Chronic pain is a disease, a syndrome and not just a symptom. The concept of a pain clinic is based on the conviction to effectively manage difficult pain conditions through well- coordinated efforts of a specialist possessing knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat pain.
What can Chronic Pain lead to?
Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, marital & interpersonal problems, decreased productivity, unemployment, compromised social roles, isolation, financial burden, dependence, prolonged analgesics usage, decreased self-esteem with behavioural changes adversely affecting the quality of life (QOL) & Activities of daily living (ADL).
Pain Medicine Deals in?
Pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical attention and one of the most prevalent medical complaints in today’s world.
Pain Medicine deals with the management of difficult chronic and painful diseases like cancer. A majority of complex chronic painful states, unresponsive to conventional treatment are being successfully treated at pain clinics.
A “Pain Clinic” uses services of a specialist such as neurology, psychology, physical therapy, orthopaedics, anesthesiology and neurosurgery. These clinics are specialised areas that are now taking up the role of an essential service as they meet the unmet needs of an existing medical facility. The Pain Clinics help by simultaneously treating the physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, vocational and social aspect of chronic pain cost effectively.
According to Dr. Neeraj Jain “take two aspirins & go to bed” dictum is over “what can’t be cured has to be endured” has changed with the role of the interventional pain specialist. Pain speciality is a “medical necessity”.
Advantages of Interventional Pain Procedures
Interventional pain procedures scores over both medicine and surgery, as they do not have side effects like medicines. The interventional pain procedures produce:
- Immediate pain relief
- Performed with ease by pain physicians without anaesthesia
- Is an outpatient or day care procedure
- Adequate duration of pain relief can be obtained
- Is suitable for surgically unfit & debilitated patients
- The procedure can be repeated safely if required.
Although tremendous scientific & technological advances have been made, despite that the knowledge & techniques are highly underutilised. In the absence of proper education among health care professionals and lack of awareness in the public mind in India, there is a misuse of painkillers resulting in high incidence of complications like gastritis, kidney failure, and bone marrow depression.
Several people are not aware of interventional pain management techniques, which can be helpful for many patients suffering from intractable chronic pain. Pain treatment is tailor- made & no single treatment fits all. It is a silent epidemic, don’t let this happen to someone you love. Untreated pain destroys people’s lives. I have had patients come in who couldn’t work or sleep or play with their children. Good pain management gave them their life back.