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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Wellbeing - the Health Agenda: Beyond pain

Prescribe exercise, not painkillers, to chronic pain sufferers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as Tom Walker reports

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 4
The medical profession has advised that people take exercise for chronic pain, rather than painkillers / Photographee.eu/shutterstock.COM
The medical profession has advised that people take exercise for chronic pain, rather than painkillers / Photographee.eu/shutterstock.COM

Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed painkillers, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK.

In a groundbreaking move, NICE says that patients looking to manage their pain should be advised to engage in physical activity to alleviate the condition – as well as remain physically active for longer-term general health benefits.

Chronic pain management
The new guidance outlines the recommended care plans for patients suffering from pain that can’t be tracked to any underlying condition – also known as chronic primary pain.

The new NICE guidance says that medical practitioners should “offer a supervised group exercise programme to people aged 16 years and over to manage chronic primary pain,” but add that they should “take people’s specific needs, preferences and abilities into account”.

It also advises against resorting to commonly used pain killers, including paracetamol, as there is “little or no evidence that they make any difference to people’s quality of life, pain or psychological distress, but they can cause harm, including possible addiction”.

New direction
The guidance marks a major change in the UK’s pain treatment policy and is seen as a win for the physical activity sector, which has long made the case for exercise as an essential service and a form of preventative healthcare.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic pain, and their families and carers.

“It highlights that achieving an understanding of how pain is affecting a person’s life and those around them and knowing what’s important to the person is the first step in developing an effective care and support plan that recognises and treats a person’s pain as valid and unique to them.”

The guideline emphasises the need for shared decision-making, putting patients at the centre of their care, and fostering a collaborative, supportive relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.

It highlights the importance of healthcare professionals gaining an understanding of how a person’s life affects their pain and how pain affects their life, including their work and leisure time, relationships with family and friends, and sleep.

Read the NICE guidance in full at HCMmag.com/pain

"We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic pain, and their families and carers" – Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/694606_784341.jpg
Chronic pain sufferers should be prescribed exercise, not painkillers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
HCM magazine
Prescribe exercise, not painkillers, to chronic pain sufferers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as Tom Walker reports
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features

Wellbeing - the Health Agenda: Beyond pain

Prescribe exercise, not painkillers, to chronic pain sufferers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as Tom Walker reports

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 4
The medical profession has advised that people take exercise for chronic pain, rather than painkillers / Photographee.eu/shutterstock.COM
The medical profession has advised that people take exercise for chronic pain, rather than painkillers / Photographee.eu/shutterstock.COM

Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed painkillers, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK.

In a groundbreaking move, NICE says that patients looking to manage their pain should be advised to engage in physical activity to alleviate the condition – as well as remain physically active for longer-term general health benefits.

Chronic pain management
The new guidance outlines the recommended care plans for patients suffering from pain that can’t be tracked to any underlying condition – also known as chronic primary pain.

The new NICE guidance says that medical practitioners should “offer a supervised group exercise programme to people aged 16 years and over to manage chronic primary pain,” but add that they should “take people’s specific needs, preferences and abilities into account”.

It also advises against resorting to commonly used pain killers, including paracetamol, as there is “little or no evidence that they make any difference to people’s quality of life, pain or psychological distress, but they can cause harm, including possible addiction”.

New direction
The guidance marks a major change in the UK’s pain treatment policy and is seen as a win for the physical activity sector, which has long made the case for exercise as an essential service and a form of preventative healthcare.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic pain, and their families and carers.

“It highlights that achieving an understanding of how pain is affecting a person’s life and those around them and knowing what’s important to the person is the first step in developing an effective care and support plan that recognises and treats a person’s pain as valid and unique to them.”

The guideline emphasises the need for shared decision-making, putting patients at the centre of their care, and fostering a collaborative, supportive relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.

It highlights the importance of healthcare professionals gaining an understanding of how a person’s life affects their pain and how pain affects their life, including their work and leisure time, relationships with family and friends, and sleep.

Read the NICE guidance in full at HCMmag.com/pain

"We want this guideline to make a positive difference to people with chronic pain, and their families and carers" – Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/694606_784341.jpg
Chronic pain sufferers should be prescribed exercise, not painkillers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
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promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Video Gallery
MyZone Group Ltd
Pendex
FreeMotion Fitness
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness UK
A global innovator of innovation and variety in fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a True Fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
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Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Spa software
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
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Virtual summit,
Diary dates
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Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
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Online,
Diary dates
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Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
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Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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