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About the PPA

For Chartered Physiotherapists and other practitioners involved in the treatment of patients with acute or chronic pain.

The Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA) was formed to bring together and provide information for Physiotherapists with the common interest of managing patients with both acute and long term pain. The PPA was established in 1994 for Chartered Physiotherapists and was recognised as a Clinical Interest Group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in 1996.

The PPA will hold an interest for those physiotherapists working in an out patient department using traditional physiotherapy interventions and interested in developing evidence based best practice, through to those working in a multidisciplinary pain clinic to those using the integrated approach in pain management programmes.

You will find like minded colleagues within the Association who are enthusiastic to discuss and progress ideas and challenges in developing physiotherapy practice within local, national and international scientific communities.

One of the key objectives of the Association is to promote the role of physiotherapy in the relief and management of pain to other Professionals as well as to Physiotherapists.

What do you get from your membership?

  • 2 informative annual newsletters.
  • 2-3 Study Days annually at a reduced registration fee.
  • Topical Issues in Pain, a series of Yearbooks, available at a reduced price - TiP 3,4 and 5 available. 
  • Networking with colleagues.
  • Access to web site members area and forum.
  • Links with the Pain Society and The International Association of the Study of Pain (IASP).

PPA members are actively involved in current views and research on group and individual management of chronic pain and related issues through regular workshops, study days and organises clinical speciality meetings at pain related conferences.

Joining the PPA may help to dispel the myths and complexities of treating chronic pain. Physiotherapists using pain management skills see encouraging and lasting results. The skill can be applied to patients individually and in groups.

Who Can Join?

Full membership of the PPA is open to Chartered Physiotherapists, however Associate Membership is also available to any medical discipline with an interest in pain relief and management.

If you wish to join the PPA please complete the application form found on the 'Join Us' page.


The PPA (for Chartered Physiotherapists) was formed in September 1994 in the United Kingdom at the Third National Pain Management Programmes Conference in Bristol.

This was as a result of an exchange of letters in "Physiotherapy" following a letter from Heather Muncey published in February 1994. This had suggested a need for a CIG for Physiotherapists interested in the relief and management of pain and in education and research into the subject. Several CIGs of the CSP claimed pain to be a major focus of their work. However, these CIGs were perceived as being approach or modality based and the need to transcend this focused style was identified in order that exchange of ideas was facilitated across the Profession and between it and other Health Care Professions.

There were 33 Physiotherapists at the multidisciplinary Bristol Conference and the group was formed with the provisional name "The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in the Management of Pain." This later became known as the PPA. Officers were informally elected to take forward the work of writing a Constitution and setting up the Group formally.

The inaugural meeting took place in June 1995 at "Input" Pain Management Centre at St Thomas's Hospital, London. This included a study day on "The Complex Pain Patient." The Group was formally constituted and Honorary Officers were elected. These were:

Heather Muncey - Hon. Chairperson.

Jan Williams - Hon. Secretary.

Sue Mickleburgh - Hon. Treasurer.

Vicki Harding - Hon. Public Relations Officer.

A Newsletter and regular Study Days were organised and within 2 years there were 83 members. The PPA was accepted as a Clinical Interest Group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in September 1996.

The Objectives of the PPA are:

  1. To encourage, promote and facilitate interchange of thoughts and ideas between members of the said CIG.
  2. To promote the role of physiotherapy in the uni- and multi-professional approaches to the relief and management of pain.
  3. To develop standards of practice in the assessment, intervention and outcome of the physiotherapy management of pain.
  4. To develop an awareness amongst physiotherapists of the multi-factorial nature of pain and the integrated approach to its management.
  5. To identify pre- and postgraduate training and education needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.
  6. To provide lectures, workshops, courses, conferences and discussions of interest to members.
  7. To encourage and support research relevant to pain.
  8. To integrate evidence-based practice into the execution of the preceding seven objectives.

During the six years of it's existence the PPA has published Standards of Practice for Physiotherapists working in Pain Management Programmes, established links with the International Association for the Study of Pain and it's British and Irish Chapter (The Pain Society), published proceedings of it's courses and conferences in two Year Books and liaised with Physiotherapists in many other countries. It has an active Education Committee as well as a Scientific Committee which contribute to the regular Newsletter as well as organise and support education and research.

The CIG is currently thriving and, with the continued hard work of it's members, is expected to continue to do so! It's objectives are of great importance to the Profession and to health care in general. The PPA hopes to contribute over the coming years as much as it has since it was founded in 1994.


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