Ask a Pain Specialist and Anaesthetist: Dr Thor Timothy Anuntapon Chutatape from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: Anaesthesiology & Critical CareAsk a Pain Specialist and Anaesthetist: Dr Thor Timothy Anuntapon Chutatape from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
I am Dr Thor Timothy, Anuntapon Chutatape, Pain Specialist and Anaesthetist based in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Farrer Park Hospital. Ask Me Anything! I am accredited as a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist (FFPMANZCA), as well as a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (USA). I am also Fellow of the Academy of Medicine in Singapore (FAMS) and one of the founding members of its Pain Chapter. I specialise in non-surgical management of chronic pain conditions involving but not limited to : -Headache such as trigeminal neuralgia, tension type headache, migraine. -Shoulder pain such as frozen shoulder. -Back pain which is caused by hernia nucleus pulposus, annular tear, spine degeneration. -Knee pain which is caused by osteoarthritis, ligament & meniscus problem. -Leg pain such as plantar fasciitis -And many more I do this using evidence-based treatment that synergizes therapeutic medications with specialized minimally-invasive pain procedures (radiofrequency, annuloplasty, nucleoplasty, etc) that can be done as an outpatient basis. I was the previous Director of Acute Pain Services in Singapore General Hospital. I am consulted on cases and do procedures in the Parkway Hospitals, Mt Alvernia, Farrer Park Hospital and at major day surgery centres. Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss pain management with everyone. I will be actively answering questions. Whether you've got questions about how to deal with and manage pain in the following areas: back, face, foot, head, knee, neck, shoulder, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
37 Answers
Nandakumar answered 2 years ago

I always have a tense neck after working. Along with the stiffness, I get headaches and my eyes hurt as well. What would you suggest to me to get my neck treated appropriately?

There are many types of headache with different characteristics. Several common headaches:
– Tension Headache
A dull pain, tightness, or dull pressure around your back of the head, neck, may spread forward to forehead. Affect both sides of the head equally.

– Cervicogenic Headache
Unilateral headache with signs and symptoms of neck involvement, such as pain on movement, by external pressure over the cervical spinal segments, and/or sustained awkward head postures.

‐ Occipital Neuralgia
Headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards.

The treatment options depend on which type of headache. For more details headache information and treatment options, please check to: to

Ann answered 2 years ago

My father has had a frozen shoulder since a few months ago. He is now being treated with physiotherapy. But the pain and stiffness often recurs during the days he’s not undergoing physiotherapy. I am wondering if there is any other way to treat this?

Frozen shoulder can result from injury, surgery, diabetes, stroke and other illnesses, especially conditions that limit movement of the shoulder.

1. There are three phases of frozen shoulder :

•First Phase ( lasts for two to nine months)
The shoulder is stiff and painful, especially at night.

•Second Phase (lasts 4 to 12 months)
The shoulder becomes very stiff and has limited mobility, but the pain gradually lessens.

•Third Phase (lasts 5 to 24 months)
People gradually regain their range of motion.

In some cases, frozen shoulder may recover with rest and physiotherapy. However, if the pain and stiffness persist, there may be other causes. A complete medical history with a physical examination by a doctor and an MRI study will help to ascertain the cause. The treatment options depend on the cause of the frozen shoulder.

David answered 2 years ago

I have been feeling pain in the back of my head, like as though something is throbbing. The pain increases whenever I lay down.I have taken painkillers for it but it’s only a temporary fix. I initially thought it was due to lack of sleep but I sleep almost 7-8 hrs every night. Should I see a neurologist for my issue or is there any treatment to relieve the pain you would recommend?

You might have occipital neuralgia. Treatment includes:
– Medications such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin or tricyclic antidepressants
– Simple steroid injections
– Pulse radiofrequency procedure
– Peripheral nerve stimulator
– Open surgery to “free” the entrapped nerve

Other causes of your headache include conditions like pain from the cervical facet joints, migraines and tension headaches.

You can find more details information at

Do see a medical professional if your pain doesn’t improve.

Amanda answered 2 years ago

Doctor, the area under my eyes tingles and hurts when I blink. It usually happens when I spend too much time in front of screens. FYI, I am nearsighted. Is my nearsightedness the cause of the pain? Is there any relation between these two conditions?

The eye and its surrounding area have complex anatomy and require more thorough examination. The possible source of the pain can come from the eye, sinuses, nerves. Some eye issues which need immediate attention, eg: glaucoma, optic neuritis may affect eyesight too.

The three most important ‘red flag’ symptoms that indicate that a patient may need neuro-ophthalmological assessment are:
-Sudden onset of double vision (diplopia)
-Headache accompanied by vision loss (without an ocular cause)
-Visual loss after ocular causes have been excluded
Do see a medical professional for further examination and treatment.

Joe answered 2 years ago

I experience severe migraines where the pain travels to my spine. When I sit for too long, the pain is incredible. I have tried acupuncture, but i don’t feel myself getting better. What should I do?

You may want to consider a combination of acupuncture with some medications for better pain relief. Another possible source of your headache may come from cervical facet joints. Prolonged sitting put pressure or stress on the neck and base of the skull, triggering a headache. If the headache persists after taking medications and acupuncture, the other treatment options are simple steroid injection and radiofrequency. To know more about radiofrequency treatment, you can visit

Jason B answered 2 years ago

I am 37 years old. My job has me sitting in front of the computer for hours. Because of this, my back is stiff and at night, I get severe back pain. I can only lay on my sides, because if I lay on my back or stomach, my back will hurt so much the next day when I try to sit. Having said that, this condition also affects my sleep. Sometimes, I can only sleep for 3-4 hours. How do I treat this condition?

The back is made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and other tissues. Back pain has many causes, it can be due to the degenerative disc or osteoarthritis of the small joints of the back, muscle tightness, nerve impingement, etc. You may want to take over the counter medications or use topical creams and patches. However, if the pain persists, it is better to consult a medical practitioner. Improving the pain can enable you to have a better quality of sleep which in turn will enable your body to heal better from the daily wear and tear, thus breaking you out of the pain cycle. Visit for more detailed information.

Mark answered 2 years ago

When I try to get up after sitting for too long on the floor, I feel pain in my thigh. It feels like a needle prickling. It gets better after a few hours and after I apply balm on it. Should I be worried about this condition? How do I treat it?

Tingling, numbness, and burning may due to a compression of the nerve that supplies sensation to the skin surface of your thigh. Once pressure over the nerve is released, the tingling should disappear. Which nerve is affected will be determined during a medical examination. Be mindful of your posture and place cushions beneath you. Prolonged sitting can have short and long-term effects on your health and body. After 30 to 60 minutes sitting, take a mini-break to stand up, walk around, and do something else. If the pain persists despite changes to your posture, there are various pain procedures that may help.

Cindy answered 2 years ago

How do I differentiate a normal migraine from a serious one? I have been having migraines lately and when it hits, my eyes feel hot and throb. I have to close my eyes and lay still for hours before the pain goes away.

There are some red flags for headaches that you need to pay attention to :
– If the headache is the worst you have ever had
– Headaches with fever that is not related to another illness like flu
– A previous history of cancer
– Numbness and weakness
– A decreased level of consciousness.
– Age more than 50.
– Positional headache (a headache that gets worse when you stand up).
– Headaches worse or brought on by sneezing, coughing, or exercise.
– Painful eye with eyelid drooping, eye redness, tearing, and sweating.
– History of trauma.
– Pain that persists after taking some medications.

If you have any of the above or have any doubt, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Joshua answered 2 years ago

Doctor, when I bend my body forward, I feel pain and stiffness in my lower back. And the pain goes all the way to the back of my thigh. I have tried to stretch but the pain is still there. How should I treat it?

The back is made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and some other tissues. Back pain may be caused by one or more factors. You did some stretching and tried to make your muscle more flexible, but the pain persists. That means other factors such as the discs, joints, or nerves may also contribute to the causes of back pain. Visit for more information and do consult a medical practitioner to get a better examination for your back.

Fong Kie Mun answered 2 years ago

Good evening, Doctor. My shoulders are stiff and painful. It feels like there are needles piercing into my joints. I had my wife give me regular massages, but sometimes the massages make me feel like the pain is even worse. Can you share some advice on how I should treat this?

Shoulder pain can be due to:
•Tendon inflammation (also known as bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear
•Pinched nerve
•Arthritis (joint inflammation)
•Fracture (broken bone)

Shoulder pain may also be due to ‘frozen shoulder’ also known as adhesive capsulitis which can be from a variety of causes.

Your symptoms of pain, stiffness and ‘needle piercing’ can be due to any of the above other than fracture.

In order to determine the cause of your shoulder pain and provide you with suitable treatment options, a medical practitioner will examine you and order an MRI or ultrasound scan.

Visit to know more about the treatment options.

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