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Pain Management

How We Approach Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Pain

The words chronic pain mean different things to different people. The general definition is "pain which has lasted for more than six months." The problem with this definition is that it does not differentiate between mild pain and severe, constant, disabling pain--pain that ruins lives.

At Renaissance Hospital we deal with the patients at both ends of the spectrum and who indeed have severe, disabling, ongoing pain.

Modern science has fortunately evolved to the point where we are now able to diagnose the source of many of these types of chronic pain. In the past before this could be done, patients were told "the pain is in your head." Now with our sophisticated diagnostic testing, we can often find the source of the pain. It's exciting that not only do we now have a diagnosis, but we can look toward a rational treatment of the problem.

In our clinic we diagnose the source of pain in about 60% to 70% of patients. Very often they have not had a diagnosis before, and so they were not being treated on a rational basis. Our clinic is dedicated to finding the diagnosis, that is, to finding the source of the pain rather than simply telling the patients they have a nebulous condition called "chronic pain".

We also recognize that often, because of ongoing chronic severe pain, the patient's financial stability and private life are put in jeopardy. It is natural that when someone is in constant pain he will be unable to work effectively, and sooner or later maybe lose their job. The interferences to family life may lead to family breakups. The unrelenting pain, poor sleep, financial and family worries, inevitably lead towards psychological meltdown.

It is no surprise that with everything falling apart, many of these patients have suicidal thoughts--one of the recognized dangers of chronic pain. The goal of Renaissance Hospital is to provide total support - to make all the pieces fit.


Chronic Pain

When you get injured or have surgery, you expect to hurt for a while, but you know that in time, you'll heal and the pain will leave. If you have a medical condition — from arthritis to heart disease to shingles — you recognize discomfort as a symptom and trust that treatment will help. While you wait for your body to mend, pain medication provides relief.

Chronic pain is different. Sometimes, it's an aftereffect of an injury that appears to have healed. Sometimes, it's a lingering symptom of a past illness. And in some cases, chronic pain develops out of the blue, with no link to trauma or disease. However you try to explain it, chronic pain is something of a mystery. Tests and examinations may uncover nothing abnormal, but your body's distress is real.

Over time, physical pain takes an emotional toll, making your body hurt even more. Anxiety magnifies unpleasant sensations, and sleep problems leave you feeling weak and helpless.

When you have chronic pain, it can dominate your thinking, sometimes in ways that aren't obvious. To become informed about your condition, for instance, you may spend a lot of time monitoring pain-related publications and Internet newsgroups. Of course it's important to understand what's happening to your body and perhaps connect with people who have similar problems. But constantly reading and talking about pain keeps you focused on what's wrong when you could be finding ways to build on everything that's still right.

Persistence, poor response to treatment, unknown cause, sleep disruption and emotional fallout — these are the hallmarks of chronic pain. And the longer you've had it, the less likely it will be to disappear, whatever you do. But chronic pain doesn't have to rule your life.

Initial Evaluation for Pain Management
Since most individuals with chronic back pain conditions have already received some medical tests or treatment, it is requested that you bring any of the following diagnostic tests and information to your appointment:

  • Current x-ray films and reports

  • MRI films and reports

  • CT or myelogram films and reports

  • EMG/nerve conduction reports

  • List of current medications including dosage and length of time on each med

  • List of medications tried in the past



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Chronic pain takes its toll on its victims in a physical, psychological and functional manner. Pain can negatively affect sleep, disrupt family relationships, cause poor work performance and put a strain on one’s entire lifestyle.

We can help with “tailor-made,” comprehensive treatment programs to meet particular medical and personal needs.

Our philosophy is to keep patients pain-free, alert, functional and to avoid narcotics as much as possible. We accomplish this with up-to-date diagnostic and treatment techniques.

Our approach is to use various x-ray-guided injections in a modern operating room. We also use sedation whenever possible to reduce the pain and anxiety of the procedure. We are committed to providing the latest in effective diagnosis and treatment.



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