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Airing Pain 102: Chronic Pain And Resilience

Explor­ing what can be done for high-lev­el ath­letes in the con­text of chron­ic pain, and how one man with a spinal injury found him­self “in the zone” through cycling

This edi­tion is fund­ed by a grant from the Stafford Trust.

For top-lev­el ath­letes, chron­ic pain can very quick­ly end careers. What prepa­ra­tions can be done to com­bat pain, and how impor­tant is patient engage­ment in reha­bil­i­ta­tion? In this edi­tion of Air­ing Pain, Paul speaks to chron­ic pain psy­chol­o­gist Dr Greg Clarke about how acute pain can turn chron­ic in the con­text of sport, and how the resilience of young ath­letes can some­times be a hindrance.

Ten years ago, Ade suf­fered a debil­i­tat­ing spinal injury. Four oper­a­tions lat­er, he was told by a sur­geon that there was noth­ing they could do. Paul talks to Ade about his deci­sion to attend a pain man­age­ment pro­gramme to edu­cate him­self about his pain, and how cycling helped him take con­trol of his situation.

Ade has also set up a fund rais­ing cam­paign, the 21 Days of Pain, to raise mon­ey for Pain Con­cern. He plans to cycle 100km every day for 21 days (2,100km!). You can find his web­site and read about his sto­ry here:

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Activ­i­ty-rest cycle, anti­de­pres­sants, back pain, exer­cise, fundrais­ing, med­i­ta­tion, pac­ing, phys­io­ther­a­py, psy­cho­log­i­cal approach­es to pain, reha­bil­i­ta­tion, spinal injury, sports injury, employ­ment, visu­al­iza­tion and young people.


  • Dr Gregg Clarke, Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gist spe­cial­is­ing in Chron­ic Pain, Neu­rore­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Sport Psychology
  • Ade, Cyclist and Pain Con­cern sup­port­er, liv­ing with chron­ic pain.

Ade and Paul Evans