You can rely on our Austin pain doctors to provide you with the most up-to-date treatments for pain management.
What is an interventional procedure? It’s a minimally invasive procedure used by our Austin pain doctors to diagnose and/or treat your pain. We offer a wide range of interventional procedures that help with arthritis/bone pain, back pain and many other types of pain.
Here is an explanation of a few of the treatments.
Steroid Injection Treatments
Corticosteroids (“steroids”) are drugs that are used to treat conditions that involve inflammation like arthritis or nerve irritation. This can treat many different types of pain such as pain in the shoulder, knee, neck or back. Our Austin pain doctors will recommend a steroid injection when they want to direct the medication to the precise site of the pain. Using this interventional procedure, the doctor will inject the drug into the affected areas, to treat the inflammation and source of pain.
Here are a few of the steroid injections we provide:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Cervical epidural steroid injections
- Lumbar epidural steroid injections
- Knee joint injections
- Shoulder joint injections
- Facet joint injections
Nerve Blocks Treatments
Nerve blocks are interventional procedures used by our Austin pain doctors for patients who have pain in a specific region of the body caused by an irritated nerve. They are one of the most useful and important tools available in pain management. We use nerve blocks to desensitize or kill nerves, which can bring a profound sense of pain relief, as well as give your body an opportunity to heal and become desensitized to pain on its own.
The most common type used for pain management: the therapeutic nerve block.
During this procedure, the doctor will inject an anesthetic (for pain relief) and possibly a steroid to help reduce the inflammation and swelling around the nerve(s). A pain doctor injects the steroid and local anesthetic around the nerve(s) to prevent the nerves at the site of your pain from sending pain signals to your brain.
Here are some of the types of nerve blocks we offer:
Selective nerve root block
- Lumbar nerve root block
Peripheral nerve blocks
- Ilioinguinal nerve block
- Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block
- Occipital nerve block
APA’s infusion center is a state-of-the-art facility located adjacent to our Westlake office. At the infusion center, we have the ability to use ketamine and other IV medications to treat many types of chronic pain including complex regional pain syndrome (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), neuropathic pain, headaches, and treatment-resistant depression. We are also able to offer clinical trials of certain drugs under study for the US market. Because of our success with ketamine, we are planning a second infusion center in Cedar Park to offer greater convenience for our north patients.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
In this procedure one or two wires are placed into the epidural space to provide electrical stimulation to the spinal cord. The electrical current interferes with the transmission of pain. The stimulator is very effective in treating pain that has failed other more conservative treatments or have failed surgical intervention.
This type of treatment is tested in a trial first. The trial is a minimally invasive out patient procedure. During the trial, temporary electrodes are place with x-ray guidance into the epidural space. The wires are then connected to an external temporary battery and tested to ensure proper coverage of the patient’s pain. Patients go home to have “real world” test of this therapy and how much it improves their pain and functionality. After 5-7 days patients return to the office to have the temporary wires removed. Removal of the trial is a painless procedure.
Intrathecal Pump Therapy
Pain pumps, or ITPs, automatically deliver pain medication to the intrathecal area around the spinal cord. Your Austin pain doctor may recommend this type of implant for relief from chronic pain due to cancer treatment, failed back surgeries, neuropathic pain. We surgically insert the pain pump under the skin in the abdomen, with a thin catheter that administers pain medication to the spinal region. This ITP device is appropriate for patients who have not experienced relief from oral medications or other pain management techniques.
Our Austin pain doctors value the pain relief (from back pain to arthritis/bone pain and more) that interventional procedures provide. Our patients benefit from the experience that our professional staff brings to these procedures.
If you would like to learn more about how interventional procedures treatments like steroid injections, nerve blocks or a TENS unit can help you manage your pain, contact us.
Physical Therapy Options for Pain
Physical therapy for pain management and rehabilitation is an important tool that will help you get moving and feeling more like yourself again. Physical therapy works to:
- Provide pain relief
- Minimize impairment
- Keep a standard of mobility
- Improve physical function
- Teach the patient how to self-manage his or her condition
Conditions that Could Benefit from Physical Therapy
We see many sports-related injuries at APA. Our providers will refer you to skilled physical therapists that can create a treatment plan for injuries like:
- Meniscal tears
After surgery, patients benefit greatly if they have physical therapy for pain relief and rehabilitation. We refer our patients after the following surgical procedures:
- Spinal fusion
- Rotator cuff repair
- Labral tear repair
- ACL repair/reconstruction
Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain
If you are suffering from chronic pain, one of the options we always consider at APA is referring to physical therapy for pain relief. Therapists may use heat (using hot lights or heated packs) or cold (using ice packs or ice massage) application in combination with exercise to provide you with pain relief, decreased muscle spasms and reduced inflammation. We believe that regular exercise plays an essential role in long-term pain relief.
Some chronic pain conditions that benefit from physical therapy.
- Degenerative joint disease
The Importance of Home Exercise in Pain Relief
One of the primary goals for the patients we see is self-reliance. When we incorporate physical therapy for pain into your pain management program, we keep in mind that one day you will finish treatment, and you will benefit from being able to continue with exercises on your own.
Developing a home exercise program that is unique to every patient is very important. We want all of our patients, even if they are wheelchair-bound or disabled, to participate fully in a home exercise program. A good home exercise program increases activity and fosters a positive attitude.
For some patients, we recommend alternative therapies for pain relief to go along with their exercise programs; for example, we may suggest that some patients incorporate something like tai-chi or yoga into their home exercise plan.
Functional Rehab Programs
These comprehensive programs combine physical therapy for pain management with relaxation training, psychological support, biofeedback, vocational planning and medication to help restore our patients to the life they hope to have. Our team of specialists works together to address every issue in your life that is affected by pain and/or loss of function.
Physical therapy for chronic pain, post-surgical care or sports-related injuries is an important part of the multi-disciplinary pain management strategy we believe in at APA. If you would like to learn more about how physical therapy can help you cope with pain, contact us.