle and lead of IASP 2018 international task force

- Dr Nicholas Ambler, Clinical Psychologist and lead of NHS North Bristol Pain Management Programme

- Lisa Parry, patient and patient trainer at NHS North Bristol PMP

- Sareeta Vyas, Assistant Psychologist and leader of sleep management programme at NHS North Bristol PMP

More information:

For more information on IASP, please visit:

- International Association for the Study of Pain website

- IASP’s 2018 Global Year of Excellence in Pain Education

For more information on NHS North Bristol Pain Management Programme:

5 Replies

I think I have a pain background surpassing most, mine goes back to 1969. at the Man walk on the moon for the first time, I will be 80.years old early next month and just spent a month of the most horrible joint pain ever and I have a lot of serious pain thresholds to go through, had numerous operations... need many more but are there really doing anything to decrease the pain? seams to me once you start cutting the bodywork to try and relieve one symptom often end up coursing another.

To me, People, Professionals, Physiotherapies, Surgeons and all and sundry have spent that many years with little advancement in treatment, I feel the Veterinary Surgeons have come up with help for Animals than that their human counterparts.

We know so called pain relief drugs have little long term effect, quiet often causes a lot more problems, due to no two peoples metabolism to the same, so in the early stages of pain its finding the equilibrium to get the balance of pain relief drugs along with other drugs a patient might be subscribe.

Reading over so many years of medical papers ? Written that there is a cure around the corner as publish by research establishments, that advancement has been, like how long is a piece of string. We know about calcium is the structure to strong bones, but perhaps some people cannot make sufficient to reduce ware and tear on joints.

Then there is pinching coursed by displaced joints, I never understood since stem cell research has been known, why tissue pillow have not been grown between the joints to replace the worn tissue? we have advanced micro surgery technics these days to insert new cells grown out side the body.

I am only a simpleton pain sufferer, but I find it hard to know why we are still lagging behind in solution finding, we have maps of the brain, can measure electrical impulses to any part of the body, its all there? but the jig saw is incomplete. I had it from tip of my head to the souls of feet, the only thing I have to look forward is a day in the not distant future when all my pain will be gone for ever. From Had Enough.


Read "Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions " by Richard Harris.

A lot of pain is actually caused by muscles and muscle control by the brain. This is not an area of research by medical professionals. It is an area covered by chiropractors, Alexander Teachers, Yoga teachers and others in the complementary medical world.

A preliminary trial of Alexander Teachers versus Physiotherapists in back pain showed Alexander Technique was better. A follow up trail with larger numbers would have cost one million pounds to do. The researcher could not get a grant to do this.

A trial with a new drug will get the funding because the pharmaceutical company will make a profit if the drug has some degree of success.

1 like

Hermes123. My reply, Love the title of Richard Harris's book, I also agree whole heartedly your point of muscular problems of keep muscle supple, as hard ridged muscle can curse as many problems as trapped nerves.

But were I do find myself in disagreement with you, is your constant banging on about the Alexandra technique as being the holy grail.

Firstly what career path did you follow? was hard physical work around a lot of Physical lifting where a body belt needed to be worn from time to time, also having a back support corset with shaped steel strips to support your back, a wonderful piece of kit the NHS. has since done away with.

Was your basic working week48. hrs. that was often made up of 16./18. Hrs. overtime, plus two and half hrs a day travelling time to get to and from work and working with serious sciatic pain, where one had not the time to think about the pain but to work though it.When you have done this as well as finding as find all various types of techniques, lotions, potions... muscle rubs... heat... Radionics the rack and so on and so fourth, then you can come back and tell me about the Alexandra Technique. Until the give it a rest for a while please. Hermes.


Thanks for the reply. I cannot tell you anything about the Alexander Technique because it is an experiential technique. It can only be understood by doing. Written language reminds people of what they know it cannot give understanding of a new experience.

The Alexander Technique is only part of a regime of personnel investigation that I engage in that helps keep my chronic pain under control. The chronic pain coming as a result of a collision with a double decker bus.

You description of your work is a description of little understanding of how power and muscle actually works. Working though pain can mean ignoring it rather than modifying how you move to reduce it. I have actually taught people better ways of how to lift heavy objects.

When a muscle gets over contracted it needs other muscles to force it to uncontract by stretching. Muscles have nerves which instruct a muscle to contract or stop contracting. There are no nerves to instruct a muscle to uncontract.

Power in a muscle is lots of muscles contracting together in unison. Sometimes the body tries to get power by over contracting a few muscle fibers. The greater the muscle contraction the weaker a muscle becomes. The body can end up in a positive feedback loop with the result - lots of pain which can be long lasting.


Hi John Smith, whilst in the Army prior to my work damage, I did weight lifting... boxing and long distant cross country running. 21. miles, so under PTI.s. I had to learn about muscle control, large diagrams of how different muscles work and there oxygen supply, also tissue tear, so under normal circumstances I was quiet able to protect myself with body straps and belts which I always wore when heavy lifting was involved, but it only takes one guy taller than the rest and woops you are left to support all the weight of six men who cannot support it, once done with a weak back you were susceptible to more injuries, protected or not. Hermes.


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