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Ian Semmons

Chairman and Founder, Action on Pain

I was badly injured whilst intercepting a shop robbery when I was 40 years old and spent the next two years fighting to recover from my injuries. I started a journey which saw a whole series of operations to repair my back and shattered ankles. The experience which had a profound impact on my life in many ways. I suffered from chronic pain and had greatly reduced mobility as well as encountering family and social difficulties. I went from being a highly active and motivated person to someone who only saw problems ahead.

After changing GP, it was suggested that I should visit a pain clinic. The consultant there helped me come to terms with the fact that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. It was the most frightening moment of my life. I cleared my head and decided I could either sink or swim and I was going to swim. 20 years on, I am still swimming. I manage my pain using methods such as acupuncture, TENS machines and physiotherapy treatments. I also founded Action on Pain, an international charity to help others who experience chronic pain. It is estimated that there are around 10 million people in the UK alone living with chronic pain and we are always looking for new ways to reach them.

This led me to work with Lloydspharmacy who have set up a free pain assessment service designed to provide ongoing, confidential support to help people manage their pain more effectively. A pharmacist will take time to discuss symptoms, medication and lifestyle with sufferers on a one-to-one basis, helping them to make personal ‘pain management goals’. Together we want to highlight that people with chronic pain don’t have to suffer in silence. There is help available!