Living with Chronic Pain? Pain Management Can Help.


Q1. What is Pain Management?

What is pain management? It’s like treating heart diseases: we have specialists in internal medicine to prescribe medication and other interventional therapies, and surgeons to perform surgeries. Pain medicine specialists can provide pain relief to patients by adjusting different medications. When painkillers are ineffective, doctors may consider interventional therapies for fast recovery, e.g. radiofrequency ablation, injecting medication, etc.


Q2.  When should I Consider Pain Management?

Many people ask when pain management should be consulted. The truth is, if the pain persists for 1-2 months despite treatments by other specialists, you should consult a pain medicine specialist. Treatments are available for different types of pain, e.g. headache, back pain, neuralgias, etc. Doctors will provide proper treatments based on individual conditions.


Q3. Does Pain Management Never End?

Rather than never-ending, some types of chronic pain can be cured. Certain neuralgias, such as pain caused by shingles, headache and cancer-induced pain usually improve after treatment, during which oral medication or injections can be reduced at any time.  


Q4. How is Pain Condition Diagnosed?

Thanks to the latest technologies, diagnosis and treatment can now be performed at the same time using this ultrasound machine. It allows doctors to see clearly the nerves that cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Steroid injection is no longer necessary for treatment, as medications can now be injected directly to achieve better treatment outcomes.


Here the swollen nerves indicate carpal tunnel syndrome. For treatment, injections and medications are effective in the  early stage. As pain is common in about 30% of patients with cervical spondylosis (arthritis of the neck), this machine can achieve significant pain relief in the neck by blocking the nerves in the facet joints.


Q5. How can Painkillers Provide Optimal Pain Relief?

In clinical diagnosis, it is often difficult to tell which painkillers are effective and which one had the side-effects for individual patients. Therefore a clinical assessment is required for pain medicine specialists to reduce those that may cause side-effects, and adjust or increase those that are effective for pain relief. Some painkillers are not suitable for patients with certain conditions. For certain types of neuralgia, specific pain medications are prescribed for optimal pain relief. 


Q6. How do Pain Medicine Specialists Work with Other Specialists?

Pain medicine specialists are trained in anaesthesiology. By working closely with surgeons, pain medicine specialists are also familiar with the risks of surgeries. With a good understanding of the patient’s condition, a pain medicine specialist can contribute to proper decision-making during assessment for surgery. After assessment, medications, interventional therapy or surgical treatment may be considered to facilitate recovery.

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