The Many Methods Of Interventional Pain Management

Doctors who work with interventional pain management have long had options for care. Now, the choices for EMC in Greenacres have expanded to cover both conventional and unconventional methods. Thanks to technology and learning, the number of selections only promises to grow as treatments are combined while others enter the field for the first time.

Injections

Epidural steroid injections are often used in the back and neck areas. The steroid works on nerves that have become inflamed. To apply the medication, a local anesthetic is used before the injection. There are no more than three shots per year with at least a month between each of the procedures.

A facet joint injection needs fluoroscopy to make sure the injection is put in the correct area. A dye is used to ensure the needle and medication reach its proper placement. This procedure takes around 30 minutes and there will also be time spent in the recovery room afterward.

A sacroiliac joint injection is a combination of anesthetic and steroids that is injected into the sacroiliac joint. After 24 to 48 hours, the steroid medication will start relieving the pain. Recovery times vary based on a patient's past history as well as any current conditions.

Infusions

Infusions get the medication to the patient through an IV. For the IV itself, saline and medication are given together to produce the best results. There are several medications that can be used for infusion treatments. Some of these include:

  • Lidocaine
  • Ketamine
  • Clonidine

IV infusions work best for people who have not found relief in other treatment options. Depending on the infusion that is used, it can take anywhere from one to four hours. There is usually more than one treatment needed to get the desired pain management but it depends on a doctor's recommendations.

Intrathecal Pump Implants

The pump is implanted under the skin to make sure pain medication is targeted where it is needed. With this method, medication comes in a small dose through a tube to the spinal cord. The pump has a battery which also lasts around five years. A doctor will program the device and add medication in scheduled intervals.

Radiofrequency Ablation

A radio wave makes electrical current to heat up nerve tissue and an X-ray is used to find the specific area causing problems. With a needle, a microelectrode is used to conduct the electrical current; this may be done in the hospital where the patient needs to stay overnight or in the office as an outpatient. The treatment will provide relief for up to one year with physical therapy generally used in combination with radiofrequency.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is a form of neuromodulation where the device is implanted to provide electric current through leads to problem areas. A remote control is used by the patient when they feel pain. It is used with medications, exercise, and physical therapy. There is a trial period of a week when a doctor decides to use this option; after that, the device will be permanently implanted during an outpatient procedure. The incision will heal in a couple of weeks and the patient can go back to normal day to day activities at that time.

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