Chronic pain, which is a long-lasting and debilitating health problem, can have a negative impact on one's quality of life, as well as cause social and psychological problems.
Patients who suffer from prolonged and chronic pain can seek treatment from Algology. Algology specialists are physicians who are specialized in the diagnosis of pain sources using various diagnostic methods. Once the cause of pain is diagnosed, the pain source is treated with appropriate medication and interventional methods. Pain treatments are approached with a multidisciplinary approach and are coordinated.
Algology, also known as the science of pain, is a medical discipline that investigates the causes of pain and aims to diagnose and treat them. Algology mainly focuses on chronic pain.
Headache is one of the most common complaints. Head and facial pain are the most common reasons for doctor visits, along with feverish infections, back pain, and dizziness. It is medically challenging to diagnose the causes of head and facial pain and to treat the symptoms because the International Headache Society has identified 240 different causes of headache. The most common types of chronic head and facial pain are migraine, tension-type headache, facial neuralgia (most commonly trigeminal neuralgia), and spinal-related headache.
Neck, shoulder, and arm pain are often caused by spine-related conditions such as herniated disc or neck straightening. Pain can occur due to nerve compression in the spinal cord or nerves leading to the arm in cases of herniated disc. Medications and physical therapy are primarily used to treat these pains. However, sometimes the treatment may not provide sufficient relief from pain, and in such cases, the Algology department can be consulted.
Back pain is a common complaint in society. For most people, this pain disappears within a tolerable period through rest, physiotherapy, medical or physical treatments. Most patients with back pain only suffer from muscle pain. However, in some patients, ligaments, spinal joints, and discs between vertebrae are also involved, and chronic pain that is difficult to treat may occur. Chest pain can develop as a result of the reflection of pain from the internal organs of the chest and can be caused by heart, lung, or reflux-related problems. There are also chest pains caused by muscle or rib nerve compression.
Some of the causes of pain in the abdomen and groin that do not respond to traditional treatments include nerve compression in the abdominal muscles, reflection pain caused by back and waist pain, and pain in the internal organs of the abdomen.
Chronic back and leg pain is the presence of pain in the back or leg for at least six months. Pain is usually perceived in the lower back, but it can spread to other areas such as the thigh, calf, and foot. The most important source of chronic back and leg pain is problems related to the spine and spinal cord. These can be problems such as sciatica, herniated disc, and disc degeneration.
Arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to organs in the body are called arteries. When arteries become blocked due to diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia, adequate blood cannot be delivered to the affected organs. Pain due to arterial occlusion occurs when the blocked arteries are not sufficiently oxygenated. For example, if the heart artery is blocked, chest pain occurs; if the artery going to the leg is blocked, leg pain occurs.
Diabetes not only damages blood vessels but also attacks nerve fibers. About one-third of all diabetes patients develop nerve damage due to frequent rises in blood sugar levels. This is one of the most common complications of diabetes and causes various complaints. Although it is not always possible to repair nerve damage, there are treatment options that largely eliminate neuropathic (nerve-based) pain. Neuropathic pain is severe pain and may not respond to even morphine in some cases. In this case, interventional pain management methods come into play.
Cancer pain is a very important health problem that negatively affects the quality of life, especially for late-stage cancer patients. Therefore, important duties fall on oncology and algology specialists. The goal is to maintain the patient's quality of life at the best possible level for as long as possible in a malignant cancer situation. In these patients, good quality pain control is generally only possible with opioid derivatives. Pain can be controlled by using opioids at appropriate doses and intervals.
In some patients who suffer from chronic and persistent pain, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the pain. In such cases, it is possible to use interventional methods to identify which nerves are causing the pain. With the help of imaging techniques, a catheter can be placed in the possible nerve system area, and the source of the pain can be identified by administering medication.