Common pain management questions answered by an expert from your local Guthrie Interventional Pain Management team.

Q: What is Interventional Pain Management?

A: Interventional Pain Management is the field of medicine that specializes in the treatment of acute and chronic pain with a focus on the use of targeted, image-guided injections and other minimally invasive procedures to address specific pain generators, such as the spine, nerves, or joints. The goal of interventional pain management is two-fold: to decrease pain and to increase function. 

Q: What are some common conditions that can be treated by Interventional Pain Management?

A: Spine pain, including neck and low back pain, joint pain, and nerve pain are common areas.  My area of specialization is in the spine, such as sciatica involving bulging or herniated discs, but I also treat patients for pain in other areas including the sacroiliac joints, hips, knees, and shoulders.

Q: When someone comes into your office for a first visit, what can they expect?

A: When someone comes in the first time, we do a thorough review of the history of the problem, including any prior treatment approaches and the results of those treatments. We also look at any prior imaging or diagnostic tests. From there we can decide if further testing is needed, like an x-ray or an MRI. After that, I’m able to recommend a treatment plan based on that specific patient’s condition and circumstances.

Q: What are some of the typical treatments you recommend?

A: I am a big proponent of therapeutic exercise and lifestyle components including healthy eating and avoiding nicotine. If the injection is needed, some of the most common procedures I recommend include various types of spine injections such as an epidural steroid injection or joint injections. 

Q: What are injections and what is the recovery period for that procedure?

A: The goal of an injection is to reduce pain or inflammation in a specific area. These procedures are fairly quick and are done with the help of image guidance tools such as an ultrasound or a special X-ray machine. Most patients feel minimal discomfort. I usually suggest patients take it easy for the remainder of the day, but they typically can get back to their usual activities the next day. Depending on the type of injection, you could start experiencing pain relief immediately, or it may kick in gradually over a week or two.

Q: At what point in someone’s condition would you recommend they make an appointment with an Interventional Pain Management provider like yourself?

A: I recommend scheduling an appointment if you’ve been experiencing pain for weeks or months and you’re not seeing improvement with typical conservative measures like time and physical therapy, or if you’re interested in learning about conservative options including lifestyle components, therapeutic exercises, and minimally invasive injections. Your primary care provider can help direct you to us when appropriate. I’d love to help get you back to your favorite activities as quickly as possible.

Ask your primary care provider for a referral to Guthrie Interventional Pain Management today. Visit www.Guthrie.org or call 866-GUTHRIE (866-488-4743) to learn more.