Pain Coach Project

Richmond Stace pain coaching
Richmond Stace

UP Pain Coach Project

Last year I ran a Pain Coach project in association with GSK.

What did we do?

We recruited people suffering persistent pain who wanted to look at ways of improving their lives.

Each participant received six 1:1 Pain Coaching (see below) sessions.

The programme was designed and delivered by me: Richmond Stace (pain specialist, physiotherapist, pioneer of Pain Coaching and co-founder of UP).

As the project was supported by GSK, there were no fees for participants. In return for providing this service, an anonymised transcript of the sessions were analysed (qualitative research).

Understand your pain and move on to live a fulfilling life


The project had two main purposes.

Firstly, to deliver Pain Coaching to people suffering persistent pain to help them improve their lives, and secondly to study key moments in the conversations. For the latter, we will be recording the sessions, anonymising the transcripts and looking at the data. All the recordings and transcripts were held securely according to GDPR regulations.

“Finding Richmond was the start of a journey that has gotten me back doing the things I love and most importantly, feeling myself, something which I didn’t think would be possible”.

What is Pain Coaching?

Pain Coaching brings together the latest pain science and strengths-based coaching. Strengths-based coaching is a commonly used coaching model in sport and business that focuses on a person’s strengths to achieve results, in this case overcoming pain. In essence, it is about helping the person understand their pain and symptoms and how to move on to live a fulfilling life.

Pain Coaching gives you practical knowledge and skills to overcome pain and improve life. Overcoming pain means that it is no longer the dominant feature of your life. This is an active process, which is why coaching is effective and now being used in the NHS. You are placed at the centre of the process, clarifying what is really important to you and what you want to achieve. We then design a programme for you to follow, encouraged and supported by the Pain Coach.

We looked at a number of interrelated areas including the purpose of pain, why it has persisted, how to desensitise, sleep, building wellness, movement, planning and periodising your day, resting, breathing, exercise, mindfulness, focus, peak performance and more. With this skill set, participants were set up to move forwards and shape a positive future.


The plan was to combine face to face with online sessions. When lockdown started, we switched all sessions to online demonstrating how Pain Coaching works in both scenarios.


The results were positive. Each participant demonstrated improvements and valued the sessions.

Further details will be made available when the data has been fully analysed.