Pain Management Treatments
There are some instances when injections are the most effective procedure available to treat pain. Steroid injections, for example, can significantly reduce pain-‐causing inflammation, and may provide many months of relief following a single injection.
- Cervical Epidural: This procedure is used to decrease the swelling of pinched and compressed nerves in the cervical spine that can be caused by herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
- Lumbar Epidural: This injection is administered to alleviate pain in the lower back and legs due to swelling caused by spinal conditions.
- Lumbar Transforaminal: This procedure is administered to relieve pain and inflammation from irritated spinal nerves in the lumbar region.
- Caudal Epidural: In this procedure a steroid-‐anesthetic medication is injected into a sacrum opening to alleviate the pain of inflamed nerves in the spine.
- Sacroiliac Joint: When arthritis creates pain in the sacroiliac joint, a steroid injection is administered to relieve pain and reduce inflammation at the point of the spine and hipbone.
Injections may also aid in diagnoses. For example, a stellate ganglion block enables the doctor to locate the areas of pain through the injection of a colored solution. In this case, once located, the irritated or inflamed areas are bathed in a soothing anti-‐inflammatory, anesthetic saline solution.
A minimally invasive procedure, radiofrequency ablation can help eliminate pain caused by damaged facet joints along the spine. It involves the use of heat from a high-‐frequency alternating current, and is easily performed in an outpatient setting, utilizing local anesthesia.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
This procedure uses electrical impulses to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Patients suffering from neuropathic pain who have not had any success with conservative treatments would benefit most from spinal cord stimulation for relief of chronic pain in areas like the arm, legs, and back.
Whether in place of a more involved procedure, or as an adjunct to it, pain medicines are carefully prescribed, administered and monitored by our team of medical professionals as needed.
The spinal column contains open spaces to accommodate the spinal cords and nerves. When something occurs that causes these spaces to narrow, nerves can become compressed. This condition, called Spinal Stenosis, can interfere with normal nerve function, and may result in pain in the spine or elsewhere.
Cervical Radiculopathy is the irritation or compression of one or more Nerve Roots in the Cervical Spine region. Symptoms of this condition may include pain, weakness, numbness and tingling, and may vary depending on the level of the injury. Affected areas may include the shoulder, arm and hand.
When the center of the Vertebral Discs, the rubbery cushions that support Vertebra and give the spine flexibility, push through the discs’ outer walls, nearby Nerve Roots can be affected. Although some Herniated Discs cause no symptoms, others can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, buttocks, legs or feet.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Can develop during the natural aging process or from injury, when one or more of the discs between vertebrae weaken. The disease typically begins when small tears appear in the disc wall, resulting in pain, numbing or tingling in the legs. As the tears heal, scar tissue forms that may ultimately weaken the disc wall.
Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
Nerve root injury at any of the five vertebrae in the Lumbar Spine (L1 – L5), or at the level of the Sacrum, can lead to the irritation or compression of nerve roots in this area. The result can be pain, weakness, numbness and tingling, and may vary depending on the level and location of the injury. Pain can be present in the thigh, lower back, outer leg, calf or foot, with weakness occurring in the thigh, hip, knee or foot.
Damage to bones or joints can cause vertebrae to slip forward, distorting the Spinal Cord. This is called Spondylolisthesis. There are two types of this condition – Degenerative and Isthmic. In both cases, the patient may experience pain in the legs and feet from pinched Nerve Roots. With Degenerative Spondylolisthesis, the joints weaken, allowing a vertebra to slip forward. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis occurs when vertebral bones become fractured.
Facet Joint Syndrome (Arthritis)
Facet Joints help stabilize the spine and limit excessive motion. If they deteriorate, they become swollen and stiff, which causes Vertebral Bones to rub directly against each other. Depending on where the spine is damaged with this condition, the patient may experience headaches or pain in the neck, shoulders, upper middle or lower back, buttocks or the back of the thighs.