What is pain management?
Everyone experiences pain at one point or another. Pain is unlike other medical issues. It has a way of entering your life and affecting it in different ways. When you feel pain, it’s usually a sign that something needs attention.
Our pain management specialists are physicians who identify the source of the pain. Once diagnosed, they propose pain treatment options to lessen the pain and improve your quality of life. Not all treatments call for surgery. There are more minimally invasive nonsurgical treatments available that can lessen pain.
What types of pain are there?
Pain can be one of two types:
- Acute pain: This pain typically lasts for a short time up to six months. The pain usually ends after the physician identifies the cause and treats it or it resolves itself.
- Chronic pain: This pain persists for more than six months or even years.
If you are experiencing chronic or acute pain, we may be able to help you with pain management. After completing a full assessment, our pain management specialists will develop a custom plan to help manage your pain. Our physicians will help a patient evaluate medications, physical therapy options, and devise a plan before turning to a surgical option.
What types of pain management treatments are there?
If you’ve been treated for pain or if conservative treatments have not worked in the past and you have not improved, it’s possible there are new treatments that may help with chronic pain. Here are some available minimally invasive treatment options.
Spinal Cord Stimulator
The physician places thin wires or electrodes between the spinal cord and the vertebrae. A small battery pack called the generator is inserted under the skin. The patient uses a remote to send low-level electrical pulses from the generator to the wires. The pulses on the nerves or spinal cord help block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Nerve Block Procedures
Nerve block procedures range from epidural steroid injection and facet joint injections to radiofrequency nerve ablation and selective nerve root blocks. The right one depends on the source of the pain.
Trigger Point Injections (TPI)
Serious knots in the muscle can irritate the surrounding nerves causing pain elsewhere in the body. This is called referred pain. During a TPI, the physician injects a trigger point or multiple sites with saline or a local anesthetic. In some cases, it may include a corticosteroid. This deactivates the trigger point and alleviates pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Injections
The sacroiliac joints lie next to the spine and connect the sacrum with the hip on both sides. There are two sacroiliac joints, one on the right and one on the left. Joint inflammation and/or dysfunction in this area can cause pain.
The purpose of a sacroiliac joint injection is two-fold: to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain, and to provide therapeutic pain relief. At times, these are separated, and a patient will undergo a purely diagnostic or therapeutic injection, although often the two are combined into one injection.
There are other techniques available. Our pain specialists at Court Street Surgery Center treat the whole patient. We want to help you feel better and get back the life you had before the pain. If you’re experiencing pain, it may be time to contact a pain specialist at Court Street Surgery Center today.