Stanley Hospital has launched an integrated pain clinic that treats everything for ouches to yowls.

There are all sorts of pain, and each requires a specific treatment. Given this, an accurate diagnosis is important. Sometimes, when doctors cannot arrive at an easy conclusion about a pain, the patient is tossed from one department to another.

Now, the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital has launched an integrated pain clinic that packs facilities to identify and treat all kinds of physical pain.

“The incidence of pain in the community is 30 per cent, more than that of diabetes and hypertension. Hence, there is a need for comprehensive pain clinics,” says S. S. Sukumar, assistant professor, Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Department of Plastic Surgery at the hospital.

The clinic, which was launched recently, will manage all forms of chronic pain in a multi-modal way, says Dr. Sukumar. “We will do this with the cooperation of many specialities such as a pain speciality, orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, physiatry, occupational specialty, medicine specialty and interventional radiology,” he says.

Dr. Sukumar and P. Mahendran, anaesthesiologist of the department, have undergone training in interventional pain practice at centres in Delhi and Kolkata.

Pain lasting for more than three months could be termed chronic, says Sukumar. For instance, it could be trigeminal neuralgia – pain in the face with a shock-like sensation. This is triggered by swallowing, chewing or even a blow of wind on the face. Or, it can be back pain due to disc collapse, he explains.

“For this, we will inject ozone gas into the disc under X-ray guidance. The ozone will shrink the disc. Most of the treatments are knife-less day care procedures done under local anaesthesia. Patients can go home after a couple of hours. The procedures involve locating the pain-causing nerve,” he says.

S. Geethalakshmi, dean of the hospital, says the clinic will provide treatment for chronic pain under one roof. The clinic functions on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

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