Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most popular questions frequently asked by patients and enquirers. If you have further questions please don't hesitate to contact us, whether a clinical question to ask if we can treat your particular condition and symptoms, or regarding how the clinic process works.
Assessment and Treatment
What treatments does the London Pain Clinic offer and what conditions do you treat?
Our consultants will assess and treat ANY condition that is causing pain, including musculoskeletal pain, joint pain, spinal pain, head and face pain and nerve pain. We offer a wide range of treatment options and a holistic approach entailing medication, physical therapy with a pain management focus, ultrasound guided outpatient injections, minimally invasive pain management daycase procedures including injection therapy and radiofrequency treatment, pain psychology, and more. Your treatment options will be determined following examination and assessment and you will be provided with a multi-stage treatment plan following your initial consultation.
Do you offer stem cell treatment to manage pain?
No we don’t at the current time – clinical trials are in their infancy.
Will you prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of back pain?
Yes, sometimes, if and when your Consultant feels that this is clinically indicated following assessment.
Do you offer Ketamine infusions?
Yes we can arrange these, subject to assessment and clinical indication.
What is ‘PENS’ treatment?
PENS stands for Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation – the treatment is administered just under the skin rather than on top of the skin (TENS). The treatment transmits between 5-100MHz. We offer this treatment as a daycase at the hospital.
Do you offer prolotherapy?
We can offer this yes – subject to assessment and where it is clinically indicated over other treatment options. This can be offered as an outpatient procedure at the consulting room or as a daycase at the hospital, however which form of treatment and whether it is appropriate for you can only be determined on assessment. If this is a treatment you are specifically interested in, please discuss this with your Consultant during your appointment.
Should I continue taking my normal medication before a procedure?
You should stop taking Clopidogrel and/or Aspirin 7-10 days prior to your procedure and Warfarin 3-4 days prior to your procedure, to reduce the risk of any complications. You will be required to be nil by mouth for six hours prior to your procedure, but it is OK to take your medication with a small amount of clear fluid i.e. water.
IMPORTANT: Please inform the clinic when you book your procedure if you are on any blood thinning medications, including Warfarin, Heparin, Clopidogrel or Aspirin.
How soon can I fly long haul after a daycase procedure?
We recommend a minimum of 24 hours but preferably you should rest for 48 hours before flying long haul, due to the amount of time that you will have to remain seated for and the lack of ability to move around freely.
How will I be sedated for a daycase procedure?
If you are being sedated, an anaesthetic agent together with a fast-acting, strong painkiller will be administered intravenously. You will be sedated by our Consultant Anaesthetist, as much or as little as is necessary, to relax you and ensure your comfort. In addition to the sedation, you receive local anaesthesia to the treatment site. Some patients require more sedation than others. Most patients remain awake during their procedure, however some patients do fall asleep for a short time. All of our Anaesthetists are Consultants and the patient experience is exceptional in this regard.
Your Consultant will always talk you through your treatment and you will only receive as much sedation as you require. Your Consultant will be happy to discuss the issue of sedation, or anything related to your procedure with you at the hospital before your procedure commences when they visit you in your room pre-procedure.
You must not drive home following your sedation until you have at least had a night’s sleep – it is preferable for you to wait a full 24 hours before driving.
I had my procedure a week ago but I’m still in a lot of pain – please help!
Most patients’ post-procedural discomfort and pain settles within a week or sometimes up to two, but very occasionally some patients need up to four weeks for this to completely subside. Within two weeks, most patients are without any post-procedural pain, by which time the benefits should start to become very evident. It is important that you continue with your usual pain medication pre and post procedure. If you have any concerns whatsoever regarding your procedure please contact the clinic on 0207 118 0250.
Can I drive following recovery from my sedation?
No! Please do not drive until you have had a normal night’s sleep.
What are the chances of success of a pain management procedure?
As with all medical and surgical procedures, no guarantees can be offered, as the benefit derived will differ from person to person, dependent upon many different physiological variables.
Generally speaking however, 65% of patients experience a minimum of 40% reduction in pain for at least 9-12 months having undergone pulsed radiofrequency treatment, or at least 6 months for all other treatment i.e. injections.
Our pain management procedures all carry similar success rates, however it is almost impossible in pain management to provide valid and/or reliable statistics due to the high number of subjective variables, your history, condition, age, symptoms, other medical conditions etc. Your personal case and treatment options will be discussed in detail with you during your consultation.
Will I need to have a procedure repeated?
The need for any repeat procedure would depend on your personal benefit derived from the treatment – this would be evaluated post-procedure at your four week review.
How long will I be in theatre for, and how long will I be in hospital for?
Simple injections (up to three sets) usually take around 30 minutes. If you are having four or more sets of injections this can take 45-60 minutes. If you are having PENS or radiofrequency treatment this takes around 45-60 minutes, slightly longer if you are having these treatments in conjunction with injections.
You will be asked to arrive for admission one hour prior to the list starting and your Consultant will decide the order of the list once all patients have been admitted. The order of the list will be determined by clinical need, i.e. the presence of any elderly or diabetic patients who will need to be treated first. All daycases are afternoon admissions and you should plan on being at the hospital for the duration of the evening, as recovery from sedation can take around 1-3 hours.