Pain Management Center
The Chronic Pain Management Center at New York Methodist evaluates and treats patients with acute and chronic pain. The center's goals are:
- To decrease the intensity and frequency of the pain
- To decrease the use of potent analgesic drugs
- To increase the patient's ability to function in spite of pain
- To help the patient understand the link between pain and emotional well-being
Specialists from the following fields advise the Center:
- Rehabilitation medicine
A comprehensive evaluation of the factors contributing to a patient’s pain symptoms consists of:
- A history compiled through a personal interview with the patient
- A review of medical records, supplemented with data from the referring physician
- Laboratory data and radiological reports
- An examination of the organic and psycho-emotional components of the pain symptoms
Following the evaluation, a doctor discusses a plan of treatment with the patient and/or family members. Specific treatment strategies include:
- Analgesic drugs
- Local anesthetics produce prompt temporary pain relief and allow patients to increase their activities, minimize the use of medications, and cooperate more fully in physical and emotional rehabilitation
- Steroids are used to help prevent swelling
- Neurolytic agents such as phenol and alcohol provide relief to patients with cancer pain
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is currently the most practical form of nerve stimulation. TENS is:
- Simple to use
- Patient controlled
In addition, TENS does not interfere with other treatments as the patient goes through general fitness training, biomechanics, and postural re-education.
Patients with intractable pain need continuous encouragement and positive reinforcement. Occasionally, patients may need formal psychotherapeutic intervention. At NYM, we provide biofeedback, relaxation training, and hypnosis to patients struggling with intense pain.
The ultimate goal of pain management is rehabilitation to a more productive life style and a better quality of life.
Surgery may involve definitive procedures for specific pathologies such as laminectomies (partial removal of a vertebrae) for herniated discs and palliative procedures such as “cordotomy” (to cut fibers of the spinal cord in order to relieve pain) for cancer patients
- Trigger Pain – myofascial syndrome; ill-defined pain in muscles, tendons, fascial planes, after trauma or surgery
- Phantom Limb Pain – after the amputation of a limb
- Chronic Back Pain – disogenic pain, non-specific pain, pain from osteophytes
- Post-Herpetic Neuralgia
- Shingles – a.k.a. Acute Herpes Zoster
- Meralgia Paresthetica – pain on outer side of thigh
Causalgia and Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophies – chronic severe burning pain, automatic dysfunction and atrophic changes
Chronic Bursitis/Arthritic Pain
Neck and Lower Back
Syndromes - whiplash, sciatica, etc.
For more information, please call 718.780.PAIN (718.780.7246).