Pain Clinic

Most pain is short term or ‘acute’ and a result of injury or illness. At UHSM our acute inpatient pain team can help provide the best possible pain relief following surgery or a trauma such as a severe injury.

Pain which is more persistent – otherwise known as ‘chronic pain’ – is usually managed as an outpatient. The South Manchester Pain Management Service is based at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital. It is an inter-professional team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and clinical psychologists. As a team we provide help to minimise your pain where possible and maximise your quality of life.

The types of pain treated at the South Manchester Pain Service include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Neck pain
  • Myofascial pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Pelvic pain
  • Refactory angina pain
  • Widespread pain including fibromyalgia
  • Nerve (neuropathic) pain

We provide a variety of services to help patients manage pain including:

  • Specialist Outpatient Clinics
  • Pain Relief Injections
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Machine)
  • Acupuncture
  • Qutenza neuropathic pain patches
  • Individual Specialist Pain Physiotherapy and Psychology session
  • Pain Management Programme

We use a multidisciplinary integrated approach, meaning a range of medical professionals will work together to help you get back to doing activities you enjoy and live as full a life as possible despite pain.  Find out about the role of the Pain Rehabilitation Team.

Role of the Pain Rehabilitation Team

We know that there is no known cure for chronic pain (long term pain) and whilst medications or other treatments can offer some help, they are often not as effective as we would like. Therefore exploring other ways to manage your life living with chronic pain can be hugely beneficial. There are different options available within the Pain Centre and we hope this information will inform you as to what they can each offer.

Individual Physiotherapy

It is important to understand that Physiotherapy cannot “fix” your Chronic Pain problem. The Physiotherapists at the Pain Clinic are specially trained to listen to you and understand how your chronic pain problem is impacting on you and your life, and try to work with you to formulate a plan to help you to:

Understand your specific pain condition and more about chronic pain.

  • Understand more about the different tests and treatments you have had for your pain.
  • Feel reassured and supported to start to make changes to improve your quality of life despite your pain problem.
  • Feel confident in movement and activity despite your pain Find a range of exercises that will be helpful in maintaining your flexibility and strength which should be beneficial in the long term.
  • Feel more in control by using a range of self management strategies.
  • Understand the importance of pacing of activities and how this applies to your life.
  • Manage flare-ups as best as possible Help you to access other useful self management resources.

Individual Psychology

The Psychology team do not believe that your pain is ‘all in your head’; however they do understand that chronic pain can be a very distressing experience that can have a significant impact on your quality of life. A Clinical Psychologist will assess the impact that chronic pain has had on your mood, work, social activities and family life.

The approach that primarily used at the pain clinic is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Mindfulness and Compassionate Focused therapy also strongly inform our practice. It may also be helpful to look at stress management and relaxation strategies, allowing you to regain your confidence, remain calm and think clearly in stressful situations.

The aim of any psychological intervention is not to reduce the pain itself but to effectively reduce the problems that are caused by the pain. The psychologist’s role is to help you explore and discover what things in life are important and meaningful to you and what factors past and present are standing in the way of you being able to achieve your goals. Learning new ways of coping will help you to gradually regain control of your life despite the pain, both now and in the future.

Pain Management Programme

Pain Management Programmes are for people with chronic pain where this causes reduced activity and unhappiness. It is usually recommended after investigations have been completed and other treatments have been tried. A Pain Management Programme (PMP) is a group treatment which uses education and practice sessions to help people with chronic pain to manage their pain and everyday activities better.
By learning to manage their chronic pain in a better way, people find they are also helped to improve their quality of life.

Whilst attending a PMP, people develop easy-to-learn skills that help them to deal with and self-manage their pain. These skills include:

  • Learning about managing everyday activities, such as hobbies and work.
  • How to do gentle exercise.
  • How to relax both mind and body.
  • How to avoid overdoing activity and increasing pain.
  • Understanding the psychological effects of chronic pain.
  • How to improve confidence to cope with chronic pain.

As PMPs are to help you get back to your life despite pain, these are usually held in community. You will be assessed for suitability for one of these programmes at the Pain Centre. The PMPs run twice a week for five weeks and are run by our Clinical Psychologists and Physiotherapists specialising in Pain Management, with input from one of our consultants and Specialist Nurses.

Community based services

Our community-based pain services are part of UHSM’s Integrated Musculoskeletal (MSK), Pain and Rheumatology Service.


The Pain Clinic runs a triage process for new patient referrals. This involves patients being booked on a virtual clinic, usually through the Choose & Book process, which then triggers a questionnaire to be sent out to the patient. Please note that this is only a virtual appointment and not a physical appointment at the Pain Clinic and you do not need to attend this appointment.

Patients are asked to return the questionnaire within three weeks. The questionnaire is then scored and a multidisciplinary team triage the referrals, meaning they are allocated to an appropriate clinic and Consultant. The contact centre will contact the patient with an outpatient appointment in due course.

In the event of non-return of the questionnaire, patients will be discharged back to their GP. Patients are encouraged to contact the service if they are having any difficulties in completing the triage questionnaire on 0161 291 4128.

First appointments

If you are a patient and want to change or cancel a first appointment with the service please contact the patient booking team on 0161 291 5120.


We understand that in exceptional circumstances patients may need to cancel their appointment on the day. Please try to inform us at the earliest opportunity if you need to cancel your appointment as we may be able to offer the appointment to another patient who is waiting to be treated. To cancel an appointment please contact us on 0161 291 4128.

People often ring in the hope that an appointment or procedure can be brought forward. In the interests of equity this is not possible unless there is a cancellation. You will be asked at the time of listing for your procedure if you would be able to take a cancellation slot.

As a team we understand that it is distressing for patients who have pain to have to wait to see a consultant and we are doing our very best to keep the waiting lists as short as possible. Patients are able to telephone but due to the high volume of calls it is not always possible to answer and answerphone messages are checked less often.


The Pain Centre is based at the Baguley suite at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital near Entrance 19, in the Orange Zone.

Find us on a map


Waiting list: 0161 291 5442 (Contact for injection treatment)

Enquiries regarding medication and treatments need to be responded to within appointment times. Unfortunately we are not generally able to respond to queries outside these times. If you feel have a very urgent need or concern please seek medical advice from your GP in the first instance.

Useful Links

  • Health Talk Online – Reliable information about chronic pain and watch video or listen to audio clips of interviews with patients and experts on all topics related to living with chronic pain.
  • Pain Concern – An excellent resource providing information and support for those living with pain.
  • Pain Support – Ideas and techniques for pain management without drugs.
  • Pain Toolkit – A simple yet comprehensive toolkit, outlining tips and skills for living in pain.
  • Breathworks – A pioneering Community Interest Company teaching mindfulness skills to ease the suffering associated with persistent pain, fatigue and ill health.