Our Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement member, Claire, recently spoke to the Alleviate research team about her experience of living with pain in her foot caused by osteoarthritis. Watch the final episode in our ‘Pain Awareness Month’ series.
Our Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement member, Claire, recently spoke to the Alleviate research team about her experience of living with pain in her foot caused by osteoarthritis. As a result, the cartilage has worn away in multiple areas of her foot and Claire has been waiting since 2019 to have reconstructive surgery.
Claire explains that she has constant but inconsistent pain every day which results in her not knowing what type of pain she will experience each day. Claire discusses how she must pace herself in order to manage her daily life. She describes how the pain feels like a constant form of pressure and can intensify so much that she walks with a pronounced limp. The pain has been ongoing for so long that it is now affecting the ligaments in Claire’s foot, which impacts everything from how far she can walk to how long she can drive a car for.
Living with pain makes Claire feel frustrated but she is very grateful for her supportive family who are understanding of her pain and do not put her under any pressure if she is having a bad day. To try and manage her pain, Claire exercises daily and practices yoga.
Claire explains that she got involved with Alleviate because she was fascinated by the aims of the project and how it asks the public how pain affects them and recognises that pain comes in many forms. She describes that there are many different types of pain, that pain happens at different stages and how it can change with a diagnosis. She likes that Alleviate accepts that people are different, and all have a voice that needs to be heard living with these conditions. Her hope is that Alleviate is widely recognised in pain data and researchers can use information to acknowledge pain comes in different forms and lasts a long time in people’s lives. One of the benefits of joining Alleviate was meeting everyone who is passionate about making the project work and Claire encourages everyone to join Alleviate’s community and be part of this incredible and worthwhile project.
The Alleviate Pain Data Hub is a £2M collaborative project funded by a consortium of funders including Versus Arthritis and the UK Medical Research Council. The project is led by the University of Dundee and involves partners from across the UK. Alleviate is one of nine HDR UK Health Data Research Hubs.