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Improving Lincolnshire’s health and wellbeing

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Highlights from the Flippin’ Pain Community Outreach Tour 2021

Between the 12th-17th September a team of healthcare professionals, pain scientists and people who live with chronic pain completed a week-long roadshow across Lincolnshire to engage local communities and share valuable information about persistent pain with some of the 30-50% of the county’s population believed to be affected by it.

The event, which was titled the ‘Community Outreach Tour’ was orchestrated by Flippin’ PainTM, a public health campaign supported by NHS Lincolnshire CCG and a number of other local organisations that aims to bring a modern understanding of pain science to whole communities. Or- to put it another way- to flip the way people think about, talk about, and treat chronic pain.

The 30 strong team included nationally renowned clinicians in the field of pain management as well as representatives from the Lincolnshire community pain service, Steps2Change IAPT, Active Lincolnshire and One You Lincolnshire.

A tour route covering the length and breadth of the county took in 13 locations starting south in Stamford, before heading across to Spalding, Sleaford and Boston. Then travelling up the coast stopping in Skegness and Mablethorpe before turning inland again to Market Rasen, then Horncastle and Gainsborough, Lincoln and finally Grantham. Many of the team covered the entire distance (~300 miles) on their bikes as part of a 20 strong peloton ride raising close to £6000 for the UK charity Pain Concern.

The rest travelled from town to town as part of the Brain Bus Experience, a pop-up interactive experience village that involved lots of fascinating activities and illusions deployed to challenge perceptions and invite conversations regarding the complexities and lesser-known phenomena of pain.

I attended the Brain Bus experience in Mablethorpe, I found the interactive experience really helpful and increased my own self awareness and perception of how I react to and manage pain.

– Jane, Mablethorpe

In addition to the peloton and the Brain Bus Experience, each evening the campaign hosted a free public seminar involving internationally renowned pain education expert Professor Cormac Ryan and a panel of health professionals and local people with lived experience of pain.

Niki Jones, who was part of the peloton and who lived with debilitating chronic pain for almost 2 decades before making significant improvements in recent years which she attributes in part to her understanding of pain said “It was an extraordinarily positive experience for me. I’m immensely proud of my own achievements but also so proud of each and every person on the team in its entirety. The atmosphere was one of kindness, respect and enabling each other to get the best out of ourselves, which to me is reflective of what good pain management support should look like in practice!”

Professor Cormac Ryan who delivered the keynote for the public seminars during the week reported: “The variety of people and backgrounds stood out to me. We had men and women of all ages. From babies, to super intelligent 8-year-olds, to super insightful 80-year-olds and everything in between. Each came with their own stories and questions. Some were aired amongst the group, generating lively discussion. Some were quietly communicated with a nod or knowing smile.”

If this is the first you’ve heard about Flippin’ Pain you can find out more, browse their resources and read their inspiring stories at www.flippinpain.co.uk