A step-change in the treatment of pervasive pain conditions

Circle Rehabilitation offers a premier rehabilitation service to diagnose and treat people suffering from persistent pain symptoms, so they can return to the level of function that they require.

Our aims are:

– To help you live a full life regardless of pain
– To explore effective ways of managing persistent pain
– To improve your confidence
– To gain a better understanding of why you have pain
– To allow you to return to activities you enjoy

We offer a multidisciplinary programme based inside Circle Reading, a state-of-the-art elective hospital with the very highest standards of hospitality and care. We seek to address the factors that lie at the root of chronic pain to break the cycle of suffering. Research shows that persistent pain – such as long-standing back pain or fibromyalgia – occurs owing to changes in the nervous system; but changes in function and quality of life are influenced by general health and fitness and various psychological and social factors. We focus on reconditioning and providing functional strategies to ensure that persistent pain does not take over a person’s life, helping our patients feel empowered against pain and in control of their rehabilitation process.

The rehabilitation approach our team offers combines a medical, physical and psychological approach as recommended in the NHS England National Pathway of Care for Low Back Pain and Radicular Pain 2015 and in NICE guidelines.

Who are we?

Our multi-disciplinary team consists of

– A highly experienced specialist consultant in rehabilitation, who will be part of your initial assessment and follow you through your programme, offering guidance on the best treatment options for you

– A rehabilitation physiotherapist who will offer a bespoke physical assessment and exercise plan using our unique set of cutting-edge equipment to optimize your recovery process.

– A consultant clinical psychologist, working collaboratively with you to develop personal strategies to cope with pain effectively and prioritize your quality of life

What is pain?

Within our team, we adopt the definition put forward by C de C Williams and Craig in 2016: “a distressing experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage with sensory, emotional, cognitive, and social components.”

Initially, pain is communication – a way in which the body tells us that something is wrong and requires our attention.  However, pain messages can persist over time and progress to become a state where the message is no longer helpful, yet continues regardless. This continued pain message can be incredibly complex and aggravated by many factors, including biomechanical imbalance, neuro-chemical overresponse, muscular tension, poor posture, avoidance of physical activity, poor movement and balance techniques, emotional stress and negative psychological reactions to pain. The amalgamation of these factors can alter your experience from one of feeling pain to another of feeling swept away by an unwanted transformation of lifestyle and functioning.

A typical journey for a patient suffering with pain may involve many failed treatment attempts, incomplete diagnoses or investigations, loss of social and occupational functioning, frustration and despair, and negative views of the self and medical professionals. To break this cycle, Circle’s Pain Rehabilitation service will intervene early in the pain process with a personalised programme involving strong interdisciplinary working between a specialist consultant, physiotherapist, and clinical psychologist.  The service will focus on helping you create realistic, pragmatic goals for reducing your feelings of suffering with pain, even when it is impossible to resolve the total symptoms of pain. Our services are collaborative in nature and require your active engagement so you can confidently employ self-directed strategies to manage ongoing symptoms of pain after completion of the programme, enabling you to get back to the life you want to lead.

Revolutionary technology for rehabilitation

Our facilities provide some of the very latest equipment and technologies, which will be used to help accelerate your recovery. Our inpatient facility in Berkshire is part of a sizeable private hospital, where we have 120 consultants and a wide range of equipment available, including MRI and CT scanners, which provide an on-site backup for patients who might experience other health issues during their rehabilitation stay. Below is just a small snapshot of some of the latest equipment we can use to aid your recovery:

    • Hydro Physio aquatic treadmill – allowing you to exercise buoyed by water, which soothes pain and reduces the risk of injury
    • Anti-gravity treadmill – driven by technology from Nasa, this helps to shorten recovery time, improve mobility and reduce injury
    • Gait analysis – analyse biomechanics and helps to identify why pain is occurring
    • Spinal strengthening technology – to help strengthen core muscles
    • Continual Passive Motion device – helps you to regain your range of knee movement
    • Premium gym and exercise equipment – ensuring you have quality equipment such as the Concept2 rowing maching at your disposal.

Other equipment includes: LiteGait to assist walking fuction, Biodex Balance SD, Game Ready (ice and compression), physiology and fitness testing, body composition analysis and Bioness electrical stimulation.

Luxurious hospitality

Our Circle hospital in Berkshire is designed to feel modern, relaxed and homely so you can enjoy your visits in comfort. Our hospital features:

  • Complimentary 24-hour car parking
  • Free wi-fi in public areas
  • Appetising menus prepared by our Michelin-trained chef and his team (at additional cost)
  • Our concierge service can assist with arranging transportation to and from the hospital – please contact us for details.

Initial consultations

Your first consultation will be held with the Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine. You will review your history and pain symptoms, including any previous treatments. Your view of your difficulties and your goals will be discussed. Factors related to social circumstances and lifestyle may be included to get a good understanding of how your condition impacts on your day-to-day life. At the end of this appointment, the consultant will discuss their opinion about the next steps on your journey. It may be that medical guidance and self-care will be all that is recommended at this point, and the consultant will offer follow-up appointments as appropriate.

Alternatively, the consultant may suggest the continuation of the assessment process for the multidisciplinary pain management programme and recommend a joint 50 minute assessment by the physiotherapist and clinical psychologist.  During this second consultation, the information from your questionnaires and your first consultation will be expanded upon with a hands-on assessment by the physiotherapist. The team will then recommend a multi-disciplinary treatment package tailored to your goals and needs.

Medical treatment options

Physiotherapy treatment options

The physiotherapy element of your programme will be built around your initial assessment and the goals you wish to achieve. A typical physiotherapy package will involve two sessions a week of 30 minutes to an hour for 6-8 weeks, initially under a physiotherapist’s guidance and then some independent work as your confidence and body awareness grows. The sessions will include a combination of individual physiotherapy appointments, exercise-based sessions to help move and strengthen your body and also sessions to gradually expose your body to general exercise. Education and advice will be a common theme throughout and complement the work you perform with the clinical psychologist.

Psychological treatment options

Psychological treatment strategies will be explained and practiced through a series of one to one sessions with the clinical psychologist. The focus of these sessions will be to educate you on the cycle of pain, fear and avoidance and to shift the focus from waiting for a life free of pain to living well while managing pain effectively. Techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, cognitive restructuring, mindfulness and relaxation practices, problem solving strategies, and goal-directed behavioural activation are all possible components. A standard treatment will include four to five 45-minute individual sessions after the initial joint assessment session with the physiotherapist. These treatment sessions will initially be once weekly, then become once fortnightly, and parallel the overall length of your physiotherapy programme.

Get in touch

For a no obligation discussion about your options, or to book an initial assessment, please call the Circle Rehabilitation team using the number at the top of the page or email rehab@circlehealth.co.uk. We welcome referrals from consultants, general practitioners, insurers and directly by patients. We can provide assistance to individuals, embassies and overseas patients on admissions, and we welcome enquiries from patients and their families to determine the most appropriate care we can offer.

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