Pain management

An holistic and integrated approach to help you manage your pain.

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Pain can be a sign from our body telling us that something is wrong. But there are different types of pain and we can often still suffer even after the source problem has been treated.

This can become a debilitating cycle, because pain can stop us leading normal, active lives and – if left untreated – can also lead to psychological symptoms.

We take an integrated approach to pain management and our specialists work closely with physiotherapists, psychologists, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons, to develop an effective treatment plan personally tailored to your needs.

Pain management injections for back and facet joints

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Our pain management specialists

Our pain management consultants are experts in managing a wide range of problems. They are fully accredited and all fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

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There are various types of pain that can feel different depending on the part of the body they affect. The way each of us reacts to pain is also variable - some people may experience no pain from a condition that causes severe pain in another person.

Some common pain conditions are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Chest wall pain
  • Headache and facial pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nerve pain (neuropathic pain)
  • Pain after amputation
  • Pain due to decreased blood supply (vascular pain)
  • Pain secondary to diabetes
  • Pain secondary to shingles (postherpetic pain)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Post-surgical and post traumatic pain
  • Spinal pain neck pain, thoracic pain and low back pain

Types of pain

There are two main types of pain:

  • Acute: This is usually caused by something easily identifiable, such as an injury. Because it indicates an underlying problem, treating the problem will usually relieve the pain.
  • Chronic: Anything that lasts three months or more is regarded as chronic, and this type of pain often recurs even after the underlying cause has been treated.

Experiencing pain for a long time can lead to lack of sleep, a weakened immune system and a reduction in physical and social activity. All of these things can, in turn, lead to anxiety and depression.

If you suffer from chronic pain a range of specialists will probably treat you. You’ll be cared for by an experienced multidisciplinary team who understands what you’re feeling and are dedicated to your wellbeing.

Pain management treatments

We understand that having treatment can be a time of worry and anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

Your treatment will depend on your diagnosis. Acute pain that is caused by an injury or underlying condition may require surgery. Chronic pain is likely to require a more holistic, long-term approach.

Your treatment may include:

  • Injection therapy: There are 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 also 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, a pump can be implanted into the body to place drugs into the spinal fluid.
  • Other therapy: Pain specialists work in close conjunction with physiotherapists and psychologists. Some patients will also benefit from complementary approaches such as acupuncture and massage.

Which type of pain management treatment might be helpful for me?

We're here to listen and help you every step of the way. You will have a formal consultation with the pain management consultant of your choice. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and any concerns you might have.

Your consultant will discuss with you if they feel any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.