“Life could have been easier if there were no pain”
Everyone of us experiences a painful condition at some point in our lifetime .But when it comes to suffering, nothing could be as agonizing as living with a painful condition itself. Infact majority of the patients visiting any hospital have pain as their chief complaint. We, at PSRI hospital, acknowledge and help such patients suffering from long term painful conditions with our comprehensive treatment plans for a long lasting pain relief.
What kind of patients benefit from the pain management?
Pain management can help any patient having chronic pain. It is helpful in the management of back pains to cancer pains. There are many complex painful conditions as well where it plays an important role in the management. The conditions we commonly treat are all but not limited to…
· Back pains
· Neck pains
· Slipped discs
· Nerve compressions
· Facial pains
· Joint pains
· Cancer pains, etc.
How is the diagnosis made?
Reaching to the correct diagnosis has a pivotal role in the management of any pain. A careful examination, various blood tests and imaging (X-rays, CT scans, MRIs) help in focusing towards a particular diagnosis. One of the distinguishing diagnostic tools in Interventional Pain Management is the diagnostic block wherein some numbing medicines are injected through needles to block the possible source of pain. This reversible block helps in pin-pointing the source of pain thereby in planning the management of the pain.
How pain is managed?
It is prudent to treat all the patients conservatively with medicines, postural corrections and physio and behavioural therapy initially. It requires minimally invasive interventions where the pain persists even after giving sufficient time to conservative treatment. The interventional pain management scores over both the medicines and surgeries as it reduces the ill effects of the long term pain killers by reducing their requirement and avoiding major surgical treatments with its minimally invasive procedures.
What are the treatments available for pain management?
There are a number of pain management procedures available to deal with various chronic pain conditions. Some of the commonly done procedures are…
· Percutaneous disc decompression
· Epidural steroids
· Disc denervation
· Facet joint injections
· Facet joint denervation
· Neurolytic blocks for cancer pain management
· Spinal cord stimulators
· Intrathecal pump implantation
· Stellate blocks
· SI joint injections
· RF ablation and Pulsed RF of various nerves
· Trigeminal block
· Sphenopalatine block
· Trigger point injection
· Myofascial injections
· Desensitization therapy and many more...
Our holistic approach towards the management of pain also includes other treatments which are part of the treatment. These are:
· Cognitive and Behavioural therapy
· Nutritional counseling
· Reflexology etc.
How the various interventional pain management procedures help in reducing the pain?
Once the source or the cause of the pain is precisely confirmed, a proper treatment is chalked out. The procedures are done under X-ray, CT or ultrasound guidance. The choice of procedure entirely depends on the pathology of the patient. The slipped discs are treated by removing the protruding material through a pin hole opening. The damaged discs are also treated by heating the disc through small needles. The inflammation in muscles, joints or compressed nerves is reduced by targeted injections in the inflamed area. In some cases the pain can be treated by curtailing the inputs by heating (RF ablation) the nerves carrying the painful sensation thereby reducing the experience of pain. In many cases freshly prepared ozone gas, which has an anti-inflammatory property, is injected. Some advanced drug delivery systems are implanted in the body to manage cancer pains. There are other treatment modalities too which are opted according to the need. The main aim of all the treatment modalities is just to restore patient’s physical functions to the maximum with alleviation of pain.
Is surgery the only option to treat long standing pains?
This is not true. It is always advisable to exhaust all the minimally invasive procedures before going under the knife. At least it has been a trend in the west to go for the surgery as a last resort. But there are few conditions where surgery is the only answer and should be done at the earliest.
Is it some kind of alternate medicine?
No. It is very much the same modern medicine we see all around. In fact it is one of the fastest developing specialities in the west dedicated to the management of pain. Lack of awareness about this specialty among people is responsible for having such believes.
What are the benefits of interventional pain management in back pain treatment?
The benefits of interventional pain management are numerous.
A chronic painful condition has many repercussions on the physical and mental wellbeing of the patient which deteriorates the quality of life. It is not only the patient who suffers but the family members around him as well. To manage such pain is an uphill task for the physicians. But with the better understanding and recent medical researches’ in pain, such patients are treated in a better way. It is only the lack of knowledge about this super-specialty among people and medical professionals, the deserving patients never reach the pain clinic. The growing popularity and positive results have helped in dispelling the ignorance around pain. We at PSRI Centre for Interventional Pain Management are committed to make life worth living for those living with pain.