According to the latest statistics from the CDC, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic, debilitating pain . Chronic pain is the number one cause for disability in America, accounts for more than 80% of all physician visits, leads to time off work and billions of dollars in lost productivity. Chronic pain affects women 70% of the time.
Unfortunately, pain remains poorly understood and under-treated. The complex mechanisms of pain transmission coupled with its subjective nature creates an intimidating battle and requires physicians who are both comfortable with its diagnosis and more importantly who have an understanding of treating those in chronic pain.
Most pain sufferers have tried conventional pain relief methods, which may include medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care and even surgery. But for chronic pain sufferers, these remedies either do not bring relief or provide only temporary relief. Those dealing with chronic, debilitating pain are now turning to interventional pain specialists to provide solutions by treating the root cause of their pain symptoms.
An Interventional Pain Specialist has extensive training in order to treat a variety of spine and non-spine related conditions. We combine our knowledge in both neurological and musculoskeletal anatomy and utilize available tools such as the physical exam, musculoskeletal and neurological imaging, and electrodiagnosis to accurately identify a patient’s condition. These conditions include work and sports-related spinal injuries, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or herniated discs, radiculopathy or “pinched nerve,” facet joint arthritis, hip joint arthritis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, compression fractures and pain associated with multiple neck or back operations. There are a variety of cutting-edge interventional pain procedures that can be utilized to reduce and/or alleviate pain. Typically, the use of narcotic medication is extremely limited. Instead, we focus on using a multi-modal approach to pharmaceutical therapy which treats painful and over sensitized nerves, muscles and other tissues.
We find a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain management very helpful to patients. It is easy to understand the far reaching devastation of chronic pain. Lost productivity and income often leads to depression and strained relationships, ultimately affecting all aspects of the patient’s life. We have a Pain Psychologist on staff to provide emotional and behavioral support for our pain patients, who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Relaxation Training, Trauma & Stress Counseling and other methods to help our patients.
Appropriate treatment may require a wide array of modalities. Pain management specialists are trained in both interventional and non-interventional techniques and we appreciate the need for physical and occupational therapy, psychopharmacology, and alternative treatments, such as acupuncture or biofeedback. Through understanding the organic, psychological, and social factors which contribute to pain perception, interventional pain physicians are better able to treat the patient’s pain experience.
If you’ve tried a conventional approach to relieving pain and you’ve been unsuccessful, it may be time to speak to your primary care physician about an interventional pain management approach. Severe pain can affect every aspect of your life; your work, your health, and your everyday functioning. It’s time to find a better way of living with your pain while still enjoying life and being active.