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Overview:

Interventional Pain Management Specialist Austin

Chronic pain, high-impact chronic pain, and acute pain are among the most common reasons adults in the U.S. visit a doctor.

Pain is a complex phenomenon as it is experienced by each person differently. Regardless,  when the pain becomes debilitating physically and mentally, medical treatment should be sought.

Conditions that cause pain in the body directly impact those suffering physically and mentally by increased levels of anxiety and depression, increased dependence on prescription pain medication, decreased physical and social activities and a overall reduced quality of life. According to a 2016 survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50 million American adults suffer annually from chronic pain, while 19.6 million adults reported high-impact chronic pain.

The underlying causes of the pain are varied, and can be caused by an injury, a disease, or a neuropathic factor. Over-the-counter and prescription medications and pain management can address pain in some patients. When this fails, interventional pain management is the next step to address chronic pain.

What is interventional pain management?

Per the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), interventional pain management is defined as a discipline of medicine that diagnoses and treats pain-related disorders. Interventional pain management is a proven medical treatment designed to identify and disrupt the root causes of chronic pain to help minimize and/or manage it.

Pain management specialists work in tandem with multiple disciplines in medicine (such as Rheumatology and Neurosurgery) and can utilize a range of medical procedures to treat many types of pain. These procedures mask, modify, or completely disrupt the pain signals that are sent from the affected nerves to the brain and treat the following pain-producing conditions:

Who is an interventional pain management specialist?

An interventional pain management specialist is a physician who evaluates and diagnoses causes of pain to then develops a treatment program to address it. The importance of interventional pain management lies in its emphasis on the accurate diagnosis of the pain condition. This helps identify treatment(s) that have the highest likelihood of providing relief from a person’s specific pain.

The specialist has the following characteristics:

  • In-depth knowledge of pain physiology
  • Ability to quickly diagnose and identify the various causes of pain
  • Knowledge of minimally-invasive/surgical procedures available based on
    specific conditions.

An interventional pain management specialist studies anesthesiology for four years after medical school then spends an additional year in pain management.

What are the different types of interventional pain management procedures?

There are several minimally-invasive pain management techniques that interventional pain management specialists can offer their patients. They include:

  1. Injections —  There are various injections that are used in interventional pain management procedures. They include image-guided or ultrasound-guided injections to target the areas of pain by injecting steroids or pain medication on or near the nerve(s) to reduce the pain being experienced. Common injections used in pain management are:
    • Facet joint injections — Used to reduce axial spine pain
    • Radiofrequency neurotomy — Used to reduce neck pain or axial lower back pain
    • Sacroiliac joint injections — Used to reduce lower back and buttock pain
    • Epidural steroid injections — Used to reduce radicular spine pain
    • Trigger point injections — Used to reduce localized muscular pain and release muscular knots
    • Botox injections — Used to reduce pain associated with headaches, chronic pain syndrome, myofascial pain and neuralgias
  1. Neurolytic blocks and single nerve root blocks — In this procedure, specific nerves are deactivated by freezing or heating them. This interferes with the transmission of pain signals from nerve endings to the brain.
  2. Radiofrequency rhizotomy — In this procedure, a needle with an electrode is inserted under the guidance of an X-ray into the pain region, interfering with the transmission of pain signals from nerve endings to the brain. Radiofrequency rhizotomy is also called neuroablation or radiofrequency ablation. This procedure can provide pain relief for patients for as much as a year.
  3. Pulsed Radiofrequency Neurotomy (PRFN) — This procedure disables spinal nerves and prevents the pain signals they emit from reaching the brain.
  4. Percutaneous discectomy or nucleoplasty This procedure is performed to remove tissue from the spinal disc to relieve pressure on specific nerves.
  5. Intrathecal pumps — In this procedure, an implanted device (also known as a “pain pump”) delivers medications directly to the source of the pain. These devices are used in chronic and high-impact chronic pain cases, often associated with failed back surgeries and cancer pains. The intrathecal pumps enable consistent pain relief over a long duration of time and are often more effective than the regular use of medication.
  6. Spinal cord stimulation — A procedure that implants a small device near the spinal cord to block pain signals from reaching the brain. The stimulator device sends electrical pulses to the area where the pain is experienced (spinal cord, spinal nerves) to modify pain signals and provide relief from pain and discomfort.

Some other interventional pain management procedures include intradiscal electrothermic therapy, endoscopic discectomy, kyphoplasty, and vertebroplasty.

When should I see a doctor/pain management specialist?

Medication is the most common way individuals deal with their pain, although for pain classified as “chronic” or “high-impact chronic”, more aggressive pain management therapies and/or procedures might be needed.

Consider Advanced Pain Care for interventional pain management if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain (ranging from mild to excruciating)
  • No relief from over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • No relief from non-invasive, alternative therapies
  • Your underlying cause of pain has not been identified
  • Your physical and/or mental health is being impacted by pain
  • Unable to perform daily activities
  • Heavy reliance on pain medications

How is the pain identified and diagnosed?

If you are experiencing pain and treatments/intervention have not offered relief, you may be referred to an interventional pain management specialist. Accurate evaluation and diagnosis is the basis of interventional pain management. To make an accurate diagnosis, the specialist will first go through a comprehensive evaluation process that will include:

  • Review of past medical history including all medical records and diagnostics
  • Physical examination
  • Neurological examination

Before developing treatment options, a pain management specialist will review any test results to identify or rule out possible conditions. These tests can include CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and comprehensive blood analysis. There are several specific tests also used as a part of the diagnostic process.

They include:

  • Electrodiagnostic testing (EMG) uses electrical impulses to check the condition of the muscles and nerves.
  • Discography gives an inside view of the discs to determine the source of the pain.
  • Diagnostic injections (such as selective nerve root blocks and medial blocks) are used to determine location of pain.

Once the underlying cause of the pain is identified, the interventional pain management specialists at Advanced Pain Care will develop a specific treatment plan for your pain condition.

Is interventional pain management for me?

Failed back and spine surgeries often leave people with residual pain or partial nerve damage that is often extremely painful. In these cases, pain management specialists may recommend interventional pain management treatment and/or procedure (along with physical therapy and pain medication) to help resolve pain.

If you have tried multiple pain relief options and have not experienced long-term relief from pain, consult the specialists at Advanced Pain Care who may recommend interventional pain management.

What can I expect at Advanced Pain Care?

At Advanced Pain Care, pain management is a multidisciplinary effort. The interventional pain management specialist works alongside multiple specialties (Rheumatology and Neurosurgery) all within one location. Our team of specialists can offer a variety of non-invasive and surgical options and will thoroughly walk through the options available to you as a patient based on your specific pain condition. This discussion will cover all aspects of the procedure including possible risks, the recovery process and any post-procedural steps to be followed. Depending on your specific case, your physician at Advanced Pian Care may work with a combination of specialists to provide you quality healthcare and the best possible outcome.

For more information on how the interventional pain management specialists at Advanced Pain Care can help you, visit https://austinpaindoctor.com or call 512-244-4272 to schedule a same or next day appointment. If you are in pain, there is no need to wait.

FAQS

Q: What does interventional pain management mean?

A: Interventional pain management is a medical approach that focuses on the correct diagnosis and treatment for a variety of pain conditions. The goal with treatment is to identify the causes of pain and then disrupt or eliminate the pain cycles based on correctly understanding the specific patient condition(s). Pain management specialists work in tandem with multiple specialties and use a range of minimally-invasive and surgical procedures to treat pain and reduce dependence on medications. These types of procedures mask, modify, or completely disrupt the pain signals that are sent from the affected nerves to the brain.

Q: What are pain management procedures?

A: There are several pain management procedures that interventional pain management specialists work with. They include the following:

  1. Injections (such as facet joint injections, radiofrequency neurotomy, sacroiliac joint injections, epidural steroid injections, and trigger point injections.)
  2. Radiofrequency rhizotomy
  3. Percutaneous discectomy or nucleoplasty
  4. Neurolytic blocks and single nerve root blocks
  5. Intrathecal pumps for continuous delivery of pain medication
  6. Spinal cord stimulation
  7. Deep brain stimulation
  8. Intramuscular stimulation

Some other interventional pain management procedures include intradiscal electrothermic therapy, endoscopic discectomy, kyphoplasty, and vertebroplasty.

Q: What is non-interventional pain management?

A: Non-interventional pain management refers to pain management treatments without surgery or injections. These can range from medications, physical and occupational therapy, biofeedback, and more.

Q: What is the difference between pain management and interventional pain management?

A: Pain management, as a specialty, addresses pain and the body’s response to it although it does not specifically focus on identifying the root causes of pain.

Interventional pain management at Advanced Pain Care first focuses on diagnostic tests and techniques (along with a team of Rheumatologists and/or Neurosurgeons) to identify the root cause(s) of pain and then develop an effective treatment plan option. The goal of these treatment options is to interfere with the pain signals at their source and block their transmission to the brain.

Interventional Pain Management

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Are You Experiencing Pain?

If you are experiencing any back pain or stiffness, call Advanced Pain Care at 512-244-4272 to schedule an appointment with one of our pain care and management specialists.

We have a range of pain management treatment options available right from surgical interventions to non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options. Our team will work with you to develop a pain management plan based on the severity of your condition.