For Collette Dowd, when pain strikes, she is left incapacitated. What feels like a series of electric shocks explode across her skull, while a burning sensation spreads across her face. Accompanying these symptoms are crippling migraines that often make 44-year old mum of two Collette want to claw at her own head.
Collette suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, which is caused by nerve compression at the base of her skull. There is no cure and even the strongest painkillers only help to reduce symptoms. When Collette was invited to a pioneering pain management programme at The Walton Centre, she was quick to agree.
The six-week programme uses a combination of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy while connecting patients with others in a similar situation.
Colette says the programme has had a massive impact,
“Before going on the programme pain was...