Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is chronic pain and how do I know I am eligible to see a pain management physician?
A. Chronic pain is any pain that is persistent after 3-6 months. We also see patients who may be experiencing acute pain. Your primary care physician or other physician that is caring for you may refer you to us when they feel pain management is needed.
Q. What type of treatments do you offer?
A. We offer various types of injection therapy, medication management, spinal cord stimulation therapy and intrathecal pump therapy. We also offer diagnostic injections such as discograms and selective nerve root blocks. We make referrals to various physical therapy agencies as well as surgeons and offer TENs Unit therapy.
Q. What is injection therapy?
A. Injection therapy is precision-guided delivery of medication to targeted nerves in the body. Various types of medications are used with this treatment. We can discuss this further with you at your appointment.
Q. What types of injection therapy do you offer?
- Epidural injections (in all areas of the spine): the use of anesthetic and/or steroid medications injected into the epidural space to relieve pain or diagnose a specific condition.
- Nerve root and medial branch blocks: these injections determine if a specific spinal nerve root or joint is the source of pain. This type of block can also be used to reduce inflammation and pain. These usually consist of a series of injections depending on the patient's history. Diagnostic blocks maybe followed by a Facet Rhizotomy.
- Rhizotomy: a procedure in which the pain signals are "blocked" through the use of a heated electrode that is applied to specific nerves that carry pain signals to the brain. This procedure usually provides pain relief from 4 months to 2 years.
- Discography: this procedure involves a look into the discs of the spine to determine if they are the source of the patient's pain. Dye is injected into one or more discs and examined.
- Spinal cord stimulation: involves the use of electrical impulses that are used to block pain from being perceived in the brain. For more information, visit www.controlyourpain.com.
- Intrathecal pumps: a surgically implanted pump that delivers pain medications directly into the spinal canal. For more information, visit www.codmanpumps.com
Q. What can I expect during my first appointment?
A. At the consult visit with the physician, there will be a complete history, physical exam and review of all your medications. At the end of the visit, the physician will discuss what may benefit you personally as all of our plans of care are individualized to each patient.
Q. How often to do I make appointments?
A. Most patients are seen on a monthly basis; however, this is assessed based on the patient's needs and treatments, which are determined after the initial consultation.