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The 2018 Pain Cloud UK Convention was held in superb modern premises at Sunderland University on November 17th and 18th.  This was the first UK Pain Cloud Convention with the first being held in Oslo earlier in 2018.  It was hosted by Pain Cloud’s 2015 founder, Norwegian Osteopath Ole Morton Salte and his colleagues.  The Pain Cloud are an evidence based online community and resource promoting ‘questioning, researching and guiding’,  providing clinicians from all disciplines with the toolkit to treat and support those with chronic pain conditions.  The Pain Cloud team are a truly international collection of academics contributing towards a free resource for any interested party.

There was initial disappointment when keynote speaker on Saturday Fabrizio Benedetti was a last minute cancellation.  Ole and the team however rallied to seamlessly reorganise the schedule for the event with no significant effect on delegate satisfaction.  Mr Neil O’Connell PhD valiantly stepped into Benedetti’s slot and delivered a memorable session on assessing the quality of evidence in research.  Neil, an academic at Brunel University London ( is a contributor to the NICE guidelines and has published research in lower back pain and CRPS.  He described how to analyse the quality of research and how to detect biases a false outcome assumptions.  He really did give us all something to consider when choosing which evidence to reference for our own practice.

Mr Nick Allcock PhD opened the conference with a lecture entitled ‘A multi-disciplinary approach in pain management’.  Nick, the Director of Nottingham Centre for Evidence Based Nursing and Midwifery is from a nursing background and spoke about the increasing health needs of the aging population and the effect on NHS resources. His session focussed on the effectiveness on multi-disciplinary working compared with sole therapy practitioner models and provided evidence to support the benefits to all stakeholders. His session was audience interactive with clever use of an online app and whiteboard screen allowing us to vote on various questions to gauge and discuss our opinions and beliefs.

Pain management from a patient perspective was delivered by Mr Pete Moore (creator of Pain Toolkit).  Pete, himself an individual with first-hand experience of arthritis and the pain management pathway gave a heart-felt speech from a lay-person’s perspective on how the patient negotiates the system and factors for the clinician to consider when guiding the individual through their journey with pain conditions.  As a result of his condition and successful subsequent management he has developed a widely used online resource and now spends his time giving talks on how pain management programmes can help.

The day was concluded by two outstanding scholars and clinicians, Mr Derek Griffin PhD and Sandy Hilton PhD.  Firstly Derek, from the University of Limerick who is a practising expert on persistent pain disorders and by no means least Sandy, from Chicago USA (pain-science-and-sensibility) who specialises in pain and pelvic health.  Both speakers shared their clinical experiences with us in a passionate detail describing their experiences and relating them to current models of evidence.  We were all enthralled by their depth of knowledge and compassion in their very different yet similar patient scenarios.  Both speakers were met with huge appreciation and respect by the audience. The delegates were very grateful for the generous contributions from all the speakers and I’m confident we all learned a great deal from their collective expertise.

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