Medical Q&As

Chronic pain

I had my thyroid and glands on the right hand side of my neck removed 1year ago due to cancer. I am in constant pain in my right shoulder but the surgeon said that nothing could be done as I have suffered permanent nerve damage. I take 12 painkillers per day, which ease it but never fully get rid of the pain but surely this cannot be good for my stomach. Have you any idea of an alternative painkiller?

It would be very unwise for me to recommend an alternative painkiller for you when I am not involved in your ongoing management. You are suffering from a chronic pain syndrome and this needs to be comprehensively assessed. The mechanisms underlying the development of chronic pain can be quite complex. I note that you have been told that you have suffered nerve damage but that may be only part of the explanation. It could be useful for you to attend a pain specialist. A pain specialist usually has a background in anaesthesia and has gone on to develop a particular expertise in the relief of chronic pain. You should discuss this option with your GP.