Category: News

August 26, 2017

Tap into Integrated Plans

Spinal pain can be divided into short term (acute recent onset) and long term (chronic). Treatment varies according to the type of pain you’re experiencing. Short-term pain is best managed by remaining active, rather than resting, according to specialist pain management physician Dr Simon Tame, from Northern Integrated Pain Management (NIPM). “Simple pain killers (anti-inflammatories or paracetamol) can be used providing they are effective. Stronger pain killers should be avoided. “Education and reassurance about low back pain is very important. Patients need to know the problem is quite likely to resolve, and rarely dangerous.” Long-term (chronic) spinal pain is a more complex problem. “People who experience long-term pain often develop associated problems such as depression, poor sleep, weight gain, and disability related to pain,” Dr Tame said. “In any long-term pain the way the brain processes pain changes, essentially making the pain-processing system more sensitive, and the problem more entrenched. These various problems associated with long-term pain all feed into each other. “In this case, a multi-disciplinary treatment that addresses psychological, physical and social factors is the best app

Posted in News by nipm@login
August 12, 2017

Focus on Function Should be Priority

Chronic pain is distinguished from acute pain which is a more normal part of life e.g. a skinned knee, a bone fracture.
Like all other chronic diseases, chronic pain should be managed with the focus being on optimising function rather than a continual focus on trying to find the “broken part”, searching for a cure or elimination of symptoms.
The chronic pain condition is often related to and complicated by other issues such as:
  • Reduced activity and exercise levels
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Personal, family, work and financial stress
“It’s important that when seeking treatment for a chronic pain condition, your treating specialist understands how chronic pain affects both the individual and their families,” says Dr John Prickett, from Northern Integrated Pain Management (NIPM), in Newcastle.
Dr Prickett is a specialist anaesthetist with over 15 years of experience in all aspects of anaesthesia and pain management.
“Whilst some chronic pain problems can be relatively simple to

Posted in News by NIPM
November 30, 2016

By Dr Christie Mason, Clinical Pain Psychologist at Northern Integrated Pain Management

Pain is just the catalyst. Its not necessarily about the pain, its about everything it takes away from you. Before Mary had pain, she slept nine hours a night, now she sleeps 2. Before Mark had pain he enjoyed camping and fishing, now he is unable to mow the lawn. Before Melissa had pain she worked long hours in her job and loved it, now she is unable to sit for any more than 20 minutes at a time and works 2 half days per week in a completely different job. These are all very common stories in pain management. The pain wouldn’t be quite so debilitating if it didn’t turn worlds upside down. Then the downward spiral begins. Mary, because she only sleeps for 2 hours a night now, finds she cannot concentrate during the day because she is so tired Mark, who is now unable to complete basic tasks around the home, watches his wife mow the lawn, and begins to feel useless and worthless. Melissa, who can no longer work in her old role, feels a loss of identity and a loss of control in a job she previously loved and owned. Poor memory, physically deconditioning, depression, anger, hopelessness, and a loss of control are all common problems experienced by chronic pain sufferers. As a pain psychologist, I tend to see chronic pain sufferers when they are at their worst. Some people who enter

Posted in News by NIPM
June 11, 2015

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is an implantable pain management device. It involves small flexible electrodes (“leads”) being placed in the epidural space of the spine through needles. Safe electrical pulses are passed through the leads – which creates a powerful pain blocking effect for lower back pain.

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June 11, 2015

In recent decades, narcotic medications have been widely used outside hospitals for managing pain. In Australia the prescription of narcotics for chronic pain in the community has escalated over the last 10-15 years. Prescription levels now seem more stable.

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