Pain is your body’s way of responding to injury, illness or stress. All people suffer from pain at any moment in their lives and sometimes that pain may persist for longer periods. There are two types of pain – acute and chronic.
Acute pain lasts less than three months and it is typically responsive to many treatments.
Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting greater than three to six months or even years. Chronic pain is more complex and could be unresponsive to many different treatments. Most importantly, chronic pain may be a barrier to an individual’s functional capacity that may inhibit them from performing job duties, hobbies, or even activities of daily living, including self-care.
Interventional pain management is a specialty service provided by Ochsner Health that provides individualized treatment plans focused on acute and chronic pain control.
Methods To Treat Chronic Pain
Interventional pain management providers use a multimodal approach to treat chronic pain by utilizing different methods, including the following:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Interventional techniques
The interventional methods are used to target specific conditions of pain related to specific sources of pain, including the following:
- Muscle pain
- Nerve-related pain
- Back pain
Evaluating A Patient
Pain management providers, like those at Ochsner Health, can evaluate a patient in the clinic to determine what treatments would be best for the patient, and they can order diagnostic testing to confirm where the pain may be stemming from. Diagnostic procedures may also be used to further confirm the origin of pain that can assist with determining candidacy for longer lasting therapeutic procedures.
Interventional Pain Management Procedures
Regarding interventional techniques, there are many different types of procedures that may be utilized to treat a patient’s pain. Interventional pain management providers may perform a variety of treatments and procedures including, but not limited to the following:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Peripheral joint injections
- Muscle injections
- Nerve blocks of the spine and peripheral joints
- Nerve ablations of the spine and peripheral joints
Minor surgical procedures an interventional pain management provider can perform, include the following:
- Peripheral nerve stimulation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Sacroiliac joint fusions
These interventional techniques listed above can help control the patient's pain for long periods at a time and improve their level of function. They may also assist a patient in avoiding surgical procedures or even aid in diagnosis to determine what surgical procedure would be best to treat a patient’s condition. Most of these interventional procedures may be repeated in intervals, if the pain relief was substantial and long-lasting.
While the pain is alleviated after these interventional procedures, the patient may also be able to tolerate more physical therapy and exercises to help prolong the effect of their pain relief.
As a result, interventional pain management is a service that can provide patients with the knowledge and treatments to address the chronic pain that is affecting their quality of life. A consultation with a pain management provider can change a person’s life, if pain is stopping them from living their life to the fullest.