Interventional pain management or pain medicine is a medical subspecialty that can help you manage your pain similar to other pain management treatments like medications.
At the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery the doctors who specialize and provide pain services in interventional pain management use techniques, such as injections called nerve blocks, pain pump implants, radiofrequency rhizotomy or neuroablation, and electrical stimulator implants. All which directly address the source of your pain and could be an alternative to spinal fusion. Learn about whether interventional pain management an option for you by contacting our pain specialists.
Interventional Pain Management – Pain Medicine
American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP)
Interventional pain management (or pain medicine) is a medical subspecialty that utilizes alternative techniques to manage and control acute, chronic, or long-term pain which can often interfere with the ability to perform daily activities. Pain can result from many different medical conditions, and patients can experience pain differently. While pain is a physical sensation, the emotional aspect of pain can be a significant contributor to how each patient perceives and measures pain. Our goal at the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery (CSMOS) is to treat each patient as an individual by employing the most appropriate and effective pain management techniques for his/her specific condition and pain level, both physically and emotionally.
Types of Pain Treated at CSMOS
- Acute pain: Pain that comes on suddenly and is typically caused by a specific injury or event
- Bone pain: Discomfort, aching, or tenderness that occurs during both activity and rest and is often associated with diseases/conditions that affect bone structure or function
- Breakthrough pain (pain flare): A sudden, sharp increase in pain in patients already using pain medication, typically due to conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and fibromyalgia
- Chronic pain: Pain ranging from mild to severe that persists longer than six months and occurring most days, affecting the quality of life
- Nerve pain (neuralgia or neuropathic pain): Pain that results from stimuli that normally do not cause pain and is often described as a shooting, stabbing, sharp, or burning
- Phantom pain: Pain which feels as if it is coming from a missing body part
- Referred pain: Pain that seems to come from a location other than the injured or inflamed structure or organ due to interconnecting sensory nerves
- Soft tissue pain: Pain caused by inflamed or damaged tissue, muscles, or ligaments
Pain Management Treatment Options
While pain medications can be extremely effective, and there is certainly an appropriate time for their use when treating pain, many other alternatives are available to help patients cope with ongoing/chronic pain. The pain specialists at CSMOS offer solutions that can make your day-to-day routine more manageable by reducing both the level of pain you experience and the need for long-term medications that can be detrimental to health in some cases.
A nerve block is a pain medicine procedure, either temporary or permanent, which disrupts nerve activity, keeping pain signals from reaching the central nervous system. A non-surgical nerve block, or local nerve block, utilizes an injection to administer medication to a specific area of nerves. Local nerve blocks are typically temporary but can be repeated for additional relief.
Surgical nerve blocks are used for more permanent or long-term relief and involve the removal or intentional damage to a nerve to treat more severe pain. There are various types of nerve blocks available that are used to treat different types of pain.
Some common nerve block procedures performed at CSMOS include:
- Epidural steroid injection: Injection administered in the back or neck, often for pain involving the neck and arm or the back and leg
- Facet joint injection: Injection into the joints that assist with spine movement in order to relieve neck and back pain
- Celiac plexus block: Typically used to relieve chronic abdominal pain, such as in patients with pancreatic cancer
- Lumbar sympathetic block: Performed for leg pain, often due to complex regional pain syndrome type 1
- Stellate ganglion block: Used to diagnose and/or treat complex regional pain syndrome of the hand or arm, as well as improve blood flow in certain hand/arm conditions
Other pain management treatments include:
Radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy or neuroablation: This advanced injection procedure uses radio waves to produce an electrical current that heats and destroys a specific area of nerve tissue to decrease pain signals. RF rhizotomy is often used for chronic arthritis pain.
Intrathecal pain pump implant: Minimally invasive surgery is performed to place a pump and a tube under the skin. Pain medication is administered through the tube into the space between the spinal cord and the membrane covering the cord.
Spinal cord stimulation: Gentle electrical currents are sent to the spinal cord through the use of electrical leads placed near the spinal column and a tiny generator in the abdomen or buttock.
Peripheral nerve field stimulation: Similar to spinal cord stimulation, electrical leads are inserted close to the pain source, and a gentle current is sent to the area to block the pain.
Please contact us if you would like more information about pain management or are suffering from unmanaged pain, the pain management experts at the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery offer state-of-the-art techniques to help our patients experience relief and return to enjoying everyday activities.