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Pain Management

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Overview

Millions of Americans suffer from pain associated with arthritis, back pain, headaches, migraines, and other chronic conditions that require pain management. The team of professionals at Miracle Mile Medical Center customizes treatment plans for patients experiencing acute and/or chronic pain.

Diagnostic and interventional pain management techniques include:

Cervical and Lumbar Epidural Injections – Nerve blocks are used for pain treatment and management. There are several different types of nerve blocks that serve different purposes. Often a group of nerves that causes pain to a specific organ or body region can be blocked with the injection of medication into a specific area of the body. The injection of this nerve-numbing substance is called a nerve block.

Facet and Selective Nerve Root Block Injections – Also known as a zygapophysial joint block, the facet joint block is performed to determine whether a facet joint is a source of pain. Facet joints are located on the back of the spine, where one vertebra slightly overlaps another. These joints guide and restrict the spine's movement.

Discograms – Discography is a medical procedure that involves injecting a dye into the jellylike center of a spinal disc to help diagnose back problems. During discography, a health professional evaluates the amount of pressure needed to inject the dye into the disc, whether it causes pain that is the same as your regular pain, how much dye is used, and how the dye appears on X-ray once it is inside the disc. If your doctor suspects that a disc is causing symptoms such as back pain or pain down your leg, discography may help determine whether disc changes are actually causing your symptoms.

Spinal Cord Stimulation – When other pain treatments have failed, spinal cord stimulation may be an option. Spinal cord stimulation is a procedure that delivers low-level electrical signals to the spinal cord or to specific nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain. During spinal cord stimulation, a device that delivers the electrical signals is implanted in the body either surgically or percutaneously (through the skin). The patient may turn the current off and on or adjust the intensity of the signals.

Medication Management – If pain keeps you from normal daily activities, your doctor can help by recommending or prescribing pain medications. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen can be helpful. Your doctor may prescribe prescription strength anti-inflammatories/pain medicines or may prefer to prescribe combination of opioid (narcotic) and acetaminophen medications such as Vicodin or Percocet. Some doctors also prescribe muscle relaxants.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture may bring moderate to complete pain relief for many sufferers. It can be used alone or as part of a treatment plan that includes medications and other bodywork. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has declared acupuncture a reasonable treatment option for those suffering from low back pain.

Procedures

Our Physicians

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Dr. Ali Sabbaghi
 
   

In Depth Data

Spinal Cord Stimulator Placement

A spinal cord stimulator may be placed to help with lower extremity, upper extremity, and low back pain. This pain may be the result of nerve root scarring, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or other causes. Often patients may have had one or more surgeries on the spine. A paddle of electrodes is placed on the back surface of the spinal cord, outside of the dura mater (the tough covering of the cord). The electrodes are connected to an electrical signal generator, and electrical impulses are used to stimulate the back of the cord, in an attempt to mask the pain the patient is experiencing. A small laminectomy (removal of bone covering the spinal cord) is performed to allow the surgeon access to the back of the spinal cord.

Nerve Blocks

A nerve root block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) and steroid injected under X-ray guidance into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column. A nerve root block is usually ordered by your doctor for pain in the arm or leg that follows the path of a single nerve. A nerve root block may be diagnostic (a test to determine the source of your pain) and/or therapeutic (to relieve your pain). If you get a period of sustained pain relief from the injection, the block may be repeated. Sometimes the block is done to help identify whether or not surgery might be helpful and at what level such surgery might be most helpful.

Kyphoplasty

The goals of a kyphoplasty surgical procedure are designed to stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture, to stabilize the bone, and to restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is defined as the use of an electrical current to transfer energy to a wound. The type of electricity that is transferred is controlled by the electrical source. ( AHCPR 94). Capacitatively coupled electrical stimulation involves the transfer of electric current through an applied surface electrode pad that is in wet (electrolytic) contact ( capacitatively coupled) with the external skin surface and /or wound bed. When capacitatively coupled electrical stimulation is used, two electrodes are required to complete the electric circuit. Electrodes are usually placed over wet conductive medium, in the wound bed and on the skin a distance away from the wound.

Facet Block

A block (or local anesthetic injection) that is performed to confirm that a facet joint is the source of pain and decrease pain and inflammation in a facet joint or joints.

Surgery

Surgery is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.

 
 
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