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By Dr. Yashwant Nankar MD
(Consultant Pain Management)
Providing relief from their suffering has been a long–standing part of medical practice. However, it is only recently that pain management has evolved as a separate specialty. Now, it is possible to provide excellent pain relief to patients in pain due to cancer, trauma, operations, childbirth, chronic illness or some unknown cause. Here, I will try to discuss what is this concept of pain management, what are the different types of patients who need such management and the different modalities available for that.
Pain is the commonest reason for which people seek help from their doctors. Being able to feel pain is a great safe guard in our life, as it gives us a warning about injury or physiological change in our body. Fortunately, most of the pain disappears after some treatment. However, when pain does not resolve after medical or surgical management, it becomes chronic in nature. It no longer serves any useful purpose.

People who suffer from severe pain are often restricted in their activities – both work and social life. Chronic pain is often debilitating and has devastating consequences for its sufferers and those around them. Chronic pain affects a patient’s physical and emotional well being – a challenging problem that often requires specialized care by a separate branch of medicine known as “Algology ” Fortunately, it has been shown that even though their diseases are incurable, with the use of a variety of techniques, their pain can be controlled, and they can be rehabilitated.
A “Pain Clinic” or a “Pain Management Center” is a specialized medical facility where such patients are managed in a variety of settings. Treatment can include consultation only or direct treatment ranging from prescribing medication, nerve blocks or injections or a comprehensive multidisciplinary pain management program, for both acute and chronic pain.

Every pain problem is unique and treatment plans are specifically designed for each individual to help them find not only the comfort but also improvement in their function and lifestyle. In the last decade, such centers have been established all over the world in different hospitals. Mainly such centers are managed by anesthesiologists with support from other disciplines whenever necessary.
John Bonica an anesthesiologist established the first pain clinic at the University of Washington. He is the author of the first comprehensive textbook on pain management, which is referred all over the world. He was the founder member of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP (www.halcyon.com/iasp) which is the organization working in this field all over the world. The Indian Society for the Study of Pain (ISSP) is its branch in India.

Conclusion
To conclude there is no need for people to suffer from any pain. A variety of techniques are available for reliving pain. The choice of treatment depends on the intensity, quality, duration, and distribution of pain. With skilled management, their pain can be relieved sufficiently to allow them to function optimally and enjoy a quality life. What is required is we have to change our attitude towards the people in pain, and increase awareness both among medicos and lay people that pain can be managed.
The goal is – freedom from pain .
If you have any questions about the Pain Management Center, or comments about these pages please call us at: 91 20 7455085/91 20 7453157 or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or send a letter to:
Meenakshi Pain Management Center,
Chapekar Chowk,
Chinchwad, Pune, India,
Pin Code: 411 033.