Managing pain is one of the greatest challenges we face as clinicians. Pain is extremely complex and individual and each animal will feel and express pain differently. It affects how our patients move, it affects their general health and well being and it also affects their mental or emotional state. It often helps to think of pain not as one entity but as a complicated jigsaw with each piece of the jigsaw requiring a different strategy to manage it.
This is why each patient has to be managed differently and is also why just relying on pain killers alone does not allow us to solve or manage the pain jigsaw.
Here at the SMART Referral Centre, we try to tackle pain holistically – this means we have to develop an individual, system or body wide approach to each patient. For some patients this may involve prescribing a number of different drugs all of which address different pain pathways, it might involve massage and fascial therapy, acupuncture or heat therapy. It might also involve changes in diet and behaviour. What you can be certain of is that every patient will be treated individually, not only at the first consult but at every subsequent consult as their pain jigsaw will be constantly evolving.