“After the guns have fallen silent, and the din
of battle quietened, the real fight begins.”
-HRH The Duke of Sussex
VETERAN SPECIFIC PAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES AND CLINICS
SWV set up the first veterans-specific pain management programmes and pain clinics. The main barriers to both employment and being able to live a full life are chronic pain and problems with pain medication. The objectives of the veterans’ PMP are to help veterans access a diagnosis, help to develop a better understanding and management of pain, to increase meaningful activity, self-management, quality of life and improved mood and confidence.
We aim to get veterans properly assessed and obtain access to the correct treatment as soon as possible.
If only I had attended this programme shortly after injury - it would have saved me years of pain and related anxiety - thank you SWV for setting it up for me - it is going to have a hugely positive impact on my quality of life.
The Pain Management Program includes
An assessment appointment
four residential days
single follow-up treatment days.
The Pain management programme is a group-based programme, with the group component reported as particularly helpful since it allows a discussion of pain in a safe environment with others who have had similar experiences and problems. You are not alone in needing help; for every 10 places offered, SWV receives, on average, 100 requests.
Through each programme, veterans have access to information on:
The physiological response to pain, and an understanding as to why pain develops.
The function and effects of medication on the brain, and when they are most effective. Individual advice and full support is given regarding medication reduction.
Strategies to manage pain more successfully with the end goal of considering employment options.
Strategies to improve sleep patterns and relaxation.
Strategies to manage negative changes in mood caused by chronic/ pain, using psychological approaches, in order to harness a better understanding of thoughts, beliefs and feelings in relation to pain and its impact on their quality of life.
How to identify meaningful goals and work out how to achieve them.
Specific exercises to aim to help affected areas feel less sensitive.
I have lived with chronic pain for several years and the stress and direct effect that pain has on an individual/family is crippling both physically and mentally. It drains you like pulling the plug on a swimming pool. Eventually that pool will empty and you can see no way of refilling it…you just live with it.
VETERANS PAIN CLINICS
The Veterans Pain Clinics are 50 minutes appointments for veterans to meet with Dr. Dominic Aldington, the former head of the pain service at Headley Court and a world-renowned specialist in pain management.
For Veterans needing confidential and specific help and advice on:
Pain Management Issues
Advice on over-reliance on pain medications
we offer one-on-one appointments.
HOW TO APPLY
To take part in either the PMPs or Pain Clinics, please contact Martin Beaney at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
You can be referred by a Veterans Charity, a regimental association, your GP or self-refer.
What does the pain management mean to me? I left Iraq in 2005 and many people have told me I should move on from it but how can you move on when every day the crippling pain reminds you. When every movement reminds you what you have lost and that you are not the same as what you were before. More than just reminding you of what went on before it prevents you from having a future. Unable to work, struggle to socialise and difficulty having a family life. So even though I haven't started the PMP yet, it has already given me something I lost a long time ago, hope. Hope that I can have a normal beneficial life. Hope that one day I can be a proper father to my children again. I have been given a lifeline which I could not have got any other way.