Sports, Pain &
Interventional Pain Management Q & A
Many people around the world are suffering from chronic pain, which is incredibly frustrating as it can greatly impact one’s quality of life. A number of treatment approaches have been attempted, with varying success, but one area of interest and ongoing research is holistic therapies such as interventional pain management.
What is Interventional Pain Management?
The discipline referred to as interventional pain management is designed to assist patients in overcoming their pain without resorting to medications. Instead, various techniques are used to diagnose the source of the pain and remove it as soon as possible. A growing number of patients and medical professionals are questioning the effectiveness of pain medications. Although the medications work, they come with many side effects and the risk of the patient becoming dependent on them.
Interventional pain management involves the usage of things such as acupuncture and chiropractors to help patients overcome spinal pain. Physical therapists might assist athletes who are suffering from pain involving their muscles, while other doctors might perform procedures which are minimally invasive. Equally important, interventional pain management relies on mental health experts to help patients deal with the anxiety and depression that often accompanies chronic pain. Different healthcare professionals will work together to come up with solutions that are unique for each patient.
Benefits of Interventional Pain Management
An individual who is in pain will look for virtually anything to alleviate it. Pain specialists are able to quickly identify the source and what caused it, and then provide treatment accordingly. For too long, doctors have relied on pain medications, and though these medications reduced pain in the short term, they caused a number of side effects, such as nausea, depression, sedation, constipation, and sexual dysfunction. The most serious side effect of using such medications is the risk of addiction.
Most pain medications are opioids, a class of drugs which can become habit forming if abused. In fact, a large number of people within the United States have actually overdosed and died due to accidentally taking such medications in high dosages or combining them with alcohol. Interventional pain management relies on techniques such as exercise, cold/hot compresses, and analgesics to reduce pain, among other things, which is effective without the debilitating side effects associated with most pain medicines.
How Interventional Pain Management Works
There are a number of approaches used for interventional pain management, some of which are basic, and others which are advanced. Some of the most advanced procedures include radiofrequency ablation, nerve blocks and epidural injections. The goal of injections is to lower inflammation which reduces pain near nerve roots when they leave the spine. The injection will typically be performed near the membrane which covers the patient’s nerves and spinal cord. Those suffering from back pain have had great success with this method, which is performed every few weeks. Radiofrequency ablation makes use of radio waves to produce electric currents that transfers heat to specific nerve tissues.