Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chronic Pain Management

According to the Canadian Pain Society, one in five adults live with chronic pain. Additionally, at least 8% of children and adolescents also live with chronic pain, affecting one’s quality of life and making it one of the prevailing reasons for emergency room visits each year.

At Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, British Columbia, Dr. Ali Ghahary sees and treats patients dealing with chronic pain on a regular basis.

Chronic pain is typically divided into two different categories: Nociceptive and/or Neuropathic.

Neuropathic pain takes place when there has been nerve damage done to the body, whereas Nociceptive pain occurs due to the damage of body tissue.

Examples of Nociceptive pain include burns, fractures/sprains and inflammation. Both Neuropathic and Nociceptive pain can also happen as a result of cancer, either by a tumor pressing on a nerve, blocking blood vessels or spreading to bones and muscles. Neuropathic and Nociceptive pain, however, are both perceived and described vastly different. While Nociceptive pain is usually characterized as a throbbing or aching pain - treated with NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Ketorolac, Naproxen), Neuropathic pain is oftentimes expressed as a burning/tingling sensation or numbness, and can be the more difficult of the two to treat. In addition to the use of NSAIDs, Neuropathic pain is also generally treated with anti-depressant or anti-convulsant medications. Exercise has also been known to greatly benefit in the management of chronic pain.

That being said, chronic pain management varies from person to person. What works for one individual may not work for the next or have the same kind of result, making it a case of trial and error. If you suffer from chronic pain or have any questions relating to the management of chronic pain, it is imperative to have a discussion with your family doctor in order to come up with the best treatment regimen for you.