Chronic pain can be disruptive, affecting daily activities including sleep, appetite, emotions, social relationships, work as well as quality of life. Effective pain management can provide relief to patients that are plagued by long standing debilitating pain issues. At Crawfurd Hospital, our doctors specialising in pain management can provide consultations and tailor a pain management plan to your condition.
Generally, chronic pain can be classified as nociceptive (related to damage to tissues in the body) or neuropathic pain (related to nerve stimulation or injury). There are a multitude of pain management strategies, ranging from pharmacotherapies, physiotherapy, surgeries to counselling. A few of these techniques include radiofrequency ablation and epidural injections (see below). Our doctors will recommend the most appropriate treatment accordingly.
Doctors will usually first assess whether the patient might be responsive to the procedure by using nerve block testing during pre-consultations. Once this is ascertained, the procedure will then be arranged. Heat will be generated from radiofrequency delivered by needles into the spine to destroy the pain triggering nerve(s). The nerve may regrow in about 6 months to 2 years although the pain felt before the procedure may not necessarily return.
For pain around the spinal region, an epidural steroid injection can bring relief to patients’ suffering. If assessed to be eligible by our doctors, patients can expect to have it done in a minimally invasive procedure. With local anaesthetic to numb the skin of the back, a needle will be inserted into the space just before the spinal cord region that is running through the spine. Steroid, with its anti-inflammatory effect, will reduce swelling around the injection site, bringing pain relief to patients.