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back and neck pain

Back & Neck Pain

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability, missed work and impaired quality of life. There are a multitude of causes from a new injury to long term wear and tear, affecting many age ranges in many ways.

At Berwick Pain, we look to diagnose what is causing pain before considering pain management options such as radiofrequency procedures.

 

Long term management involves ensuring the back pain sufferer is as fit, core strong, slender and in the best frame of mind to ensure they are optimising their life.

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nerve pain
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Nerve Pain

This distressing pain type can often feel like an electric shock, burning or sensitivity.  In addition, the peculiar sensation of pain in an area of numbness is also typical for nerve pain. 

Nerve pain can occur from causes such as long term illness like diabetes, after chemotherapy for cancer treatment, after surgery or as a result of trauma or infection.

We use well researched management regimes including options such as medications and interventions.

Evidence based paradigms guide treatment from simple injection techniques all the way up to implanted spinal cord devices.

joint arthritis and limb pain

Joint Arthritis & Limb Pain

All joints in the body can show signs of wear and tear. The load bearing joints of the knee and hip are common sites for pain, but so too are many of the smaller joints of the back and neck.

In some of the larger joints of the body such as the knee, hip or shoulder, treating pain from arthritis can reduce the need for a joint replacement surgery and in some cases, can help improve outcome from surgery.

 

Pain from arthritis in the joints can often be helped by simple injection treatments but physiotherapy is also essential in long term pain management.

Limb injury, like back and neck pain has a wide variety of causes, from acute trauma to chronic degenerative processes. Treating accordingly and working with orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists and therapists is vital to quickly restore as much function as possible.

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cancer related pain
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Cancer Related Pain

A number of the treatments used in cancer care can cause pain themselves (eg pain after surgery or peripheral nerve pain after chemotherapy). Pain affects how people choose and respond to treatments, so managing this pain is important and you shouldn't have to just live with it. 

We work with oncologists and haematologists to provide  management options where pain is becoming more problematic such as when it affects treatment.

For those with life limiting cancer, we can work with local palliative care teams if pain is proving difficult to treat.

cancer survivor

Pain in the Cancer Survivor

Many cancer patients will have been through a very challenging time from diagnosis through multiple treatments. In many cases pain can persist despite successful treatment. For instance nerve pain is reported in up to 40% of cancer survivors up to 5 years after the end of cancer treatment. There are many causes, such as nerve pain from chemotherapy drugs (chemotherapy neuropathy) or after surgery.

Pain management options exist to improve quality of life after a difficult period in life for example simple medication changes to aid chemotherapy neuropathy.

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surgical pain
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Persistent Post Surgical Pain

Some surgeries are associated with persistent pain syndromes as nerves can be injured during surgery and some damaged nerves behave abnormally. In most cases, post surgical pain doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong.

Treating these problems early to prevent them becoming long term is essential.

For example, nerve pain after surgery can be assisted by nerve block to diagnose the nerve problem and then radiofrequency techniques to calm the nerves down and stop them sending so many pain signals.

headache and facial pain

Headache & Facial Pain

Distinguishing the causes of headache and facial pain can be challenging. It is not uncommon that other areas of the body refer pain into the head and face, for example wear and tear in the neck can be felt as predominantly headache (for example Cervicogenic Headache).

Many of the facial pain disorders can be severe such as trigeminal neuralgia and nerve pain after shingles.

Management requires a mix of treatments with roles for both medications and intervention (injection treatments). Nerve blocks and radiofrequency techniques can help reduce the severity of such pain.

Headache
pelvic pain
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Male & Female Pelvic Pain

Both male and female pelvic (and abdominal) pain is a problem area that is under researched and under discussed. It is well recognised to have a knock on affect on relationships, well being and reproductive health.  Prior to working with a pain specialist it is important to have been fully assessed by a urologist for males and gynaecologist for females.

We frequently work with the specialist pelvic pain centres to provide pain management options. For this challenging pain, its also important to ensure patient's mood is also unaffected, so we might work with therapists or advise medicines for this also. 

Pain in the Older Adult

The treatment of pain for older Australians is more challenging, and these patients often have more pain issues.  Many of the commonly used pain relieving medications have side effects that are troubling for older patients such as dizziness leading to falls. With increasing numbers of medical problems, older patients have to take more medications which can interact and even counteract. In addition many other issues such as heart problems limit some of the more invasive treatment options.

 

In many cases, however, pain can be improved in older patients, allowing patients to enjoy their life, engage more out of the home and retain independence. We specialise in pain in the older adult, using simple interventional techniques carefully and pragmatically.  Providing reasonable pain relief often allows a reduction in medication and better ability to maximise the benefits of activity and therapy. Pain in the elderly shouldn’t just be accepted but discussed sensibly and options considered with your pain specialist.

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older adult
pain syndrome
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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

CRPS is an abnormal response to trauma, where the trauma can be in some cases relatively mild. More normally the trauma is more severe, such as fracture and is often experience in the hand or foot. It is essential to get on top of this condition as quickly as possible, after early recognition. Moving rapidly through treatment options, to get on top of this condition quickly is necessary to optimise the chance of recovery.

Because CRPS affects all the functions of a nerve such as sensitivity in the skin, a combination of treatments is usually required. These range from simple medication options and interventions (injection techniques) combined with good physiotherapy therapy.

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