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Pain Management

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is characterised as pain that has been on-going for 12 weeks or more despite the use of simple pain medication like ibuprofen and paracetamol and despite carrying out a course of exercise and physiotherapy.

Chronic pain is a disease of the central nervous system and can be defined as pain that either persists beyond the point that healing would be expected to be complete or that occurs in disease processes in which healing does not take place. The pain may be continuous or intermittent and can typically present for 3-6 months before patients seek active treatment.

Chronic back pain, 95% of which originates from the lower lumbar spine, can be very debilitating, with patients often predisposed to sleep loss, long periods of absence from work and, in some cases, patients can develop depression.

Chronic back pain can manifest with pain on one or both sides of the lower back and the pain can extend to the buttocks or thighs but often not lower than the knee.


Pain can be classified by the type of pain or by body region.

Classification by pain types includes:

Neuropathic pain: burning, stabbing, tingling, insect crawling, shooting, associated with allodynia, hypersensitivity or other sensory changes.

Nociceptive pain: aching, boring, worse on movement, anatomically defined, fluctuates in severity.

Mixed Pain: combination of both neuropathic & nociceptive pain symptoms.

Visceral pain: dull, diffuse, ill-defined.


Although chronic pain is often neuropathic, it can also arise from other types of pain and it is possible to classify chronic pain by the underlying condition or body region which is causing the pain.


Common painful disorders seen in our chronic pain service include but are not limited to:

  • Post Surgical Pain
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Post-Herpetic Neuralgia
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Persistent Post-Surgical Pain
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Joint Pain
  • Cancer Pain


Details of our Service:

Our service is currently available via outpatient appointment clinic and day case interventional procedure, each Wednesday

As this service is GP referral based, we request that a letter of referral along with all other relevant records be forwarded to your Consultant prior to the initial appointment. We recommend that prior to your appointment; you visit your family doctor to ensure you are on the right pain medication. Your GP may organise an MRI scan, a special type of x-ray that provides detailed imaging of the spine and the soft tissue, which in turn allows for a correct diagnosis of the cause.

Contact Details: Our Service may be accessed via Email @ Tpainmanagement@bonsecours.ie or via

Phone    0667164543

Fax         0667164562


Appointment with Dr Conroy

During each visit with Dr Conroy, he takes time to discuss and review with you all information about any pain intervention planned. You also have the opportunity to discuss any questions, concerns and changes in pain during each consultation.

Should Dr Conroy prescribe a specific interventional procedure, these are carried out, often under guided fluoroscopy and in our Cath Lab, where our staff are highly skilled in the delivery of interventional fluoroscopy procedures.


Some of the procedures carried out in this department are:

  • Injections of the Cervical and Lumbar Facet Joints
  • Peripheral and Autonomic Nerve Blocks
  • Selective Nerve Root Injections
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Trigger Joint Injections
  • Sacro-iliac Joint Injections
  • Radiofrequency Lesioning
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
  •  Pharmacological Management


Day of your procedure:

On the day of your procedure, please arrive no more than 20 minutes ahead of time. After registration, you will be directed to the Cath Lab, where the nurse will admit you for your procedure.


Adjunct Physiotherapy

As an additional service for those attending our Pain Management Service, lifestyle and physiotherapy related programmes are available via our pain physiotherapist, Dr Derek Griffin.

Dr Griffin is an expert physiotherapist in the area of lower back pain and is available to provide extensive advice and physiotherapy support in all areas of Pain Management.

Derek may also be contacted via Tpainmanagement@bonsecours.ie

Staff & Consultant Team

  • Brendan Conroy

    Dr Brendan Conroy

    Bon Secours Hospital - Tralee

    Pain Physician


  • Derek Griffin

    Dr Derek Griffin

    Bon Secours Hospital - Tralee

    Specialist Physiotherapist (persistent pain)



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Covered by all Major Insurance Companies:

  • Irish Life Health
  • ESB
  • Garda
  • GloHealth
  • Laya
  • Vhi

Bon Secours Hospital Tralee is accredited by:

  • JCI