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Teesside Professor to lead chronic pain health campaign

A Teesside professor has been appointed as a community pain champion for a public health campaign dedicated to increasing understanding of chronic pain.

Professor Cormac Ryan of Teesside University was approached by Flippin’ Pain, a project run by Connect Health and NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, to update the public’s view of pain to one in line with the latest scientific thinking.

The aim is to move from a traditional medical understanding of chronic pain to one that takes a more biopsychological approach, considering biological, psychological, and social factors.

Professor Ryan has over 15 years’ experience researching pain, and in his role as professor of clinical rehabilitation at Teesside University he regularly publishes scientific papers, contributes to national guidelines, and lectures on the subject.

He expressed excitement at getting involved with the project, stating: “I want to take contemporary scientific information out of the laboratory and put it into the hands of the public.

“We are severely limiting the influence of science by keeping it contained within the academic community; we can make a much bigger impact by bringing it to the public in the spaces they are — we need to get the message out there.”

“The predominant public understanding is that pain is purely a response to injury or damage in the body, however, modern science tells us that this view is overly simplistic and wrong.

“Truly understanding pain can be transformative, empowering individuals to engage in a new, more active, approach to their pain, in keeping with national guidelines.”

The first port of call for Professor Ryan will be Lincolnshire, which is the current focus of the Flippin’ Pain campaign due to its over-reliance on pain medication.

He will be the guest speaker at several public health events across the county, where he will help many chronic pain sufferers to manage their daily lifestyles.