A man who was crippled by chronic back pain can now walk pain-free thanks to a new scheme which focused on managing his pain and using psychology to get him back on his feet.
Malcolm Webb, 39, of Arnold was diagnosed with spinal stenosis – a condition which causes a narrowing of the spaces within the spine.
The condition puts pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine, causing severe pain and weakness.
Mr Webb was a keen weightlifter but found he was not able to complete even basic tasks without strong pain medication
He said: “Just under a year ago I needed crutches every time I set foot out of the door and would carry them wherever I went.
“I started using them as a support when I was in pain but I just got more and more dependent on them over time.”
Mr Webb started on the community pain management service which was introduced across Nottingham in 2017 and started in Mansfield and Ashfield in March.
It is a new approach to managing pain and increasing mobility that uses a combination of exercise, psychology and personal lifestyle advice to help people be more independent.
Mr Webb, who started the programme last year, said it has transformed his life.
He said: “By the time I heard about the new pain management course I couldn’t walk longer than ten minutes without being in agony.
“I tried lots of different kinds of medication and had some bad experiences with side effects.”
“Feeling dizzy and light-headed all the time was the worst. One day I passed out on my feet in the house. It made me realise I couldn’t rely on drugs to get well.”
“I saw real improvements from the sessions and lost about four stone through the exercises and diet advice.
“My aim is to gradually get off medication and lose more weight so I can take up weightlifting again and enjoy more activities with my family.”
The NHS Pain Management service in Nottinghamshire is provided by a local community organisation called PICS (Primary Integrated Community Services Limited), which delivers a number of NHS services.
The programme offers one-to-one support, physiotherapy as well as group mobility classes and lifestyle advice
The community service offers care and advice at community locations across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Dr Gavin Lunn, clinical lead for Mansfield and Ashfield CCG said: “This new service enables patients to receive treatment in a community setting away from hospital, and will hopefully make their lives easier by reducing the distance they have to travel.
“Patients in south Nottinghamshire and Newark already benefit from this community service, which is very caring and highly efficient in helping with complex cases.
“We recognise this is a change for many people, but we would like to reassure patients that the new provider will offer patients the most effective treatment for their individual needs.
“The most important thing is to get the right treatment for each person. There are lots of clinical and psychological options available. Specialist staff will work with patients referred to the service to look at causes and triggers for their pain in order to help them manage it and hopefully improve their lives.”
Dr Kelvin Lim, the clinical director at PICS, said: “PICS, as an organisation, is committed to ensuring that patients receive the very best healthcare. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the CCG’s and other healthcare providers, including patients’ GPs to ensure this happens.
“We will ensure that patients referred to PICS are seen in a timely manner and receive the most appropriate treatment and guidance. Patients will benefit from a professional, caring administration team and a clinical team that is well recognised for achieving good clinical outcomes.”
Excerpt from the Nottingham Evening post.