Courses for self-management of long-term health conditions
As someone with a long-term health condition, it’s likely that you spend just a few hours a year with your doctor and possibly much less than that. The rest of the time, you probably manage the effects of fractures by yourself.
A self-management course aims to give you the skills and knowledge to help manage pain and the symptoms, fatigue and emotional changes linked to pain and living with a long-term health condition. It also aims to empower you to communicate better with your doctor, make decisions about your health, set personal goals and increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. Ask your doctor whether there is a self-management course in your area or contact Self Management UK.
If you live with long-term pain from spinal or other fractures, you may have found pain-relieving medications and other ways of managing pain that work for you. If, however, you are having significant problems managing and living with your pain, a referral by your doctor to a pain-management clinic may be helpful.
Pain clinics vary but they usually offer a variety of treatments aimed at relieving long-term pain. These may include pain-relieving medications, injections, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and psychological strategies although some may focus solely on the control of pain by various types of drug treatments. Each clinic team will be different but may include doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who work together to help people with pain.
Some hospitals run a Pain Management Programme, which is a series of sessions for a small group of people aimed at showing you how to live with your pain and enjoy a better quality of life. Many who attend also enjoy meeting others who are experiencing similar problems.
It’s possible that you may need to wait quite a long time to be seen in one of these clinics or to attend one of these programmes. Your GP may be able to tell you how long the waiting list is in your area.
Managing persistent pain after fractures
Surgery to help with pain
There are surgical techniques, called percutaneous vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty, that may help with the pain of spinal fractures in a few specific situations. However, surgery is not suitable for the majority of people with spinal fractures.
Percutaneous vertebroplasty, balloon kyphoplasty and osteoporosis