Browser does not support script.
Skip to main content
Find out how we produce our information|
A number of healthcare professionals may be involved in managing your pain.
These healthcare professionals specialise in different aspects of pain management and work closely together. They include your GP and your cancer doctors at the hospital. The following teams or people may also be involved:
Many hospitals have pain teams that have specialist doctors - usually anaesthetists - and nurses who advise on all aspects of pain control. Some teams also have a psychologist. The doctors and nurses who work in pain teams are skilled in using all the methods of pain control discussed in this section, but they specialise in the use of nerve blocks|.
Your GP may refer you to a pain team or you may be referred by your palliative care team, particularly if your pain is troublesome and you need a nerve block.
A physiotherapist may be able to show you different ways of moving yourself| so that your pain isn’t made worse by movement. They can also arrange for you to have a wheelchair if that will help you move around more easily.
An occupational therapist may be able to supply you with equipment, such as special cushions or mattresses, to make you more comfortable when you are sitting up or lying down. They can also assess whether you need aids for daily living, such as handrails and ramps for your home so that you can get around more easily.
Your GP, nurse or hospital doctor can refer you to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
Some people find it helpful to see a counsellor or psychologist| about their pain. They can help you develop skills to cope with the pain and manage any worries or concerns that may be making your pain worse.
Palliative care teams can be based in a hospital or the community. They include doctors and palliative care nurses and may also include physiotherapists, occupational therapists and counsellors.
Hospital teams only work in the hospital. They can help you with your pain control if you’re attending an outpatient clinic or if you’re an inpatient.
Community teams tend to work from a local hospice and have doctors and nurses who can visit you in your own home. They give advice and guidance on pain and other symptoms, and can provide emotional support for you and your family. Your GP will know which community palliative care and hospice services are available in your area.
Sometimes it can help to spend a few days or weeks in a hospice having your pain, symptoms and other problems treated. Your community palliative care team or GP can arrange this for you. In the hospice, the doctors and nurses can often adjust the dose of or add in new painkillers more quickly than if you were at home. Once your pain is controlled, you can go home again to the care of your GP with the support of your community palliative care team.
Marie Curie| nurses help care for people who are having treatment to control their symptoms, such as pain, and want to stay in their own homes. They will stay for a period of time during the day and/or the night. Your district nurse or palliative care nurse will be able to give you more information about the Marie Curie nursing service in your area.
It’s important that you, your family, your GP and the specialist services know who is supervising your pain control and who you should contact if you have pain or other symptoms. You should be able to get help and advice, by telephone or in person during the day or night.
Content last reviewed: 1 April 2011
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
You can also follow us| on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
what are these?|