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The Center for Pain Management

The Center for Pain Management provides diagnostic and therapeutic options for pain management.  Patient treatment plans are customized based on individual needs. 

The goals of the center are to help patients

  • Increase function
  • Improve quality of life
  • Rehabilitate
  • Decrease frequency and intensity of pain
  • Learn new coping skills
  • Resolve sleep disturbances

The First Visit

Once a patient has been referred to the Center for Pain Management, the first step is scheduling an initial consultation.  This consultation gives patients the opportunity to meet the doctor, discuss health concerns and make a treatment plan.

Preparing for the consultation:

  • Have a list of current medications, including over the counter drugs like aspirin
  • Notify the doctor if you are pregnant or allergic to any medications
  • Have copies of medical records, X-rays, MRIs or any other related tests

Common Procedures

There are several common procedures available to manage chronic pain. All procedures are performed in the Pain Center.  During the procedure, patients may be given an IV (intravenous) for fluids and medication.  The injection location is cleaned and a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area.  The doctor may use tools such as a fluoroscope for patients with back pain.  Injections may contain a local anesthetic or steroids.     

Transforaminal
A transforaminal injection is an injection of a long acting steroid into the opening at the side of the spine where a nerve roots exits. This opening is known as a foramen.

Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Sacroiliac joints are located on either side or the sacrum or tailbone and connect the tailbone to the pelvis.  A sacroiliac joint injection is an injection into a sacroiliac joint to help reduce pain and swelling in the tissue surrounding the joint.

Facet Joint Injection
A facet joint injection can help relieve back or neck pain that may be associated with facet joints. Facets are the flat surfaces that touch where the back vertebrae of the spine fit together. They form a joint on each side of the vertebrae.  These joints can become inflamed causing pain.

Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is commonly offered to patients with neck or back pain from facet joint problems like arthritis or injury.   It is a procedure using radio waves or electric current to generate sufficient heat to interrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis.   Radiofrequency ablation specifically interrupts pain signals helping to reduce pain and other related symptoms.

After Treatment

Most patients are able to go home within an hour.  The treated area may be swollen and sore.  This reaction is normal and will last for about one day.  If a patient develops a fever over 101 degrees F or experiences chills, or redness or drainage from the treated area, it’s important to call the doctor.

Relief from pain depends on each patient and how they respond to treatment.  In some cases, additional injections or another type of treatment may be needed.