Service users throughout the South Eastern Local Commissioning Group (LCG) area are now benefitting from a series of drug free pain management courses run by Arthritis Care.
Local GPs refer patients to these courses to physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally manage their condition.
Both courses are delivered on a peer led basis so a natural empathy is created, participants therefore relate better with course leaders who can identify with pain and other symptoms from their own personal experience. All trainers are accredited by Stanford University and have annual assessments to maintain accreditation.
The ‘Challenging Your Condition’ course aims to encourage patients to become more empowered to take more control of their illness, better understand their health condition and its progression and to develop knowledge of what options are available to them when they experience a flare up of symptoms. Coping strategies of this course help patients to understand their pain and manage it, highlighting the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, to improve communications with healthcare professionals, family and friends, dealing with difficult emotions that inevitably come with having a long term condition while adopting a positive outlook, dealing with fatigue and other side effects, planning and implementing personal goals and plans for the future and direction to support resources in the local area.
While ‘Challenging Pain’ is a shorter course concentrating on managing pain suiting those service users with persistent pain and are unable to commit to attending a six week programme. Service users are advised on body relaxation, how to prevent tiredness, managing stress, combating negativity, developing and achieving personal goals, the importance of keeping active, medication and other therapies.
The courses are based on the Stanford model of self-management complementing medical care and giving patients the skills to co-ordinate and manage their health as well as maintaining an active lifestyle.
Some of the positive feedback received from participants…..
|“I felt pleased when I was sent on the course by my GP. I have enjoyed meeting others with long-term conditions, I feel more confident and positive and I look forward to the future.”|
|“I feel encouraged to do more and have been doing more since starting the course. I now know that it’s up to me to manage my condition better which will improve my quality of life.”|
|“I now know that I am not alone and I can cope better on my bad days. It was great to talk to people who are in the same position as me – some who have had fibromyalgia longer than me. I now see that it is up to me to face fibromyalgia head on!”|
|“I’m now getting to sleep at night with less pain. The breathing exercises have really helped.”|
|“I’m looking forward with more optimism.”|