Pain is a symptom of damage to various tissues or nerve structures responsible for the sensation of pain; therefore we can distinguish nociceptive and neuropathic pain Depending on duration, pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Pain is usually a result of various degenerative diseases of the locomotor system, which has periods of remission and exacerbation.
The absence of pain is one of the basic human rights. Pain has always been treated in many different ways, and the scientific studies promote a multidisciplinary personalized approach to treatment.
The simplest and most common approach to treatment of acute pain is based on pharmacology, which means that one takes different medications for his or hers condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines and algorithms for pharmacological treatment of acute pain. In sub-chronic pain conditions the treatment of choice is pharmacological, combined with conservative treatment such as physical therapy.
If the pain lasts longer than 12 weeks and does not respond to pharmacological and physical therapy, then it is defined as chronic pain. One of the most common causes of such pain are painful conditions of the spine. Considering the complexity of the spinal system, it is necessary to foremost determine the leading cause of pain with the help of non-invasive neuroradiological diagnostics and/or minimally invasive diagnostic procedures. After that, the chronic pain is treated with minimally invasive procedures also known as therapeutic interventions.
If degeneration of the locomotor system progressed to the point at which therapeutic interventions cannot treat chronic pain, then surgical treatment is advised. Depending on the spinal changes and the leading cause of symptoms, pressure of the spinal nerves can be relieved, vertebral bodies can be stabilized and if needed both can be done during the same procedure.
If chronic pain doesn’t respond to surgical treatment mentioned above and the patient is a long-term user of opiate drugs, further surgical treatment is recommended Implantation of a pump for spinal drug administration and/or spinal neurostimulator can be effective.
This complex approach to solving painful conditions is called “Pain Management”, and it is carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of experts (radiologists, surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists) and this is what makes Specialty Hospital St. Catherine so unique.