On 12 September 2021, I will take part in the U.K.’s first community outreach cycle tour to raise awareness of the impact and treatment of persistent pain.

The Flippin’ Pain Community Outreach Cycle Tour is organised by Flippin’ Pain™ and focusses on raising awareness of the problem of persistent pain, spreading the word about a modern scientific understanding of pain, and giving people knowledge, skills, and hope for a better way forward.

Persistent pain affects between 30 to 50% of adults in the U.K. yet the design and delivery of healthcare does not fully embrace the complicated biological, psychological, and social nature of pain. Public understanding of the science and management of persistent pain fails to reflect best scientific understanding. This is something I have been voicing for decades.

Flippin’ Pain™ is a public health campaign that aims to change the way people, including clinicians, think about, talk about, and treat persistent pain i.e., ‘Flip Pain’. The campaign messages are communicated through community engagement to raise awareness of the impact of persistent pain and to provide all aspects of society with a better understanding of the science of pain, i.e., why, and how we hurt. The Flippin’ Pain formula is to Educate, Engage, and Empower, through 6 key messages:

  1. Persistent pain is common and can affect anyone
  2. Hurt does not always mean harm
  3. Everything matters when it comes to pain
  4. Medicines and surgeries are often not the answer
  5. Understanding your pain can be key
  6. Recovery is possible

A variety of resources co-created by people with persistent pain, healthcare professionals, pain scientists and communications experts are available on the Flippin' Pain website to support people living with persistent pain.

The Flippin’ Pain Cycle Tour was inspired by the success of the Pain Revolution cycle tours that have transformed the understanding of the science of pain in Australia.  The Flippin’ Pain Peloton comprises 20 pain scientists, clinicians or patients who will ride approximately 50 miles per day for 5 days, making regular stops in various towns across Lincolnshire to deliver public lectures and health professional workshops.

Riders are raising money for the charity Pain Concern. Pain Concern works to improve the lives of people living with pain and those who care for them via a Helpline, a Forum, a Radio programme called Airing Pain and a magazine called Pain Matters.

More details about my participation in the event and a link to our fundraising page can be found here. I am so looking forward to taking part in this week of pain!

Professor Mark Johnson

Professor / School of Clinical & Applied Sciences

Mark is Director of the Centre for Pain Research and leads a vibrant team of researchers. He has published over 200 research articles and book chapters and supervises PhD students. Mark teaches across all levels of our taught course provision.