What should I expect from pain management physiotherapy?

Our aim is to help you understand your pain and maintain or increase functional activities to improve your quality of life.

The physiotherapists working in the pain management service specialise in helping you to manage your persistent pain. We treat your pain as a long-term condition. It is not possible for us to reduce or get rid of the pain.

Your appointments

Once you have been referred to pain management physiotherapy, you will have an initial assessment. We use a holistic approach in our assessments to explore and understand how your pain impacts your life.

We then discuss a variety of strategies and small changes that you can implement to make life more meaningful for you as an individual.

After your initial assessment, you will then have one-to-one physiotherapy appointments, often with the same clinician where you can discuss:

  • How to understand your pain better
  • How to manage flare-ups
  • Improving your quality of sleep
  • Activity management
  • Eating for health
  • Mindfulness
  • General health and well-being strategies

The sessions will focus on your goals to make small changes and implement various self-management strategies to help you manage your pain better.

Where will my appointments be?

The initial assessment is usually a telephone appointment. You and your clinician can then decide whether to come in for a face-to-face appointment or continue over the telephone or with video consultations.

We offer face-to-face appointments at Barnet, Chase Farm, Edgware, and Royal Free hospitals. You will receive an appointment letter with your appointment location details.

What do we expect from you?

It is important to attend all your appointments, as this will enable us to guide and support you as best as we can.

We understand that living with persistent pain is difficult, however we ask that you let us know if you are unable to attend your appointment in advance. This is so your appointment can be offered to someone else who may need it. You will be offered an
alternative appointment.

If you are not able to attend your initial appointment, please telephone 020 7830 2623.

If you are not able to attend your follow-up appointment, please telephone 020 7830 2127 and select option one.

Please give us as much as notice as possible if you’re unable to attend an appointment.

Our attendance policy

  • If you miss your initial appointment and assessment without informing us, you will be discharged immediately.
  • If you miss a follow-up appointment, you will have the opportunity to reschedule this at the discretion of your physiotherapist.
  • If you cancel more than two appointments, you will be discharged.

If appointments are regularly rescheduled, it may not be appropriate for you to engage with physiotherapy at that time. If this is the case, this can be discussed with your physiotherapist. It may be possible for you to be re-referred later.

How often will I see my physiotherapist?

The number of appointments you have will be decided between you and your physiotherapist. It is quite common to have several weeks between appointments to allow time for you to make adjustments and implement changes using the self-management strategies.

Once you have met your set goals, it is expected that you will continue to implement the strategies you have learned on a regular basis.

What will happen after I am discharged?

The aim of your sessions with the physiotherapist is to help you feel confident in managing your pain without our support.

We will always discuss the plan to discharge you beforehand and ensure that you feel prepared to manage independently and can implement the self-management strategies you have learned as much as possible.

Once discharged, you will be referred back to your GP. If needed, you can be re-referred to our service by your GP or your referrer if you are still being seen by our pain management service.