Pain treatment

These treatments help in the fight against pain

The pain caused by, for example, some cancers is very intense, and often also resistant to pharmacological treatment.

This does not mean, however, that the patient is condemned to suffering. In addition to pharmacological treatment, treatment can be used. These are minimally invasive, non-surgical methods, i.e. unrelated to extensive tissue damage. Pain, neurolysis, blocking and thermolysis are most often used in pain therapy.

The selection of appropriate treatment depends on the cause of pain, its location, severity and nature.

Contrary to common practice, these procedures should not be treated as a last resort and should be recommended only when effective analgesic treatment can not be achieved with pharmacological methods.

In many cases, they should be done early as soon as the pain is present or begins to worsen.

Interlocks with high analgesic efficacy can also be used in spinal pain syndromes, especially when degenerative changes include many levels when surgery is impossible or when acute, severe pain prevents functioning and rehabilitation.

In UK, the availability of these methods is small compared to other EU countries. Also, the awareness of patients about the possibility of treatment with minimally invasive methods is insufficient. Often, patients themselves are unnecessarily afraid of treatment methods, treating them as an operation. These are non-surgical and safe methods, and most importantly, give the patient a chance to live without pain.

Little invasive pain treatments can in many cases completely relieve chronic pain or significantly reduce their intensity. This allows for a significant reduction in the use of analgesics, and thus the side effects inherent in pharmacotherapy. Patients gain greater comfort of life, often are able to return to their favorite activities and even work.

Treatments used in the treatment of pain: neurolysis

This procedure involves the destruction of nerve fibers with a chemical substance. Most often it is ethyl alcohol, but it can also be phenol or glycerol. Neurolysis results in interruption of the conduction pathway from the tissues to the spinal cord. It relieves the sensation of pain arising in the region innervated by damaged nerves.

Thanks to neurolysis, the patient may not feel pain for several or even several months!

Very good analgesic effects of neurolysis are obtained in the case of visceral pain located in the epigastrium, caused by cancer of the pancreas, stomach, liver or abdominal node involvement. It should be done immediately after the appearance of pain, because then it will bring the best and long-lasting effect.

As a result of neurolysis, visceral and neuropathic pains in the pelvic and crotch regions may also disappear.

The procedure is performed on the operating block under local anesthesia. Control of the place of administration of the nerve destructive agent is obtained by means of an X-ray apparatus. The neurolysis treatment lasts 1-1.5 hours. After the procedure, depending on the place where the neurolysis was performed, the patient must remain under medical surveillance for a few to 24 hours.

Treatments used in the treatment of pain: thermolysis

This method of combating chronic pain involves the destruction of nerve structures through the use of high temperature (about 80 degrees Celsius). The temperature is generated in the tissues at the end of the electrode placed in the immediate vicinity of the pain-conducting nerves.

The temperature destroys the surrounding tissues within a few millimeters. In contrast to neurolysis, thermolysis allows very precise destruction of eg small nerves.

The method has a high effectiveness of 50-70 percent. and has few side effects.

The treatment is fully safe, performed most often without the patient slepping, under local anesthesia, in the operating room under X-ray control. It lasts from 45 minutes to one and a half hours, depending on the amount of nerves to be destroyed.

In addition to treating cancer pain, thermolysis is recommended for patients with mechanical pain in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Here, the cause of the symptoms are degenerative changes between the adolescents and other structures.

Also at over 70 percent. patients with trigeminal neuralgia can get significant relief from pain.

A variation of thermolysis is the so-called pulse thermosis, which is used to temporarily exclude the conductivity in the nerve, which should not be subjected to classic thermolysis.

This method is sometimes effective in treating sciatica or neuralgia of peripheral nerves.

Treatments used to treat pain: blockages

In contrast to neurolysis and thermolysis, the blockage does not cause nerve damage, but only temporarily disabling it. Unfortunately, its analgesic time is shorter than other methods.

Peripheral nerve blockage involves the administration of a local anesthetic in the immediate vicinity of nerves, trunks and nerve plexuses. This leads to temporary pain, temperature and touch.

The blocking action, apart from local pain relief, also involves reducing inflammation, removing post-traumatic contractions, muscle contractions and other vasomotor disorders.

To increase the accuracy of the blockage, it is often performed under ultrasound guidance. Sometimes, the blocks also have a diagnostic value. Thanks to them, you can temporarily “turn off” the selected nervous structure in order to confirm that it is responsible for conduction of pain stimuli.