Pain Management: A Super-speciality
Remember: - "No one dies of pain but many die in pain and many more live with pain" "Freedom from pain is a human right"
Pain Medicine, a super-specialty, deals with the management of difficult chronic painful diseases including treatment of cancer pain. A majority of complex chronic painful states, unresponsive to conventional treatment are being successfully treated at Pain Clinics. The very concept of a Pain Clinic is based on the conviction that the effective management of difficult pain conditions is possible only through well co-ordinated efforts of a specialist possessing knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat pain.
A Pain Clinic uses services of specialties such as neurology, psychology, physical therapy, orthopedics, anesthesiology and neurosurgery.
Comprehensive multidisciplinary pain management centre
is the highest pain management facility/ centre of excellence, which is equivalent to super specialty cardiac/neuro/nephrology centre.
Thus, Pain Clinics are specialized areas that are now assuming the role of an essential service as they meet a need unmet by any previously existing medical facility. They help by simultaneously treating the physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, vocational and social aspects of chronic pain cost-effectively.
Chronic pain is a disease, a syndrome not just a symptom
Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, marital & interpersonal problems, decreased productivity, unemployment, compromised social roles, isolation, financial burden, dependence, prolonged analgesics usage, decreased self esteem with behavioral changes adversely affecting quality of life (QOL) & activities of daily living (ADL).
Pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical attention and one of the most prevalent medical complaints in today’s world.
Despite these startling statistics pain still remains inappropriate & inadequately treated. Although tremendous scientific & technological advances have been made, the knowledge & techniques are highly underutilized.
"Take two aspirins & go to bed" dictum of old days is over "What can't be cured has to be endured" has changed with the role of the interventional pain specialist. Pain specialityspecialty it's a "medical necessity".
There have been many advances in the understanding & usefulness of an intervention at the right time in selective patients producing excellent results.
Our ultimate goal is to cure & care for people suffering from pain, make them productive human beings for the society and increase their self esteem so that they can live life as normal individuals.
Interventional pain procedures scores over both medicine and surgery, as they do not have side effects like medicines. Surgeries for pain, have now limited indications, usually as a last resort.
The interventional pain procedures produce immediate pain relief, can be performed with ease by pain physicians without anesthesia as outpatient or daycare and adequate duration of pain relief obtained and suitable for surgically unfit & debilitated patients, procedure can be repeated safely if required.
In the absence of proper education among health care professionals and lack of awareness in the public mind in India, there is misuse of painkillers resulting in high incidence of complications like gastritis, kidney failure, and bone marrow depression.
The Indian health care scene has a curious mix of paradoxes. Advances in cardiovascular surgery or high-tech investigative facilities in India are on par with any advanced country, at least in some cities. Though skills, advanced equipments are available, yet pain relief is not available to majority of its population. At least a million people in India suffer unrelieved cancer pain. The number of people suffering other chronic pain conditions is anyone's guess.
With the advancement of technology and science, we have unveiled many aspects of the pain and its treatment.
The Indian medical community is not aware of interventional pain management techniques which can be helpful for many patients suffering from intractable chronic pain.
Pain treatment is tailor-made & no single treatment fits all. The lack of treatment for pain is a major public health concern. It is a silent epidemic, don't let this happen to someone you love. Untreated pain destroys people’s lives. I have had patients come in who couldn’t work or sleep or play with their children. Good pain management gave them their lives back. It is cruel to deny people in pain access to effective pain treatment. People should not be suffering needlessly.