By: Dr. Mike Shah, Interventional Pain Specialist & Pain Management Board Certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Minimally Invasive Spine Institute in Dallas
Although the Minimally Invasive Pain Relief team was founded by an expert surgeon, surgery is not always the best way to tackle chronic pain and inflammation. Minimally invasive spine surgery can provide a safe, effective solution for many people suffering from spine or back pain. Yet as effective as it can be, it’s not always the best solution for relieving symptoms. At Minimally Invasive Pain Relief, our team offers another treatment option called injection-based therapy that’s designed to deliver pain-relieving medication directly to the area that’s causing symptoms, without the need for surgery or anesthesia.
Injection-based Therapy: The Basics
Injection-based therapy can be used to relieve different types of pain, including pain caused by localized areas of tenderness called trigger points as well as discomfort that emanates from the joints in the spine called facet joints. In both instances, treatment begins with a technique called “pain mapping” to identify the specific causes of painful symptoms. Pain mapping ensures the right areas are treated using the best technique for optimal results.
Once the sources of pain are identified, medication can be delivered right to the site of symptoms, achieving far greater – and longer-lasting – effects than oral pain medicines. Most injections use corticosteroid medications to help relieve inflammation, combined with a pain medicine that “anesthetizes” the area and prevents pain signaling.
Before treatment, the injection site typically is numbed using a local anesthetic. Then the medications are delivered right to the site of injury and pain. In facet joint injections, depending on the location of the injections, diagnostic imaging may be used during treatment to ensure optimal placement of the needle.
Benefits of Injection-based Therapy
One of the primary benefits of injection-based therapy is that it often can provide significant relief from pain, enabling patients to avoid spine surgery – or at least delay surgery. But another benefit is based on the way it’s delivered. In oral medications, pain medicines must pass through the digestive system before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually delivered to the intended site. During these processes, the medication can become diluted – less effective in relieving pain. Plus, the entire dose doesn’t reach the treatment site; some of it is delivered to other areas of the body through the bloodstream, sometimes triggering unpleasant side effects like gastric upset.
In injection-based therapy, the full dose of medication is delivered right to the treatment site so pain relief is faster and more effective. Most patients experience symptom relief soon after their treatment, with effects that last for weeks or even months. Also, injection-based therapy is performed as an outpatient procedure, and in most cases, patients are able to resume their normal routines very soon after their treatment. And finally, since it uses only local anesthesia to help the patient stay comfortable during treatment, injection-based therapy eliminates the risks associated with general anesthesia.
Learn more about injection-based therapy
The team at Minimally Invasive Pain Relief is skilled in injection-based therapies for many types of pain, including chronic spine and back pain. To find out if you might be a good candidate for this state-of-the-art treatment approach, call the office at 877-504-9759 and schedule an appointment today.
The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute Pain Relief are pioneers of minimally invasive research, and are experts in advanced, noninvasive pain management techniques. If you are a chronic pain sufferer, contact the MIPainRelief team today at 877-504-9759 to schedule a consultation with one of our pain management specialists.
Interventional Pain Specialist, Board Certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Minimally Invasive Spine Institute
Dr. Shah is a Harvard-trained physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who is dedicated to providing pain relief to residents of the Dallas area since 2003. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Duke University and his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Shah also received a master’s in Pharmacology from Tulane and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health. Following this, he completed his Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Harvard’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, consistently recognized as one of the Top 5 Pain Management Hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report.