September is Pain Awareness Month, a time to promote pain education and raise awareness about issues related to chronic pain. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain that impacts their daily activities and overall quality of life. Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can help alleviate suffering and bring patients relief. As we begin Pain Awareness Month, here are some available options to relieve chronic pain.
Depending on the source of pain, an injection may be the best solution for treating pain.
- Joint Injections are a commonly performed treatment to provide quick relief of pain and inflammation in your joints.
- Epidural Steroid Injections are common for lower back pain but may also help with upper back and neck pain.
- Trigger points are painful areas in muscles that can be described to feel like a “knot” or specific area of tightness. When pressure is applied to the trigger point, the pain spreads out to other areas of the body. Trigger Point Injections are administered directly to the trigger point, which can reduce pain and increase physical function.
- Bursa Injections are injections of a steroid medication into your bursa – the gel-filled sac that helps muscles and tendons glide over bones. When bursae get swollen, they can cause joint pain.
- Facet Joint Injections can reduce pain, as well as help in determining if the facet joint is the cause of the patient’s pain. Each vertebra on the spine has two pairs of facet joints, one pair points up (connecting with the vertebrae above) while the second pair points down (connecting with the vertebrae below).
When other therapies and injections don’t seem to work, medication may be the best option. Medication can play a crucial role in the management of chronic pain, but needs to be monitored closely by a specialist to ensure the correct medication is being administered and that it is working as it should be on the patient.
- An Intrathecal Infusion Pumps is a device that delivers small quantities of pain medication directly to the spinal fluid. When delivered in small doses, pain medications may minimize the side effects often experienced with larger oral doses of the same medications.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation is an implantable device that sends low levels of electricity to the spinal cord. Designed to relieve pain, this device blocks pain signals prior to them reaching the brain.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses an electric current to heat up an area of affected nerve tissue to reduce pain. This procedure stops the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.
Headache is one of the most common pain conditions in the world. Up to 75% of adults worldwide have had a headache in the past year. They are different for each patient so treatment depends on symptoms, severity of pain, frequency, etc. Headache Therapy treatment options range from medication management to stress management to physical and neurological examinations to help determine cause. OnabotulinumtoxinA Injections can be used to prevent headaches in adults suffering from chronic migraines that are sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound or light. Patients who are candidates typically suffer 15+ days each month with headaches lasting four hours or longer. This injection is given as a number of tiny injections intended to affect only the area where injected.
Recognizing the far-reaching effects of chronic pain, Southwoods places great importance on providing access to the region’s most capable team of physicians and advanced practice providers. The comprehensive team at the Southwoods Pain & Spine Center is dedicated to finding effective results that reduce or eliminate pain altogether. If you or a loved one is suffering, call 330-314-9100 to schedule an appointment.