The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) completed its first round of Art for Health workshops this year, funded by Royal Orthopaedic Charity (ROC) , set up to support chronic pain patients in managing their conditions.
Liza Tharakan submitted an application for funds to the Charity as part of our ‘poster competition 2022’ to help give extra support to chronic pain patients at ROH. The winning poster highlighted the benefits to patients of art sessions which help distract patients from the pain they are experiencing. The public, who voted in the competition as well as the Charity Trustees, were overjoyed by the poster and jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the organisation of it.
Workshops were introduced by Liza Tharakan, Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia Consultant and Chronic Pain Service Lead at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. Liza is a keen advocate for the Charity and has worked with us on other projects to support patients at the hospital.
Liza said: “Chronic pain affects quality of life for patients – they can feel isolated, lack confidence and develop anxiety. As there is no definitive cure for chronic pain, we focus on management as pain specialists.
“Many of our patients have restricted movement due to their conditions, and some are house bound. These workshops provide patients the opportunity to engage in creative activities that help them recover faster, manage their long-term conditions and experience a better quality of life. It’s been wonderful to see our patients relax during the workshops and many share that they forget their pain while they are here.”
During the sessions, patients were able to access a range of art therapies including singing, making pinch pots, and painting still life. The sessions encouraged patients to try their hands at different types of art and created the opportunity to speak to others also managing similar conditions.
Usual treatments for pain management include pain modulation with medications, which can leave patients with side effects. While medication, alongside injections and physiotherapy can help, they are limited in what they can offer patients. By participating in creative art, especially in group sessions, patients can learn distraction from constant pain, reduce social disconnection, and in some cases prevent or treat substance use disorder.
This is one of the many projects funded by ROC throughout 2023 which give enhanced support to patients. To find out more about how the public’s donations, support the hospital visit:
Bristol Road South
Registered Charity Number: 1078046
Call: 0121 6854379