Pain Management

The Pain specialists at Spire Murrayfield hospital work with patients to treat, control, and manage a wide range of pain conditions, the consultants provide a wealth of experience treating a range of symptoms including:

Common pain conditions

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Chest wall pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Facial pain
  • Headache and facial pain
  • Joint pain
  • Ligament pain
  • Nerve pain (neuropathic pain)
  • Pain due to decreased blood supply (vascular pain)
  • Pain secondary to diabetes
  • Pain secondary to shingles (postherpetic pain)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Post amputation pain
  • Post-surgical and post traumatic pain
  • Spinal pain neck pain, thoracic pain and low back pain. Spire Murrayfield hospital has established a reputation for medical excellence across a broad range of services and this is reflected in the expertise provided by its Pain Management specialist team who treat patients for many types of chronic pain.

Why do we have pain?
Pain can be a sign that something in our body is wrong. There are various types of pain that can differ in the parts of the body that they affect. The intensity of the pain and its duration can also vary. In addition, the way we react to pain is very personal and can vary significantly from person to person.

Acute pain
Acute pain is usually caused by something easily identifiable such as an injury; it occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time. Many forms of acute pain indicate an underlying problem and the treatment of this problem will relieve the pain. This is obvious in conditions such as broken bones, appendicitis etc.

Appropriate diagnosis and management is the key to relieving acute pain. The drugs that can help acute pain are painkillers like paracetamol, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and other drugs like codeine; severe acute pain may need stronger drugs such as morphine.

Cancer pain

Although not all cancers are associated with pain, a proportion of people with cancer will suffer from pain to a greater or lesser degree. It is known that 80% of patients with advanced cancer have pain; many patients have pain in more than one area of the body. Your specialist team are fully trained to provide the best management for cancer pain so that your quality of life can be as good as possible.

Diagnosis and treatment
When you are experiencing chronic pain the first step is to try to identify the underlying cause of the pain.

Following referral from your GP, your case will be reviewed by the most appropriate Pain Medicine specialist. You will have an initial consultation and a complete physical assessment. You may undergo various diagnostic tests including blood tests, CT and MRI scanning. A treatment plan will then be offered in accordance with the specific cause and symptoms. 

Many pains involve the musculoskeletal or nervous system. Pain specialists work in close liaison with consultant neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons. They also work with physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. It is quite likely that your care will be shared between these specialists.

Injection therapy
There is a wide range of injection therapies available specific to individual complaints; you will be offered these as appropriate. The benefits and potential risks will be fully discussed with you when you are considering your treatment choices.

Stimulation techniques
The simplest of these is a TENS machine; however more sophisticated stimulation devices such as implanted spinal cord stimulators for people with severe and localised nerve pain are available. These techniques may be particularly helpful for spinal pain, pain due to nerve damage, abdominal or pelvic pain and pain due to poor circulation.

Medication therapy
Drugs are mostly given by mouth. Occasionally they are given via patches (the drug is absorbed through the skin). In special situations, sometimes in those with cancer pain, a pump can be implanted into the body to place drugs into the spinal fluid.

Specialists who treat pain
Specialists in pain medicine are experts in managing a wide variety of pain problems. Many pain specialists initially trained as anaesthetists; some also continue to give anaesthesia as part of their job. However, pain medicine is an entirely separate specialty with extensive and rigorous training requirements. The specialists you see will be fully accredited in Pain Medicine and are all Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Having undertaken this training, they will also have had many years of clinical experience of helping patients with pain problems such as those that you may have.

Chronic Pain Treatment

Pain that lasts for three months or more and recurs over long periods is regarded as chronic pain. It affects around 20% of adults in the UK having a detrimental impact on every single aspect of life. Chronic pain can occur anywhere in your body; it can range from mild discomfort to very severe pain that can impede your day-to-day activities. Early detection, assessment and appropriate management could prevent much chronic pain. So that we can provide appropriate pain management, it is important that your pain is fully assessed by a practitioner in pain medicine so that the correct treatments can be recommended.

When you experience pain for a long time, it can lead to anxiety and low mood. You may also feel very tired. Lack of sleep and emotional upset tends to increase the pain. Your body’s defence system (the immune system) may get weak, leading to infections and illness. You may be prevented from working and from enjoying your usual recreational activities. 

At Murrayfield Hospital your pain condition will be thoroughly assessed by one of our experienced Consultants who are all fully accredited specialists in Pain Management. We offer a wide range of treatment options and interventions including:

  • Specialist Pain Physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), External Nerve Modulation (ENM)
  • Therapeutic epidurals
  • Caudal injections
  • Nerve injections
  • Facet joint/Sacro-iliac joint injections
  • Ultrasound guided joint injections (hip, shoulder, knee, etc.)
  • Radio-frequency(RF)-treatment (pulsed, conventional and cooled RF) 

Insured Patient enquiries

Visit your GP and ask them to refer you to a consultant who practises at Spire Murrayfield hospital. Your GP will write a letter of referral and then either you or your GP can contact us to arrange your first out-patient appointment on 0131 316 2530.

Self-pay patients enquiries

For most self-pay treatments, you should ask your GP to refer you to the pain clinic at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals. Prior to an appointment being booked, the consultants to assess the details of your referral to ensure you are given an appointment with the correct specialist.
Simply call us on 0131 316 2507 to request a guide price or to discuss your personal situation

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