What Is Interventional Pain Management?

What Is Interventional Pain Management?

Richard Kang, MD Blog

Pain, whether acute or chronic in nature, is notoriously difficult to treat. Everyone’s subjective experience of pain is unique, so even two people with exactly the same condition could feel pain in radically different ways. Likewise, what works to alleviate one person’s pain may not touch someone else’s pain. Yet too often, patients with pain are given standard medications to dull the pain. Interventional pain management is a completely different approach.

Interventional pain management is a comprehensive, highly individualized, hands-on way of treating both acute and chronic pain. A variety of holistic therapies and cutting-edge treatments come together to relieve pain at its source. Interventional pain management can help those suffering from a wide variety of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  •         Arthritis
  •         Back, Neck, or Shoulder Pain
  •         Chronic Pain Syndrome
  •         Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  •         Diabetic Neuropathy
  •         Failed Back Syndrome
  •         Headaches
  •         Knee or Hip Pain
  •         Phantom Limb Pain
  •         Shingles

Interventional Pain Management Techniques


Interventional pain management techniques key in on the specific part of the body that is causing the pain. The goal is to alleviate the compression or irritation that the brain interprets as pain. Techniques include, but are not limited to the following noninvasive treatments:


Facet Medial Branch Blocks / Radiofrequency Ablations


A facet medial branch block is a nerve block that is used to locate the specific source of pain in the spine. Relief is nearly immediate, but it is short-lived. However, if the nerve block eases your pain, your doctor can then follow up with a radiofrequency ablation. This simple procedure burns off the affected nerve, providing pain relief that typically lasts for over a year.


Epidural Steroid Injections


If you have inflammatory pain, you may be a candidate for epidural steroid injections. Sciatica, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis are just a few of the conditions that cause inflammatory nerve compression and pain. The nerves absorb the steroids, alleviating pressure and swelling as well as pain.


Trigger Point Injections


A trigger point is a very deep, tight muscle knot that is virtually impossible to relieve with external techniques such as massage. Trigger point injections relax the muscle, releasing the knots and providing virtually instantaneous relief.


Spinal Cord Stimulation


FDA-approved for chronic pain in the limbs or trunk, spinal cord stimulation is often recommended when other treatments have not provided relief. You will receive a continual low voltage electrical current to your spinal cord, blocking the sensations that your brain interprets as pain.


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