Today, pain management revolves around the treatment, prevention and management of acute and chronic pain by changing how the body perceives painful conditions. Whether one uses medication, injections, biofeedback or implantable devices, pain can now be managed effectively. The staff at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center is at the forefront of pain management, including:
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Minimally invasive treatment of chronic back pain
- Medtronic SynchroMed Infusion System
Spinal Cord Stimulation
One of the many techniques used at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital is spinal cord stimulation. In this technique, a device is implanted into the spine to alleviate pain of the spine, arms and legs. There has been a tremendous amount of recent publicity on this technique with patients from all walks of life crediting this procedure with allowing them to live pain-free. In many cases, this ended the constant use of harmful and possibly addicting medications.
Minimally Invasive Treatment of Chronic Back Pain
The Brookhaven team offers their patients a new minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic back pain. This procedure, called myeloscopy, involves a thin, flexible tube (a mylescope) with a camera at the tip that is inserted into the epidural area of the back. The camera allows the doctor to see the treatment area and to use liquid pressure to eliminate scars, adhesions and other potential causes of discomfort.
SynchroMed Infusion System
For patients with severe chronic pain, a highly sophisticated pump, known as the SynchroMed Infusion System, is implanted in the abdomen and delivers up to three months of medicine. This system is used to treat accident victims, cancer patients and those with severe spasticity. When most people reflect on death, the greatest fear they have is the thought of suffering. For many people, pain and acute physical discomfort are more frightening than the act of dying. Unfortunately, time-limiting illnesses such as cancer always seem synonymous with pain and discomfort. This does not have to be the case. Remarkable medical advances and increased sensitivity to patient anxiety have resulted in pain management techniques and procedures eliminating the pain and the attendant discomfort caused by large doses of orally administered drugs.
Failure to relieve cancer pain adequately can interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment of the cancer, thus limiting the patient's ability to benefit from treatment. Interfering with the ability to eat, sleep and undermining the patient's will to live are also deleterious effects of persistent pain.
Pain is easier to prevent than to control; it is important to address pain from the onset. Once pain is established and severe, it becomes much more difficult to control. For example, in treating cancer pain, the method used should be adequate to control the pain, and treatment should be offered continuously to keep pain constantly under control.
Remember, there is no reason for anyone to suffer from chronic pain. No matter what the cause of a person's pain, there are treatment options available. The pain management doctors at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center are ready to offer relief.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is often defined as pain lasting longer than three months or continuing long after the original injury occurs, despite the normal healing process. If a person suffers from chronic pain, it can literally take over almost every aspect of his or her life, and everyday stress can become magnified. Chronic pain can produce feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness and despair. It disrupts sleep, alters one's personality and interferes with work and relationships. It can have a profound effect on a patient's interactions with family members, coworkers and friends. Pain due to cancer certainly falls into this category.
What causes chronic pain?
Chronic pain may be the result of many different disorders including, but not limited to, neck or back injury, sciatica, headache, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), arthritis, osteoporosis, shingles or circulatory disorders.
What is pain management?
The specialty of Pain Management has truly become a specialty of medicine, not unlike other specialties such as Cardiology, Orthopedics or Emergency Medicine. Not too long ago, pain management consisted of prescribing narcotics (pain pills) with little else to offer those patients with chronic pain, be it from injury or disease. Fortunately, tremendous advances have been made in pain treatment.