What is Interventional Pain Management?
Interventional pain management encompasses a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatments for reducing pain and improving quality of life. These treatments are used when acute or chronic pain interferes with activities of daily living and other treatment options have been unsuccessful in relieving pain.
Interventional Pain Management Treatments
The type of treatment you receive will be determined by your unique symptoms and disease process. The following are some of the most prevalent interventional pain management techniques:
- Nerve Blocks: Nerves carry pain impulses to the brain. Nerve blocks are used to block these signals and relieve pain. It involves the injection of an anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory medication close to a nerve or group of nerves. Relief from symptoms can last from several days to several weeks or months.
- Infusions: Infusions are a method of administering pain medicine directly into the body. These are typically used for a longer period of time. Intrathecal infusions are administered into the brain's subarachnoid area, while epidural infusions are administered into the spinal cord.
- Injections: Some common types of injections are epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, and trigger joint injections. Each of these injections targets a different area of the body that is in pain. A numbing agent and steroid are usually used in these injections.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: This treatment is typically used to alleviate pain in the lower back and neck, particularly when the pain is caused by arthritis. A radio wave is utilized to generate an electrical current in an active electrode that is passed through a probe to heat nerve tissue. The pain impulses from that location are reduced with this procedure.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: The application of mild electrical currents to the site of chronic pain is used in this technique to treat chronic pain. A miniature generator under the skin of the belly or buttock and electrical leads are introduced close to the spinal column. The generator sends electrical signals down the spinal cord, effectively suppressing the brain's capacity to sense pain.
- Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation: This treatment is similar to spinal cord stimulation, except it is applied to different regions of the body. The electrical lines are inserted as close to the pain source as possible, and the procedure is also similar to the spinal cord stimulation procedure.