Understanding The Source Of Pain
We never treat without proper diagnosis, so we take imaging seriously. Imaging is critical in helping your doctor pinpoint the source of your pain, then devise a plan to relieve it quickly and keep it away for as long as possible. You can bring us any imaging you already have, such as MRIs or CT scans. Or we will refer you to our world-class imaging partners.
Assists in identifying the source of advanced, chronic back pain. Using imaging guidance, a contrast material is injected into the center of one or more spinal discs. As part of the procedure, an x-ray or CT scan also may be performed to obtain pictures of the injected disc. Though more invasive than some other imaging procedures, discography is generally safe.
Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)
Clinically proven to be effective in alleviating pain. A small dose of steroid is injected into the epidural space in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. This common procedure takes only 10 to 30 minutes and patients often see pain relief and improved motion within a day or two. Depending on the patient, relief can last for several months.
Creams that include non-narcotic pain relief and/or anti-inflammatory agents can be applied to painful area, including joints. Opioids are never prescribed as part of a patient treatment plan.
Radio Frequency Ablation
Generally providing longer-term pain relief, this procedure involves inserting a small, insulated needle or cannula next to pain-carrying nerves. Local anesthetic numbs the area, then heat is generated and precisely delivered to a small area of tissue, destroying the nerve endings. The procedure itself takes no longer than injections, but pain can be reduced or eliminated for anywhere from a few months to a year.
Many medications can be used to stop treat pain caused by nerve damage. These include analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants and antinausea compounds. Opioids are never prescribed as part of a patient treatment plan.
Trigger Point Injection
When muscles around the spine and back do not relax properly, knots or “trigger points” can form under the skin, irritating the nerves and causing pain. A small needle is used to inject medication into the muscle to relax tissue and alleviate accompanying nerve pain. In best cases, pain resolves after one injection.
Occipital Nerve Block
Reduces chronic headache and neuralgia pain at the back of the skull A fine needle, inserted into the skin just above the neck, delivers steroid or other pain-relieving medication near the nerve. The procedure takes only a few minutes and can alleviate headaches immediately