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No matter what has brought a patient to North American Spine & Pain, we aim to have them all leave the same way – healed.
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Radiofrequency Ablation

Also known as a rhizotomy, radio frequency ablations can provide long-term relief by ‘turning off’ nerve endings connected to arthritic facet joints. Overtime, the nerve endings will naturally heal, and the procedure can be performed as needed to give repeated relief.

Lumbar Epidural Injections

Lumbar Epidural Injections treat pain in the lower back or sciatica. The procedure reduces inflammation and allows for improved mobility and of the lower back and legs, so the patient can progress with their rehabilitation.

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections

Cervical epidural steroid injections are aimed at treating neck pain derived from inflammation to cervical nerve roots. This can cause radicular pain down the arm and into the hand. CESI’s can provide short-term relief to help the patient with a rehabilitation or exercise regimen to progress further.

Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks

Lumbar medial branch blocks are used to determine the source of the patient’s lower back pain. If the patient experiences significant relief after the injection, then the procedure has successfully determined the source of the pain, and the patient can proceed with their rehabilitation regimen/additional procedures to achieve long term relief.

Cervical Medial Branch Blocks

Cervical epidural steroid injections are aimed at treating neck pain derived from inflammation to cervical nerve roots. This can cause radicular pain down the arm and into the hand. CESI’s can provide short-term relief to help the patient with a rehabilitation or exercise regimen to progress further.

Sacroiliac Injection

SI joint injections are aimed at treating lower back pain or sciatica. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be diagnosed after an SI injection if the patient reports immediate significant pain relief.

Biacuplasty

Biacuplasty is aimed at treating chronic disc-related pain. The procedure is a type of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) that uses two thin electrode probes which are inserted into the disc. While producing the electrodes, the probes and tissue are actively cooled, and provide for less discomfort.

Celiac Plexus Block

The celiac plexus is a nerve group surrounding the aorta. The block will stop the nerves from carrying pain information to your brain, and give you relief. This procedure is commonly performed on patients who experience abdominal pain linked to or derived from cancer.

Discogram

Discograms evaluate back pain by injecting a small amount of die into the soft center of the disc. An x-ray or CT scan can identify cracks and some spots of wear and tear.

Ganglion of Impar Block

Aimed at treating pain in and round the pelvic or groin area, a ganglion of impar injection is a sympathetic block to determine if the pain is derived from the injection site or is sympathetically medicated. This procedure is typically performed twice for confirmation.

Genicular Nerve Ablation

Another type of RFA , genicular nerve ablations are used to treat osteoarthritis in the knee. The procedure is minimally invasive and can provide adequate relief for patients.

Hypogastric Plexus Block

The hypogastric plexus is a bundle of nerves at towards the bottom of your spinal cord. Blocking these nerves is typically aimed at preventing pain derived from the lower digestive or reproductive systems, or sometimes cancer. Some patients will report immediate relief after the procedure, and long-term relief after a few days.

Joint Injections

A steroid joint injection is a common injection performed directly into the area the patient is reporting pain. The length of relief is different for each patient, but long-term relief is more likely with a working physical therapy or exercise regimen.

Intercostal Nerve Block

An INB is used for treating chest pain caused by a surgical incision or shingles (herpes zoster infection). When the steroid is injected into the intercoastal nerves, located under each rib, the inflammation of the tissue is reduced, providing relief. It is advised patients do not do heavy lifting or significant physical activity in the 24 hours after the injection.

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is necessary for patients who have a fracture from osteoporosis. A small balloon is surgically inserted into the vertebrae and inflated, which returns the structure to a more normal and more compact position.

Lumbar Sympathetic Block

Sympathetic blocks to the lumbar spine help relieve sciatica and/or chronic pain that radiates down the leg and into the foot.

Microdisectomy

Herniated discs create pressure on a spinal nerve root. A microdiscectomy removes the ‘bulge’ that is identified as the reason for lower back pain, sciatica and leg pain.

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

Spinal stenosis in the lower back is when the spinal canal is narrowed and nerve fibers compressed, which causes pain and numbness. MILD removes excess bone tissue and/or ligaments compressing on the spinal cord and causing the pain. Patients are advised to rest without heavy lifting or significant activity for a few days after this procedure.

Occipital Nerve Block

Migraines or chronic headaches are usually related to occipital nerve irritation. The occipital nerves are injected through the back of the head or neck, and patients can experience relief almost immediately.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that is sends electrical impulses through electrodes placed where the patient would typically receive an epidural for their pain relief. When the patient experiences pain, they can use a remote control to activate the stimulator.

Vertiflex

Vertiflex is a implanted device that is used to treat patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. If pressure is being applied to the nerve roots, the vertiflex implant is placed within the spine to relieve the pressure, and relieve back and leg pain.

Stellate Ganglion Block

Pain traveling through sympathetic nerves in or around the neck can be treated with a stellate ganglion block. This injection is used for patients who experience causalgia, shingles, reflex sympathetic dystrophy or decreased blood flow to the heart.

Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG SCS)

The dorsal root ganglion nerves connect the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which contain sensory neurons, to the rest of the nervous system. Stimulating these nerves allows for greater precision when dealing with lower body pain.

How Can a Pain Management Doctor Help: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Relief

A pain management doctor specializes in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating various types of pain, ranging from acute discomfort due to injuries to chronic pain conditions. These professionals are pivotal in improving patients' quality of life by reducing pain and its associated symptoms.

Key aspects about pain management doctors include:

  • Definition: Pain management doctors, also known as pain medicine specialists, focus on the comprehensive management of pain. They employ a variety of techniques to treat pain holistically, addressing both the physical and psychological components of pain.
  • Education and Training: These specialists typically complete medical school followed by a residency in either anesthesiology, neurology, or physical medicine and rehabilitation. A further fellowship in pain management is essential to gain specialized knowledge and skills in the field.
  • Role: The role of a pain management doctor is extensive. They:
    • Assess different types of pain to determine their causes.
    • Develop personalized treatment plans that may include medications, physical therapy, and interventional procedures such as nerve blocks or spinal injections.
    • Work collaboratively with a team of healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive care.

Pain management doctors are essential in settings where managing chronic pain is complex, offering hope and improved functionality to those suffering from debilitating pain conditions. The team at NASPAC is dedicated to utilizing advanced pain management techniques to help patients lead more comfortable and fulfilling lives.

Types of Pain Treated by Pain Management Doctors

Pain management specialist at NASPAC are equipped to treat a wide range of pain types, each presenting unique challenges and requiring specialized treatment approaches. Here’s an overview of the types of pain these specialists commonly address:

Acute Pain

Definition and Causes of pain: Acute pain acts as a rapid alarm, such as an injury or surgery, indicating that something is wrong. It is typically sudden and severe but usually lasts for a short duration.

Examples of Acute Pain Conditions:

  • Surgical Pain: Pain following operations which may require comprehensive pain management strategies.
  • Broken Bones: The intense, sharp pain from a fracture.
  • Burns: Often causing severe pain, requiring immediate pain management.

Chronic Pain

Definition and Causes: Chronic pain persists for weeks, months, or even years, often continuing beyond the expected period of healing. It might result from persistent health conditions, unresolved injuries, or chronic diseases.

Examples of Chronic Pain Conditions:

  • Arthritis: Ongoing joint pain and stiffness.
  • Back Pain: Persistent pain affecting the lower, middle, or upper back.
  • Fibromyalgia: A condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.

Neuropathic Pain

Definition and Causes: Neuropathic pain arises from damaged or dysfunctional nerves. The pain is typically described as shooting, burning, or stabbing and may be triggered by nerve damage associated with diseases or injuries.

Examples of Neuropathic Pain Conditions:

  • Diabetic Neuropathy: Nerve damage caused by the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes.
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia: Chronic pain condition that can follow shingles.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia: A chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve in the face.

These diverse types of pain each require a tailored approach to management and treatment. Pain management doctors use their specialized training and comprehensive knowledge to devise effective treatment plans that improve patients' quality of life, addressing the specific characteristics and underlying causes of each type of pain.

Treatment Options Offered by Pain Management Doctors

Medications

Pain management doctors at NASPAC often utilize a range of medications tailored to treat various pain conditions effectively. These include:

  • Prescription Strength Anti-inflammatories: These can include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and oral corticosteroids which reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Nerve Stabilizing Medications: Medications like gabapentin and duloxetine are used to stabilize nerve activity and are particularly effective in managing neuropathic pain.
  • Muscle Relaxants: These are prescribed to relieve muscle spasms and associated pain.
  • Opioid Medications: Used judiciously for short-term relief of acute, severe pain under strict supervision to manage the risk of dependency.

These medications are part of a comprehensive approach to pain management, aimed at reducing pain and improving functionality.

Interventional Procedures

For pain that does not respond well to medication alone, NASPAC offers a variety of interventional procedures:

  • Spine Procedures:
    • Epidural Steroid Injections: Deliver steroids directly into the epidural space to reduce inflammation and pain.
    • Facet Joint Injections: Steroid injections into the facet joints to alleviate back or neck pain.
  • Joint Injections: Steroids or hyaluronic acid can be injected into joints like the knees, shoulders, and hips to reduce pain and increase mobility.
  • Tendon and Ligament Injections: Help relieve pain and inflammation in specific tendons and ligaments.
  • Muscle Injections: Often used for trigger points to relieve tension and pain in the muscles.
  • Targeted Nerve Blocks: Block pain signals along specific nerves and are useful for conditions like trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Regenerative Therapies (PRP): Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections encourage the body's healing process to treat injured joints or tendons.
  • Viscosupplementation: Injection of hyaluronic acid into knee joints to lubricate and cushion the joint, typically used in osteoarthritis.

These interventional procedures provide targeted relief and are an integral part of the multidisciplinary approach to pain management practiced at NASPAC, aiming to restore quality of life for patients suffering from chronic pain conditions.

Comprehensive Pain Management Approach

Multimodal Treatment

At NASPAC, a multimodal approach to pain management ensures that each patient receives a comprehensive, tailored treatment plan that addresses their specific needs. This approach typically includes:

  • Combination of Therapies: Utilizing a blend of medications, interventional procedures, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care. This strategy allows for treatment from multiple angles, increasing the likelihood of pain relief.
  • Personalized Treatment Plans: Every patient's pain is unique, thus requiring a customized treatment plan. NASPAC doctors consider all aspects of a patient's pain condition, including the cause, intensity, duration, and any underlying health issues, to create an effective and sustainable pain management strategy.

This multimodal strategy not only helps in alleviating pain but also aids in improving overall functionality and quality of life.

Coordination with Other Specialists

Effective pain management often requires a collaborative approach involving various healthcare professionals. At NASPAC:

  • Collaboration Across Specialties: Pain management doctors work closely with physical therapists, occupational therapists, neurologists, and even psychologists to provide a well-rounded treatment approach.
  • Ensuring Comprehensive Care: By coordinating with other specialists, pain management doctors ensure that all aspects of a patient's health are addressed. This collaboration is particularly important for patients with complex conditions that affect various facets of their lives.

This coordinated effort not only maximizes the effectiveness of the pain management plan but also supports the patient's overall well-being and rehabilitation journey.

What to Expect During Your First Visit

Visiting a pain doctor for the first time can be a step toward finding relief and regaining quality of life. At NASPAC, we ensure that every new patient is greeted with understanding and professionalism. Here’s what you can expect during your initial consultation:

Preparing for Your Appointment

  • Documentation: Bring all relevant medical records, a list of medications, and any previous diagnostic imaging (like X-rays or MRIs) to help provide a comprehensive view of your health history.
  • Pain Journal: Consider keeping a pain diary that details the severity, type, and triggers of your pain, which can be extremely helpful during the consultation.

Discussion of Medical History and Current Pain

  • Thorough Interview: Your doctor will discuss your medical history, the nature of your pain, how it began, and how it affects your daily life.
  • Pain Assessment: You'll be asked to describe your pain in detail, including its intensity, frequency, and what aggravates or alleviates it.

Physical Examination and Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical Exam: A targeted physical examination will be conducted to assess pain points, mobility, and other relevant physical aspects.
  • Further Testing: Based on the initial findings, further diagnostic tests such as blood tests, MRI scans, or nerve studies might be recommended to pinpoint the exact cause of your pain.

Development of a Treatment Plan

  • Customized Plan: After assessing all the information and diagnostic results, your pain management doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include medications, therapy recommendations, and possibly interventional procedures.
  • Education and Guidance: You will receive guidance on the proposed treatments, what outcomes to expect, and how to manage your condition effectively at home.

This first visit is crucial in laying the groundwork for your ongoing pain management. NASPAC's pain management Hainesport, NJ team is committed to working with you to manage your pain and improve your overall health. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need to see a pain management doctor?

  • Persistent Pain: If you experience ongoing pain that doesn’t improve with standard medical treatments or over-the-counter medications.
  • Chronic Conditions: For conditions like arthritis, back pain, or neuropathic pain that affect daily activities.
  • Post-Surgical Pain: If pain persists beyond the expected recovery period after surgery.

What qualifications should I look for in a pain management doctor?

  • Board Certification: Ensure the doctor is board-certified in pain medicine or a related specialty.
  • Specialized Training: Look for additional training in interventional pain management techniques.
  • Experience: Consider the length and scope of their experience, particularly with your specific pain condition.

Are there any risks associated with pain management treatments?

  • Medication Side Effects: Possible side effects from pain medications, including opioids.
  • Interventional Procedures: Risks like infection, nerve damage, or bleeding associated with surgical or non-surgical interventions.
  • Long-Term Dependency: Risk of dependency or tolerance to certain pain medications, especially opioids.

How long does it typically take to find relief with pain management?

  • Varies by Treatment: Some treatments like medication adjustments may offer quick relief, whereas others like physical therapy or interventional procedures might take longer.
  • Individual Responses: Relief timing can vary based on the individual’s condition and response to treatment.

Will I need to continue seeing a pain management doctor long-term?

  • Condition-Dependent: Some chronic conditions may require ongoing management, while acute pain might only need short-term care.
  • Adjustment of Therapies: Periodic adjustments to your pain management plan might necessitate regular appointments.

Call to Action

If you're struggling with chronic pain and looking for relief, contact NASPAC at (855) 862-7767 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced pain management doctors. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the most effective treatment plan to improve your quality of life.

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