Pain management has evolved over the past few years. Instead of going to various doctors, you now have dedicated pain management specialists who diagnose and treat pain in various parts of the body using minimally invasive treatments. Here is a look into the most effective pain treatments offered at leading pain management centers, such as Premier Pain Consultants in San Antonio.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a treatment used by pain doctors in San Antonio to treat chronic pain caused by arthritis in the spinal joints of the neck or back. Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to produce an electrical current to destroy the pain causing nerves that are transmitting pain signals to the brain.
RFA is utilized for joint arthritis in the neck, back or the Sacroiliac joint. Other conditions that may benefit with a radiofrequency procedure are occipital neuralgia, abdominal pain, pelvic pain and neck pain.
In the spine, the epidural space is an anatomic space that is the outermost part of the spinal canal. An epidural steroid injection is the injection of a strong dose of steroid into the epidural space of the spine in order to help provide relief for pain-causing inflammation in this area.
An epidural injection is recommended for patients who have symptomatic pains from a cervical or lumbar herniated disc, or from spinal stenosis. Nerves may be compressed in such cases, causing radiculopathy or sciatica. Epidural injections are also used in the treatment of arthritic inflammation.
MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCKS
The medial branches are small ‘branches’ of nervous tissue that stem from the main spinal nerves and provide feeling and function to the surrounding spinal structures – namely, the facet joints.
Facet joints are small, thumbnail-sized pieces of bone that link the vertebrae of the spine together. These enable movement and bending of the spine. If a complication arises in these joints leading to symptomatic pains, a medial branch nerve block can help to obtain relief for a patient by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the nerves to the brain.
SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR (SCS)
The spinal cord stimulator is an implant used by pain specialists in San Antonio for patients with chronic pain in the limbs or back. But it is typically used after every other treatment technique has been used without relief for any duration of time.
The SCS device is implanted within the body along the spinal cord. It creates specific electrical signals along the spine that mask the signals sent by the spine itself, altering the way the brain receives them. It directly prevents the pain the patient would normally feel.