Dr Glyn Richards

Pain Consultant, Auckland DHB, Auckland, NZ

Immediately post fellowship Dr Richards’ career would have been purely anaesthetics, however during a spell as anaesthetist in Sweden it was expected he would be an anaesthetist, intensivist and pain specialist.

The latter appealed most. On return to New Zealand Dr Richards was privileged to join with Professor RA Boas and Dr Vasu Hatangdi who were developing a chronic pain service at Auckland Hospital. This was based on the Seattle multidisciplinary model as espoused by John Bonica.

Recent years has seen Dr Richards working in the Women’s Health Pain Service Auckland Hospital, being most interested in chronic gynaecological pain and lumbopelvic pain in pregnancy.

Pelvic Pain: The Team Approach

ADHB Women’s Health Pain Team offers an essentially palliative service in conjunction with the gynaecological service. It is one of several clinics dealing with aspects of female pelvic pain affecting quality of life. Our value can only come from a cohesive multidisciplinary approach to pain. I am privileged to be part of that team.

It is well understood that female pain conditions have been excluded from many clinical trials of new analgesic medications, because of their variable and cyclical nature. Compared to many medical conditions pelvic pain is relatively under investigated.

Pelvic pain during pregnancy can also lead to much suffering and immobility and we are able to significantly assist these patients, especially in the multidisciplinary milieu. There is however the need for added caution when medicating both mother and foetus.