Pain - Chronic or Acute
The Pain Research Core (PRC) at John Hopkins Hospital s is an important multidisciplinary team that is dedicated to research on pain. Any type of pain, whether chronic or acute, is uncomfortable. John Hopkins Hospital is doing ongoing research to identify new drug targets and to develop new novel analgesics.
Pain is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain is usually severe and short-lived, and it is typically a signal that your body has been injured. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe, and it can be present for long periods of time. It is often the result of a disease that may require ongoing treatment.
What Pain is Treated at John Hopkins?
Currently, the best way to treat the pain is to manage the symptoms. If the source of your pain can’t be treated or isn’t known, their pain medicine specialists can offer options for pain control.
“At the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center, we provide treatment for the following types of pain:
- Low back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Vertebral Compression Fractures
- Cervical and lumbar facet joint disease
- Sciatica/Radiculopathy ("pinched nerve")
- Sacroiliac joint disease
- Failed back surgery pain (FBSS) / Post-Laminectomy Neuropathic Pain
- Neuropathic (Nerve) pain
- Head pain / Occipital neuralgia (Scalp/head pain)
- Hip pain
- Intercostal neuralgia (Rib pain)
- Peripheral neuropathy (Diabetic nerve pain)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - RSD)
- Herniated discs and degenerative disc disease (discogenic pain)
- Neck pain
- Shoulder and knee arthritic pain (osteoarthritis)
- Myofascial (Muscular) pain
- Post surgical pain
- Cancer pain (pancreatic, colorectal, lung, breast, bone)
- Pain from peripheral vascular disease
- Anginal pain (chest pains)
- Post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain)
- Nerve entrapment syndromes
- Spasticity related syndromes/ pain
- Spinal Cord Injury (central pain)
- Pelvic pain
- Thoracic outlet syndrome”
As you can see from this list, there are numerous types of pain that need treatment. Pain is often caused by a debilitating medical problem. Pain is complicated and may have a huge impact on your physical and mental well-being. A comprehensive range of services are offered at the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center. They support acute and chronic pain.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
Multispeciality of Physicians
Pain management doctors along with neurologists, oncologists and all other types of doctors work to give their patients independence, along with comfort as they work together.
The John Hopkins researchers strive to understand exactly how pain works and how to manage it. They believe their collaboration is the key to advancing their understanding of the pain process.
These physicians state they have uncovered the synergy between the anatomic nerves, the sensory nerves, the non-neuronal cells and the specific molecules within the various cell types.
Factors About Pain
- The cell types contribute to both the initial occurrence of pain and the neuroplastic events that allow pain to outlive its usefulness after an injury.
- The spinal cord acts as a “gatekeeper” for all pain sensations as it coordinates and processes the variety of pain signals.
- Detailed recordings from the surface of the brain maps various sensory stimuli to learn how the brain can distinguish the difference between a loving stroke and a burn.
- The researchers have conducted animal and human studies to uncover “how nerve stimulation can paradoxically interfere with pain transmission-what works, and why.”
- As pain is a feared symptom, which can be devastating to human lives, this work attracts the bright minds of medicine and also generous support.
Procedures to Treat Pain
Steroid injections are often used to treat pain as steroids reduce inflammation and pain. Steroids are often injected into an epidural space to relieve neck, back, leg or arm pain. Radiofrequency ablation is another pain relieving technique. This procedure is a medical procedure that can be done in an outpatient setting.A part of the electrical conduction system in a tumor, the heart or in another dysfunctional tissue is ablated, which uses heat of medium frequency with an alternating current (from 350-500 kHz).
Sympathetic nerve blocks and sympathetic nerve neurolysis (ablation) can be done in the following areas:
- Stellate Nerve block
- Celiac Plexus block
- Lumbar Sympathetic Plexus block
- Superior Hypogastric Plexus block
- Ganglion Impar block
Some of the other techniques to relieve pain include:
- Neuromodulation (acts directly on the nerve) for the following areas
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Sacral Nerve Root Stimulation
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- Intrathecal Medication delivery
Vertebral Interventions for Compression Fractures
Peripheral Nerve blocks in numerous areas
Injections in the joints
Trigger Point Injections
Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy - Neck
Prepare for a Procedure
The guidelines for a procedure include nothing to eat or drink twelve hours prior to the procedure. Take your prescribed medication. You need someone to drive you home and you will probably be discharged following the procedure.
The Pain Research Core (PRC) at John Hopkins Hospital is making strides in the treatment of pain. There is still a long way to go but some of the procedures do adequately relieve pain so the patient may postpone surgery for a long period of time. If you have chronic pain it would be a good idea to see if a pain doctor can relieve your discomfort enough that you can postpone any major surgery for an indefinite period of time.
Acute or Chronic
I deal with acute or chronic pain quite often.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Pamela Oglesby