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Pain management

Expert management and treatment for chronic pain

Pain Management is a specialist area of medicine involved with the treatment of chronic pain.

Many of us only experience pain that is relatively mild or short-lived. This type of pain tends to go away over time and at worst may require some type of painkiller for a day or two to ease symptoms. In more serious cases of acute trauma, such as a broken leg or dislocated shoulder, the initial pain may be incredibly severe, but it will usually go away over time and with the correct treatment.

Longer-term (chronic) pain can have a much more significant, and potentially life-altering, effect on people. When you experience pain every waking moment, and are possibly even woken up by your pain, it can affect every aspect of life; work, relationships, physical, mental and emotional health.

If you have pain that is not being managed or controlled properly, it can be a huge relief to get expert help and support from a specialist in pain management. A doctor who specialises in this field is known as a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia.

At The Droitwich Spa Hospital, experienced Pain Management Consultants help manage a wide variety of chronic pain conditions and symptoms for people aged 18+. They would be delighted to help you too. 

Chronic pain can take many different forms. The people who visit our Consultants for pain management may be struggling with: 

  • Neck pain 
  • Back pain 
  • Leg pain (including sciatica) – may affect just one leg or both 
  • Headaches 
  • Facial pain 
  • Nerve pain - this can include post-operative pain, phantom pain and pain after shingles 

Long-term pain can be exhausting to live with. Interrupted sleep, inability to exercise (or even be reasonably active) and the effects of trying to cope with pain over an extended period of time takes a toll physically, emotionally and mentally. It can easily lead to depression, frustration and anger and close relationships can be significantly affected. While loved ones often try to support you, it can be very hard for them to truly understand and appreciate the reality of what you are going through and the effect it has on you. 

A Consultant in Pain Medicine has a number of treatment options available that may help to relieve your pain symptoms. These can be split into two categories – medication and interventional procedures.

Pain management – medication

There are some extremely good pain relief medications available. The challenge comes in knowing which one(s) will be most effective for your specific pain, and the optimal dose to use. This is where the value of an expert in pain management is most often felt, as they have an extremely good insight into the different combinations and dosages available for a variety of conditions and types of pain. 

Different pain medicines help with different types and causes of pain. For example, pain from inflammation may be best treated with an anti-inflammatory drug or a combination of paracetamol and an opioid (a strong painkiller that has a similar effect to morphine), whereas pain caused by a nerve issue will most likely need a different type of medication that desensitizes the affected nerve. 

Pain management – interventional procedures

Interventional procedures available at The Droitwich Spa Hospital include: 

  • Nerve blocks 
  • Nerve root blocks 
  • Facet joint injections  

Nerves acts as the body’s messenger system, transmitting signals (electrical impulses) around it, from one part to another. A nerve block deliberately interrupts a signal in specific nerves to try to help relieve pain.

A nerve root block involves injecting an anaesthetic (and usually steroid as well) directly into the place the the nerve leaves the spinal cord (known as the nerve root). The anaesthetic numbs the pain while the steroid acts to reduce any inflammation and swelling. This type of injection is usually targeted at one particular nerve and X-ray guidance is used to ensure precision.

Facet joints are small joints in the spine that join the vertebrae (bones of the back) together. A facet joint injection involves injecting an anaesthetic (and again, usually a steroid as well) into a facet joint.

These injections may diagnostic, to help confirm the cause of your pain or therapeutic. Pain management is an incredibly specialised, complex area of medicine. Not all types and causes of pain can be successfully treated, but your Consultant will ensure you receive the best possible treatment for your specific condition to deliver the pain relief you need.

Because of the complexity of this area and its overlap with so many other areas of medicine, your Pain Management Consultant works closely with other experts like spinal and orthopaedic surgeons to ensure you receive the best possible treatment and support you need at all times, from the most relevant expert. 

When you first meet with your Pain Management Consultant at The Droitwich Spa Hospital, they will take a medical history and talk in detail about your pain and any other symptoms you have. They may ask you questions like: 

  • What symptoms do you have? 
  • How long have you had these symptoms? 
  • Where exactly is your pain and how would you describe it? 
  • How is your pain affecting or limiting you? 
  • Have you had any treatments for your pain previously? (For example, have you been already been prescribed any pain relief medication?) 

We know that it can often be hard to talk about chronic pain and the effect it is having on you. A private consultation is the ideal opportunity to talk about these things in a safe, relaxed environment, with the knowledge that your Consultant has extensive experience of the effects of long-term pain on people of all ages and from all walks of life. 

Your Consultant will review your current medication and/or treatment plan and discuss potential alternatives or changes with you.  

Depending on your symptoms and the type of pain you’re experiencing, you may be referred for additional investigations such as a blood test, X-ray, CT, MRI or Ultrasound. With all of these readily available on-site at Droitwich Spa Hospital, they are easily and quickly arranged when needed.

In some cases, your Consultant may discuss best treatment options with specialists like spinal surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists and psychologists.

Pain management is very much a collaboration between you and your Consultant. They will explain possible treatment options to you and will always be very happy to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.

It’s important to know that pain management is not usually a one-time treatment. Chronic pain may flare up at random intervals, and a treatment that has been working well for some time may suddenly stop being as effective.

Regular review means that your treatment can be adjusted as needed to help continue managing your pain as well as possible. 

Many people are referred to us by their GP, physiotherapist or another specialist such as a spinal or orthopaedic surgeon.  Others are directed our way by their private medical insurance provider or a friend or family member who has been helped by us previously. 

We treat patients with private medical insurance and those using one of our self-pay options.

While many of our patients are fairly local to Droitwich Spa, excellent road links (including easy access to the M5) means that people travel from Birmingham and further afield as well for their pain management.

When you choose to visit The Droitwich Spa for help with your pain, you will benefit from:

  • Rapid access to an expert in pain management – When you’re struggling with pain, the last thing you’ll want is to have to wait weeks (or even months!) to be seen for an initial consultation, followed by more time waiting for tests and investigations. At The Droitwich Spa Hospital, we can easily schedule a consultation for you with an experienced Pain Management Consultant, at a time that is convenient for you.  
  • Remote consultations available – Pain management consultations are usually carried out in person at The Droitwich Spa, but we can also provide remote consultations by telephone or video call when required (and where clinically appropriate).   
  • Tailored treatment – Pain management requires a tailored approach, with regular review and adjustment as necessary to ensure you receive the pain relief you need. 
  • Multidisciplinary team – Your Pain Management consultant has easy access to experts in other fields, including neurologists, spinal surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists and physiotherapists. Where additional input or support is needed, it is easily (and quickly) arranged at The Droitwich Spa Hospital.  
  • Recommended by patients - In an independent survey, 95.7% of the people we treated at The Droitwich Spa Hospital said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend us to their friends and family.  

For peace of mind and known expert care, please contact us to book your private Pain Management appointment today. 

Specialists offering Pain management

Mr James Gallagher

Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

BDS (Lond), MB,BS (Lond), LDSRCS (Eng) MRCS (Eng), FDSRCS (Eng), FFDRCSI, FRCS (Eng, OMFS).

The Droitwich Spa Hospital

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Dr Maheshwar Chaudhari

Consultant in Pain Management

MBBS, MD(Anaesthesia), FRCA, FFPMRCA

The Droitwich Spa Hospital

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Dr Dene Fokias

Consultant Neuropsychologist

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Post-Grad Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology

The Droitwich Spa Hospital

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