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Airing Pain 127: Taking the Sting out the Tail of Neuropathic & Parkinson’s Pain

Examining misconceptions about Parkinson’s Disease and neuropathic pain, and discussing how best to manage persistent pain.

This edition of Airing Pain has been funded by a grant from The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust and The Stafford Trust

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Do you, someone you care for or perhaps your patients, suffer from persistent burning or gnawing pain or persistent pain related to Parkinson’s Disease? Many don’t know that often, neuropathic pain presents as a burning sensation. Persistent pain can impact all areas of our lives. It can stop us from sleeping, working and pursuing the hobbies we enjoy. Unfortunately, sometimes the healthcare professionals we see about our pain are unaware of the multitude of pain management techniques we can adopt to try and minimise the impact pain has on our lives. Different types of pain are widely misunderstood and many of us don’t know much about the conditions that can cause them. 

What do you think of when you think of Parkinson’s Disease? Many would say a tremor or shaking limbs, but persistent pain can be one of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The fastest growing neurological condition in the world is poorly understood and pain is a major unmet need in those who live with it. Ground-breaking studies funded by the charity Parkinson’s UK are shedding new light on the relationship between Parkinson’s pain and neuropathic pain. 

In this programme, Paul Evans speaks to Kirsty Bannister, a doctor of neuroscience at Kings College London, who discusses the role that ‘pain-blocking nerve pathways’ and psychological status play for those who experience chronic pain. We also hear from former primary school teacher Janet Kerr, who shares with us her own experience of dealing with Parkinson’s Pain and how she manages it with things like yoga and distraction techniques such as massage. 

Issues covered in this programme include: Parkinson’s disease, insomnia and sleep clinics, burning and gnawing pain, pain signals, biomechanics, stress/psychological states and their impact on pain, analgesia, bradykinesia, gabapentin, pregabalin and managing chronic pain.


  • Carol Vennard, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Janet Kerr, ex-primary school teacher who lives with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Kirsty Bannister, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Kings College London.

More information:

With thanks to:

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