Perceptions and Misconceptions of Chronic Pain

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Dr David O’Gorman is a Consultant Pain Specialist and Director of the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway. In this video, Dr David O’Gorman briefly explains the science of pain and in his own words:

“At the end of the day, what you have is what you have. Regardless of the molecular mechanism, we need to do something about it”

The slides used in the video are reproduced below.

“Essentially,  if you’ve got pain you know what it is and you don’t need me to tell you what it is.”


“The nervous system is like electrical wires that are firing abnormally. That could be due to diabetes, trauma or a viral illness that you might have had and this leads to hyper-excitability within these nerves.”

    • Hyper-excited neurone releases excessive excitatory neurotransmitters
    • Over-excitability at a neuronal level plays an important role in neuropathic pain

Epidemiology of chronic pain

What are my treatment options?

Chronic Pain treatment is multidisciplinary and unique to each patient. There is the medical management route which can include medications and surgery or nerve blocks, but there are other treatments such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychology that are just as important.

. . .

Treatment of chronic pain:

    • Diagnosis
    • Medical Management
    • Physiotherapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Psychological Support
    • Nerve Blocks
    • Surgery
    • Social Work
    • Spiritual

Medications for neuropathic pain

There are lots of options and lots of different medications. Some might work for you, but not for the next person. Everyone is different. Medications work on different sites; some work on the brain, some work peripherally, some work with that descending pathway (aka the braking system).

What medicine do you pick? There are so many. You need to talk with your doctor.

The problems encountered by patients suffering from chronic pain

With chronic pain comes sleeping difficulties, lack of energy, drowsiness, concentration difficulties, depression, anxiety and poor appetite.

“It is always important to have hope. I always say ‘don’t have too much expectation, but you have to have hope.”

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