Interventional Pain Management
The discomfort experienced with orthopaedic pain can prevent sufferers from performing their daily activities like working, going to school, taking care of their families, or enjoying their hobbies. Pain can also decrease an individual’s quality of life, especially if they have to take painkillers that cause drowsiness or risk addiction. Fortunately, interventional pain management techniques can help reduce pain and allow patients to return to their everyday lives.
Types of Pain
Pain specialists categorize pain according to the type of discomfort experienced, its cause, location, and how long it lasts. The two main types of pain are nociceptive and neuropathic. Nociceptive pain develops as a result of damage to tissues – such as muscles and bones – whereas neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage. Pain specialists may further classify pain as visceral if it occurs in the patient’s internal organs or as somatic when the pain affects skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, or bones.
Acute vs. chronic pain
Pain may also be categorized as acute or chronic. Acute pain is typically short-lived, usually lasting three to six months (or less). It is often the result of an injury, such as a fractured bone or torn tissue.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, lasts longer than three to six months. Chronic orthopaedic pain may develop as the result of arthritis, nerve damage, or injuries related to overuse. In some cases, chronic pain has no obvious cause and can be more challenging to resolve.
Interventional Pain Management Treatment
The best way to treat pain is to address its root cause, but that is not always possible. Some painful conditions cannot be treated, and the cause of the pain cannot always be determined. Interventional pain management helps alleviate pain where the cause cannot be determined or treated. This treatment approach is also helpful for reducing pain during therapy or for easing pain before and after surgery.
The specific treatment used in interventional pain management depends largely on the type of pain, its cause, location, and duration. For example, lower back pain treatment may include lumbar facet injection. This is an outpatient procedure that delivers a local numbing anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication to the joints of the spine. A sacroiliac joint injection delivers these medications to the joints connecting the spine to the hip bone.
Neck pain management may include cervical radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which uses radiofrequency energy to disrupt nerve function in a way that prevents the nerve from transmitting pain messages. Cervical epidural injections, which involve an injection of medicine directly to the point of pain, are another approach to treating chronic neck pain. These injections administer steroids to reduce pain and swelling, along with an anesthetic that numbs the nerves. However, some injections contain only steroids.
No matter the discomfort you are suffering, the pain management specialists at Valley Orthopaedic Specialists develop personalized treatment plans for each individual. These treatment plans may include ultrasound-guided injections, radiofrequency ablation, physical therapy, and more.
For more information about interventional pain management, contact us today. Our team of pain specialists can help you determine which approach to pain management is right for you. At Valley Orthopaedic Specialists, we are dedicated to finding a pain management plan that relieves discomfort and allows our patients to return to their lives pain-free.