Lee Vaughan and Niki Jones
Lee & Niki's fundraiser for Pain Concern
Fundraising for Pain Concern
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This Autumn they will be taking on the challenge of a 173 mile ride from one side of the UK to the other, with the aim of highlighting the silent epidemic of persistent pain in this country.
They want to do this to highlight the impact of persistent pain personally and in society and champion organisations like Pain Concern, Flippin Pain, Footsteps Festival, Partnering Pain and the British Pain Society who exist to support people to understand, manage and even recover from pain.
Lee has been living with Pain for 31yrs and last year was off work for 4 months fearing that he would never return to employment or a reasonable way of live. His experience with his Pain Management Programme taught him to Live Well With his Pain. Although Pain remains a part of his life, it is no longer his life.
For 16 years until 5 years ago Niki would struggle to walk 1 mile - let alone cycle so far - but learning to effectively self manage her pain, based on modern pain science has been key to a recovery from significant levels of disability. She works hard to maintain this recovery.
This will be a monumental challenge for both Lee and Niki, physically and mentally. Cycling is very easy to compare to self management for persistent pain. The hills will present severe obstacles, so climb them with care and be mindful of what your body is telling you. Enjoy the descents but take care because if a decent is not also managed with care, then another steeper hill is just around the corner. Riding with others who understand your experience is also key to success, for the support and encouragement. No person is an island, and even if you have to do a lot yourselves, having others cheerleading is vital.
You can be part of our cheerleading squad by donating a small amount. We will be documenting our training and our progress on the ride - but every penny donated is a cheer - it means someone out there is caring, and as pain can be a lonely and isolating experience, this is a very tangible and appreciated way of supporting our cause.
Please support their challenge, and follow their journey on Social Media also.
The British Pain Society estimate that up to 28 million people are living with persistent pain in the UK. Persistent pain is pain that lasts beyond 3 months or the normal tissue healing time. This can have a huge impact on life and for some learning to live alongside the pain is key.
Modern pain science is now changing the way we think and understand pain. Pain is a very real experience, but also an incredibly complex one when it persists for very little obvious reason.
"It's all in your head"
"It's not real"
"You'll have to learn to live with it"
Totally inaccurate and unhelpful - but sadly statements most people living with persistent pain have all heard.
Living with persistent pain is often hidden, disbelieved or minimised. After all, pain cannot be seen even on scans - and its very hard to explain or demonstrate its impact on your life and the lives of those you care about.
Pain Concern help to raise awareness of this silent epidemic and also support people where they can. However, more help is needed to continue research and provide much needed support to up to the 43% of the UK Population that endure persistent pain.