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Airing Pain 57: Self-Management, Psychology and ‘Physio-terrorists’

Stiff joints and dark thoughts: treatment of pain and the person

This edition has been funded by a grant from the Scottish Government.

‘Pain medicine isn’t good at dealing with the effect of pain on the person’, says Jonathan Bannister, Head of the Multidisciplinary Pain Team at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. Paul Evans visits the clinic where Mr Bannister and some of his colleagues talk about how they care for people in pain.We hear about the difficulties of getting a referral and how pain specialists can help GPs add pain management to their armamentarium, or doctors’ toolkit. Physiotherapist Lynn Sheridan describes how she has to win the trust of patients scared of visits to the “physio-terrorist” after encounters with the vigorous methods of traditional physiotherapy. Her more gentle approach focuses on regaining function and helping people do more without flare-ups.

Helping people distinguish between their thoughts and the truth is one of the key aims of Clinical Psychologist, Dr Jonathan Todman. He explains why mental health is very often affected by chronic pain and how pain affects people with mental health problems.

Issues covered in this programme include: Physiotherapy, joint pain, depression, mental health, flare-up, multidisciplinary, waiting times, the biopsychosocial model, patient experience, activity-rest cycle, relaxation techniques, anxiety, and OCD: obsessive compulsive disorder.


  • Jonathan Bannister, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  • Lynn Sheridan, Physiotherapist, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee
  • Jonathan Todman, Clinical Psychologist, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
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