FAQ


History of pain and frequently asked questions about chronic pain and headaches

History of pain

The Greek goddess of revenge, Poena, was sent to punish the mortal fools who had angered the gods. Poena also gave us the word pain. Many ancient cultures believed pain and disease were punishment for human folly. They tried to appease angry gods with rituals like votive offerings and scapegoats, sacrificial animals that carried the sins of people out into the wilderness.

Some of the medical practices from the ancient world have been updated for use by modern physicians: “ The Egyptians used to take electric Eels of the Nile lay them over the wound of patients”. A similar technique is used today to relieve pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS is a popular treatment for lower back and arthritis pain.

The first new significant treatment for pain occurred in 1846 with use of anesthesia for surgery and the growth of pain clinics has paralleled the growth of anesthesia as specialty. The involvement of anesthesiologists was an extension of their role in post operative pain relief and regional anesthesia. Anesthesiologists for the most part are the majority of specialists willing to devote time to this clinical area. In spite of dazzling array of modern treatments for pain, some experts wonder if ancient and primitive cultures still have much to teach us about pain and human health. “ Ancient people saw pain more accurately- pain not only as a physical condition but as an emotional and spiritual condition. They would work with the entire patient”.

What is chronic pain?

By definition pain is considered to be chronic when it has lasted more than 3-6 months, has significant psychological / emotional affects and limits the ability of a person to fully function.  This may be associated with sleep disturbances, lack of energy and depression. In many chronic pain conditions the pain persists beyond the usual course of an acute disease or healing of an injury.

What is a pain management clinic?

The first modern pain management center was set up the University of Washington in 1961. In the 1970s Fordyce and Sternbach established the principles of pain treatment using a multidisciplinary approach. This approach which is fully embraced and implemented at the Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute, allows treatment of physical, emotional, behavioral, vocational, and social aspects of the pain in a more effective manner.

Why choose Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute?

An appointment with our institution will not be just another office visit to see a doctor. It will be a new beginning. Start of a journey and a quest for relief from the unrelenting and agonizing pain and suffering. The implementation of multidisciplinary approach, allows treatment of the physical, emotional, behavioral, vocational, and social aspects of the pain in a more effective manner. It is crucial to emphasize that in this journey members of our medical staff will be with you to guide you every step of the way. High on the list of priorities at the Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute is patient education. Misconceptions about nature of the pain and its significance will be dispelled. You may have had many opinions from doctors and other health care providers. There may be variable information and a lot of misinformation.  Through patient education it will be our commitment to unveil the mysteries and clear the air from confusion. Our objectives at the Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute are plain and simple:

-To decrease subjective pain experience

-To increase general level of activity

-To decrease drug consumption and finally

-To return to employment and full quality of life

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a clinical syndrome characterized by chronic, diffuse pain and multiple tender points at defined points in muscle and other soft tissues. Other characteristic features of the syndrome include fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, stiffness, headaches, depression, anxiety and decreased memory. In most instances fibromyalgia occurs without any precipitating factors. However it seems that it can also be triggered by trauma (e.g., surgery, childbirth, accident, sever infection, severe emotional strain) and can then be classified as posttraumatic fibromyalgia.  A combination of physical, anesthesiologic , and pharmacologic techniques are in the management and treatment of this condition. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has been studied for its effect on myofascial pain, muscle spasm and stiffness resulting in diminution or disappearance of painful symptomatology and functional recovery.

Headaches

Headache is a term used to describe aching or pain that occurs in one or more areas of the head, face, mouth, or neck. Headache can be chronic, recurrent, or occasional. The pain can be mild or severe enough to disrupt daily activities. Headaches involve the network of nerve fibers in the tissues, muscles, and blood vessels located in the head and at the base of the skull. There are two major classes of headaches:

1- Primary headache accounts for about 90% of all headaches.  Mainly there are three types of primary headache: tension headache, cluster headache, and migraine.

2-  Secondary headache is associated with an underlying condition such as cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, tumor, and metabolic disorder (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease). Head pain also can result from syndromes involving the eyes, ears, neck, teeth, or sinuses. In these cases, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated. Also, certain types of medication produce headache as a side effect.

Severe, sudden, and debilitating secondary headache that develops after a blow to the head, that interferes with normal activity, or that accompanies other symptoms (e.g., convulsions, disorientation, dizziness, loss of consciousness, pain in the eye or ear, fever) should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.

The high prevalance and significant negative impact from chronic headache conditions suggest a need for effective identification and management of headache complaints in clinical practice.

For more information about Headache and other chronic pain treatments, you may contact  your local sub-specialized physician Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute.