HCM Issue 4 2021

Page 49

The medical profession has advised that people take exercise for chronic pain, rather than painkillers

people aged 16 years and over to manage chronic primary pain,” but add that they should “take people’s specific needs, preferences and abilities into account”. It also advises against resorting to commonly used pain killers, including paracetamol, as there is “little or no evidence that they make any difference to people’s quality of life, pain or psychological distress, but they can cause harm, including possible addiction”.

New direction The guidance marks a major change in the UK’s pain treatment policy and is seen as a win for the physical activity sector, which has long made the case for exercise as an essential service and a form of preventative healthcare. Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic

We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic pain, and their families and carers Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE

pain, and their families and carers. “It highlights that achieving an understanding of how pain is affecting a person’s life and those around them and knowing what’s important to the person is the first step in developing an effective care and support plan that recognises and treats a person’s pain as valid and unique to them.” The guideline emphasises the need for shared decision-making, putting patients at the centre of their care, and fostering a collaborative, supportive relationship between patients and healthcare professionals. It highlights the importance of healthcare professionals gaining an understanding of how a person’s life affects their pain and how pain affects their life, including their work and leisure time, relationships with family and friends, and sleep. l l Read the NICE guidance in full

at www.HCMmag.com/pain ©Cybertrek 2021 Issue 4 2021

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