If you have problems with chronic pain and the treatments your doctor has been trying don't provide the relief you need, you may need to see a doctor or clinic that provides interventional pain management services. These services go beyond oral medication and other common pain treatments. They often involve injections, implants, or treatments that target your nerves. Here are three types of interventional pain management your doctor might consider based on your medical condition.
1. Radiofrequency Ablation
RFA uses heat to affect the nerve that sends pain signals to your brain. This requires injecting a needle into the area of your pain so the heat can be delivered directly to the targeted nerve. First, the doctor has to determine if radiofrequency ablation is right for you.
They do this by using a nerve block on the nerve responsible for your pain. If the nerve block reduces or eliminates your pain, the doctor knows they have found the right nerve to treat with RFA. This treatment can be given to your upper back, lower back, knees, or other painful areas of your body. If this interventional pain management treatment works for you, you could have pain relief for many months.
2. Spinal Injections
A common reason to seek out interventional pain management services is back pain. Your doctor might recommend spinal injections for this problem. Anesthetics and anti-inflammatory medications can be injected through your back to target the specific nerve near the area of pain on your spine.
These injections are done with fluoroscopy that allows the doctor to watch the needle on a monitor as it approaches your spine. This ensures the injection is given safely and targets the correct nerve. These injections can provide quick pain relief due to the numbing effect of the anesthetic and the reduction in inflammation caused by the steroid.
3. Pump Implant
An intrathecal pain pump can be implanted in your body to deliver medication directly to your spinal cord. This is a more effective delivery system than taking medications by mouth or injection. It's so efficient that much lower doses are needed for pain relief than the dosages you need to take by mouth. This could reduce the side effects you might have from oral pain drugs.
The pump is implanted along with a catheter that goes from the pump to your spinal cord. Your doctor programs the pump to deliver a specific dose at specific times. You also have the ability to give yourself an additional dose of medication if your doctor programs it into the pump.
For more information, reach out to interventional pain management services near you.