Pain & Management

Pain & Management

Pain is defined as a complex, unpleasant perception associated with damaging stimuli leading to tissue injury or a disease process. It is a major symptom in most of the medical conditions, and can interfere with an individual's functioning and quality of life.

It is as old as mankind and doesn't have a quick fix most of the times. This very thing has increased the mankind's desperation to discover an answer to this agony and so arose the concept of pain clinic in the modern era.

To the person with a toothache, even if the world is tottering,
there is nothing more important than a visit to a dentist"

- George Bernard Shaw

What is Pain Clinic?

In the era where man is bent upon conquering nature whether it is air, sky, deep sea or mountains, one contribution of nature has been defying him all through generations, and that happens to be pain. Pain by itself is warning signal about tissue injury. Sometimes this symptom takes a different course and becomes nagging and intolerable. If the pain persists for more than four weeks duration, it is called as chronic pain. To analyze and treat these kinds of problems, one would require a pain clinic unit in the hospital.

What is the Need for Pain Clinic?

In current day clinical practice, the need for a pain clinic arises from the fact that pain of known or unknown origin is probably second in incidence to common cold. There are those who argue that a good doctor, whatever might be his or her specialty, should be able to treat pain. The reality is that this doesn't always happen.

Patients with chronic and intractable pain invariably end up with inadequate attention to their problems. These patients keep moving from place to place seeking help for pain relief. Many times the doctors and the patient's relatives label them as psychic. It is at this juncture pain clinic provides a critical mass of experience whereby patient can be helped. Many of the methods that are needed for the pain relief are outside the sphere of one specialty. A multi-specialty approach in providing relief measures goes a long way in total pain relief.

Managing patients with chronic pain is not easy. People suffering from chronic pain are also very likely to suffer from difficult emotional and psychological problems, whose management is often difficult and demanding. Disappointments are not infrequent and relief is often partial or of short duration, but perseverance is rewarded with a worthwhile alleviation of pain and improved the quality of life.

What kind of Patients will Benefit?

Pain clinic focuses on the group of patients with pain disorders like headache, backache, neck pain, cancer pain, neuralgia, fibro-myalgia, post-herpetic pain, sympathetic dystrophy and other disorders. In a nutshell; an unrelieved, intractable, incapacitating pain of more than four weeks duration needs an opinion from a pain specialist regarding the management of the problem. If the answer to any of the questions mentioned in the pain clinic fact file is 'yes'; then you should visit a pain specialist for a comprehensive evaluation.

What Kind of Treatments are offered?

The therapy is planned after appropriate investigations and discussions with other specialties. The treatment involves :

  • Counseling
  • ehavioral therapy
  • Physical exercises
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Interventions like nerve blocks either under X-ray or CT guidance, surgery, specific therapy and unconventional treatment like acupuncture and host of others.

As it is beyond the scope of one specialty to provide all these measures, a multi-specialty approach is employed.

Pain Clinic Fact file

If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you should visit the pain clinic for comprehensive evaluation

  • Are you unable to work because of pain?
  • Does pain restrict your daily activities?
  • Have you had pain which lasted for more than 3 months?
  • Does the pain affect your relationship with others?
  • Are you feeling depressed because of unrelieved pain?
  • Nothing you have tried is working to relieve pain?
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