EFIC Pain School took place in Pörtschah, near Klagenfurt in September 2019.

This pain school received students from different countries: from Croatia to Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Greece, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Germany, and Norway. Among the participants, there were different specialists, such as psychologists, neurologists, physiatrists, clinical pharmacologists and anesthesiologists.

The course covered different subjects of pain medicine, such as pathophysiology of acute and chronic pain; acute pain; chronic pain; neuropathic pain; pain in children; headaches; cancer pain and pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapy of pain.

The course directors, Rudolf Likar, and Reinhard Sittl, guided interactive sessions and gave most of the lectures. Prof Likar arranged our visit to the Pain Clinic in Klagenfurt, where the possibilities and everyday work in the Clinic were presented to us.

We also visited the department where the invasive procedures of pain therapy are managed and the out-patient unit too. We had the opportunity to see the work of psychological support groups, as well as work therapy for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.

During the interactive sessions, there were discussions on real cases of different types of pain.The teachers evaluated our answers so we could get a better perspective of the diagnosis and multi-modal approach to pain therapy.

The lectures were about different types of headaches and pathophysiology of neuropathic pain were given by W. Amberger, Andrey and Alexey Danilov, while one on trigeminal neuralgia was presented by A.Reasch and Th. Kretschmer.

There was also a lecture about the role of cannabinoids in pain medicine presented by S. Brill as well as on non-opioids by S. Schug.

Practical use of TENS in pain medicine was presented by B. Disselhoff; regional anesthesia in children byCh. Breschanand; visceral pain by N. Krcevski- Skvarac. A. Knežević presented rehabilitation of the lower extremity; R. Lackner – myofascial disbalance in pain with the spine and extremities without pathology; S. Nica – pain and disability and G. Varrassi – the opioid crisis.

We had the chance to learn about the biopsychosocial pain model and different psychological methods in chronic pain from psychologist P. Mattenklodt and neuroplasticity, mindfulness and relaxation methods (yoga) in chronic pain therapy from G. Hariton. Participants also had the opportunity to learn some relaxation exercises in the mornings guided by G. Hariton.

Mr. Moore presented us the pain from the patients’ perspective and highlighted the importance of physical activity and the patient’s adjustment to their disabilities. Although the course was intensive, the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed.

Many facts about pain and pain therapy were clarified, which will contribute to an adequate approach to pain therapy.

The exchange of experiences in the pain field, in addition to the friendly and socializing atmosphere, made this experience a very nice memory to the participants. Behind all this, there is a great effort of the organizational team and teachers to whom we are grateful for.


MD Aleksandra Bulašević, Msc, anesthesiologist

MD Milijana Miljković, specialist of clinical pharmacology