Are you getting tired of living through your chronic pain despite years of treatment? For years, invasive and long-term treatments like surgery, medication, and therapy, may have been your only solutions for chronic pain. Luckily, there are new technologies and practices you can now utilize for pain management. In this blog, we’ll talk about the different methods used for pain management for chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Relief Injections
Pain relief injections are simply steroid injections for relieving pain in specific body parts. These injections provide chronic pain relief by reducing inflammation in the ankle, knee, elbow, and other joints. There are many types of pain relief injections, such as:
- Landmark-guided injections
- Ultrasound-guided injections
- Plasma-rich platelet injections
- Trigger-point injections
Doctors facilitate landmark-guided (LMG) injections without imaging equipment. This type of pain management is helpful for those with arthritis, gout, bursitis, and tendonitis.
However, with the development of imaging tools, pain relief doctors now use ultrasound-guided injections. According to studies, this kind of injection is more effective than traditional LMG injections for the lower extremities. Other benefits include improved accuracy, less pain, and procedure time. Risks rarely occur but may include anxiety, sleep problems, and water retention.
Another emerging pain management method is plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injections, which are useful for both soft and hard tissue damage. Pain specialists usually use this treatment to hasten healing after sports injuries. During this treatment, your doctor will take some of your blood, process it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelet-rich plasma and inject the plasma into a target area. This treatment induces few side effects, if any because the substances injected are products of your own body.
However, if you have a more specific condition called myofascial pain syndrome, you may benefit more from trigger point injections. Your doctor will simply inject you with steroids or numbing agents on or near painful muscles. Some patients may even feel immediate relief as the injections reduce muscle tension. Ultrasound is a useful tool used to find the exact trigger point location.
Removal Of Damaged Tissues
Direct removal of damaged tissues can be in the form of nerve blocks or ablation therapy. A nerve block is a type of injection. However, instead of reducing inflammation and swelling, this treatment blocks out pain signals. During this procedure, a pain specialist will inject you with anesthesia or another numbing substance to provide pain relief. Nerve blocks can be long-lasting or short-term.
Aside from these options, you can also choose between surgical and non-surgical nerve blocks. For non-surgical nerve blocks, your healthcare provider will inject medicine into the spine, the surrounding fluid, or directly into the nerve. This option will simply deactivate the nerve.
However, surgical nerve blocks present three options: sympathetic blockade, rhizotomy, or neurectomy. Sympathetic blockade involves the injection of drugs in the nerve, while the two latter options resort to permanently damaging the nerves. Rhizotomy destroys the roots of surrounding nerves, while neurectomy destroys only the damaged nerves.
If your pain stems from damaged muscles, the recommended pain management treatment may be ablation therapy. During this treatment, your pain specialist will destroy the abnormal tissues using energy beams, extreme temperatures, or chemicals. Risks from ablation therapy are minimal but include infection, scarring, and bleeding.
Both of these procedures also use imaging technology such as ultrasound for more accurate procedures. Additionally, nerve stimulators may be useful for nerve blocks.
For some, injections may not be enough and damaged tissue removal may not be an option. Luckily, implant procedures are also becoming widely accessible through more pain management centers. These implants include spinal cord stimulators and bone cement.
Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are pain management implants for the back and legs. This kind of implant is useful for those who have undergone surgery but still feel no positive changes. SCS works by sending weak signals, almost tingly sensations, to your spine to mask the pain. Newer technologies can even numb the pain without replacing it with a tingling sensation.
On the other hand, bone cement implants tackle the root of the problem. Bone cement implant procedures are also known as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. These treatments are for patients with spine compression issues.
During kyphoplasty, your pain specialist will use special balloons to create some space between the compressed vertebra. Afterward, they will inject bone cement to ensure the space remains intact. Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray, helps guide this procedure.
Pain Management Treatments in Melbourne, Florida
Medical treatments and technologies have developed far beyond when medication, physical therapy, and surgery were the only pain management options. New pain management treatments now include implants, steroids, and numbing injections, and removal of damaged tissues. All these treatment options also use imaging tests such as x-rays and ultrasounds to improve accuracy and pain relief.
Here at Central Florida Spine & Pain, we have the latest pain management treatments. Our skilled pain specialist can help you achieve chronic neck pain relief even without medication and invasive surgery. You can start your journey to a pain-free life today by requesting an appointment. For urgent concerns, please call our friendly staff at (321) 802-5021.