Chronic pain

Matt regularly gives free talks on his approach to chronic pain. During the talks, Matt uses the latest neuro-physiological evidence to explain how physiological adaptations in the brain and nervous system produce chronic pain. He describes how emotional, cognitive and lifestyle factors can cause and reinforce this and how this type of pain is also reversible with the right understanding and approach. Matt follows the SIRPA method to help people recover and details of this approach can be found at

These talks are for people suffering with chronic pain and also as an introduction for healthcare professionals who work with people in chronic pain.
Next talk date: TBA

About chronic pain:

The aim of the service is to help people who suffer from persistent pain, and for whom conventional medicine has failed to find an answer. Often symptoms persist because the brain and nervous system produce the symptoms rather than the symptoms being mechanical in origin. This is why diagnostic tests sometimes do not find anything wrong, despite people having high levels of pain. Likewise symptoms can often get attributed to mild mechanical problems like prolapsed discs, despite these being a common occurrence and often not a cause of pain (Value of MRIs to predict lower back pain). Because the changes that occur in the brain and central nervous system are reversible, with the right treatment, so is the pain.

Chronic pain service approach:

The Chronic Pain Service (CPS) at Keith James Physiotherapy has been developed by Matt Kinal and Georgie Oldfield who are both Chartered Physiotherapists and use the stress illness recovery programme to help people overcome their pain. Georgie is the pioneer of stress illness recovery in the UK, which is based upon the work of Dr John Sarno in the United States, under the term ‘tension myositis syndrome’ (TMS). She has been helping people to resolve their chronic pain by using this technique for the past five years.  Matt has trained with Georgie to use the SIRPA approach and has been putting it into practice with good effects. In 2015, Matt completed his MSc in Pain Science and Management, which has provided an in depth understanding of how the brain and nervous system produce pain.

The service works on the basis that if our internal stress levels are too high this can lead to over-activity in the central nervous system, which can generate and change the perception of pain. Normal nerve pathways are used for this process, which is why, as mentioned earlier diagnostic tests often don’t find anything wrong. Once this has happened, the pain causes us to change our daily routine and avoid certain activities, often because of fear of further injury. By conditioning ourselves in this way the nervous system is maintained in a hyperactive state, which leads to the maintenance of the pain. Through understanding the true cause of pain and by using the right tools for the individual, our chronic pain service can teach you to take control of your nervous system and overcome the pain!

Possible musculoskeletal conditions that commonly manifest as symptoms of stress illness include:

  • Spinal pain
  • Other aches and pains in joints or limbs
  • Tension headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Chronic Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Whiplash

For more information about symptoms and the causes of stress illness, please see the SIRPA website: and Bristol Pain Relief Centre’s website:

Please contact us for further information or email Matt directly on matt@