Pain Management

Pain management is mainly focused on alleviating your pain and enabling you to carry out day to day activities. Pain can be treated in a variety of ways and depends on the type of pain being experienced by the patient.

Some of the most common treatments used for effective pain management include:

  • Use of medications such as analgesics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, narcotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may be sold over-the-counter or be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Anesthesia is ideally used during invasive and non-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures. It includes general, regional and local anesthesia, and sedatives.
  • RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation) helps relieve joint and muscle pains such as sprains and strains.
  • Electrical stimulation is a procedure that uses electrical signals to stimulate nerves and the brain, in order to block pain transmission. They include peripheral nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation and intra-cerebral stimulation.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation involving massage and manipulation are often prescribed to restore function, control pain and speed recovery.
  • Biofeedback is generally used to treat headaches and back ache. In this method, an electronic machine is used to train you to be aware of and have control over certain body functions such as muscle tension, skin temperature and heart rate, and change your response to pain with certain techniques such as relaxation.
  • Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points of the body to stimulate the body

Interventional Pain Management

Interventional therapy can alleviate chronic pain by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Interventional pain management involves special procedures such as an injection of local anesthetic, steroid, or narcotic around nerves, tendons, joints or muscles, nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation to treat and manage pain. In some cases of extreme pain, drugs are often given in smaller doses through the catheter directly into the spinal cord. Even though interventional procedures for treating pain seem simple, extreme care should be taken when conducting these procedures. These procedures should be performed by well-trained and experienced Specialists. Dr. Carlson is fellowship trained in Interventional Pain procedures.

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection: A cervical epidural steroid injection places powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the epidural space of the spine in the neck region.

Discography: Discography is performed under X-ray guidance, the needle is placed inside the suspected disc and a contrast dye is injected. This test is used to determine whether the disc is the source of pain in patients with neck or back pain.

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: A lumbar epidural steroid injection places powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the epidural space of the spine in the lower back region.

Radiofrequency lesioning: This technique uses electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction and the transfer of pain signals for 6 to 12 months. During the procedure, a special needle is directed into the involved nerve tissue with the guidance of an X-ray. The needle tip is then heated for 90-120 seconds so that the nerve gets cauterized and destroyed thereby reducing the pain.