Pain Management Focus

“Chronic pain is indiscriminate in who it targets, and every individual, suffers from it

will experience a different journey.”

I recently had the privilege of connecting with Rory McMillen from RealHealth. Rory has dedicated many years to learning about pain and effective pain management.
As an experienced Occupational Therapist, it was wonderful to hear how Rory has an established team of caring clinicians who specialise in pain management.

My questions are:

What does RealHealth offer in the way of Pain Management? and How does Occupational Therapy fit in?



What does RealHealth Offer?

  • RealHealth run two programmes – a Functional Restoration Programme and a Pain Management Programme.
  • Both use a combined physical and psychological approach to managing persistent pain.
  • A comprehensive assessment is carried out to determine the suitability of each programme.
  • Determining the impact of pain on the life of the individual with a thorough history of previous treatments and medication.
  • Programmes are delivered by an inter-disciplinary team of clinicians including Specialist Physiotherapists, Health Practitioners, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Pain Management Nurses.
Functional Restoration Programmes (FRPs)
  • Aim: To enable self-management of pain and to achieve improved quality of life by increasing physical function and psychological well-being.
  • Duration: 1 or 2-week non-residential or residential basis; is also known as a ‘combined physical and psychological programme’ (CPPP), and is recommended in the NICE Guidelines (November 2016) for back pain when significant psychosocial obstacles exist or when previous treatments have not been effective
Pain Management Programmes (PMPs)
  • Aim: To improve quality of life for those with persistent pain and disability and to promote self-management of pain through improved functioning and psychological wellbeing.
  • Duration: 3-week non-residential or residential) follow the recommended guidelines for PMPs by The British Pain Society. The Department of Health also emphasises the importance of self-management.




Case Study

  • David* age 24,
  • Diagnosis:Erb’s palsy, multiple surgeries
  • Pain: (neck, shoulder, arm, back), negligible right upper limb function, low confidence, poor self-esteem, body image
    Avoided using right arm – held in hoody pouch
  • Medication – Butrans patches, Solpadol, Pregabalin, Fluoxetine, Mirtazapine, Omeprazole
  • Asymmetrical posture, flexed spine walking
  • Social life “on hold” (meds, being knocked)
  • Outcome: 8 weeks post-PMP, increased social life
  • Symmetrical posture, using right upper limb
  • NO BACK PAIN since altering posture/increasing function
    (and no hoody with pouch)
  • Resumed swimming (20-30 lengths)
  • REDUCED disability, fear avoidance, depression
  • INCREASED self-efficacy
  • Following a medication reduction plan using relaxation/breathing
*Fictional name used to maintain confidentiality


What is a Occupational Therapy?

“Occupational therapy provides practical support to empower people to facilitate recovery

and overcome barriers preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them.

This support increases people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.”

Royal College of Occupational Therapists 2021




How can Occupational Therapy help with pain management?

Occupational Therapists can help people carry out activities by adopting a person-centred focus to:
  • Advise on coping strategies to help with pain management, such as planning, organising and prioritising activities.
  • Consider equipment, daily living aids and assistive technology if needed, to promote independence and reducing risks when carrying out various tasks.
  • Suggest techniques to help with fatigue management.
  • Focus on the therapeutic benefits of activities and occupations that are meaningful to the individual.



RealHealth pain management is available via telephone 02476 996883,
or via email: or visit:

RealHealth Pain Management UK

If you’re interested in pain management support from an Occupational Therapist in your home.
Please telephone on 07341265564 or email on or complete the contact form here.
Led by Sophia Occupational Therapist, based in Leicestershire

© a Leicestershire-based company.