Pain Medicine deals with patients suffering from chronic pain and cancer pain.
Chronic pain effects approximately one quarter of the Irish population and is extremely debilitating due to its chronicity and the effect it has on the persons self worth. Pain medicine therapy focuses on the entire patient to reduce their daily pain experience and optimise their mobility, independence and psychological well-being.
The first step is clinical assessment to establish a diagnosis for the source of the pain followed by assessment of the effect of the pain on the patients’ performance within the community. This opens up a targeted therapeutic pathway. Unfortunately some chronic pain patients lack a firm diagnosis.
Making a diagnosis involves clinical assessment, radiological investigation, blood tests and provocation testing in theatre. Psychological assessment is carried out where indicated by the pain psychologist working with the team.
Commonly seen conditions include degenerative spinal disease, (cervical, thoracic and lumbar arthritic facet joints, degenerative discs and vertebral fractures) trigeminal / occipital neuralgia, some types of chronic headache and facial pain.
As cancer progresses pain control can become more difficult due to further tissue invasion, cancer therapeutic agent side effects and hormonal imbalance. The aim of pain therapy is to enable the patient to be fully awake and interactive with their family and friends for as long as possible. Optimisation of analgesic drug therapy, neurolytic treatment and intrathecal drug delivery can facilitate this.
Our Pain Medicine Consultants at the Hermitage Medical Clinic are:
Dr. Joe Fitzgerald……….. (01) 2064622
Prof. Connail McCrory……. (01) 2064585