The Plymouth Pain Management Centre is the biggest in the South West and sees in the region of 6,000 people per year.
The Centre provides a number of specialised treatments:
- treatments for severe trigeminal neuralgia.
- intrathecal drug delivery (a system whereby medications can be delivered directly to the spinal fluid). This is used successfully to treat severe limb spasm and both cancer and non-cancer pain.
- spinal cord stimulation for chronic intractable neuropathic pain.
- A specialist fibromyalgia service
- specialist injections for many neck and back conditions.
For those with intractable pain that doesn’t respond to treatment, Pain Rehabilitation option exist.
Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
Neuromodulation involves implanting electrical devices in the body (following a trial) to treat chronic pain. Electrodes are implanted next to nerves or the spinal cord (Epidural space) with aim to change pain signals. These treatments are well established for certain types of severe chronic pain, such as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), both of which have approval by the NICE guidelines (TA159). Assessments for SCS are completed by the multi-disciplinary team to help identify those who are most likely to benefit from this treatment.
Intrathecal Drug Delivery
We run a service for intrathecal dug delivery. This means using a pump to directly deliver a drug into the space around the spinal cord. This is used for two groups of people.
- People with specific types of spasticity where oral medication has not been helpful or has difficult side effects. The drug that is delivered is Baclofen.
- People with cancer pain where the delivery of pain relief is needed and were other forms or relief have not been effective.
Trigeminal Neuralgia or TN is an extremely severe facial pain that tends to come and go unpredictably in sudden shock-like attacks. We run a service with a special interest in this including specialised treatment.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
As a pain centre we have a special interest in CRPS.