What Kind of Pain We Treat

Pain treatments at Advanced Pain Medicine Associates start with a full, thorough consultation and examination.

Once we have discovered the source of your pain, we can work to build an effective treatment plan.

Some of the conditions we treat include:

• Compression Fractures: Broken vertebrae can cause severe knife-like back pain that is normally felt in the mid to lower part of the spine.

• Low Back Pain: Millions of Americans suffer from this kind of pain. Low back pain can be caused by straining, like trying to lift something that’s too heavy, or it can be caused by nerve or muscle irritation. Advanced Pain Medicine Associates can treat both acute and chronic low back pain.

• Thoracic Back Pain: Thoracic back pain is pain in the middle or upper part of your spine, and is less common than lower back pain.

• Neck Pain: Neck pain can be caused by strain from poor posture, whiplash, arthritis and more.

• Spinal Disc Problems: Spinal discs sit firmly between vertebrae and are held in place by ligaments. Pain can happen when the disc’s inner material swells, pushing through its outer membrane. This alone is very painful, and further activity or injury could cause the membrane to rupture.

• Chest Wall Pain: Chest wall pain, also called costochondritis, can feel similar to the pain associated with a heart attack, even though it has nothing to do with the heart. Chest wall pain is caused by inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breast bone.

• Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: This type of chronic pain typically affects an arm or a leg, and usually develops after an injury or surgery. This type of pain is chronic and uncommon.

• Arthritis Pain: Arthritis is a group of musculoskeletal disorders that cause pain in joints all over the body. Arthritis currently afflicts 50 million Americans.

• Abdominal Pain: Abdominal pain can come on as a stomach ache, sharp pain or cramps, and ranges from mild to severe pain. Abdominal pain can be caused by many different things, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, Crohn’s Disease and more.

• Myofascial Pain: Myofascial pain is another way of saying muscle pain, and it affects the connective tissue that covers muscles. Pain can be caused by strain, repetitive motions or lack of muscle activity.

• Pelvic Pain: Pelvic pain occurs in the lower abdomen, and can range from constant pain to short, sharp pains. Though pelvic pain is more common in women, it can also occur in men.

• Peripheral Neuropathy: This pain is a result of nerve damage, and is typically described as a tingling or burning. Peripheral Neuropathy can also cause numbness.

• Headaches: There are many different types of headaches, including spinal, thunderclap and external compression. Advanced Pain Medicine Associates treats all types of chronic headaches.

• Sports Injuries: A sports injury can cause all different kinds of pain in different areas, but the most common types of pain are muscle strains, muscle tears, ligament tears, tendon tears, dislocated joints and fractured bones.

• Work Injuries: Work injuries range in type and severity. Common types of pain associated with work injuries include back and neck pain, shoulder pain, musculoskeletal pain and knee pain.

• Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome: RSDS is a rare disorder of the part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary functions like increased heart rate and blood pressure. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome causes severe burning pain, normally in the arms, hands or shoulders.

• Fibromyalgia: This disorder causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, and sometimes is accompanied by tension headaches and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). Women are much more likely to suffer from Fibromyalgia than men.

• Scar Tissue Pain: When scar tissue builds up after an injury or operation, it can hit or squeeze small skin nerves, which can be incredibly painful.

• Chronic Facial Pain: Facial pain can be caused by a wide range of things, such as temporomandibular disorder, phantom tooth pain or burning mouth syndrome. Facial pain is usually localized, and can range from dull to severe.

Treatment FAQ

At Advanced Pain Medicine Associates, we want our patients to feel comfortable asking any questions they might have about their treatment plan. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t listed here, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor next time you’re in the office.

What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
Acute pain lasts for a short amount of time, and is usually the result of an injury or illness. Chronic pain is an ongoing condition that affects your everyday life.

Will my treatment be painful?
Most of the treatment plans and procedures performed at Advanced Pain Medicine Associates have little to no pain associated with them. If we expect your treatment to be painful, we will apply a local anesthetic before we begin. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse what kind of pain you can expect from your procedure.

How do I know when it’s time to seek out a pain management specialist?
If your pain hasn’t responded to normal medicine and treatments by your primary care doctor, it’s probably time to seek out a specialist. Advanced Pain Medicine Associates only accepts patients by referral, so talk to your primary doctor if you think it’s time.

If I start taking narcotic painkillers/opioids, will I become addicted?
At Advanced Pain Medicine Associates, we take great care to make sure all our patients on pain medications use them properly. As long as you follow direct instructions, you won’t have any problems with addiction. We do monthly pain pill counts and quarterly random drug screenings to make sure our patients are taking the right amount of pills.

I’m going to be getting an injection (epidural, sacroiliac, or nerve block)- how long will it take?
Injections are quick- they normally only take about 10-15 minutes to complete.

Treatment Solutions

At Advanced Pain Medicine Associates, we specialize in state of the art pain treatment, using the latest technology and equipment. Everyone’s pain is different and requires a specific pain treatment plan, which is why our doctors always meet with patients for a full consultation before prescribing pain medicine or starting a plan.

Some of our most common treatments include:

• Kyphoplasty: This surgical procedure is used to stop pain commonly associated with a spinal fracture. Our doctor goes into the spine fluoroscopically to stabilize the bone with the help of a special balloon.

• Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Procedure: M.I.L.D. can help relieve leg and back pain due to nerve compression. The fluoroscopic procedure involves going into the spine and removing fibrous tissue.

• Quantitative Sensory Testing: Q.S.T. is a way to assess the amount of nerve damage in a patient using a computer testing system. The testing is noninvasive- the computer system reads patient responses to hot and cold sensations and vibrations.

• Selective Nerve Root Injections: In an S.N.R.I. our doctors go into your spine fluoroscopically to inject a steroid around an irritated nerve root. This procedure releases pressure and reduces inflammation.

• Facet and Medial Branch Blocks: This is another fluoroscopic procedure. In a facet block, the doctor gives a shot of local anesthesia and a steroid injection into a joint in the spine. In a medial branch block, the shot is given outside the joint.

• Sympathetic Nerve Blocks: This procedure targets the sympathetic nervous system- a group of nerves that spread out all over your body from your spine, controlling involuntary body functions like blood flow and digestion. Our doctors place a nerve block on portions of the nervous system, alleviating pain.

• Physical Therapy & Physical Therapy Modalities: Advanced Pain Medicine Associates uses physical therapy as a way to treat some patients’ pain. Modalities such as hot and cold packs, ultrasound and electrical stimulation can all be used in physical therapy.

• Epidural Steroid Injections: E.S.I.s are a common treatment option for lower back and leg pain caused by the narrowing of passages where nerves travel. The injectable steroids decrease swelling in the area, allowing the passages to open up again.

• Discography- Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar: The Discogram procedure entails a doctor placing needles into different discs in your spine and then injecting them with small amounts of sterile liquid.

• Peripheral Nerve Blocks: Peripheral nerves are located outside the brain and spinal cord, and transmit sensation and motor control. Our doctors place blocks on portions of the peripheral nerves to help alleviate pain.

• Joint Injections- Hip, Knee, Shoulder: By injecting medication into a joint, our doctors can temporarily decrease pain and stiffness. Injections are commonly used as a treatment for joint inflammation conditions like arthritis and tendonitis.

• Cervical & Lumbar Radiofrequency Lesioning: By using electromagnetic waves to create heat energy, our doctors are able to deconstruct tissue and nerves, eliminating pain. Radiofrequency lesioning is a long term pain solution, and is commonly used for chronic pain conditions like spinal arthritis.

• Lumbar Nucleoplasty: This procedure is done to alleviate pain caused by damaged invertebral discs. Our doctors go into the spine with a needle and remove excess tissue, which alleviates pressure on the nerves inside the discs.

• Spinal Cord Stimulation: Using a mild electric current, our doctors are able to block nerve impulses in the spine, alleviating pain.

• Intrathecal Pumps: This treatment is used in extreme cases only. A drug pump is surgically implanted under the skin of the patient’s abdomen. The pump is able to deliver pain medication directly to the spinal cord.

• IDET (Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy): This treatment is used to relieve lower back pain caused by the lumbar disc. Our doctors fluoroscopically guide an electrothermal catheter into the lumbar disc, which is then turned on and heats the disc.

• Trigger Point Injections: A trigger point is a knot in a muscle, caused when a muscle is unable to relax. By injecting a local anesthetic into the trigger point, the muscle relaxes, alleviating pain.

• Sacro-iliac Joint Injections: Also known as sacroiliac joint block, this treatment is used to diagnose and reduce lower back pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Our doctors go into the sacroiliac joint fluoroscopically with a needle and inject either a local anesthetic (for diagnosis) or an anti-inflammatory medicine (for treatment).

• Opioids/Narcotic Pain Killers: Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, blocking pain messages from being sent to the brain. These narcotic pain killers are only prescribed for severe pain. Please note: We WILL NOT prescribe pain killers to you on your first visit.