“I can see the world”

Photo by Sarah Egerer

“I can see the world”, were the words of a person who learned to be upright. Early reflections on the UP OA Pain Coaching Project

I love hearing people’s realisations, uttered as they experience something new, with wonder, curiosity and excitement. This was someone participating in the UP OA Pain Coaching Project, who learned to be more upright and hence had a new view of the world.

It sounds so simple to be upright, yet it takes practice. We can train ourselves to use our body in a more efficient way seeking thoughtless, effortless movement, yet with awareness of having a body. Disconnection with the body for reasons of persistent pain or trauma are common. Reconnection with the body then, is an important part of moving forward, together with whatever is most important to us in our life.

The focus of osteoarthritis treatment is usually upon the area that hurts. This frame of reference needs widening as it is the person who feels pain (and other symptoms), not the body part. Further, the biology of the experience of pain and stiffness, and any other perception, exists far beyond the location of the actual feeling. To feel pain, we need a sense of the body area, a nervous system, an autonomic nervous system, a sensorimotor system, an immune system and more. What we don’t actually need is the body part. Confused?

Consider phantom limb pain. The limb is lost yet the person feels pain in that space. The simple fact is that pain and injury, or pain and pathology, are poorly related. This is why purely addressing the bit that hurts is not adequate.

Richmond Stace The Pain Coach
Richmond Stace

You may think that in an acute injury this will be enough. I sprain my ankle so I treat and look after the ankle. Many do this. But the body (person) keeps not only the score of the injury and response, it will craft adaptations that can only be addressed by considering the whole person. Failing to do this means that protective responses and habits, formed at the outset, can persist and create further problems or on-going sensitivity. The idea of a quick fix is largely to blame. There is no quick fix. There is only complete treatment and rehabilitation of the person if you want the best outcome.

UP OA Pain Coaching Project

We are a month in, some nearing the end of their course of sessions. It’s been fascinating to look deeply at people’s experiences and beliefs. This project is an opportunity to reflect upon and study Pain Coaching, identifying key moments in conversations and themes that arise.

The purpose of UP is to improve the lives of those suffering chronic pain. Beyond building insights into the coaching process for pain, the UP OA project is a great way of reaching into the community and helping people understand their experience and learn new ways of moving forward.

I will be posting reflections each week.

If you suffer osteoarthritis pain or know someone who you think will benefit, please contact us here, putting OA in the subject bar. We have opened more free places.

Read here: UP OA Pain Coaching Project

Look out for the next #upandrun ultra on Tuesday on the Cotswold Way

RS

 

 

Free Pain Coaching for Osteoarthritis

Richmond Stace pain coaching
Richmond Stace | The Pain Coach | Pain Specialist | Chartered Physiotherapist

A new project for UP: FREE Pain Coaching for people suffering pain from osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability, estimated to affect 8.5 million people in the UK. This being the case, UP is offering a free Pain Coaching programme for sufferers.

Your free place here

In a project supported by GSK, you will receive 4 Pain Coaching sessions with Richmond Stace, co-founder of Understand Pain (UP) and pioneer of Pain Coaching. This can be face to face if you are able to attend one of the clinics, or Skype/Zoom if you live afar (UK or abroad). There will also be some small group sessions with 4-5 people).

The aim of both Pain Coaching and this project is to help you understand your pain and give you tools and practices to improve your life.

We are also studying key moments in the coaching conversations and will be voice recording the sessions to create transcripts. These will be anonymous and securely saved according to GDPR regulations.

What is Pain Coaching?

Pain Coaching is a blend of strengths-based coaching and pain neuroscience. Results-focused, we work together to clarify your picture of success and then design the steps in that direction. The steps consist of a range of ways to overcome pain and live your best life. This is a continuous process meaning that once you have the knowledge and skills, you are able to build momentum and seek sustained improvements.

Coaching is increasingly being used in the NHS as it is the primary way we can encourage effective self-care and independence. Strengths-based coaching has been pioneered by Mike Pegg. Mike sums up strengths-based coaching as a means of ‘…how we can encourage people during our time on the planet. It looks at how we can help people to build on their strengths and achieve their picture of success’. This approach is one of the predominant forms of coaching that we see in successful business organisations and sport.

Getting the best of you so you can live your best life

Key features

  • Free Pain Coaching sessions for OA pain
  • 1:1 (in person or Skype/Zoom) or small group
  • Understand your pain and symptoms
  • Learn tools and practices to improve your life
  • Build momentum for sustained improvement

Next steps…

Start your Pain Coaching today by visiting the Project page and arrange your first session.  

CLICK here to start

RS