WHAT IS PAIN MANAGEMENT?
Pain management procedures are diagnostic, therapeutic procedures that involve minimally invasive injections of pain relief medication (anesthetic and steroid) in the area of concern. Using X-Ray, fluoroscopy and/or CT (computed tomography), our radiologists perform a variety of image-guided interventional therapies.
Steroid medications can help reduce the inflammation to irritated nerves. Therapeutic injections also provide additional information regarding pain symptoms. With this information, physicians can establish an appropriate treatment plan.
In coordination with our comprehensive diagnostic imaging services, our radiologists can tailor site-specific treatments to help alleviate symptoms and allow the body to heal as quickly as possible.
PREPARING FOR YOUR PAIN MANAGEMENT THERAPY
- The risk of serious complications from these procedures is low. Risks may include headache, allergic reactions to medications, infection, bleeding, and numbness.
- In order to decrease the risk of bleeding complications, patients taking blood thinners such as Plavix, Coumadin, and Lovenox are asked to temporarily stop taking their medications prior to their procedures.
- Please notify the radiologist and the technologist know if you are taking any antibiotics for an infection.
- Patients who are allergic to radiology contrast agents will be pretreated prior to their procedures as a safety precaution.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: How long does the exam take?
A: Generally, each exam takes 30-60 minutes.
Q: Will I need to change clothes for the exam?
A: Yes. You will be given a gown to change into for the exam.
Q: What medications are commonly used for the injections?
A: Lidocaine and Marcaine, both local anesthetics, can provide relief for 4-6 hours after the procedure. Celestone Soluspan and Depo-Medrol both steroids, provide long-term relief. It will take 18-24 hours to notice the effects of these medications. Any potential side effects of these drugs will be explained at the time of the procedure.
Q: Will the procedure be painful?
A: The answer varies with each exam. Some tests are designed to relieve pain, while others are done to reproduce symptoms for diagnostic purposes.
Q: Can a family member or friend accompany me during my exam?
A: Unless there are special circumstances, we do not allow family members into the exam rooms, in order for the doctor and staff to focus all their attention to your procedure and prevent unnecessary radiation exposure to the family member or friend.
Q: Will I need a driver?
A: Yes. Please arrange transportation prior to your arrival.
AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE:
- Some patients experience temporary discomfort after the procedure. This is not cause for alarm.
- If you have high blood pressure, steroids may make your blood pressure harder to control.
- If you have diabetes, steroids may make your blood sugar higher than normal.
- Steroids can change the way your body responds to infection. If you have an infection that does not respond in the usual manner, please notify your physician.
- Steroids can cause swelling/edema. Avoid significant salt intake for 3 weeks after your injections.
- Following your injection, you may engage in activities that do not increase your discomfort, except heavy lifting (no more than 10 lb.), running or jogging.
- Please refrain from strenuous activity for a minimum of 24 hours.