Information for GPs and healthcare providers
This is intended as simple management advice for chronically painful patients rather than a clinical diagnosis pathway. Use of this guidance assumes other causative factors and red-flags have been screened for and excluded.
If you have a patient who is experiencing persistent pain there are some important factors to consider:-
– The subjective experience of pain is rarely the only problem. The bigger picture usually includes decline in physical condition, emotional control, and social participation.
Consider asking the patient to use the Health Needs Assessment form (PDF) so to prioritise and develop goals.
– In many cases education, reassurance, and the Pain Toolkit is enough to help the patient understand that returning to activity will not cause damage.
– However those who score over three on the STarT Back Took (PDF) may require a higher level of educational, psychological and physical support via our online pain management programme or referral to a pain clinic.
– Before referring to a pain clinic, however, consider trialling an anti-neuropathic medicine such as amitriptyline, gabapentin or pregabalin (click on each for our patient advice / dosing guidance)
– Our website also has patient resources including the above information for further assistance in this pre-referral stage.