A WOKINGHAM doctor hopes he can help relieve some pain with his latest book.
Dr Deepak Ravindran, who works at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH), has spent the past 20 years learning about all things pain-related.
Now, he is neatly packaging all of his knowledge into a self-help book in a bid to empower local residents dealing with chronic pain.
After moving to the UK in 2003, Dr Ravindran began training with the Royal College of Anesthesia where he discovered an interest in pain management.
“From a research angle, I found anaesthesia interesting because it is a form of pain relief,” he explained.
“Five years later, I knew more about the broader aspects of pain not just in theatres, but in communities too.”
Dr Ravindran then joined the RBH as a consultant and continued to specialise, and in 2017, after years of research, he had an epiphany.
“We realised that we needed to be giving patients more options and other techniques for managing pain, rather than just medications and injections,” he said.
“A lot of the reading I had been doing looked at nutrition and psychological therapies, as well as cognitive and behavioural factors.
“I realised that I was only helping 30% of my patients when prescribing prescriptions and drugs.”
The doctor said that after years of research, his understanding of pain changed and he began to see it as something which protects the body rather than damaging it.
“But the general public are not aware that our thinking around pain has changed, and that there are treatments they can already access,” he said.
This inspired Dr Ravindran to start writing The Pain Free Mindset, a self-help book which empowers readers with different ways to manage chronic pain at home.
“I want to give people the tools to build a backpack of skills for when they do have pain,” he explained. “People should be able to draw their own pain plan and realise if and when they need to reach out to a professional.
“Pain is so complex, so individual and so personal that you can’t generalise anything.”
The doctor also hopes his book will help protect the NHS.
“A lot of the time, we spend so long ‘over-medicalising’ pain and investigating too much into the causes of it, because we think it means something bad has already happened,” he added.
“If we reframe our thinking and see pain as a sign of protection, it allows people themselves to look at what they’re doing in their lives and change it.”
He said adopting this approach could stop so many people seeking professional help for pain which can be managed at home, saving NHS time.
The Pain Free Mindset was due to be published in April last year after Dr Ravindran spent years creating the book alongside his full-time job. However, the timeline had to be pushed back after he fell ill.
“I came down with covid pretty badly, and then because of the pandemic work at the RBH was crazy, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to finish it,” the doctor said.
“I’m immensely relieved, and hugely pleased that it will finally be released because it’s been a huge part of my life.”
Dr Ravindran has worked across Berkshire over the past 10 years on outpatient clinics in Bracknell and Newbury, and has also worked with the University of Reading to launch a community pain service in Finchampstead.
The Pain Free Mindset will be published on Thursday, March 4.