Share this article on:

Chronic Pain: Management Strategies That Work

Cousins, Michael J. AM, MBBS, MD, FANZCA, FRCA, FFPMANZCA, and; Walker, Suellen MBBS, MSc(PM), FFPMANZCA, FANZCA

doi: 10.1097/00000539-200103001-00004
Article: Research Report

This course will describe and assess the evidence supporting commonly used strategies of chronic pain management using an evidence based medicine approach.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Background

The perception of pain is a complex interaction that involves sensory, psychological, and environmental factors. Thus, patient selection for various treatment options depends heavily on a rigorous multidisciplinary assessment of the foregoing factors and careful weighing of the relative contributions of the factors in these three major areas.

A consideration of the potential for methods to reduce pain is of obvious importance to the patient, as is the likely persistence of such pain relieving effects over time. Of equal importance should be a consideration of the likely contribution to the restoration of physical and mental function; it is very likely that more than one measure will be required to meet these objectives (1).

It is important to emphasize that there has been a major “sea change” in the conceptual framework on which consideration of the options for treatment of chronic pain is made. It is no longer appropriate to consider a “hard wired” system with a pure “stimulus response” relationship. Recent e-pansion of knowledge concerning peripheral and central sensitization has raised awareness of the plasticity of the nervous system, along with the multidimensional aspects of chronic pain. Thus it is crucial to consider the patient’s pain in the conte-t of a bio-psycho-social model of pain. The use of temporary or permanent neural blockade techniques, neuroablative surgery, neurostimulation or other treatment methods based on the Descartes model of pain has a high chance that the patient will not only fail to achieve the desired end point but also has a significant chance of adverse outcome (1–3). This presentation will consider the use of various strategies in chronic pain, however applications in a cancer pain or acute pain setting will not be considered.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Evidence Based Medicine and Chronic Pain

As is the case in many areas of medicine, and particularly with interventional medicine, objective documentation of outcome has been lacking. However, we now live in an era of “evidence based medicine” (EBM) and this means that we should identify the “level” of evidence for each treatment, using the randomized prospective controlled study as the “gold standard.” An example of levels of evidence is given in Table 1 and this approach will be used in the remainder of this presentation.

Table 1

Table 1

Recently, there has been a call for some moderation of the EBM approach by also testing under “normal clinical conditions”, the results of treatments that were highly rated on the EBM scale. This is not to say that the EBM data should not first be obtained in controlled studies. However sometimes patient populations in studies may differ from those that present in the clinic. A worldwide initiative in EBM is the Cochrane Collaboration, which aims to identify controlled studies (RCTs) relevant to various fields of medicine, and to encourage groups to carry out systematic analyses. In the pain field there are major foci in Boston, Massachusetts (Dr. Dan Carr et al.), O-ford, UK (Dr. Andrew Moore, Henry McQuay et al.) and Hamilton, Canada (Dr. Ale- Jaddad et al.). It is important to acknowledge that the non-availability of RCTs does not preclude the use of an EBM approach that can be defined as follows:

“Evidence-based health care is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients or the delivery of health services. Current best evidence is up-to-date information from relevant, valid research about the effects of different forms of health care, the potential for harm from e-posure to particular agents, the accuracy of diagnostic tests, and the predictive power of prognostic factors”(4).

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has sponsored a Special Interest Group (SIG) on EBM and chronic pain (SIG website: http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/painres/srprg.html).

A different, but partly related, approach to evaluating current practice and its scientific basis is to carry out a “citation analysis” of the literature for pain management. This indicates publications that may be important but does not evaluate the level of evidence (5).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Neural Blockade and Chronic Pain

Diagnostic nerve blocks may be valuable in delineating the pain problem and in deciding on subsequent treatment. However, the results of such blocks must be viewed in light of all information gained at assessment. Performance and interpretation of such blocks is more complex than previously acknowledged (2).

Neural blockade may also be used to facilitate rehabilitation via various intraarticular techniques of injection (Table 2) (6–14). It should be noted that corticosteroids are used in these studies either alone or in combination with local anesthetic. Overall, the evidence is weak other than for short-term benefit.

Table 2

Table 2

With respect to the shoulder joint, despite the widespread use of intraarticular steroids for shoulder pain, the evidence for efficacy is weak. However, this may reflect a failure of many studies to identify clearly subgroups that may benefit, poor study design, different treatment comparisons, and different outcome measures (15).

With respect to the lumbar and cervical zygapophyseal joints , level II evidence now indicates a lack of effective sustained outcome for intraarticular steroid injection for neck and low back pain. This is despite short-term pain relief obtained in some patients. On the other hand, the more precise technique of diagnostic medial branch block followed by radiofrequency lesioning (Table 3) (16–21) appears to have strong evidence of long term efficacy for lumbar and cervical and weak evidence for thoracic facet related pain (16) (level III) (17) (level II) (22) (level IV) (18) (level II) (19) (level IV) (20) (level IV).

Table 3

Table 3

Back to Top | Article Outline

Epidural Corticosteroid Injection

Although epidural corticosteroid injections are frequently utilized with the aim of reducing edema and inflammation around the nerve root, the efficacy and indication for this treatment continues to be debated. Many studies have significant design flaws and systematic reviews have also presented varying conclusions. A systematic review of 12 randomized controlled trials found six studies reporting a positive effect for epidural steroid; the other six studies had negative results. If pain relief was achieved, it was only maintained in the short term, and there was no indication that epidural steroids were effective in the management of back pain without sciatica (23). A further metaanalysis of 11 trials comprised 907 patients with sciatica and clinical evidence of nerve root irritation or compression; epidural injections varied in different studies with respect to the site of injection (lumbar or caudal), and also with respect to the steroid injected (methyl prednisolone, triamcinolone, or hydrocortisone). A positive effect was seen for the treatment group with an odds ratio for short term relief of 2.61, but reduced efficacy in the long term (odds ratio, 1.87) (24) (level I). The data were subsequently analyzed in terms of number needed to treat (NNT). For short-term relief, the NNT for >75 relief was 6 and for >50 relief NNT was 3. For long-term relief (12 weeks to 1 yr) the NNT increased to 13 for >50 pain relief (i.e., only one in thirteen patients had sustained relief) (25) (level I). In a randomized double-blinded trial (26) (level II), up to three epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate (80 mg) were administered to patients with sciatica attributable to a herniated nucleus pulposus. A significantly greater reduction in leg pain (assessed by visual-analog pain scale) was recorded in the methylprednisolone group, with an associated improvement in sensory deficits and reduced need for analgesics. However, the difference in pain score was not maintained at three months and there was no difference in functional level (assessed by Oswestry score) or the need for subsequent surgery in these patients. Therefore, current data indicate short-term relief of leg pain, but minimal effects on back pain and function after epidural corticosteroid injection for herniated intervertebral discs (15).

Recently, Abram (27) reviewed the use of epidural steroids for lumbosacral radiculopathy. He alluded to substantial differences in opinion and practice concerning the techniques of epidural steroid injection (e.g., caudal, lumbar, thoracic, cervical epidural, extraforaminal, transforaminal). He opined that pain associated with radiculopathy was the principal indication, particularly if there is an association with disk herniation, a dermatomal pattern of sensory loss, and positive sciatic stretch signs. Previous back surgery and long duration of symptoms seem to predict a lower success rate (level IV). Spinal stenosis also seems to be associated with a low, but not absent, success rate (Level IV). He also opined that the needle must be placed at a level close to the affected nerve root. This concept is also cited by those favoring transforaminal injection. However, in the presence of nerve root compression, this technique carries a risk of needle trauma to the nerve root and definitive data for risks/benefits are not available.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Sympathetic Plexus Blockade

Because the sympathetic ganglia are separated from somatic nerves (except in the thoracic region), it is possible to achieve selective blockade of sympathetic fibers without effects on sensory and motor function. Details of techniques for sympathetic blockade are found elsewhere (28). Sympathetic blockade has potential diagnostic and therapeutic effects in patients with chronic pain by the following:

  • 1.Blockade of afferent visceral nociceptive fibers that may reduce or eliminate visceral pain,
  • 2.Blockade of sympathetic efferent fibers that may interrupt the interaction between nociception and the sympathetic nervous system in sympathetically maintained pain states associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndromes,
  • 3.Producing vasodilatation that may provide relief of ischemic pain, and facilitate the healing of chronic ulceration in inoperable peripheral vascular disease, and
  • 4.Relief of ischemic pain by mechanism 2) above.
Back to Top | Article Outline

Diagnostic Sympathetic Blockade

Sympathetically maintained pain is pain that is maintained by sympathetic efferent innervation or neurochemical or circulating catecholamine action (29,30). Pain relieved by a specific sympatholytic procedure (pharmacological or sympathetic nerve blockade) may be considered sympathetically maintained pain, although the duration of pain relief will only be temporary in some cases (30) and the degree of sympathetic dysfunction may not correlate with the degree of analgesia or response after sympathetic blockade. The use of sympathetic blocks as diagnostic procedures is associated with the problems of all local anesthetic diagnostic blocks (see above).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Therapeutic Sympathetic Blockade

Sympathetic blockade has also been used in a variety of chronic pain states but there are few placebo-controlled trials (see Table 4) (31–34).

Table 4

Table 4

Back to Top | Article Outline

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Local anesthetic sympathetic blocks are commonly used in the management of Complex Regional Pain Syndromes (28). Early sympathetic blockade is advocated in the adult literature to reverse the autonomic changes (changes in blood flow, temperature, sweating, and edema) associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndromes and to provide analgesia, but controlled trials have not been conducted. In a review of seven studies including over 500 patients, 46 of patients had satisfactory pain relief of prolonged duration after local anesthetic stellate ganglion or lumbar sympathetic blocks (34) (level IV). However, the studies used different diagnostic criteria, methods, and techniques. Comparison of a control group not receiving lumbar sympathetic blocks with a prospective group who did receive blocks showed an increase in the percentage of patients improving from 41 to 65 (33) (level IV) but this was a nonrandomized, unblinded study with a retrospective control group.

Back to Top | Article Outline
Postherpetic Neuralgia

Sympathetic blocks have been reported to relieve pain in the early acute phase of herpes zoster infection (28). However, recent reviews found no clear evidence for sympathetic blocks in the subsequent prevention of postherpetic neuralgia (32,35). Opinion remains divided on this issue, as results of retrospective reports are conflicting, and there are no adequate prospective placebo-controlled trials.

Neurolytic celiac plexus block has been used for chronic abdominal pain such as chronic pancreatitis, but there is no controlled data to support any long-term benefit for such patients.

Neurolytic blockade of the superior hypogastric plexus has been utilized for control of pelvic pain, and blockade of the ganglion impar (which is located at the level of the sacrococcygeal junction) has been utilized to control perineal pain; however, no controlled data are available (36).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Lumbar sympathetic ganglion blockade with local anesthetic and neurolytic agents has been utilized in patients with occlusive peripheral vascular disease affecting the lower limbs (28). Reduction in rest pain in 80 of patients and healing of skin ulceration in 70 of patients have been shown to occur in conjunction with objective evidence of sympathetic blockade (decreased plantar sweating and vasoconstrictor ice response, increased skin blood flow, and temperature). The mean duration of effect was 5.9 ± 0.6 months (31) (level IV). The new option of spinal dorsal column stimulation is discussed below.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Neurolytic Intrathecal Blockade

The indications for various intrathecal neurolytic procedures are greatly diminished by the improved use of oral analgesic regimens and the broad scope of spinal opioid and nonopioid drug delivery (see below). Although valuable in some situations, neurolytic spinal techniques have suffered from a lack of efficacy data, short duration of analgesia, and significant complications. A more detailed description of these techniques and their outcome is given elsewhere (36). Such techniques are rarely if ever appropriate for patients with noncancer pain who have a normal life expectancy.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Epidural Analgesia and Ischemic Heart Disease

High thoracic epidural anesthesia has the potential to reduce myocardial oxygen demand by reduction in sympathetic efferent activity and to improve myocardial oxygen supply via improved endocardial to epicardial blood flow and increased luminal diameter of stenotic arteries in some patients (37).

Because of the beneficial physiological changes, and as cardiac pain is mediated via sympathetic afferent fibers, thoracic epidural anesthesia has a potential role in the management of refractory angina. A randomized controlled comparison of thoracic epidural anesthesia with bupivacaine and conventional medical therapy in severe refractory angina showed a significant reduction in the incidence (22 vs 61) and severity of myocardial ischemia in the thoracic epidural anesthesia group (38) (level II). The thoracic epidural anesthesia group had a reduced number of ischemic episodes, reduced ischemic episode duration, and a reduced area under the ST-time curve (as assessed by Holter monitor). The risks and benefits of thoracic epidural anesthesia during acute episodes of severe angina continue to be debated. Long term treatment of anginal pain has been reported in which patients self inject bupivacaine via a tunneled thoracic epidural catheter if their pain is unresponsive to sublingual nitrates (37) (level IV). An important alternative is the use of dorsal column spinal cord stimulation (see below).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Epidural Analgesia: Prevention of Development of Chronic Pain States

A correlation has been found between the severity of acute postoperative pain and the development of chronic pain after thoracotomy (39) (level III) (40) (level II) and mastectomy (41) (level III). The relative contributions of preoperative pain, intraoperative trauma, and postoperative injury and inflammation to the development of long-term pain remains to be determined (42), and large prospective trials are required to determine if improved control of perioperative pain reduces the development of chronic pain in high-risk groups.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Phantom Pain after Amputation

Phantom limb pain develops in up to 70 of patients after amputation (43). Many factors are likely to be involved in the transition from acute postoperative pain to long-term pain, but as a high proportion of patients have pain resulting from vascular insufficiency before surgery this may contribute to a preoperative state of central sensitization and an increased risk of chronic pain. This hypothesis is supported by an early trial showing a reduction in the incidence of phantom limb pain after amputation by pretreatment with epidural local anesthetic and opioid (bupivacaine and morphine) for 72 h before amputation (44) (level II). Since that time, a variety of regional analgesic techniques have been used to investigate the effect of perioperative analgesia on the incidence of phantom limb pain with positive results for epidural techniques (45,46) and negative results for peripheral nerve sheath techniques (47,48).

The presence of intense preamputation pain has been found to significantly increase the incidence of stump pain and phantom pain after one week and the incidence of phantom pain after three months (49). However, in a recent randomized trial, perioperative epidural blockade started a median of 18 h before the amputation and continued into the postoperative period did not reduce the incidence of phantom or stump pain when compared with a control group receiving preoperative epidural saline and oral or IM opioids (50) (level II). However, both groups received epidural bupivacaine and morphine in the postoperative period for a median duration of 166 h. Currently available agents may not be sufficiently specific and potent, and blockade may have inadequate duration, to prevent development and persistence of central sensitization.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Efficacy of Long Term Spinal Opioids

Data on the long-term efficacy of spinal opioids is emerging but interpretation of different studies is difficult because of variation in inclusion criteria, outcome parameters, and duration of follow-up. Adequate diagnostic testing with temporary catheters should be performed before implantation. Frequently pain relief alone is assessed but is not reported in a uniform manner (e.g., proportion of patients achieving “good” or “excellent” relief, or overall degree of pain relief across all patients). Particularly in patients with chronic noncancer pain, improvement in functional capabilities should be considered, in addition to analgesic response. Independent assessment of outcome is ideal and a reduction in side effects or improved efficacy over systemic treatments without an increase in complications needs to be confirmed (51,52). As with the use of oral opioids for chronic noncancer pain (53) the use of spinal opioids should be part of a multimodal and interdisciplinary pain management plan. Comparative data of epidural, subarachnoid, and intracerebroventricular opioids in patients with cancer pain suggest similar efficacy, with 58 to 75 of patients achieving excellent pain relief (54) (level I). In a retrospective survey (55) (level IV) of patients receiving intrathecal morphine for cancer and noncancer pain, the mean percent relief was 61; whereas study of 18 patients with intrathecal opioids for failed back surgery syndrome or arachnoiditis reported only four patients to have objective evidence of benefit at 2 yr follow-up (56). Clinical trials of opioids as single agents for neuraxial delivery in chronic pain have questioned whether this technique offers advantages over systemic infusion (57) (level II). Combinations of opioids and nonopioid analgesics and occasionally local anesthetics may be more effective for the control of neuropathic or incident pain; controlled studies of “combination” spinal analgesia with respect to pain relief and functional capabilities are awaited. There is currently widespread use of multiple agents intrathecally, often in combination. Unfortunately, data are lacking concerning the efficacy and lack of neurotoxicity of such combinations.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Nonopioid Spinal Analgesic Agents

Knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology of nociceptive processing in the spinal cord is increasing, and resulting in future potential for pharmacological manipulation (Table 5) (58–101). Nonopioid receptor systems are being modulated with the aim of improving analgesia (particularly in patients with neuropathic pain), and reducing side effects. Analgesic efficacy, as well as systemic and local toxicity, of potential spinal analgesics must be carefully evaluated before clinical use. As pain presents as an event with several pharmacologically and functionally distinct components, analgesia may be improved in the future by the use of a combination of analgesic agents acting at different receptor sites. It is possible that a combination of drugs that act by different mechanisms will produce an effect that is substantially greater than that anticipated from the addition of their individual effects (i.e., a synergistic interaction) (58).

Table 5

Table 5

Recently, a “within-patient” randomized prospective placebo-controlled study e-amined the efficacy of intra morphine and clonidine, alone and in combination, for treatment of neuropathic post-spinal cord injury pain. A morphine-clonidine combination, but neither drug alone, was significantly superior to placebo in relieving spinal cord injury pain (59) (level II), This appears to be the first controlled study of spinal “combination therapy” for neuropathic pain.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Systemic Opioid and Nonopioid Drugs

Surprisingly the evidence for efficacy of systemic opioid and nonopioid drugs is still far from conclusive, except for the use of some specific agents in particular chronic pain conditions.

With respect to opioids , patients with ongoing nociception would appear to be logical candidates. This is supported by a controlled study in patients with osteoarthritis receiving oxycodone (102) (level II) with improvement in pain and function. However, in some studies, although pain may be improved, mental and physical function is not (53). Thus further controlled studies are urgently needed to define patient categories that are appropriate for opioid use (103).

With respect to nonopioid drugs, the evidence (level II studies) for use in chronic pain has been evaluated by the O-ford group for anticonvulsants (proven efficacy of carbamazepine for trigeminal neuralgia, NNT 2.6; of anticonvulsants for diabetic neuropathy, NNT 2.5), tricyclic antidepressants (proven efficacy for diabetic neuropathy, NNT 3; for postherpetic neuralgia, NNT 2.3; for atypical facial pain, NNT 2.8) and systemic local anesthetics (evidence for efficacy of lidocaine in neuropathic pains of various types, with lower level evidence for efficacy of me-iletine) (15).

More recently, the new anticonvulsant gabapentin has been reported to have efficacy for postherpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy (104) (level II) (105).

Novel sodium channel agents show great promise but are only in early stages of development (106). Other novel drugs are also in a developmental stage, e.g., NMDA antagonists (although there is evidence for ketamine infusion in neuropathic pain), Lamotrigine, Vigabatrin, Adenosine (107). Cyclooxygenase-2 drugs have been studied in the setting of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, with evidence for efficacy and fewer side effects compared to traditional nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (108).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Spinal Dorsal Column Stimulation

This is a large subject in its own right and an excellent summary of the current status of evidence for treatment of various chronic pain syndromes has been provided by Myerson and Linderoth (109). In brief, the best indication for dorsal column stimulation (DCS) appears to be neuropathic pain of various types including complex regional pain syndromes. Unfortunately, most data is limited to longitudinal case series and follow-up data (110). However, many publications also deal with “failed back surgery syndrome”(111). It is clear that an adequate trial of stimulation with independent “blinded” observation of pain relief and change in function is vital in deciding on the use of this modality because controlled studies are not available to point to any one group of conditions as being “indications” for DCS (109).

However, two conditions stand out as potentially e-cellent and neglected applications, namely pain because of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and angina. The results for peripheral vascular disease are better than for neuropathic pain conditions, with about 67 of patients trialled having successful outcome (112). Angina pectoris has also been treated with DCS, with a success rate of about 80 (113). A randomized prospective study comparing DCS and coronary artery bypass grafting found similar results for both treatments (114) (level III). Stimulation of brain areas remains experimental but motor cortex stimulation appears promising (109).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Ablative Neurosurgery

This extensive area was reviewed recently by Loeser (115). Such techniques have greatly declined with availability of less invasive methods. Virtually no controlled data are available and most procedures are supported only by longitudinal case series. Destructive procedures are rarely, if ever, indicated for chronic noncancer pain. However two procedures stand out as exceptions: radiofrequency lesioning of the trigeminal ganglion for tic douloureux and dorsal root entry zone lesions for brachial plexus avulsion (115).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Cognitive Behavioral Programs

Cognitive behavorial therapy is currently probably the best-documented effective treatment for patients with chronic pain. This should be qualified to point out that pain relief is rarely achieved but indices of mental and physical function show statistically significant improvement. Recently a systematic review of cognitive behavorial therapy identified 25 trials suitable for metaanalysis. The analysis concluded that cognitive behavorial therapy was efficacious in improving mental and physical function of patients with chronic pain (116).

Back to Top | Article Outline

Other Approaches

Recent evidence of neuroplastic cerebral cortical changes after amputation has pointed to new strategies for phantom limb pain. Use of a myoelectric prosthesis decreases phantom limb pain and also decreases associated cortical reorganization (117).

Back to Top | Article Outline

References

1. Siddall P, Cousins MJ. Introduction to pain mechanisms: implications for neural blockade. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 675–713.
2. Hogan QH, Abram SE. Diagnostic and prognostic neural blockade. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 837–77.
3. Manning DC, Rowlingson JC. Back pain and the role of neural blockade. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 879–914.
4. Sackett D, Richardson WS, Rosenberg W, Haynes B. Evidence based medicine. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1996.
5. Strassels SA, Carr DB, Meldrum M, Cousins MJ. Toward a canon of the pain and analgesia literature: a citation analysis. Anesth Analg 1999; 89: 1528–33.
6. Green S, Buchbinder R, Glazier R, Forbes A. Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of interventions for painful shoulder: selection criteria, outcome assessment and efficacy. BMJ 1998; 316: 354–60.
7. Van der Heijden GJ, van der Windt DA, Kleijnen J, et al. Steroid injections for shoulder disorders: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Br J Gen Pract 1996; 46: 309–16.
8. Goupille P, Sibilia J. Local corticosteroid injections in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis (except for frozen shoulder and calcific tendinitis). Clin Exp Rheumatol 1996; 14: 561–6.
9. Carette S, Marcoux S, Truchon R, et al. A controlled trial of corticosteroid injections into facet joints for chronic low back pain. N Engl J Med 1991; 325: 1002–7.
10. Barnsley L, et al. Lack of effect of intra-articular corticosteroids for chronic pain in the cervical zygapophysal joints. N Engl J Med. 1994; 330: 1047.
11. Stahl S, Kaufman T. The efficacy of an injection of steroids for medial epicondylitis. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1997; 79: 1648–52.
12. Plant MJ, Dziedzic K, Saklatvala J, Dawes PT. Radiographic patterns and response to corticosteroid hip injection. Ann Rheum Dis 1997; 56: 476–80.
13. Blyth T, Hunter JA, Stirling A. Pain relief in the rheumatoid knee after steroid injection a single-blind comparison of hydrocortisone succinate and triamcinolone acetonide or hexacetonide. Br J Rheumatol 1994; 33: 461–3.
14. Jones A, Doherty M. Intra-articular corticosteroids are effective in osteoarthritis but there are no clinical predictors of response. Ann Rheum Dis 1996; 55: 829–32.
15. McQuay H, Moore A. An evidence-based resource for pain relief. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
16. North RB, Han M, Zahurak M, Kidd DH. Radiofrequency lumbar facet denervation: analysis of prognostic factors. Pain 1994; 57: 77–83.
17. Lord S, Barnsley L, Wallis BJ, et al. Percutaneous radiofrequency neurotomy for chronic cervical zygapophyseal joint pain. N Engl J Med 1996; 335: 1721–6.
18. Wallis BJ, Lord SM, Bogduk N. Resolution of psychological distress of whiplash patients following treatment by radiofrequency neurotomy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pain 1997; 73: 15–22.
19. McDonald GJ, Lord SM, Bogduk N. Long-term follow-up of patients treatment with cervical radiofrequency neurotomy for chronic neck pain. Neurosurgery 1999; 45: 61–7.
20. Tzaan WC, Tasker RR. Percutaneous radiofrequency facet rhizotomy–experience with 118 procedures and reappraisal of its value. Can J Neurol Sci. 2000; 27: 125–30.
21. Dreyfuss P, Halbrook B, Pausa K, et al. Efficacy and validity of radiofrequency neurotomy for chronic lumbar zygapophysial joint pain. Spine 2000; 25: 1270–7.
22. Stolker RJ, Vervest AC, Groen GJ. Percutaneous facet denervation in chronic thoracic spinal pain. Acta Neurochir 1993; 122: 82.
23. Koes BW, Scholten RJPM, Mens JMA, Bouter LM. Efficacy of epidural steroid injections for low back pain and sciatica: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Pain 1995; 63: 279–88.
24. Watts RW, Silagy CA. A meta-analysis on the efficacy of epidural corticosteroids in the treatment of sciatica. Anaesth Intensive Care 1995; 23: 564–9.
25. McQuay HJ, Moore A. Epidural steroids for sciatica. Anaesth Intensive Care 1996; 24: 284–5.
26. Carette S, Lecalire R, Marcoux S, et al. Epidural corticosteroid injections for sciatica due to herniated nucleus pulposus. N Engl J Med 1997; 336: 1634–40.
27. Abram SE. Treatment of lumbosacral radiculopathy with epidural steroids. Anesthesiology 1999; 91: 1937–41.
28. Breivik H, Cousins MJ, Lofstrom JB. Sympathetic neural blockade of the upper and lower extremity. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 411–447.
29. Janig W, Stanton-Hicks M, eds. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: a reappraisal. In: Progress in pain research and management, Vol 6. Seattle: IASP Press, 1996:79–92.
30. Stanton-Hicks M, Janig W, Hassenbusch S, et al. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: changing concepts and taxonomy. Pain 1995; 63: 127–33.
31. Cousins MJ, Reeve TS, Glynn CJ, et al. Neurolytic lumbar sympathetic blockade: duration of denervation and relief of rest pain. Anaesth Intensive Care 1979; 7: 21–35.
32. Ali NMK. Does sympathetic ganglionic block prevent postherpetic neuralgia? Reg Anesth 1995; 20: 227–33.
33. Wang JK, Johnson KA, Ilstrup DM. Sympathetic blocks for reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Pain 1985; 23: 13–7.
34. Kozin F. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome: a review. Clin Exp Rheum 1992; 10: 401–9.
35. Boas RA. Sympathetic nerve blocks: in search of a role. Reg Anesth Pain Med 1998; 23: 292–305.
36. Patt RB, Cousins MJ. Techniques for neurolytic neural blockade. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 1007–61.
37. Blomberg SG. Long term self treatment with high thoracic epidural anesthesia in patients with severe coronary artery disease. Anesth Analg 1994; 79: 413–21.
38. Olausson K, Magnusdottir H, Lurje L, et al. Anti-ischaemic and anti-anginal effects of thoracic epidural anesthesia versus those of conventional medical therapy in the treatment of severe refractory unstable angina pectoris. Circulation 1997; 96: 2178–82.
39. Kalso E, Perttunen K, Kaasinen S. Pain after thoracic surgery. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 1992; 36: 96–100.
40. Katz J, et al. Acute pain after thoracic surgery predicts long-term post-thoracotomy pain. Clin J Pain 1996; 12: 50–5.
41. Tasmuth T, Estlander AM, Kalso E. Effect of present pain and mood on the memory of past postoperative pain in women treated surgically for breast cancer. Pain 1996; 68: 343–7.
42. Katz J. Perioperative predictors of long-term pain following surgery. In: Jensen TS, Turner JA, Wiesenfeld-Hallin Z, eds. Progress in pain research and management, Vol 8. Seattle: IASP Press, 1997: 231–40.
43. Katz J. Phantom limb pain. Lancet 1997; 350: 1338–9.
44. Bach S, Noreng MF, Tjellden NU. Phantom limb pain in amputees during the first 12 months following limb amputation, after preoperative lumbar epidural blockade. Pain 1988; 33: 297–301.
45. Jahangiri M, Bradley JWP, Jayatunga AP, Dark CH. Prevention of phantom limb pain after major lower limb amputation by epidural infusion of diamorphine, clonidine and bupivacaine. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1994; 76: 324–6.
46. Schug SA, Burrell R, Payne J, Tester P. Pre-emptive epidural analgesia may prevent phantom limb pain. Reg Anesth 1995; 20: 256.
47. Elizaga AM, Smith DG, Sharar SR, et al. Continuous regional analgesia by intraneural block: effect on postoperative opioid requirements and phantom limb pain following amputation. J Rehab Res Dev 1994; 31: 179–87.
48. Fisher A, Meller Y. Continuous postoperative regional analgesia by nerve sheath block for amputation surgery–a pilot study. Anesth Analg 1991; 72: 300–3.
49. Nikolajsen L, Ilkjaer S, Christensen JH, et al. Randomised trial of epidural bupivacaine and morphine in prevention of stump and phantom pain in lower-limb amputation. Lancet 1997; 350: 1353–7.
50. Nikolajsen L, Ilkjaer S, Christensen JH, et al. The influence of preamputation pain on postamputation stump and phantom pain. Pain 1997; 72: 393–405.
51. Bedder MD. Epidural opioid therapy for chronic nonmalignant pain: critique of current experience. J Pain Symptom Manage 1996; 11: 353–6.
52. Hassenbusch SJ. Epidural and subarachnoid administration of opioids for nonmalignant pain: technical issues, current approaches and novel treatments. J Pain Symptom Manage 1996; 11: 357–62.
53. Stein C. What is wrong with opioids in chronic pain? Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2000; 13: 557–9.
54. Ballantyne JC, Carr DB, Berkey CS, et al. Comparative efficacy of epidural, subarachnoid, and intracerebroventricular opioids in patients with pain due to cancer. Reg Anesth 1996; 21: 542–56.
55. Paice JA, Penn RD, Shott S. Intraspinal morphine for chronic pain: a retrospective, multicenter study. J Pain Symptom Manage 1996; 11: 71–80.
56. Yoshida GM, Nelson RW, Capen DA, et al. Evaluation of continuous intraspinal narcotic analgesia for chronic pain from benign causes. Am J Orthop 1996; 25: 693–4.
57. Kalso E, Heiskanen T, Rantio M, et al. Epidural and subcutaneous morphine in the management of cancer pain: a double-blind cross-over study. Pain 1996; 67: 443–9.
58. Yaksh TL, Malmberg AB. Interaction of spinal modulatory receptor systems. In: Fields HL, Liebeskind JC, eds. Progress in pain management and research, Vol 1. Seattle: IASP Press, 1994: 151–71.
59. Siddall PJ, Molloy A, Walker SM, et al. The efficacy of intrathecal morphine and clonidine in the treatment of pain following spinal cord injury. Anesth Analg 2000; 91: 1493–8.
60. Ossipov MH, Lozito R, Messineo E, et al. Spinal antinociceptive synergy between clonidine and morphine U69593, and DPDPE: isobolographic analysis. Life Sci 1990; 47: 71–6.
61. Plummer JL, Cmielewski PL, Gourlay GK, et al. Antinociceptive and motor effects of intrathecal morphine combined with intrathecal clonidine, noradrenaline, carbachol or midazolam in rats. Pain 1992; 49: 145–52.
62. Glynn C, Dawson D, Sanders R. A double-blind comparison between epidural morphine and epidural clonidine in patients with chronic noncancer pain. Pain 1988; 34: 123–8.
63. Gordh T, Post C, Olsson Y. Evaluation of the toxicity of subarachnoid clonidine, guanfacine, and a substance P-antagonist on rat spinal cord and nerve roots: light and electron microscopic observations after chronic intrathecal administration. Anesth Analg 1986; 65: 1301–11.
64. Eisenach JC, DuPen S, Dubois M, et al. The epidural clonidine study group: Epidural clonidine analgesia for intractable cancer pain. Pain 1995; 61: 391–9.
65. Siddall PJ, Gray M, Rutkowski S, Cousins MJ. Intrathecal morphine and clonidine in the management of spinal cord injury pain: a case report. Pain 1994; 59: 147–8.
66. Rauck RL, Eisenach JC, Jackson K, et al. Epidural clonidine treatment for refractor reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Anesthesiology 1993; 79: 1163–9.
67. Eisenach JC, Shafer SL, Bucklin BA, et al. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intraspinal dexmedetomidine in sheep. Anesthesiol 1994; 80: 1349–59.
68. Hood DD, Eisenach JC, Tuttle R. Phase I safety assessment of intrathecal neostigmine methylsulfate in humans. Anesthesiology 1995; 82: 331–43.
69. Hood DD, Mallak KA, James RL. Enhancement of analgesia from systemic opioid in humans by spinal cholinesterase inhibition. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1997; 282: 86–92.
70. Hood DD, Eisenach JC, Tong C, et al. Cardio-respiratory and spinal cord blood flow effects of intrathecal neostigmine methysulfate, clonidine and their combination in sheep. Anesthesiology 1995; 82: 428–35.
71. Yaksh TL, Grafe MR, Malkmus S, et al. Studies on the safety of chronically administered intrathecal neostigmine methylsulfate in rats and dogs. Anesthesiology 1995; 82: 412–27.
72. Williams JS, Tong C, Eisenach JC. Neostigmine counteracts spinal clonidine-induced hypotension in sheep. Anesthesiology 1993; 78: 301–7.
73. Naguib M, Yaksh TL. Antinociceptive effects of spinal cholinesterase inhibition and isobolographic analysis of the interaction with mu and alpha-2 receptor systems. Anesthesiology 1994; 80: 1338–48.
74. Goodchild CS, et al. Antinociception by intrathecal midazolam involves endogenous neurotransmitters acting at spinal cord delta opioid rceptors. Br J Anaesth 1996; 77: 758–63.
75. Malinovsky et al. Ketamine and midazolam neurotoxicity in the rabbit. Anesthesiology 1991; 75: 91–7.
76. Bahar M, et al. An investigation of the possible neurotoxic effects of intrathecal midazolam combined with fentanyl in the rat. Eur J Anesthesiol 1998; 15: 695–701.
77. Aguilar JL, Espachs P, Roca G, et al. Difficult management of pain following sacrococcygeal chordoma: 13 months of subarachnoid infusion. Pain 1994; 59: 317–20.
78. Barnes RK, Rosenfeld JV, Fennessy SS, Goodchild CS. Continuous subarachnoid infusion to control severe cancer pain in an ambulant patient. Med J Aust 1994; 161: 549–51.
79. Azouvi P, Roby-Brami A, Biraben A, et al. Effect of intrathecal baclofen on the monosynaptic reflex in humans: evidence for a post-synaptic action. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1993; 56: 515–9.
80. Yaksh TL, Reddy S. Studies in the primate on the analgetic effects associated with intrathecal actions of opiates, alpha adrenergic agonists and baclofen. Anesthesiology 1981; 54: 451–67.
81. Sabbe MB, Grafe MR, Pfeifer BL, et al. Toxicity of baclofen continuously infused into the spinal intrathecal space of the dog. Neurotoxicology 1993; 14: 397–410.
82. Coffey RJ, et al. Intrathecal baclofen for intractable spasticity of spinal origin: results of a long term multicenter study. J Neurosurgery 1993; 79: 226–32.
83. Carr DB, Cousins MJ. Spinal route of analgesia: opioids and future options. In: Cousins MJ, Bridenbaugh PO, eds. Neural blockade in clinical anesthesia and pain management. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1998: 915–83.
84. Malmberg AB, Yaksh TL. Voltage-sensitive calcium channels in spinal nociceptive processing: blockade of N- and P-type channels inhibits formalin-induced nociception. J Neurosci 1994; 14: 4882–90.
85. Malmberg AB, Yaksh TL. Effect of continuous intrathecal infusion of omega-conopeptides, N-type calcium channel blockers, on behaviour and antinociception in the formalin and hot-plate tests in rats. Pain 1995; 60: 83–90.
86. Yaksh TL. Intrathecal and epidural opiates: a review. In: Campbell JN, ed. Pain 1996–an updated review. Seattle: IASP Press, 1996; 381–93.
87. Brose WG, Gutlove DP, Luther RR, et al. Use of intrathecal SNX-111, a novel N-type voltage sensitive calcium channel blocker in the management of intractable brachial plexus avulsion pain. Clin J Pain 1997; 13: 256–9.
88. Dickenson AH, Sullivan AF, Stanfa LC, McQuay HJ. Dextromethorphan and levorphanol on dorsal horn nociceptive neurones in the rat. Neuropharmacology 1991; 30: 1303–8.
89. Borgbjerg FM, Svensson BA, Frigast C, Gordh T. Histopathology after repeated intrathecal injections of preservative-free ketamine in the rabbit: a light and electron microscopic examination. Anesth Analg 1994; 79: 105–11.
90. Kristensen JD, Karlsten R, Gordh T. Laser-Doppler evaluation of spinal cord blood flow after intrathecal administration of an NMDA antagonist in rats. Anesth Analg 1994; 78: 925–31.
91. Kristensen JD, Svensson B, Gordh T. The NMDA-receptor antagonist CPP abolishes neurogenic ‘wind-up pain’ after intrathecal administration in humans. Pain 1992; 51: 249–53.
92. Mollenholt P, Rawal N, Gordh T, Olsson Y. Intrathecal and epidural somatostatin for patients with cancer–analgesic effects and postmortem neuropathologic investigations of spinal cord and nerve roots. Anesthesiology 1994; 81: 534–42.
93. Yaksh TL. Spinal somatostatin for patients with cancer–risk-benefit assessment of an analgesic. Anesthesiology 1994; 81: 531–3.
94. Paice JA, Penn RD, Kroin JS. Intrathecal octreotide for relief of intractable nonmalignant pain: 5-year experience with two cases. Neurosurgery 1996; 38: 203–7.
95. Penn RD, Paice JA, Kroin JS. Octreotide: a potent new non-opiate analgesic for intrathecal infusion. Pain 1992; 49: 13–9.
96. Karlsten R, Gordh T. An A1-selective adenosine agonist abolishes allodynia elicited by vibration and touch after intrathecal injection. Anesth Analg 1995; 80: 844–7.
97. Eisenach JC. Demonstrating safety of subarachnoid calcitonin: patients or animals? Anesth Analg 1988; 67: 298.
98. Blanchard J, Menk E, Ramamurthy S, Hoffman J. Subarachnoid and epidural calcitonin in patients with pain due to metastatic cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage 1990; 5: 42–5.
99. Eisenach JC, Gebhart GF. Intrathecal amitriptyline acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist in the presence of inflammatory hyperalgesia in rats. Anesthesiology 1995; 83: 1046–54.
100. Eisenach JV, Gebhart GF. Intrathecal amitriptyline: antinociceptive interactions with intravenous morphine and intrathecal clonidine, neostigmine and carbamylcholine in rats. Anesthesiology 1995; 83: 1036–45.
101. Cerda SE, Tong C, Deal DD, Eisenach JC. A physiological assessment of intrathecal amitriptyline in sheep. Anesthesiology 1997; 86: 1094–103.
102. Caldwell JR, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis pain with controlled release oxycodone or fixed combination oxycodone plus acetaminophen added to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a double blind, randomized multicenter placebo controlled trial. J Rheumatol 1999; 26: 862–969.
103. Molloy A, Nicholas M, Cousins MJ. Role of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain. Med J Aust 1997; 167: 9–10.
104. Rowbotham M, Harden N, Stacey B, et al. Gabapentin for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998; 280: 1837–42.
105. Backonja A, Beydoun KR, Edwards SL, et al. Gabapentin for the symptomatic treatment of painful neuropathy in patient with diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998; 280: 1831–6.
106. Gold MS. Sodium channels and pain therapy. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2000; 13: 565–72.
107. Kopf A, Ruf W. Novel drugs for neuropathic pain. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2000; 13: 577–83.
108. Hinz B, Brune K. New insights into physiological and pathophysiological functions of cyclo-oxygenase-2. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2000; 13: 585–90.
109. Myerson B, Linderoth B. Electric stimulation of the central nervous system. In: Pain 1999–an updated review. Seattle: IASP Press, 1999: 269–80.
110. Lazorthes Y, et al. La stimulation mechilaire chronique dans le traitment des douleurs neurogenes. Neurochirurgie 1995; 41: 73–8.
111. Turner JA, Loeser JD, Bell KG. Spinal cord stimulation for low back pain: a systematic literature synthesis. Neurosurg 1995; 37: 1088–96.
112. Simpson BA. Spinal cord stimulation. Pain Reviews 1994; 1: 199–230.
113. Augustinsson et al. Epidural electrical stimulation in severe limb ischemia. Ann Surg 1985; 202: 104–10.
114. Mannheimer C, et al. Coronary artery bypass grafting versus spinal cord stimulation in severe angina pectoris. Abstracts of 9th World Congress on Pain. Seattle: IASP Press, 1999: 59.
115. Loeser JD. Ablative neurosurgery for pain. In: Pain 1999—An updated review. Seattle: IASP Press, 1999: 255–67.
116. Morley S, Eccleston C, Williams A. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cognitive behaviour therapy and behaviour therapy for chronic pain in adults, excluding headache. Pain 1999; 80: 1–13.
117. Flor H, Birbaumer N. Phantom limb pain: cortical plasticity and novel therapeutic approaches. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol 2000; 13: 561–4.
© 2001 International Anesthesia Research Society