According to research, pain is more complicated than initially believed by doctors. How pain is perceived and experienced is significantly influenced by a variety of elements, including psychology, sociology, genetics, and many more. The discipline of interventional pain management has greatly advanced as a result.
Three typical situations involve the use of pain management in relation to chronic neck and back conditions:
- It is not immediately clear what is causing the pain.
- Pain brought on by an accident, injury, or spinal condition hasn’t been reduced by rest, activity adjustment, or drugs.
- A sequence of processes will assist locate and then eradicate pain when a patient selects their Pain Management specialist
Step 1: Getting a Comprehensive Medical History
A thorough medical history aids in the doctor’s ability to get to know and comprehend the patient. He or she will maybe seek for things like:
- Details on the incident or injuries
- Back and/or neck pain in the past
- existing conditions before
- social influences (i.e. occupation, smoking, diet)
- family background
- A physical examination is done after a history has been obtained.
Step 2: Conduct a Physical Examination
The pain management doctor can identify the issue thanks to a physical examination (separately from the referring physician). The diagnosis is the same in some instances. It might not be in some cases. Regardless, a treatment strategy will be developed taking into account both diagnosis.
Step 3: Imaging Studies to Confirm the Diagnosis
When X-rays or MRIs reveal damage to cartilage, tissue, or joints, they frequently aid in identifying the underlying source of discomfort. An MRI can assist evaluate whether this is what is causing pain in the case of the spine, when pain in the extremities is truly caused by a spinal problem.
Step 4: Formulating a Treatment Plan
The doctor chooses the therapies that will reduce pain without causing adverse effects. There are many choices available:
- Medication management: In order to reduce pain and promote correct bone, muscle, and ligament healing, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants are utilised. To enhance pain relief, this is frequently paired with physical therapy.
- Nerve blocks: This invasive, needle-based method is intended to both alleviate pain and identify the origin of the discomfort. Anesthesia is applied close to the median nerves, tiny nerves that connect to the facet joints during this treatment. The majority of the time, several levels of the spine will be treated at once.
- Epidural or Steroid Injections: These injections use a steroid mixed with saline to administer medication directly into the epidural area. The steroid will assist in reducing the inflammation that is responsible for the localised or radiating pain. To ensure accurate identification of the epidural area and accurate placement of the needle, the procedure is guided by a real-time X-Ray device called as a fluoroscope.