What can I expect from the pain management service?
Chronic pain can be complex and it is not always possible to achieve complete relief. In spite of this, it may be possible to improve your symptoms and quality of life. Management plans are based on your individual needs and can consist of several approaches, the aims of which are to reduce your pain and to enhance your emotional well being.
The Pain Management Service Team
Our multi-disciplinary team comprises several different professionals: doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, and administrative staff. Some, or all of these, may be involved in your care.
Your First Appointment
At your first outpatient appointment as a new patient you will have a full assessment undertaken by a consultant in pain management from the department. This will look at the origin and development of your pain problem, investigations and treatment carried out so far, and the levels of your pain. Assessment will also be made of the effects pain is having on your daily activity; work; sleep; mood and emotional well being.
The clinician will then aim to provide:
- Education and support
- Optimisation of medication to maximize pain relief whilst reducing side effects and interactions
- Consideration of injection techniques.
- Advice regarding self-management strategies.
- A letter explaining the suggested management plan will be sent to the GP and to you, the patient. Please do see your GP to discuss your ongoing treatment plan.
- Further follow up with a member of the multidisciplinary team will be offered
- Tuition in the use of TENS is available
- Access to a telephone advice line is available
- Evidence based injection interventions to reduce the severity of pain and to support rehabilitation, may be offered. You would attend as a day case and procedures are performed in theatre under local anaesthetic. Injections available include facet joint blocks and radio-frequency denervations for facet joint related spinal pain, epidurals and nerve root blocks for nerve root pain, nerve blocks and pulsed radiofrequency treatment for nerve pain, soft tissue, muscle, and joint injections.
- Access may also be offered to the multidisciplinary Pain Management Programme including: Medical Consultant, Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist and Nurse Specialist.
Pain Management Programmes (PMP)
After referral, patients are invited to opt in to attend an introductory session explaining more about what pain management entails. The patient then has an opportunity to opt in for multi-disciplinary assessment where the patient and clinicians will decide together whether PMP represents the best next step in the patient’s treatment pathway. After this, patients may attend an appropriate programme.
Outcomes generally include a better quality of life with increased levels of fitness and physical function, less reliance on medication and aids, improvement in mood and relationships, fewer contacts with primary and secondary care health services, and movement towards a patient’s valued goals.
If you have any questions regarding treatment in the Chronic Pain Service, please call our Pain Clinic Advice Line on 01932 722730 (and select option 4).
The British Pain Society provides a comprehensive website which you may find useful www.britishpainsociety.org.