Interventional pain management is a strategy to modify or manage pain. The actions taken can range from surgery to prescription medication to therapy. In recent years, interventional pain management has become a popular method of chronic pain treatment. Here’s how it works:
First, a physician must diagnose the source of the pain. A physician typically locates the area with a proper history and physical examination. Imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI or ultrasounds may be utilized to ensure that the correct nerve is identified. The doctor may confirm the diagnosis by administering a temporary nerve block in the precise suspected location. If it works, the physician has correctly identified the source of the pain.
Often, therapeutic procedures are similar to the diagnostic nerve block—epidural steroid injections (ESI), facet joint injections, or single nerve root blocks may be used. Nerve blocks may be generated using heat or extreme cold to create lesions, or temporary ablations administered via radiofrequency (RF ablation). For other patients, neuromodulation is a better option. Neuromodulation administers drugs or electricity directly into the nervous system via electrode or catheter to modify the brain and spinal cord to minimize the pain signals. It is up to your pain management physician to analyze your diagnosis and design an interventional pain management plan. The hope is to provide the patient pain relief to tolerate a course of physical therapy and learn proper rehabilitative techniques to be performed in a home or gym setting.
Interventional pain management isn’t just for back pain—it can also treat herpes zoster (shingles) pain, headaches and migraines, and complex regional pain syndrome. Dr. Douglas Allen is skilled in interventional pain management, specializing in nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, and steroid injections. For more information about our services, contact New York Pain Medicine by visiting our website or calling (888) 755-2664 today.
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