Patient Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
Acute pain is pain of a short, limited duration which is usually the result of an injury, surgery or medical illness. Acute pain typically goes away within the normal healing process. Chronic pain continues for longer periods of time, and can be associated with frustration, depression and anxiety. Treatments for acute and chronic pain often differ greatly.
What is interventional pain management?
Interventional pain management is the discipline of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain related disorders with the application of interventional techniques in managing subactue, chronic, persistent and intractable pain, independently or in conjunction with other modalities.
Who are doctors specializing in pain management?
Pain specialists come from various primary specialties with advanced training and expertise. They are mainly anesthesiologists, physical medicine & rehabilitation specialists and neurologists. However, they may include orthopedic surgeons and interventional radiologists with the proper training.
Can interventional pain management physicians find the cause of my pain?
While your pain specialist can not guarantee that they will be able to find the underlying cause of your pain, they are highly trained in the methods that would allow them to do so. They conduct a thorough physical examination, review your medical records and analyze the description of your pain. Many doctors review additional diagnostic studies such as x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, nerve conductions studies and detailed history and physical exam.
What are interventional pain management techniques?
Interventional pain management techniques are minimally invasive procedures including, perctuaneous precision needle placement, with placement of drugs in targeted areas or ablation of targeted nerves; and some surgical techniques such as laser or endoscopic diskectomy, intrathecal infusion pumps and spinal cord stimulators.
Are there psychological effects of chronic pain?
Yes. Chronic pain often produces feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness and even despair. In addition, it may alter one’s personality, affect their sleep patterns, interfere with work and have an effect on other family members. It is normal to have psychological problems with pain.