Dr. Sruthi Kondur on Pain Management

By Paul Henry / in , , /

Hi, I’m here to discuss briefly about chronic pain and what we do to help patients with chronic pain. So, mostly as we all know, pain is a very complex problem that we deal with. Pain does not only affect your day-to-day life and your physical existence, it also has a lot of impact on your social and emotional aspects of life. We see patients that have challenges going to work, or just with their day-to-day life and challenges with just getting a good night’s sleep because of their pain. So what we do here is, try to help these patients cope with their pain and have a better quality of life. We always take a multi-model approach to treat these patients. What this means is, there’s pharmacological methods and non-pharmacological options to treat chronic pain. As far as pharmacological options, we all know there is opioids and non-opioid medications widely available for chronic pain. Opioid medications are great medications when they are used the right way. However, when we take those medications for a prolonged period of time, there is development of tolerance, dependence and a lot of other side effects that are not very good for patients. So, we try to do non-pharmacological methods for these patients, to help them lower the number of doses of the pain medications that they’re on. So that it’s a safe an effective treatment for patients. So, what are these non-pharmacological treatments? There are different treatments including, patient education, basic things like lifestyle modification, exercise and trying to reduce the stressors they may have and cognitive behavioral therapy and nerve blocks. The nerve blocks are very very simple techniques that are used to decrease inflammation and help with pain for patients. They can be as simple as a nerve block, to more advanced procedures like radio frequency ablations, spinal cord stimulators, celiac plexus blocks, and more sympathetic blocks for CRPS patients. and there are a lot more options as far as interventions for these patients. By taking a multi-model approach with these patients, we try to balance their lifestyle with their patient goals. Whether it be a chronic pain patient or sports injury patient. For chronic pain patients, the goals might be a little different than the patients with sports injuries. Patients with sports injuries may require treatment only for a couple of months. 2-3 months of treatment and they’re probably all recovered and back to their basic life. So, by taking this multi-model approach to treatment, we give safe, effective and individualized care for patients and decrease their opioid use and improve their overall lifestyle.

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