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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
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