Chronic pain management
Chronic, or lasting pain, touches every aspect of people's lives. Without chronic pain management it is not possible to fully work, move about or enjoy life. Sudden pain that comes from an illness or injury can be just as disruptive and devastating. North Shore-LIJ Health System offers comprehensive pain management services with many methods to help bring pain under control and manage the side effects of treatment. The chronic pain management program is multidisciplinary, with many options for treatment.
Chronic pain management can complement the treatment of several conditions, including:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Sickle cell disease
Chronic pain management goals:
- Increased physical function
- Decreased reliance on medication
- Return to work and daily activities
The guiding principle of the pain management doctors at North Shore-LIJ Health System is that by relieving pain early in its cycle, side effects that make pain worse and curb activities can be limited. Early intervention also lets patients become more active and avoid some of the deconditioning effects that worsen health, and the psychological complications of unremitting pain. Ongoing continuing education keeps pain management doctors and professionals up to date on new pain management developments, and makes the entire hospital community aware of the many options for treating severe pain. By participating in clinical trials and other research, the physicians also bring the newest pain treatment to patients including homeopathic as well as pain management medications.
Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain, pain management and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. It involves the use of medications and monitoring of vital functions during surgery and other medical procedures to relax the body, block pain and induce sleepiness or unconsciousness. While under anesthesia, breathing, blood pressure, blood flow and heart rate and rhythm are all monitored and controlled.
Learn more about our anesthesiology services.
Our comprehensive neuroscience program strives to provide collaborative programs that consider physical and emotional aspects of pain, so that patients can receive the most effective care. We focus on restoring functions that have been lost to pain and will provide specialized centers to help patients manage and cope with their pain appropriately through chronic pain management.
Our pain management centers provide the necessary care to lead patients to a quicker and more complete recovery.
Learn more about our neurosciences services.
Pain management doctors and their intervention in pain development with patients are a cornerstone of the clinical approach at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics, providing daily management of patients with postoperative, post-traumatic, and other types of acute pain requiring specialized interventions such as epidural analgesia, other regional anesthetic techniques, or complex pharmacological management. Support is also provided to the operating rooms for placement of epidural catheters and regional blocks for surgery preoperatively.
A multi-specialty approach
North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics uses a comprehensive multi-specialty approach to treat patients with a wide variety of pain-related conditions, including: neurologists, physiatrists and anesthesiologists as well as licensed acupuncturists.
This broad range of specialties enables treatment and chronic pain management of the simplest to the most complex pain-related conditions, including arthritis, cancer pain, migraine, occupational injuries, neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica, post-operative pain, post-back surgery pain, shingles, complex regional pain syndromes, urogenital/pelvic pain, peripheral neuropathy, and neuralgias.
Changing ideas about chronic pain management
The highly skilled providers of North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics are dedicated not only to the advancement of our pain management centers, but also to revolutionizing popular misconceptions of what pain management and chronic pain management means.
North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics uses a non-narcotic approach to help patients control their pain without the risk of addiction. Non-medication treatments include epidural steroid injections, joint injections, nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation. We believe that non-narcotic pain management medications are the safest form of pain management for patients.
Better methods for chronic pain management
Nearly one in four people in the United States suffer some form of joint pain regularly, and worse, only half of them have visited pain management doctors for pain relief. That's because people rarely understand what pain management is and how it works. At North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics, the emphasis is on treating the underlying cause of pain rather than just medicating the symptoms.
Pain management and chronic pain management has two goals. The first is to treat the chronic pain that results from disease and injury. The second is to improve quality of life. A North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics pain management center does this with techniques to reduce painful symptoms while avoiding surgery whenever possible. When surgery is the best method, the Institute's pain management doctors use minimally invasive techniques that are very safe and effective.
These methods are combined with physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture, counseling and other kinds of treatment, to eliminate or minimize the use of narcotics. This helps avoid some of the side effects that make it so difficult for each patient to enjoy a normal life. These approaches cannot always make a patient pain free, but it can reduce pain so that they can take part in normal activities again.
Palliative medicine is the active total care of patients with incurable illness. It is a combination of compassionate therapies administered in an interdisciplinary setting whose goal is to maximize patient comfort.
Active programs include the treatment of cancer pain, anorexia/cachexia syndrome, and cancer treatment related to fatigue. An educational program is in development as is a guest speaker roster. Additional programs will grow with the department, this being one of the first of its type in the country. Direct connections with community-based hospice programs have already been implemented as has a home visit program.
Learn more about our palliative care services.