Treating Pain: Behind the Scenes With The Doctor
When patients walk in the door, most are literally bent in pain. There are so many conditions to treat and so many ways to help our patients, that it is relieving to know that pain management is one of the most growing fields of medicine, challenged by the variety of pain generators a single patient can present with. For instance, there can be one patient with multiple conditions for just the presenting lower back pain. It is due to stenosis in his/her spine, arthritis of the bony structures in the spine, irritation of the nerve at one spot or multiple levels in the spine, and each level supplies a different section of the limb or body part (also known as a dermatome). When pain physicians study your MRI or CT scan, they intricately study the various levels, pathology, and the best possible option to access the causative factor. It is fascinating to interact with patients to learn that the pain in and around their knees was actually coming from the spine!
Then follows an in-depth evaluation of imaging studies reinforced with physical examination findings and careful extraction of the most suitable treatment plan. Now, at times this treatment is not at all straightforward. As mentioned above, since there are multiple pain sources in just one individual, the physician’s job is to ensure maximum symptom resolution with the initial treatment. That is why multi-faceted treatments are offered one step at a time in a well-structured pain clinic. The common goal is to ensure patients in pain are offered all conservative and minimally invasive options, before contemplating surgery. All the physicians at Northwest Suburban Pain Associates come from diverse backgrounds and are extremely talented with regards to how pain is treated. They are trained in the most advanced techniques to date. All are fellowship trained, and board-certified and most carry the experience of over 20 years. While treatments initiate with epidural steroid injections to set a baseline assessment of how patient will respond, the physicians then go on to treat residual pain. All interventions are image-guided for optimal placement of medication; fluoroscopy and ultrasound, a combination of both at times.
Patients are gauged then to be candidates for more intricate, yet minimally invasive procedures. These include, and the list is not restricted to MILD (minimally invasive lumbar decompression), sacroiliac fusion (for patients not responding to steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation in this area), SCS (spinal cord stimulator)/DRG (dorsal root ganglion) trial for patients with peripheral neuropathy and post-operative pain, Intracept, Spinal Simplicity/ Minuteman that helps patients with spinal stenosis.
If you are in pain, call us today for immediate consultation!