Stop Feeling Pain In Our Chronic Pain Treatment Centers
Chronic pain affects millions of people all over the world.
No matter how long it lasts, it can have a serious impact on one’s well-being and quality of life. In some cases, it can even trigger mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. Fortunately, there are several highly effective treatments available for patients who wish to improve their lives.
There are many treatments for chronic pain: from alternative approaches like medical marijuana to traditional treatments such as medication. With all these options, patients often wonder which is the best one. However, the right treatment varies in each case. Often, the most effective treatments involve different approaches.
Here, we’ve listed some of the interventional pain procedures that we perform at our chronic pain treatment centers. If you are interested in getting a pain treatment, you should discuss it with a specialized pain doctor so they can accurately diagnose your condition and create a customized, comprehensive treatment plan for you.
If you are in NJ or PA, our pain management specialists are here to help you!
Treating Pain With Nerve Blocks
Nerve blocks consist of injecting a local anesthetic into a specific nerve or group of nerves. This “blocks” pain signals, stopping them from getting to the central nervous system.
Nerve blocks are effective in treating acute pain. This is a quick procedure that provides temporary relief. Their relieving effect can last for 1 to 2 weeks, but you can have several injections for long-term pain management.
Facts About Nerve Blocks
- Nerve blocks also work as a diagnostic tool, helping to identify the source of pain.
- Side effects include elevated blood sugar, soreness, bleeding, and itching. However, this is a very safe procedure, with minimal risk of complications.
- Every patient responds differently to nerve blocks. While some patients find relief immediately, others require more than one injection.
Pain Management Injections
Injections consist of delivering pain-relieving medication directly to the affected area. They are used to both treat and identify the source of the pain.
There are several types of injections, including joint injections, trigger point injections, and steroid injections. This type of therapy can provide effective relief from back pain, neck pain, among others.
Facts About Nerve Blocks
- These injections are more effective when combined with physical therapy.
- Injections are fast procedures that may be performed at an interventional pain doctor’s office. After the procedure, the patient may return home.
- Pain relief may happen within a few hours after the procedure or may take up to 2 weeks to take effect.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that “burns” the pain-carrying nerves using radiofrequency heat. This prevents them from sending pain signals to the brain.
This is an outpatient procedure and you can go back to your normal activities 24 to 72 hours after the ablation.
Key Facts About Radiofrequency Ablation
- This procedure is effective to treat conditions like neck pain, back pain, and arthritis.
- Pain relief typically occurs within the next 10 days after the RFA. In some cases, patients experience immediate relief.
- The effects may last from 9 months to over 2 years.
- This is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some possible side effects of RFA include temporary pain in the treated area, skin burns, numbness, infection, and allergic reaction.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, consists of a small device that is implanted under the skin and delivers electrical pulses that mask the pain signals before they reach the brain.
Studies have shown that this procedure is highly effective and safe. It provides long-term pain relief with no medication and/or invasive procedures.
This is a good option for patients who want to avoid surgery, or that haven’t found relief with other therapies.
Facts About SCS
- Spinal cord stimulation can be used to treat chronic pain in the back, the neck, or the limbs. Studies have shown that it provides long-term relief in 50 to 80% of patients.
- You can use a remote control to turn the device on and off and to adjust its settings.
- This is a minimally invasive procedure. Most patients are sent home on the same day.
FAQ About Pain Treatments
When should I seek medical help to treat pain?
Pain varies greatly in each case. Sometimes, it fades away with over-the-counter medications and rest. In other cases, pain persists and becomes a true obstacle to one’s quality of life. In those cases, chronic pain could be a sign of an underlying health condition - although not necessarily.
So, the answer is: seek medical attention whenever pain is affecting your quality of life. If you are experiencing persistent pain that interferes with your everyday activities, you can visit a center for interventional pain and spine or ask your doctor for help.
If you are in NJ or PA, our board-certified doctors can develop a pain management plan for you at our chronic pain treatment centers.
What is the best pain treatment for me?
This depends on several factors, such as the source of your pain, how long you’ve experienced it, if you have other symptoms, your medical history, if you have already tried other therapies, if there are any underlying conditions, among others.
That’s why it’s important to visit a pain specialist who can diagnose your condition, answer all your questions, and identify the best treatment options for you. At Premier Pain Doctors, our physicians work to accurately diagnose each patient and design a customized treatment plan for them.
What is interventional pain management?
Interventional pain management procedures involve techniques such as pain injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency stimulation, and others. These techniques address directly the source of pain. Sometimes, they can also be used to diagnose it.
Interventional pain management can be useful for patients who wish to avoid surgery and/or medication. A doctor may recommend this type of procedures along with other approaches as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
What is comprehensive pain management?
Each patient is different, and so should be each treatment plan. Comprehensive pain management combines different techniques to treat each patient in a particular, yet integral way.
This medical approach covers a wide range of treatment options, including interventional procedures, alternative therapies, physical therapies, among others.
What other types of therapies are there to treat pain?
Besides traditional treatments (like medication, physical therapy, and surgery), there is a great variety of pain therapies available to treat pain.
In our pain treatment centers, we provide a holistic approach that includes minimally invasive procedures, as well as alternative treatments like regenerative medicine, PRP injections, and medical marijuana, among others.
Sometimes, the best treatment plans involve different approaches for better results.
How do I know if my pain is acute or chronic?
Acute pain is very intense and vanishes after some time (less than 3 months). However, it should be treated so it doesn’t turn into chronic pain.
Usually, acute pain is caused by a specific event, such as an injury or surgery.
Chronic pain is ongoing and lasts more than 12 weeks and it’s experienced almost every day. Sometimes it starts as acute pain but persists even after the original cause has been addressed.
Chronic pain may be mild to severe and can be related to an underlying health condition, such as fibromyalgia, herniated disks, sciatica, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and degenerative conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain or neuropathic pain happens when the nerves get damaged. Patients describe it as a sharp, electric, burning pain. They usually develop high sensitivity to hot and cold as well.
Common causes of nerve pain include shingles, CRPS, and diabetes.
What should I tell the doctor about my pain?
Your doctor will ask you several questions. It helps if you keep a diary of your symptoms before the first appointment. In this diary you may include:
- What caused the pain in the first place?
- How long have you been feeling the pain?
- Possible triggers of the pain
- If there are other symptoms
- Is the pain constant, or does it come and go
- Does the pain radiate?
- What are you doing to manage the pain?
- What have you tried before?
Can my pain be a sign of something else?
Sometimes, pain can be a symptom of an underlying serious condition, which is why you should seek medical help.
However, in most cases, pain is produced by common causes, like old age, sprains, and fractures.
What types of pain can be treated with interventional therapies?
Interventional procedures can be used to treat a wide range of pain conditions, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain
- Postherpetic neuralgia (shingles pain)
- Arthritis-related pain and inflammation
What types of nerve blocks are there?
There are different types of nerve blocks for different types of pain. Some of them are:
- Neck and back nerve blocks: Pain in these areas can be treated using cervical epidural, thoracic epidural, or lumbar epidural nerve blocks.
- Abdominal nerve blocks: include paravertebral, intercostal, and transversus abdominis plane nerve blocks.
- Sympathetic nerve blocks: Are injected around sympathetic nerve roots, located in the spine.
- Stellate ganglion blocks: Help treat and diagnose the source of pain in the head, neck, chest, and arms.
- Facet joint blocks: Facet joints are located on the back of the spine. These blocks help determine if facet joints are the source of pain.