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Chronic (or persistent) pain is the term used to describe pain which has lasted longer than the usual healing time after an illness or injury – usually given as three to six months. Chronic pain can occur in any part of the body.  It can be caused by an accident or injury. There are also many different health conditions that can lead to someone experiencing chronic pain, for example, arthritis.  However, people can also experience chronic pain when there is no clear identifiable health condition, illness or injury present.  This does not mean that chronic pain is not real but shows that chronic pain can be a very complex problem.

1 in 7 adults in the UK live with chronic pain making it a common problem.  However, chronic pain is a highly individual experience.  People react to living with pain in many different ways.  People with chronic pain can have difficulties carrying out daily activities, including work, leisure activities and exercise. This can be very distressing and people will often describe feeling low and anxious because of their pain problem.

The St George’s Chronic Pain Service is designed to help people living with chronic pain manage the challenges this condition can bring.

The Chronic Pain Service offers a range of medical and non-medical interventions for people living with chronic pain. The multidisciplinary team includes consultants in pain medicine, nurses, physiotherapists, and clinical psychologists, all specialising in chronic pain management. We take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, recognising that chronic pain as a complex biopsychosocial problem.  This means that we understand that it is important to consider not just the physical symptoms of pain but also the emotional and social impact of pain too.

There are two main parts of the Chronic Pain Service:

  • Pain Clinic
  • Chronic Pain Self Management team

See the separate tabs for each service.

Information for people living with chronic pain

There the huge amount of information available about chronic pain.  Below is a selection of helpful resources on a range of topics relevant to understanding and living with chronic pain.

Understanding Chronic Pain

British Pain Society Understanding and Managing Long-term Pain This booklet has been produced to help patients understand and manage their pain. Whether the pain is recent or long-term, severe or less severe, this booklet explores how to get the best out of the patient and healthcare professional partnership. It looks at what pain is, what can be done about it and who can help.

Know Pain – Understanding Persistent Pain  A helpful resource looking at the how we can understand pain better