Pain Clinic at Bothwell Medical Rooms

Pain Clinic

Pain medicine is a medical discipline concerned with the prevention of pain, and the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of people in pain.

Pain is very personal and subjective with no two people experiencing it in the same way. It can be a very unpleasant experience, especially if it continues for a long time as it can begin to affect all aspects of your life, including your ability to work, your personal relationships with family and friends, your sleep and activity levels.

At Bothwell Medical Rooms, our pain medicine specialists formulate comprehensive treatment plans to provide quality care to all patients suffering from pain.

When you want freedom from acute or chronic pain and discomfort it is important to have access to effective treatment.

Our integrated pain service focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of painful conditions. This includes musculoskeletal pain (from joints and muscles) and pain from damaged nerves. Timely treatment can prevent pain from escalating and becoming chronic and therefore reduce the need for surgical intervention.

In order to make an accurate diagnosis and offer effective treatment, our pain consultants will regularly liaise with specialists from other surgical and medical areas such as spinal surgery, rheumatology (joints) and neurology (nerves).

Treatment of you pain is often further enhanced by physiotherapy and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, may be considered where appropriate.

What is pain?

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that can be dull or sharp, burning or numbing, acute or chronic and a minor inconvenience or completely disabling. Generally, medications try either to stop the transmission of pain from the site of injury or to affect the brain directly. The tolerance of pain varies greatly from one person to another and so do the effects of pain medications. Pain can have negative effects on mobility and function, emotional well-being, quality of life, and overall recovery.

 

There are two main types of pain:

Acute pain

Acute pain starts suddenly, has a clear cause and is short-term. It can result from any illness, trauma, surgery or any painful medical procedures. Examples of acute pain include: the pain of a heart attack, acute appendicitis, bone fracture, muscle sprain and prolapsed intervertebral disc of the spine. Acute pain indicates an underlying problem and the treatment of this problem will relieve the pain.

The drugs that can help acute pain are: painkillers such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and other drugs like codeine and in severe cases morphine.

Chronic pain

Chronic pain is felt over a longer period of time of three months or more. If you experience pain for a long time it can lead to anxiety, low mood and tiredness. Emotional distress and lack of sleep can increase the pain. Pain can prevent you from working or taking part in usual recreational activities.

Pain management of chronic pain combines physical, emotional, intellectual and social skills to lessen the suffering.

Chronic pain can be neuropathic or nociceptive.

Neuropathic pain is complex and caused by structural or functional damage in the nervous system. The pain can be debilitating or come and go.

Nociceptive pain is pain from damage to tissues. It’s called somatic pain if it results from injury to your muscles, tendons and ligaments. It’s called visceral pain if it’s caused due to injury of the internal organs like your stomach, gall bladder and urinary bladder.

 

Common pain conditions

Spinal and neck pain, thoracic pain and low back pain

This is the most common and troublesome pain. Pain treatment options include: facet nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, intra-discal ablation procedures, spinal cord stimulator, minimally invasive lumbar decompression, minimally invasive disc decompression, intra-spinal drug delivery, osteopathic manipulation and alternative medicines.

Headache and facial pain

Headaches can be brought on by many triggers such as stress, posture, hormones, tiredness, diet, climate changes. Your pain management specialist will determine the type of headache: tension, migraine, cluster or cervicogenic.

Pain and ageing

Treating and managing the pain that older adults routinely experience is becoming ever more important. Medications, physical therapy and psychological therapy may help manage an elderly person’s pain.

Vascular pain

Vascular pain develops when there is an interruption in blood flow to a tissue, organ or nerves. Doctors that specialise in pain management can sometimes help with the pain if the other treatments don’t work. In selected cases pain management nerve blocks and techniques such as spinal cord stimulation can reduce pain and improve circulation.

Nerve / neuropathic pain

This type of pain cannot be treated but the aim is to reduce the pain as much as possible help patients manage the pain. Medications, nerve blocks, pulsed radiofrequency techniques, spinal cord stimulators and TENs (electrotherapy) may be used.

Pelvic and abdominal pain                                               

Pelvic pain can be sudden and unexpected or persistent or recurrent. Pain relief in the form of local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids may be recommended by pain management physicians.

Post-surgical and post traumatic pain

The pain management for post-surgical or post trauma patients can be varied will be dependent upon the surgery and trauma the patient has undergone.

Pain secondary to shingles

There is no cure for shingles, but pain medication treatments for the condition can help ease the associated pain and discomfort.

 

Making an appointment

You can make an appointment directly with one of the consultants at Bothwell Medical Rooms or if you prefer, you can ask your GP to refer you (this may be necessary if you have private medical insurance).

You will benefit from:

Initial consultation with a specialist pain consultant for a full assessment of your condition

Fast access to diagnostic tests including x-ray, ultrasound and MRI (where appropriate)

Review of your current medication

Personalised treatment plan

Fast access and referral on to other specialist consultants and physiotherapists where necessary to continue your treatment and care

Re-assessment consultation with your specialist pain consultant

Types of treatment

Interventional procedures

Your consultant may recommend a joint injection or a nerve block. These can be diagnostic (giving up to three month’s benefit) or therapeutic (treating the nerve supply) providing longer-term relief.

Some injections are carried out in our Bothwell clinic but some patients may need to be treated in a dedicated pain clinic theatre as a day case procedure. These procedures can be carried out at a convenient private hospital location. The typical length of stay is 2-4 hours.

Medication

The pain consultant will review your current list of medication and make suggestions to you and your GP as to the best choices for your pain condition.  Not all medicines are suitable for all patients and therefore your consultant may make several suggestions to your GP.

Clear pricing for your peace of mind

Following your first consultation you may need diagnostic investigations to help your consultant understand what treatment options are best for you. You will be informed of the cost of these before any investigations take place.

If treatment is required, we will provide you with a written quotation before going ahead. You will know exactly how much your treatment will cost in advance, with no hidden extras, giving you peace of mind if you do not have private medical insurance.

If you do have private medical insurance, you will need to check your cover with your insurance company before confirming your appointment and you may need a GP referral.

Alternatively you can pay for your treatment by cash, debit or credit card or through our corporate membership plan.

Useful links

www.britishpainsociety.org

www.backcare.org.uk