The Chronic Pain Management Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital is a Multi-Disciplinary clinic whose goal is to provide comprehensive chronic pain assessment and multi-modal treatment and recommendations by a group of medical health practitioners which include Anaesthetists, Physiotherapists, Psychiatrists and Psychologists.

We provide cost-effective and thorough care, with our goal being able to work with patients to restore them to their maximum functionality.

One unique component of our program is a planned outpatient, group-based, Chronic Pain Management Program. Through this program, patients will become active participants in their own care. Patient education regarding diagnosis, treatment and self-management strategies will become an essential part of our treatment plan.

We stress a return to normal function and a life free from continuing surgery and investigations as opposed to the elusive cure, which in most circumstances, does not exist.

Who are we?

The Centre for Pain Management at Groote Schuur Hospital are all qualified professionals who have a dedicated interest in the treatment of chronic pain.
Staff are all registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and have an extensive knowledge of the management of chronic pain.

Louise Frenkel

Principal Psychologist

MA Clin. Psych 

PAIN Management Unit
Prof Romy Parker

Director of Pain Management Unit

PhD (Psych) MSc (Pain) BSc (Med) (Hons) Ex.Sci (Phys) BSc (Phys)

What do we treat?

The Centre for Pain Management manages various conditions associated with chronic pain.
Some common conditions seen at the Centre for Pain Management are:-

  • Post-herpetic neuralgia (Shingles)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Persistent post surgical pain
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pancreatic pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Chronic non-surgical back pain /Failed back surgery pain
  • Diabetic nerve pain
  • Multiple sclerosis pain
  •  Phantom pain

 What treatment options do we provide?

The treatment options offered by the Centre for Pain Management will vary from patient to patient.
All treatment is tailored to the specific nature of the particular pain disorder experienced by an individual.
A unique pain plan will be drawn up with the patient in the centre.
It will be up to each patient to decide what is suitable for him or her.
The staff of the Centre will not, under any circumstances, coerce any patient to undergo any form of therapy that is not acceptable.

The emphasis once again is on management and not cure.

The following is the range of therapies offered:

  • Interventional procedures
  • Medication optimisation
  • Chronic Pain Management Courses
  • Psychological and Psychiatric support
  • Patient education
  • Exercise programmes

Referral Policy

The Centre for Pain Management at Groote Schuur Hospital only accepts patients on referral (ideally from a specialist) in whom a working diagnosis has been made.

Health Care Providers: Click here to download the referral form

A referral letter stating all the relevant information and investigations can be faxed or delivered to the clerk in E-26, and if it is felt that you will benefit from our treatment, we will give you an appointment time and date. If you are unsure about what information to give- our clerk has a referral form which can be faxed through. 

Your initial evaluation will take approximately one hour and we encourage the attendance of significant others. 
After your first visit your case will be presented to a multi-disciplinary team who will advise further treatment strategies. 
You will be given further appointments depending on the type of therapy that is suitable in your situation.

Your primary health care provider will be informed as to all our findings and therapeutic options.

The Centre for Pain Management is situated in the new Groote Schuur Hospital in Anzio road, Observatory, Cape Town. 
We are on the fifth or E floor. 
The main entrance to the hospital is on the E floor and it is a long walk down Hospital Street to the Centre. If you are disabled in any way, a wheel chair will be provided.
There is ample secure parking in the hospital parking lots, for which a fee is charged.