Pain Management Program

Pain Management Program

Pain Management Programmes (PMPs) have been running in Salford since 1983 and are currently provided on a residential and outpatient basis as part of our comprehensive pain management service.


What is a Pain Management Programme (PMP)?

A PMP is a group rehabilitation program for patients experiencing chronic pain and is led by a Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist and Medical Consultant, all of whom specialise in the management of chronic pain. Around 12 patients attend each programme. 

Chronic pain is pain that has lasted more than six months and remains unresolved despite many different treatments and investigations.  

It can often affect many areas of life including work, social life, home life, mood and sleep.

Prior to attending a PMP a patient will undergo detailed assessment and the clinical team will determine which programme the patient is likely to gain most benefit from.  

If a PMP is not thought to be suitable, the reasons for this will be fully explained and other recommendations will be made if possible.

The Pain Management Programme service complies with the British Pain Society’s current guidelines for PMP's.  

Hear from some of our patients (Hyperlink to patient video) who have completed the Pain Management Program (PMP).


Who is Suitable?

A patient may be suitable for a PMP if the following criteria are fulfilled: 

  • Chronic pain causing significant disability and / or distress.
  • Over 18 years old.
  • All appropriate investigations and treatments for pain have been completed.
  • No planned referrals to other specialities regarding the pain problem.
  • Other health problems should not be risk factors for active rehabilitation (e.g. uncontrolled angina or asthma).
  • Can manage basic activities of daily living and is self-caring.
  • No major substance misuse (including alcohol).
  • No major psychiatric disorders of current significance.
  • The patient is willing to participate in a group program involving psychological and activity-based interventions.

 Due to the nature of the programme the PMP may not be suitable for all patients.  

An offer of a place on the programme will be made on a case by case basis, after discussion with the patient and consideration of any reasonable adjustments.  

In some cases, the patient may be offered individual input to work towards attending a future programme or they may be offered an individualised programme of care rather than a PMP.


Types of Pain Management Programme

There are currently two types of pain management programme at Manchester and Salford Pain Centre: 

  1. Intensive Programme 
  2. Standard Programme


The Intensive Programme

The intensive program runs each day Monday to Friday (9.30am to 4.30pm) over 3 consecutive weeks.  

For those patients who live too far from the centre to travel, local hotel accommodation is provided for the duration of the program (at no cost to the patient). 


The Standard Programme

The standard programme runs for 2 days per week (9.30am to 4.30pm) over 4 consecutive weeks. 

For both PMPs, there are 2 half-day follow up sessions at intervals of 1 month and 3 months after the program.  

Six months after attending the PMP, patients attend an individual appointment for follow-up assessment. 


Aims of the PMP

The PMPs focus on self-management, helping patients address both the physical and emotional impact of chronic pain on their life. The programme uses well-established, evidence-based cognitive behavioural (CBT) approaches throughout all sessions. 


Program Content

Activities include:

  • Information and education about pain and pain management
  • A structured graded exercise programme
  • Activity management
  • Goal planning
  • Flare-up management
  • Partner / friend / family member session
  • Chronic pain and intimate relationships (optional session)
  • Applied relaxation training
  • Sleep management
  • Stress management
  • Problem solving training
  • Maintaining change
  • Medication review and advice



There is strong evidence for the efficacy of both outpatient and inpatient cognitive-behavioural PMPs as a package, compared with either no treatment or standard treatments.

Analysis of PMP data demonstrates statistically and clinically significant improvements across a range of standardised measures.  

Patients attending either Intensive or Standard PMPs can expect:

  • Improvements in interpersonal relationships
  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Increased physical fitness
  • Increased likelihood of work retention or readiness to return to work
  • Optimised medication use
  • Reduction in health care use


Click an image to view or download a leaflet.