is an internationally recognised expert on the treatment and management of chronic pain. Phyllis has attended and lectured at many medical congresses throughout the world which enables her to expose you to the most up-to-date international concepts in rehabilitation and pain control.
I am a physiotherapist and acupuncturist who has a special interest in pain management. This interest developed in 1994 when I joined a pain clinic and thereafter the International Association for the Study of Pain in 1996. I soon realized that pain management involved treating both the physical symptoms and the emotional aspect of pain that involves suffering, fear of making the condition or pain worse and the limitation of the quality of life as activities become minimized as pain inhibits the patients’ lifestyle.
Initially my main task was to assist the patient with mobilization and strengthening to improve movement and function but I often found that this became too difficult due to pain that prevented progress. I then investigated and discovered many different types of electrical current that were able to block the pain cycle, decrease inflammation, improve bone healing and oedema, improve the immune system and improve nerve conduction.
These different currents are used for different types of pain as not every current will help in each situation. I also became involved in acupuncture and discovered that combining Traditional Chinese concepts and Western medical acupuncture produced best effects in chronic pain conditions.
Then lastly engaging and listening to the patient, explaining their pain and advising on using visualization techniques, breathing exercises, mindfulness and or a combination thereof and changes in thought processes, enabled the brain to produce endorphins and anti-inflammatory substances thereby blocking pain substances. Fear of pain inhibits the patient from moving forward and perpetuates the pain cycle and learning to understand their pain often has profound influences on returning to good health.
Movement and exercise is encouraged by assisting the patient with pacing and goal setting and simple programmes to increase strength and function. Patients are always advised to choose the type of exercise that resonates with them and most importantly that they will enjoy and enable them to remain compliant and allow movement to become part of an active and productive lifestyle. Remember the old adage – if you don’t USE it, you LOSE it!