About Pain Management
Pain conditions are common among Hong Kong people. Many chronic pain conditions are missed and not treated appropriately. If pain conditions persist for more than 3 months despite regular analgesics, one may be suffering from chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
- Pain lasts for more than 3 months
- Simple analgesics offer little relief
- Some patients may develop emotional stress and disturbances such as insomnia
- Moderate intensity with 3 or above on the pain scale (Scale of 0-10, with 10 being the worst pain one can imagine)
Examples of Chronic Pain
- Joint pain
- Neck and back pain
- Myofascial pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Some patients may have chronic pain with no obvious precipitating events nor identifiable pathologies
Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain
|Acute Pain||Chronic Pain|
|Caused by traumatic injury (e.g. bone fracture, muscle strain) or surgery, will disappear after the body damage is healed.||Persists after initial injury from trauma or surgery has resolved|
|There are usually signs of tissue damage (e.g. oedema or erythema).||There may not be visible would nor signs of ongoing disease, therefore it may be difficult for a third person to comprehend.|
|Short lived and ends after healing has completed within 3 months.||Duration of 3 months or longer.|
|Relieved by simple analgesics in majority of people||Simple analgesics are rarely helpful.|
|Rest is appropriate during treatment and healing phase.||Rest may not be beneficial in managements.|
|Emotional or psychological stress are not major components of patient’s reactions.||Patients are more likely to have emotional or psychological issues relating to the pain.|
Early Diagnosis and Appropriate Treatment are Crucial
Patients with chronic pain will find simple analgesics not helpful. If their chronic pain is not recognized early and treated, many will seek relief by turning to alternative medicine. For them, their journey to find help is often frustrating, costly and unfulfilling.
It is important for patients with symptoms and signs suggestive of chronic pain to be referred to a pain specialist so that their conditions can be diagnosed, safe and effective interventions can be initiated.
Are All Chronic Pain Patients Suitable to Join the Virtus Integrated Pain Management Programme?
Broadly speaking, there are two main arms of chronic pain management: Drug treatment and Non-Drug treatment.
Pain Programme is a component of the “Non-Drug” treatment arm. Before joining the Pain Programme, the patient will meet up with a pain specialist for an initial consultation. During this, an in-depth assessment will be made, and the specific pain condition diagnosed. The pain specialist may commence a regimen that is safe and effective in the long term. The pain specialist may also offer the patient additional interventional procedures such ultrasound guided pain blocks or radiofrequency ablations as indicated. Based on the initial assessment findings and response to early treatment, the pain specialist will tailor the content of the Pain Programme according to the patient’s needs.
Programme Objective: The aim of our programme is to maximise the effectiveness of “non-drug” remedies, hence reducing patient’s reliance on medications and money spent in the long term.
Pain Programme may include any combinations of the following:
- Physiotherapists will conduct a comprehensive assessment of patients’ physical function and supervise active rehabilitation programme. Electrotherapy or shock wave therapy may be incorporated when indicated.
- Our accredited dietitians will provide patients with personalized diet recommendation, weight management counselling and education on use of nutrient supplements if required.
- Clinical psychologists will teach patient pain coping skills and strategies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
The entire programme typically lasts for 4-6 weeks. Pain Specialist will regularly follow up with patients during this period and conduct a comprehensive review at the end. In addition, a dedicated Virtus Health Consultant will be assigned to each patient. He or she will explain the logistics an answer questions about the programme.
Pain Management Leaflets
|+852 8102 2022|
|16/F, Virtus Medical Tower, 122 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong|