News By Wire

‘Life-changing’ public health tour of the Tees Valley ‘flips’ how local people think about pain

A public health campaign challenging outdated preconceptions and supporting people affected by chronic pain, has completed a ‘lifechanging’ tour of the Tees Valley.

With an overall goal of changing the way people think about, talk about and treat chronic pain, Flippin’ Pain™ organised six days of free events and activities, taking its campaign messages to towns and cities across North East England, from Durham to Whitby.

Featuring public seminars and workshops for healthcare professionals, additional stop-off points during the roadshow were Darlington, Guisborough, Saltburn and Hartlepool and included talks by pain academics, clinicians, and other experts in the field, including world-renowned pain scientist and educator Professor Lorimer Moseley.

The campaign’s interactive ‘brain bus experience’ also pitched up at Middlesbrough’s James Cook hospital, Darlington town centre, Yarm, Whitby Bandstand and Durham Marketplace. Passers-by were invited to ‘flip’ their understanding of how the brain works – walking the plank off the roof of a city skyscraper via virtual reality and feeling phantom fingers through a perception exercise.

Across the six days, a 25-strong team of cyclists rode the footprint of the roadshow fundraising for national pain charity, Pain Concern. The peloton comprised event speakers and panel members, such as people who live with chronic pain themselves, health professionals, and pain experts. In total they raised over £7000.

One of the people who visited the tour was 54-year-old Amanda Craggs, from Guisborough, who has experienced persistent pain since her teens and has fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and ME.

She attended the public consultation session at St Nicholas Parish Church Hall in her hometown, and though initially sceptical, she found the information and advice she received transformed the way she thought about her pain. She later said: “It changed my life. My whole outlook on life and everything has completely changed. I felt I was listened to and that things were explained to me in a user-friendly way.”

Best of all, Amanda has experienced a reduction in pain that means she has significantly reduced the level of painkillers she is taking. While she still has it in her hands and the rest of her body, she found that within a day of attending the event, the pain she in her hip had completely gone. She has even stopped using the walking stick that was a vital aid before.

“I still can’t fathom it or comprehend it,” she said, “But my hip pain has gone completely.” Amanda also identified that the events she attended took away some of her fear around chronic pain, even though until that moment she says she hadn’t realised quite how much fear she was holding about it.

Amanda wasn’t the only one feeling hopeful following the tour. A questionnaire of attendees, nearly a quarter (24%) of whom can’t work due to their pain and a third rely on opioids for pain management, also highlighted a shift in their beliefs about their pain. Significantly, before the roadshow around a third of people believed that the only reason for experiencing pain was because that something in their body was damaged, however afterwards, after learning about all the other things that influence pain this dropped to 10%. 82% would also recommend Flippin’ Pain™ to friends and family.

Flippin’ Pain™ campaign director, Richard Pell, said: “Spending six days touring the North East and getting out into the local community to meet people affected by chronic pain was so humbling and whilst we know there is so much more that can be done for people affected by persistent pain in the region, we couldn’t be prouder of the response we’ve had to our events.

“Feedback from people like Amanda is what motivates us. Our aim is to share our very best understanding of pain, with as many people as possible. This reduces some of their fear and frustration and can be the catalyst for people – to make those vital first steps to taking back control and getting their lives back. Our events are so powerful because they bring together the latest scientific evidence about pain with real-life stories of people who are living with it. Thank you to everyone who came along to the face-to-face sessions or joined virtually and to our fantastic project team, pain ambassadors, partners, and peloton riders.”

More than 1000 people attended the in-person and virtual events during the tour, which took place in May 2023.

The Flippin’ Pain™ campaign was supported by Connect Health, Tees Valley Sport, You’ve Got This, NHS South Tees and NHS North Tees and Hartlepool, Teesside University and Pain Concern.

Press release information


Image File:

The Flippin' Pain tour visits Darlington

Area / Region:

Notes to editors

About Flippin’ Pain™ Attempting to ‘flip’ public understanding of chronic pain, Flippin’ Pain™ is championed by community healthcare services provider Connect Health. Flippin’ Pain™ follows the learnings of Australia’s ‘Pain Revolution’ movement led by Professor Lorimer Moseley. Keep up to date with the full tour information by visiting: and via social media: • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram About You’ve Got This You’ve Got This is a movement that empowers people to be active in whatever way they can. Their vision is ‘active lives, as a way of life’, and they want to break down the barriers that prevent people in South Tees from leading an active life. They achieve this through the help of ambassadors and supporters. 
About Pain Concern     Pain Concern is a charity working to support and inform people with pain and those who care for them, whether family, friends, or healthcare professionals. Our award-winning Self-Management Navigator Tool, Airing Pain radio and podcast series, Pain Matters magazine, website and publications make information on pain and its management accessible to everyone, everywhere. Our helpline, staffed by trained volunteers, provides information, support or just a listening ear to those affected by pain, while our online community provides a space for people in pain to connect with each other.    Pain Concern conducts research providing insight into the state of pain management services and the experiences of people who live with pain. • For further information, visit  • Media enquiries, email [email protected] / Heather Wallace 07879 601201 • Follow Pain Concern on Facebook, Twitter or Vimeo    

Media contact

Media contact name:

Laura Odonnell

Media contact business / organisation:

The Tonic

Media contact telephone:


Media contact email:

All done!
Thank you for subscribing.

Email Subscription