What is a Pain Management specialist?
A pain management specialist is a specially trained physician with training to evaluate, diagnose, and treat of all different types of pain.
Can pain be relieved without taking pills or medications?
Yes, especially if the pain problem is addressed early. Life- style modifications such as using specific exercises and stretches, weight loss, smoking cessation and proper posture/ lifting techniques can especially help back, knee, hip and neck pain. In addition, injection may also be helpful in relieving pain.
How often will I need to see a pain management specialist?
The amount of times that you will need to see a pain management specialist depends on the plan of care that your physician has in mind for you. It mostly depends on the severity of your pain and response to treatments. Some patients need only one visit for treatment suggestions but other patients may need to see a pain management specialist several times, again depending on the severity of their pain.
Why do some people continue to have pain after back surgery?
There are many reasons why some people continue to have pain after surgery. Sometimes the pain can be due to scar tissue or adhesions, which can cause pain by pinching or pushing on the nerve tissue in the back. Also, some surgery can cause adjacent areas of the back to degenerate or weaken over time.
What injections can help my pain?
Injections can alleviate multiple types of pain. The most common type of injections are facet joint and epidural injection, for back or neck pain, but many other types are available to ease the pain. The injections consist injecting local anesthetic with or without a steroid. The local anesthetic provides immediate pain relief by blocking the nerves that carry the pain signal and the steroid decreases inflammation.
How long does the relief from injection procedures last?
You may feel immediate pain relief for a short period of time after the injection. If your pain goes away for a short time, but then returns, you may need another procedure, which may result in longer pain relief. The amount of relief each individual receives from the injections depends on individual responses. Patients are evaluated after each injection to determine if they need to receive another injection.
What if the procedure doesn't help?
If interventional techniques are not effective in treating your pain problem, there are other options are available to address your pain. Your physician will discuss these options with you.
What should I do if I take blood thinners?
If you take blood thinner medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, etc., please let your physician know before scheduling your procedure for appropriate instructions regarding stopping the medication. Do not go off any blood thinners without written approval by the prescribing physician.You should take the rest of your medications as you normally do.
Can I drive after my procedure?
It is recommended that you don't drive after the procedure; therefore you will need a driver after any procedure, which requires IV sedation, or any procedure, which can cause numbness or weakness in your legs.
Is the injection going to hurt?
Local anesthesia is provided for all injection procedures to numb the skin before any needle placement
What do I do following my injections?
After each procedure, you'll be provided complete post-procedure instructions. You should follow these instructions and take it easy for the rest of the day.
What is Genicular Nerve Block?
Genicular Nerve Blockis a diagnostic procedure whereby the physician places a small amount of a local anesthetic, like Lidocaine, on the genicular nerves of the knee under direct fluoroscopic guidance. If the you experience significant relief of pain in the knee, then you may be a candidate for a Genicular Nerve Ablation. The effects of the diagnostic block can be felt almost immediately, but will typically wear off in just a few hours.
What is Genicular Nerve Ablation?
Genicular Nerve Ablation is a therapeutic treatment whereby the physician burns the sensory genicular nerves of the knee under direct fluoroscopic guidance, thus alleviating pain to the knee and restoring function for six months to one year. The relief from the genicular ablation typically takes effect in a few days after the procedure.
Is Genicular Nerve Block/Ablation Right for Me?
Genicular Nerve Block/Ablation is right for you if traditional treatments like medications, physical therapy or injections with cortisone or hyaluronic acid have not provided you with significant pain relief. This procedure can be performed as an alternative to surgery to relieve knee pain. It can also be performed in patients still experiencing pain after knee replacement.