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PainJun 24, 2024

Physios, osteopaths and sports therapists gain insights into pain at Newcastle comedy club

Physiotherapists, osteopaths and sports therapists flocked to The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle upon Tyne earlier this month (10 June) to attend a ‘Pain in the Spotlight’ participatory show.

The evening event was led by Professor Lorimer Moseley – who was described as ‘one of the world’s leading pain scientists and its most renowned “paineducator”’ – and co-hosted by physiotherapist Cormac Ryan, professor of clinical rehabilitation at Teesside University.

Nearly 100 people attended the event, which was set up by health initiative Flippin’ Pain which, in turn, was developed by Connect Health, the community healthcare services that is based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The aim was to change outdated perceptions and treatment of pain, highlighting how prescribing scans, medications and surgery can be misguided. Studies show that in many cases where there is no longer any injury, pain is the result of the body’s ‘overprotectiveness’ – hence, it is the brain, not elsewhere in the body, which must learn there is no longer a risk.

What is the worst thing a health care professional has ever said to you in a consultation?


 ‘Gameshow’-style quizzes

At the event, healthcare professionals participated in ‘gameshow’-style quizzes, including versions of ‘Family Fortunes’ and ‘Play Your Cards Right’ and teams were pitted against each other to gain deeper insights into the experiences of people experiencing chronic pain.  

Physiotherapist Richard Pell, Flippin’ Pain’s campaign director, said the event was a great success: ‘Living with chronic pain is no joke – but we also know how tough it can be to be a healthcare professional these days and so we wanted to create an opportunity for learning that would be enjoyable and memorable too.

‘It was a brilliant, eclectic evening – from understanding the day-to-day experiences of those who live with chronic pain, to hearing about Lorimer’s brush with death in the Australian outback, after being bitten by one of the world’s most poisonous snakes!'

Richard described feedback from local healthcare professionals as ‘excellent’, with one saying: ‘Probably the best CPD event I've ever been to. Funny but also educational. Complex concepts explained in a fun way.’ Another attended noted: ‘Very fun evening which was well taught and made easy to follow – very applicable to my work practice.’

Living with chronic pain is no joke – but we also know how tough it can be to be a healthcare professional these days and so we wanted to create an opportunity for learning that would be enjoyable and memorable too [Richard Pell]

London practitioners didn't miss out

After the event, professors Lorimer and Cormac hot-footed it down to Camden in London to lead another Connect Health ‘Pain the Spotlight’ session for local healthcare workers on the following evening.

Professor Moseley said: ‘It is a privilege to work with the Connect Health and Flippin’ Pain teams – what they are doing in the UK really is helping to change lives for the better and resonating with the people who need it the most; those affected by debilitating, life-altering pain and the clinicians treating them.’

Studies show that people in north east England are particularly affected by chronic pain and opioid painkiller usage. More than 20 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers are dispensed in England and Wales each year.

About Lorimer Moseley

Professor Moseley has won prizes for his work in 13 countries, including Australia’s most prestigious prize for innovation and potential transformation in medical research. He has written 400 research articles and seven books, including the two highest selling pain books internationally.

For more information about Connect Health, click 

To access pain resources and for updates on Flippin’ Pain, click  

Author: Ian McMillan
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