A public health campaign for those living with chronic pain is touring currently touring the Tees Valley.

Around two in five (43 per cent) of people in the North East are affected by chronic pain.

To support local people living with the debilitating condition and help them regain control of their lives, the public health initiative, Flippin’ Pain, is touring the Tees Valley this month.

Having started on Sunday, May 7, the roadshow will bring knowledge about pain to those who need it the most, through a series of public engagement and educational events, spanning North East England.

The Northern Echo: Flippin' Pain comes to Darlington with the Brain Bus. Picture: Flippin' PainFlippin' Pain comes to Darlington with the Brain Bus. Picture: Flippin' Pain (Image: Flippin' Pain)

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The Northern Echo headed to the Brain Bus to find out more.

Physiotherapist and lecturer, Jagit Makelow, said: “We’ve been speaking with people about their experiences living with chronic pain. We’ve heard some sad stories today.

“For a lot of people who live with chronic pain, there isn’t a physical reason for it, it’s not as a result of an injury, so they have trouble being believed or taken seriously, which just makes things worse for them.

“They want to be believed and have their pain acknowledged and affirmed, that’s really important, and to learn how to manage their pain, as their often isn’t a magic cure.”

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Aimed at those with chronic pain, their loved ones, and relevant healthcare professionals, the tour will feature an interactive pop-up village, the ‘Brain Bus.’ 

A peloton of 25 cyclists, including pain experts and those who live with pain, will concurrently be clocking up miles across the area whilst fundraising for national charity, Pain Concern.

Flippin Pain’s campaign director, Richard Pell said: “Understanding pain is so important. We know that how people think about their pain can change the way it feels and how they respond to it.

“Many long-held beliefs about pain are hugely out of step with modern scientific understanding. People deserve better.

“Many are suffering more than they should, losing control of their lives and their quality of life.

“I would urge people living with pain, their friends and family too, to engage with the campaign and do so with an open mind. Flipping your understanding of pain won’t take it all away overnight - but it can be transformative and has been the first step on the road to recovery for many.”

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The tour continues at these North East locations:

•            Tuesday, May 9 - Whitby Bandstand and Whitby Town Football Club

•            Wednesday, May 10 - James Cook Hospital, Redcar Seafront and Saltburn Arts Centre.

•            Thursday, May 11 - Hartlepool Market Place, Hartlepool College and Hartlepool Marina.

•            Friday, May 12 - Durham Market Place, Elvet Methodist Church and The Assembly Rooms.