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RTE’s “Today” show

The response to Dr. Hegarty’s guest appearance on the RTE “Today show “ with Maura and Dáithí has generated huge interested. This is Dr. Hegarty’s fifth time on the show and once again the number of questions received by email and social media exceeded even the producer’s expectations. Obviously, having information about chronic pain is well received by the Irish audience. It is not surprising given that the content of Dr. Hegarty’s last appearance was shared on the global network “PainCast” illustrating that world-wide impact of chronic pain and the need to provide practical information.

If you missed the show please see it below. Email us or post on Facebook any comments or suggestions for future topics that you might like to see covered.

As expected, Maura Derrane and Dáithí Ó Sé were interested in the impact Covid-19 is having on pain patients. The International Pain Foundation and the Chronic Pain Association of Canada conducted an online survey with over 2,200 people with chronic pain and noted that:

  • The vast majority of respondents say they have cancelled or postponed a medical appointment.
  • 50% are worried that they will not be able to see their doctor.
  • Many are unsure what to do to help themselves.

Dr. Dominic Hegarty agreed with the overall findings saying that given “the feedback from our initial Teleclinics we have hosted for our clients was so positive we are expanding this to try and reach out to more individuals on a daily basis”. With the phased return to “normal” going to take weeks and the impact likely to extend into months we need to recognise how to assist individuals.

“the feedback from our initial Teleclinics we hosted for our clients was so positive we are expanding this to try and reach out to more individuals on a daily basis”

Dr. Hegarty also discussed the following area:

  • What should someone do who has a “flare” up and cannot get to see their pain consultant
  • Endometriosis and how he manages chronic pelvic pain
  • Not all headaches are migraine headache

Dr. Hegarty recognised that due to time limits not all the questions could be addressed but he identified two areas that seem to dominate the questions this time. These were coccydynia, neck pain.

The Coccyx, or tail bone can pose a real issue for those affected. A simple fall, slip on ice, sitting on a hard surface or the delivery of a baby can be enough to trigger a sequence of event that make those suffering coccydynia almost scared to sit down any more. Dr. Hegarty suggests that you read his previous blog on this to become more informed but that a simple day case procedure can make all the difference and if you are unfortunately suffering this you should contact us to get on top of the issue.

Neck pain is another difficult area for individuals and dominated the questions on the Today Show. Typically, headaches or arm pain can be associated with a neck injury. Sitting watching the TV, reading the paper, driving the car or sleeping at night are all affected by the ongoing symptoms. The common causes include the cervical facet syndrome, nerve root impingement or muscle spasm. The key is to find the source and treatment can be come easy.

Dr. Hegarty supports the use of MRI to understand the rationale behind the pain “often the MRI scan can help exclude causes and then by default it helps to focus on the troublesome area”. For example, hypertrophy of the facet joints can lead to impingement of the median nerve branches which innervate the facet joint thereby driving the pain.

Options to deal with cervical facet issues include radio logically guided steroid injections or the use of advanced radio frequency denervation to isolate and target the sites. The cervical spine is very complex and using denervation techniques to identify the primary source increase the sensitivity and specificity of the treatment. This in turn increases the probably of providing good quality treatment and reduces the complications rate.

Overall the best pain management plan involves using a combined care plan where pain interventions, analgesics and physical rehabilitation will ensure each individual get the specific treat to plan to meet their needs.

“...often the MRI scan can help exclude causes and then by default it helps to focus on the troublesome area...

Remember to post a comment on the Pain Relief Ireland Facebook page or email to let us know what topics you might like to be discussed in the future.

Contact us and let us help you to take control of your pain.

If you are a patient of Pain Relief Ireland and would like us to set up a Teleclinic appointment please contact us on 021-235 5500 or email
If you require a first time appointment ask your GP to forward a referral and we shall contact you.