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6 Types of Interventional Pain Management

Chronic pain, which affects an estimated 20% of Americans, can severely limit a person’s ability to live a full and active life. Even daily chores can be difficult — if not impossible — if you deal with unmanaged chronic pain. 

Here at the practice of Edward Carden, MD, in Sherman Oaks, California, Dr. Carden and our expert team understand the importance of interventional pain management techniques for managing chronic pain. Just as many factors contribute to the development of chronic pain, there are also many interventional pain management procedures that can treat chronic pain. 

Below, we highlight six types of interventional pain management treatments.  

1. Injections

Depending on the source of your pain, Dr. Carden will suggest the appropriate injection. We offer the following types of injections:

Each injection contains a different ingredient that serves a certain purpose. For example, Botox is well-known as a cosmetic injection, but it has pain management uses, too. Botox, which is an injectable compound made from botulinum toxin type A, is recognized by the American Migraine Foundation as an effective treatment for chronic migraines. Joint injections, on the other hand, contain anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce joint pain associated with arthritis and other conditions. 

2. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can help treat pain caused by fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, bursitis, low back pain, chronic pelvic pain, and neuropathy. This therapy provides pain relief by using low voltage electrical currents to deliver mild electrical impulses to pain-causing nerves.

The electrical impulses interfere with the nerve’s ability to send pain signals. The electrical impulses are sent through electrodes that are placed on top of your skin.

3. Nerve blocks

A nerve block can help alleviate pain caused by a compressed nerve. An injection is administered to specific nerves, and this numbs the nerves and stops them from sending pain signals to the brain. Each injection is placed accurately by using imagery guidance from a CT scan or ultrasound.

4. Radiofrequency ablation

Like a nerve block, radiofrequency ablation also targets nerves. However, instead of relying on a nerve-numbing injection, radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy to stop the nerve from sending pain messages.

5. Intrathecal pain pumps

Pain pumps are implanted devices that deliver pain medication into your spinal fluid. Delivering pain medication into your spinal fluid may reduce your reliance on oral medications.

6. Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulators are also implantable devices. While pain pumps deliver medication, spinal cord stimulators deliver electrical currents to disrupt pain signals. Spinal cord stimulators are controlled from a handheld device, meaning you can adjust the amount of stimulation depending on your pain.

Which type of treatment is right for you?

Depending on the cause of your pain, you may benefit from one type of treatment over another, but you’ll never have to make this decision alone. Dr. Carden excels at matching the right pain management technique to each patient’s needs. If needed, he may also suggest lifestyle changes or complementary therapies, such as massage.

To learn more about interventional pain management, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Edward Carden, MD, today.

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