A Pain Awareness Week is due to take place later this month to increase understanding about the condition of persistent pain, which affects about one in five islanders.
The week, which is being organised by Health & Community Services’ Pain Management Clinic based at Overdale Hospital in partnership with charity Pain Support Jersey (PSJ), also aims to champion the needs of chronic pain sufferers in the island.
From Monday 23 September until Friday 27 September a series of events will be held to help islanders find out more about persistent pain, the impact it can have on the lives of sufferers as well as the most up to date methods of dealing with the condition.
About one in five Jersey residents suffer from persistent pain and more than 10,000 people locally report that the condition has a significant impact on their ability to do usual things in life, such as moving, exercising, working and sleeping. It can affect relationships and mental health leading to vicious cycles of struggle and suffering.
Each year approximately 2,000 people are referred to the Pain Management Service, made up of the Pain Team and the Spinal Assessment Service. Patients are seen by a mixture of the clinic’s specialist professionals depending on their needs. The multidisciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. They provide holistic assessments for pain sufferers, exploring how pain impacts different aspects of their life and health as well as provide information and courses aimed at rehabilitation and recovery.
Consultant Dr Chad Taylor, head of the Pain Management Clinic who is also the chairperson of PSJ, said: "Persistent pain is a long-term condition which has a significant impact on sufferers and their families.
"Sufferers often need ongoing access to advice, support and activities to maintain their health despite their pain challenges and that is why we are partnered with Pain Support Jersey. This enables my team to provide specialist intensive work through health services but also support for maintenance in the community, which is a win-win for everyone."
As well as the clinical work that takes place at the Pain Management Centre, the team provide exercise, meditation and educational opportunities every week with PSJ.
A series of events will be held for the public as well as professionals during the awareness week:
Monday 23 September: PSJ fundraising event – there will be a stall between Hamons & Jack Wills on King Street, 11am–2pm, to help islanders learn about the charity and the work it does.
Tuesday 24 September: Pain talk, exercise class and meditation session at St Paul’s Centre – hosted by PSJ with support from members of the Pain Service clinical team, 10.30am–12.30am. Log on to Eventbrite for a free ticket.
Wednesday 25 September: Free training and education session for healthcare professionals who see or treat patients with persistent pain, held at the Pain Management Centre 8.30am-12.30am or from 1pm-5pm. To attend phone Julia Morris on 444893 or email email@example.com
Thursday 26 September: Meet the Specialists Q&A session jointly run by the Pain Management team and PSJ members. Drop-in open coffee morning, 9am-12pm at St Paul's Centre.
Friday 27 September: PSJ membership drive - 10am-12pm - outdoor gentle exercise session in Millbrook Park for pain sufferers. Meet at the bandstand. To attend book a ticket on Eventbrite.
Saturday 28 September: Coastal clean with Jersey Pages in aid of PSJ, 9.30am-11am. For more information click here