Treating Your Pain with Interventional Pain Management
When dealing with both acute and chronic pain, it is important to get proper diagnosis and treatment for the correct cause of injury. What we might perceive as minor symptoms that will go away quickly can often be significant issues that require interventional pain management.
When we encounter an injury or condition that reaches this level of serious therapy, it is best to appraise what the options are, how they can be procured, and if a certain treatment is right for you.
Below, we will outline interventional pain management and its application to specific ailments.
What is Interventional Pain Management?
According to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), interventional pain management is a discipline of medicine devoted to diagnosing and treating pain-related disorders.
Put simply, this practice is used to manage pain and improve a patient’s quality of life with minimally invasive techniques. Another way to view it is to make sure your diagnosis and treatment are proper and efficient from beginning to end to avoid further injury or side effects.
The most common types of interventional pain management include nerve blocks, injections/infusions, spinal cord stimulation, and other comprehensive techniques applied by specialists.
As with any advanced specialty service (especially one that affects your health), we recommend extensive research about the available interventional pain management clinics near you, as well as the reputation of the facilities and staff.
If you have undiagnosed or mismanaged pain, we recommend looking into the cause and possible treatments immediately.
Different Types of Interventional Pain Management Services and Treatments
While the field of IPMS is broad, it rose to prominence because of its effectiveness for specific treatments of common pain problems. Here are some of the most common treatments today:
As the name suggests, injection therapy is when you use targeted, minimally invasive injections into problem areas to treat pain symptoms that will not subside otherwise. These treatments can include epidural steroid injections, major joint injections, and muscle and joint injections.
A relatively newer procedure, Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure that treats vertebral compression fractures. The goal (like most other IPMS) is to reduce pain and increase mobility without many of the invasive techniques often required for spinal treatment. This procedure is done by inserting a balloon into the fractured and injured area to create space for an injection.
These fractures may originate from chronic conditions such as osteoporosis or spinal trauma. Ultimately, while there is risk to the procedure, it carries far less than many spinal surgeries or other invasive techniques.
Similar to Kyphoplasty, this treatment is done by injecting bone cement into a fracture into the spine. The goals and results are comparable, however vertebroplasty uses image guidance first and a direct injection. Kyphoplasty utilizes balloon insertion to create proper room for injection, and they each treat near-disabling pain quite effectively.
This is where having an experienced specialist is so valuable — the need for a specific diagnosis and treatment is paramount to increasing your quality of life!
A nerve block is used to relieve both acute and chronic pain, depending on the condition. In fact, diagnostic nerve blocks are often used to determine the source of pain, as they use an anesthetic with identified durations of relief for specific conditions.
There are also therapeutic nerve blocks used for neuropathy and other prolonged symptoms. There are pre-emptive nerve blocks and prognostic nerve blocks that can be used as preventative therapy, and nerve blocks can even be used to avoid surgeries in certain circumstances.
The overall list of nerve blocks is incredibly comprehensive, making it critical to work with a specialist to identify your overall symptoms and type of pain before proceeding with one.
Also known as rhizotomy, this procedure is a non-invasive way to reduce or stop pain via heat. The radiofrequency waves ablate the nerve that is causing the pain, thus eliminating the spread of sensation.
This treatment is often used when other types of pain relief or injection therapy have fallen short, so please consult a specialist before considering this.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
This modern technique is designed to mark pain signals before they reach their destination. This is achieved by an implant similar to a pacemaker that will deliver impulses to the spinal cord.
This procedure is for patients who experience a wide variety of chronic pain and hopefully reduce opioid use in those patients. Ultimately, this is another procedure used when other non-invasive treatments have failed and is usually a last resort before surgery.
As implied by the name, this is when a specialist oversees prescriptions in order to ensure that they are properly and safely administered and for the correct ailments. While this sounds redundant or unnecessary, it is quite the opposite: over 12 million adults per year will experience misdiagnosis or an incorrect prescription.
If you believe you might be prescribed an incorrect drug or dosage, it is important to act quickly — side effects for mismanagement can be costly to your long-term health.
Interventional Pain Management at Pinnacle Pain and Spine
Pain is a complex stimulus and topic and requires specific attention from you and your provider.
If you are looking to start your journey with an interventional pain management specialist, it is vital to look for quality and reputation. The difference between a good specialist and an average one can prolong or extend your pain, and be a frustrating experience.
With over a decade of interventional pain management, Dr. Crooks and the Pinnacle Pain and Spine team are dedicated to increasing quality of life.
If you are experiencing pain and are looking for solutions, please reach out — we’d love to help.