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Pain Management

Expert management and treatment for chronic pain

Living with pain can be challenging, even if the pain is mild, but fortunately there are lots of treatment options available. Pain often indicates that something is wrong but in chronic pain conditions, it persists even after the cause has been treated.

At Albyn Hospital, we take a personalised, integrated approach and work with other specialists, like neurosurgeons and physiotherapists, to develop an effective and appropriate treatment plan.

Some of the common pain conditions are

  • spinal pain, neck pain, thoracic pain and low back pain
  • headache and facial pain
  • abdominal pain
  • pelvic pain
  • nerve pain (neuropathic pain)
  • pain secondary to diabetes
  • pain secondary to shingles (postherpetic pain)
  • post-surgical (following joint replacement, Hernia repair)
  • post traumatic pain
  • pain after amputation
  • joint pain
  • chest wall pain.

The majority of our patients at Albyn Hospital visit with back pain or neck pain – and the most common treatments, following appropriate examination and investigations, are physiotherapy. In some patients, no treatment is needed, and they simply visit us to seek the reassurance from a specialist that nothing is wrong.

We also offer interventions, which includes diagnostic injections for back and neck pain; this helps us find out where the pain is coming from.

Facet and Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Back pain can be due to various different reasons, and the injections we use here at Albyn are for facet joints. For pelvic pain, we use injections for sacroiliac joints.

Facet and sacroiliac joint injections are done in theatre, which involves coordination with the team there. Our Consultant will also coordinate x-rays for these patients.

Epidural for Pain Relief

We may need to consider other interventions for some patients, such as an epidural, where we inject some steroids into the epidural space, for pain relief.

As with all medical procedures, there are a few risks. For epidural specifically, these include:

  • Failure of the epidural
  • Worsening pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Problems emptying the bladder
  • Temporary weakness in the arm or leg
  • Backache
  • Infection around the spine
  • Short-term nerve injury
  • Long-term nerve injury.

Other treatments are available besides epidural, too, especially for patients who have had surgery on the spine.

These patients may develop pain, specifically nerve pain in their legs, because of the initial pathology or because of the surgical process.

Radiofrequency Denervation

Another common treatment is radiofrequency denervation procedure, which offers longer lasting pain relief – sometimes for up to two years. During this procedure, a needle is inserted into the back, while the patient is under local anaesthesia.

The radiofrequency waves responsible for heating the tip of the needle destroy the nerve endings, with the aim of the treatment being to stop the nerves sending pain signals to the brain. This can lessen a patient’s pain considerably.

During your consultation appointment, our Consultant in Pain Medicine at Albyn will take a look at your referral letter, from either the GP or a Consultant.

He will then go through your presenting symptoms, usually your pain history, before taking a full medical history and examination. He will also look at what impact the pain this has on you.

If necessary, investigations such as MRI scans or blood tests will be needed, and you will always be informed of this and you will be given plenty of time to have a think if you are happy going down this route.

Treatment options can be in the form of:

  • Analgesics
  • Injection treatments
  • TENS machine
  • Other therapies including physiotherapy
  • Complimentary therapies like acupuncture may work in some patients.


Patients like coming to the hospital, because it’s relatively central to the city and it has good parking. Staff are welcoming and the hospital prides itself on having extremely high standards of cleanliness.

Below is an at-a-glance look at some of the reasons you might choose Albyn Hospital:

  • Reduced waiting times – Patients who visit Albyn Hospital for pain management can benefit from shorter waiting times than they would if, say, they were to pursue treatment on the NHS.
  • Flexible appointments at a time to suit you – You can choose an appointment time to suit you and your schedule – and in some cases, remote pain management consultations will be offered.
  • Consultant-led appointments – Your appointment will always be Consultant-led, and you’ll see the same person each time you visit. You will also see a Consultant who has a special interest in your problem – and if investigations or surgery is required, most can be done at the Albyn Hospital. For your convenience, consultations can be either face-to-face or telephone based.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – In an independent survey by Quality Health, in 2020, 98.9% of our patients said they would recommend the hospital and its treatments.

Patients come from Fife and Inverness, says our Consultant in Pain Medicine. They also come to Albyn Hospital from other parts of north east of Scotland, including in and around Aberdeen itself, and Dundee.

For anyone considering a pain management consultation, our Consultant in Pain Medicine offers several slots at his clinic – and you can book an appointment online.

Specialists offering Pain management

Dr Ravi Nagaraja

Consultant in Anaesthesia & Pain Medicine


Albyn Hospital

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Dr Saravana Kanakarajan

Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine


Albyn Hospital

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Dr Lene M. Harkjaer Thorgrimsen

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hon), DClinPsychol, PhD CPsychol

Albyn Hospital

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