Centre for Pain Research

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About

The very idea of living with pain rather than curing it is, for many people, unpalatable. When told such a thing by their doctor, it can feel like being abandoned, as if medicine is moving on and leaving one to 'cope' alone. Even the word 'cope' is not neutral.

Whenever someone says, "you can/will/should cope" it sounds like someone is saying, "shut up and get on with it". This is what pain patients tell us, both in multiple qualitative studies and in our own patient partner panels. Patients also tell us that trying to live with pain without help is difficult, sometimes impossible; it is hard struggling alone, challenging for loved ones trying to help, and daunting that every day starts with the same overwhelming task. This challenge has been recognised.

Although pain is the primary reason that people go to see their GP, it is poorly managed in the UK and leaves people exposed to multiple further health risks, including clinical anxiety, depression, and loneliness, and an increased risk of further morbidity and possibly all-cause mortality.

We do have treatments for chronic pain, using pharmacological, physical and psychological approaches, all with the common aim of reducing pain, or alleviating suffering. Yet, these also have in common 'disappointing' overall results.

The Centre for Pain Research was established in 2008 and is home to a team of interdisciplinary researchers investigating the best ways of helping people learn how to live with incurable pain.

Research focus

The Centre is focussed on innovation, creativity, and discovery. We support five main areas of research: