POST-SURGICAL PAIN STUDY: A MIND BODY PROBLEM

Chronic post-surgical pain is a rarity for periodontal & implant interventions but a new study at Kings College London has been investigating the issue.

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The study involved only 10 people because of the rarity of the condition but it has already shown some interesting correlations between sufferers.

All those involved in the study reported the pain starting either during surgery (despite the anaesthesia), or immediately afterwards. Two participants had had the implants removed but this had given no relief from the pain.

Six out of ten, also suffered from depression, anxiety, IBS, neuropathic disorder or fibromyalgia. There is a suggestion that pre-existing conditions may indicate susceptibility to chronic pain.
Because it is well known that pain management goes beyond the physiological and can be affected by psychological and social influences treatment offered included:

• Prescribed medication
• Botox injections
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Only one patient reported a complete cessation from the pain whilst five reported partial relief.

However, three patients reported the pain levels the same before and after treatment.

Pharmaceutical pain relief generally only benefits a proportion of chronic pain sufferers ensuring that people have adequate coping skills is going to help as emotional states, particularly when exposed to stressors, influences pain perception.

The study was small because finding people suffering from this condition is not easy as it is rare. However the long term consequences for sufferers is great and the study suggests that dental surgeons make sure when gaining consent that patients are warned.