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Pain management

Expert management and treatment for chronic pain

Long-term (chronic) pain can have a significant, life-altering, effect on quality and enjoyment of life. If you are in constant pain, possibly even being woken up at night because of your pain, it can have a huge impact on your close relationships, your ability to work, and your physical, mental, and emotional health. 

When pain is not being adequately managed or controlled, it is sensible to seek help from an expert in pain management. A doctor who specialises in this field is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia

At BMI The Hampshire Clinic in Basingstoke, Hampshire, highly experienced Pain Management Consultants help manage chronic pain for people aged 18+. They would be delighted to help you too. Why not book your private appointment today? 

Chronic pain can take many different forms. People who visit us at BMI The Hampshire Clinic commonly complain of:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Nerve pain - this may include post-operative pain, phantom pain, or pain after shingles
  • Fibromyalgia – a long-term condition that can cause pain all over the body
  • Joint pain – in joints that cannot benefit from joint replacement surgery

Anybody with long-term pain will understand just how exhausting and debilitating it can be. Interrupted sleep, lowered exercise tolerance, and the challenge of trying to get on with life despite being in pain, all take a heavy toll.

Chronic, unmanaged pain can easily end up leading to frustration, sadness, depression, or anger.

Your Consultant will work extremely closely with you to determine how best to manage and relieve your pain. Treatment can be split into two categories:

  • Medication
  • Interventional procedures (injection therapies)

It is important to know that not all types and causes of pain can be successfully treated. Your Consultant will make sure you receive the most effective treatment possible for your specific condition.

Pain management – medication

There are some extremely effective pain relief medications available, all of which are available at BMI The Hampshire Clinic. However, it may take some time and dose adjustments to determine which will be the most helpful approach for your pain, and what dose is best for you.

Different kinds of pain medicine will help with different types and causes of pain. For example, where inflammation is causing pain, an anti-inflammatory drug, or a combination of paracetamol and an opioid (a strong painkiller that has a similar effect to morphine) may be most suitable. Where pain is caused by a nerve issue, a different type of medication will probably be needed, one that desensitises the affected nerve.

We can also provide ketamine and lidocaine infusion therapies for chronic pain and depression where appropriate.

Pain management – interventional procedures

Interventional procedures for pain management include:

  • Nerve blocks
  • Nerve root blocks
  • Facet joint injections
  • Radiofrequency denervation
  • Trigger point injections

Nerves send messages (electrical impulses) to other parts of the body, triggering a response. A nerve block deliberately interrupts the signal to certain nerves to help relieve pain.

A nerve root block involves injecting an anaesthetic and steroid directly into the point where a nerve leaves the spinal cord (nerve root). The anaesthetic numbs the pain, while the steroid helps to reduce inflammation. This 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. A facet joint injection involves injecting an anaesthetic and steroid into the facet joint.

Injections may be given for:

  • Diagnostic purposes - to confirm the cause of your pain
  • Therapeutic purposes - to treat the problem and to relieve symptoms

Radiofrequency denervation (also known as rhizotomy or RF ablation) uses radiofrequency waves to interrupt the function of the nerve. Commonly used to relieve pain in the back or neck.

As can be seen, Pain Management is an extremely complex area. Experience plays such a valuable part in determining the most appropriate treatment, and the Consultants working at BMI The Hampshire Clinic have many years of dedicated experience in this area.

Due to the overlap with many other areas of medicine, your Consultant works closely with other experts like spinal and orthopaedic surgeons, psychologists, physiotherapists, and radiologists when required to ensure you receive the best possible care.

When you first meet your Pain Management Consultant at BMI The Hampshire Clinic, they will take a medical history and talk with you 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? 
  • In what ways is your pain affecting your daily life? 
  • Is there anything you are no longer able to do because of your pain?  
  • Are you currently receiving any type of treatment? 

Your Consultant has extensive experience of the effects of long-term pain, and your private appointment will be a safe, relaxed place to discuss what can often be difficult or emotive issues. 

Due to how it affects them, you are very welcome to bring your partner with you to your consultation. It is so helpful to have their input, and for them to be involved in planning your treatment.  

During your appointment, your Consultant will review any current treatment plan and discuss possible changes or alternative options with you. While several treatments may have been tried previously, they will be looking for what hasn’t already been tried, in case that may be helpful for your condition.

Depending on your symptoms and the type of pain you’re experiencing, you may be referred for further investigations such as X-ray, CT, MRI, or Ultrasound.

In some cases, your Consultant may discuss treatment options with other specialists such as spinal surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, and psychologists.

Pain management involves close collaboration between you and your Consultant. They will be very happy to talk through any questions or concerns you may have at any stage.

Pain management is not usually a one-time treatment Chronic pain may flare up at random intervals, and the effectiveness of a treatment can change over time. Regular review can help ensure your pain is always managed as well as possible, and the frequency of these follow-ups is normally dictated by you (after all, nobody is more aware of how well your pain is being managed than you). 

Many people are referred to us by their GP 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.

While a medical referral can be helpful, you can self-refer to avoid delay. 

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

At BMI The Hampshire Clinic, you will benefit from:

  • Rapid access to a leading expert – If you’re struggling with long-term pain, the last thing you’ll want is to be waiting for weeks to be seen. We can help you avoid delays by booking you a private appointment with an experienced Pain Management Consultant at a time that’s convenient for you.
  • Consultant-led care, always – Pain management requires a tailored approach, with regular review and calibration of treatment when needed. You will always see the same Consultant, ensuring excellent continuity of care throughout your time being treated by us.
  • Remote consultations available – Pain management consultations are normally carried out in person at BMI The Hampshire Clinic, but we can provide remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate).
  • An experienced team – Your Pain Management consultant has easy access to specialists in other fields, including neurology, spinal surgery, orthopaedic surgery, radiology, and physiotherapy. Where additional expertise is needed, it can be arranged for you here on-site.
  • Location - Located in a picturesque village on the outskirts of Basingstoke, the hospital is close to both the M3 and M4 motorway and very easy to travel to. 

We look forward to welcoming you to BMI The Hampshire Clinic and helping to get your pain controlled and managed as well as possible. 

 

Specialists Offering Pain management

Dr Dominic Joseph Aldington

Consultant Anaesthetist & Pain Specialist

BSc (Hons) MBBS FRCA

BMI The Hampshire Clinic 1 more BMI Sarum Road Hospital

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