Pain is an unpleasant sensation that tells us something is wrong in our body. It can be caused by injury, illness, or a medical condition ranging from mild to severe. Acute pain is usually short-term and is caused by something specific, like a sudden injury, while chronic pain lasts longer and can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
When pain is chronic, it can interfere with our daily life, making it difficult to perform daily tasks and even affecting our mental health. Pain management is a medical specialty that helps people with chronic pain live more comfortably and improve their quality of life.
Let’s talk about pain management strategies and the signs and symptoms indicating the need for pain management.
Understanding Interventional Pain Management
Interventional pain management is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating pain-related disorders. Interventional pain management strategies are particularly beneficial for patients who have not responded to traditional treatments.
Interventional Pain Management Procedures
Interventional pain management involves a range of procedures specifically aimed at treating pain resulting from medical conditions, injuries, or surgical procedures of the spine and musculoskeletal system.
This treatment involves the use of imaging techniques to accurately inject medications such as corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, or anesthetics into the affected area. Common types of guided injections include epidural injections, facet joint injections, and sacroiliac joint injections.
Nerve Block Injection
In this therapy, an anesthetic drug is administered near a problematic nerve. This procedure effectively blocks the nerve from transmitting pain signals to the brain.
Trigger Point Injection
This technique involves injecting medications like anesthetics and steroids into specific points in the muscle, known as trigger points. The goal is to relax tight muscle knots, thus relieving associated pain symptoms.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Also referred to as rhizotomy, RFA utilizes heat to eliminate the nerve ending responsible for sending pain signals to the brain.
Minimally Invasive Pain Management Therapies
When traditional interventional pain management methods do not yield successful results, minimally invasive therapies may be recommended. These include:
Spinal Cord Stimulation
This neuromodulation therapy is used to treat chronic pain. It employs a spinal cord stimulator that delivers low-intensity electrical currents to the spinal cord, effectively reducing pain.
Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation
This treatment is similar to spinal cord stimulation but targets a specific nerve bundle known as the dorsal root ganglion. A device is used to send a low dose of electric current to alter the transmission of pain signals.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
These procedures are minimally invasive treatments designed to manage pain resulting from spinal compression fractures. They are most effective when performed shortly after a compression fracture occurs.
This procedure is particularly effective in managing pain linked to lumbar spinal stenosis. It involves a minor incision and the insertion of a spacer between the affected spinal levels.
Signs and Symptoms It’s Time for Pain Management
Here are some signs and symptoms that indicate the need to see a pain management specialist.
If your pain has lasted beyond the expected healing time for an injury or illness, typically three to six months, it’s considered chronic. Persistent pain, especially if it interferes with your daily activities, is a clear sign that you should seek professional help.
Pain That Disrupts Sleep
Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. If your pain is keeping you awake at night or causing you to frequently wake up, it’s a strong indicator that you need pain management.
Decreased Quality of Life
When pain starts to interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks, affects your mood, or prevents you from participating in activities you enjoy, it’s time to consider pain management. The goal is not just to alleviate the pain but also to improve your quality of life.
Pain Accompanied by Anxiety or Depression
Chronic pain can significantly impact mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, or feelings of hopelessness. If you’re experiencing these symptoms along with your physical pain, reach out to a pain management doctor for help.
Over-Reliance on Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
If you find yourself frequently reaching for over-the-counter pain relievers, it’s a sign that your pain needs professional attention. Long-term use of these medications can lead to other health issues, including kidney damage and gastrointestinal problems.
Pain that is not responsive to over-the-counter medication
If you’ve been taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, and they’re not helping to relieve your pain, it’s time to consider seeing a pain management specialist.
Your Pain Is Getting Worse with Time
If you’re experiencing chronic pain and it’s getting worse over time, it’s essential to consult with a pain management specialist as soon as possible. Worsening pain can indicate an underlying medical condition, and early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve your prognosis.
Your Pain is Associated with a Chronic Health Condition
Conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, diabetic neuropathy, and others are often associated with chronic pain. If your pain is linked to a chronic health condition, a pain management specialist can work with you to develop an effective pain management plan.
Pain Management Doctors Near Me in Melbourne, Florida
Living with chronic pain can be debilitating, but it’s important to remember that help is available. If you’re experiencing persistent pain that’s affecting your quality of life, it may be time to consider professional pain management.
At Central Florida Spine & Pain, Dr. Giordano and his team are dedicated to helping patients manage their pain effectively and improve their overall well-being. Our pain management specialist performs comprehensive assessment to uncover the underlying cause of your persistent pain and develop a customized treatment plan, which may consist of interventional pain management techniques and minimally invasive therapies.
To learn more about pain management options or schedule a consultation with our pain management specialist to manage your pain, contact us today at (321) 802-5021 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!