The Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit is staffed by a team of experts in the management of pain related disability. These include physiotherapists,a clinical psychologist and access to a disability employment advisor. Rehabilitation for patients with persistent (chronic) musculoskeletal pain is offered. Patients may have localised or widespread pain related disability, often with associated distress and/or fatigue.
When necessary, there is a seamless link between other diagnostic and treatment services. This ensures that medical opinions or interventions can be undertaken where necessary.
Rehabilitation programmes are offered to many patients. These are of differing duration depending on individual needs. Rehabilitation is delivered as a combined physical and psychological approach (as recommended in the NICE low back pain guidelines, 2009). Medical support is also available.
It is widely accepted that pain rehabilitation is best delivered within a group, however; in some special circumstances patients may be offered one to one treatment. Research involving patients attending the three week ‘Get Back Active!’ rehabilitation programme at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre demonstrates functional improvements equivalent to that of spinal stabilisation surgery.
Patients accessing the psychology service will be assessed by the clinical psychologist. Outcomes are likely to include either a one to one session, advice on self-management, recommendations to the GP/rehabilitation team or referral to other mental health services. Audit data following rehabilitation programmes shows a trend towards reductions in anxiety and depression.