Sponsor Provided Content

Michael Sabia, MD
Director, Cooper Pain Management Center

Whether you’re in your 20’s or 80’s no one should be stuck in a world of chronic pain. There’s a growing body of medical literature supporting “multimodal treatment” as an effective way to manage patients in acute or chronic pain. Multimodal means using numerous different treatment options at the same time to control pain. Utilizing different therapies currently has shown to improve patients’ function, lifestyle, overall mood, and most importantly pain!

Depending your symptoms a pain medicine specialist will be able to determine what combination of these therapies is best for you. Most forms of pain include an inflammatory component, therefore frequently an interventional injection therapy is recommended to clear out this collection of inflammation. Most people and medical providers know these treatments as “epidural injections.” A common story we hear the first time we see patients is “I’m here for epidural injections.” Thankfully there are a host of different injection/treatment options we have available as pain specialists to offer patients besides epidural injections. This includes different types of injections (besides the epidural) that are usually done with some mild IV sedation along with the guidance of an imaging device (fluoroscope/X-Ray, ultrasound, etc).

Pain specialists endure very detailed training to help decipher which injection will most likely benefit you. This starts with a history and physical examination. Asking some simple questions of what your pain feels like, what makes it better or worse, if it radiates to another area in the body, along with a physical exam can lead your pain specialist down a specific treatment path. An important point here is if you have received epidural injections in the past without much pain relief, there are lots of other treatments we do besides epidurals that can change your life!

Incorporating these interventional injection therapies with physical therapy, an oral medication, lifestyle modifications, (here’s that multimodal thing again) is your best bet at preventing this from reoccurring. The order/timing of these treatments is crucial. Depending on your pain, some patients benefit from starting with an injection while others do extremely well with physical therapy as the initial treatment. After a thorough evaluation your pain specialist will be able to determine where to start.

To learn more about the Pain Management Program at Cooper University Health Care, please visit http://www.cooperhealth.org/departments-programs/pain-management