Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has called for the Scottish Government to use its plan to improve services for those with chronic pain to introduce a pathway for dealing with conditions that cause it, after meeting with groups who campaign for better treatment of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder.
The SNP MSP, who is Deputy Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Musculoskeletal Conditions, highlighted to her party’s Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd, that “inappropriate” prescribing of physiotherapy or self-management could make patients’ pain worse.
“The focus the Scottish Government has put on providing specific training on chronic pain and its impact is very welcome. It can be extremely difficult when you’re in the position of dealing with a healthcare professional who doesn’t understand your condition.
“Self-management that is prescribed inappropriately, or without medical support alongside, can be dangerous for people suffering severe and chronic pain. We have to make sure folk who genuinely need medical intervention, too, don’t feel they are being fobbed off.
“I deal with pain and hypermobility every day and recently reached out to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome campaigners to discuss how people can be better supported when presenting with these symptoms.
“At the meeting, we discussed cases where EDS patients were offered treatment which made them worse. Clear pathways, informed by evidence, need to be set out to avoid this happening. I will keep pressing the Scottish Government to progress this.”