What is pain management?
Pain management( pain medicine) is a super-specialty medicine which includes an interdisciplinary approach, that decreases the suffering and improves the quality of life for those living with chronic pain. Chronic pain is now considered a health crisis due to its high prevalence of physical and emotional incapacity.
It is estimated that chronic pain is one of the major causes of disability in many regions of the world and may inhibit people's ability to carry out daily activities. Significant interference with memory, sleep, employment, social functioning, and daily activities are common. Chronic pain patients frequently report sexual dysfunction and decreased energy. Pain patients frequently show signs of emotional distress, with evidence of depression, anxiety, and irritability. Close to fifty percent of patients with chronic pain have psychiatric problems.
Pain is now considered as the 5th vital sign in medical examinations and is the most common reason to see a physician. It has been estimated that one out of every three individuals will experience chronic pain at some point in their lifetime. Chronic pain accounts for 21% of emergency department visits and 25% of annual missed workdays. Including both direct and indirect costs, chronic pain imposes the greatest economic burden of any health condition
Chronic Pain requires a multidisciplinary approach for its adequate assessment and management. the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defined Chronic Pain as "pain that persists beyond normal tissue healing time, which is assumed to be 3 months.
Pain management includes pharmacological therapy, psychological assessment, and treatment, interventional pain procedures, occupational therapy and rehabilitation medicine. Interventional techniques includes a wide variety of techniques such as spine injections, nerve blocks, joints infiltrations, spinal cord stimulation, intrathecal implants, laser therapy, botulinum toxin application, and radiofrequency denervation. All these techniques are performed with c- arm or ultrasound guidance.
The interventional pain procedures produce immediate pain relief, can be performed with ease by pain physicians without anesthesia as outpatient or daycare with an adequate duration of pain relief.
Interventional pain procedures scores over both medicine and surgery, as they do not have side effects like medicines. Surgeries for pain, have now limited indications, usually as a last resort.
The therapeutic aims of interdisciplinary interventions for chronic pain include decreased pain intensity, increased physical activity, controlled management of pain medication, a return to work, improved psychosocial functioning, and reduced use of healthcare services.