Opinion and advice from a British Pain doctor. About:
I'm sure I read, somewhere, that the difference between an expert in his field and a layman is that the expert knows 200 facts. I don't know if this is true; I do know that I seem to spend a great deal of time telling people a remarkably small number of things that they didn't know about chronic pain. And, whether they are colleagues from other specialties or patients they're usually astonished, incredulous and a little confused by what I say.
My idea is to simply set out the general advice that I give to my patients so that I can refer them to this site to remind them (no-one takes away as much from a medical consultation as the doctor thinks they have) and to cite and discuss the evidence.
Some patients, indeed some doctors, have great difficulty in believing the basic truths behind chronic pain: my hope is that you can see that there is a rational, evidence-base behind much of what I say. And when the evidence is controversial, I'll try to present both sides of the argument so that you can decide if you agree with me.
For some reason, and I really don't know what it is, colleagues often ask me to speak at meetings, so over the years I've accumulated a large number of PowerPoint presentations on various aspects of pain medicine. I thought that a good way to start would be to turn these into little internet slide shows and I've finished the first one, so here it is for your edification.
The plan is to add more when time allows.
I intend to add essays (I think that these days people would call them "blogs") as and when they occur to me. I'll try to cover the subjects that crop up in the pain clinic most frequently.
There are some established facts: or at least statements which appear to be true. By themselves they are not very helpful to the uninitiated, none-the-less, I shall build a list of them because they form the nearest thing that we have to a scientic basis for our speciality.