Interventional Pain Management
Interventional pain management is a critical part of our practice at reVive Spine Center because it helps patients better focus on other aspects of their treatment, including physical therapy and chiropractic care. When patients aren’t dealing with a high level of pain, they can progress in recovery more quickly.
Dr. John Swinarski is our interventional pain management specialist at reVive Spine Center. He specializes in Physiatry - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Swinarski is trained as a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.), which emphasizes examining the patient as a whole, rather than narrowly focusing on a single health issue. By addressing the patient’s whole-body health, we can not only identify the source of pain but also improve factors that might be contributing to it. Dr. Swinarski works closely with Dr. Vigna and Dr. Morgan to help patients manage their pain so that they can progress in their treatment and have less discomfort in their daily lives. Our goal is to help you get your life back.
What Is Interventional Pain Management?
Interventional pain management is a methodology that helps to relieve or reduce a patient’s pain symptoms, while also limiting the use of narcotic and over-the-counter pain medications. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, oral pain medications can have negative side effects over time.
Though generally safe with occasional use, frequent use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can result in conditions like ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and kidney problems over time. The opioid crisis is also of serious concern with prescription pain medications. Opioids are highly addictive, and therefore are not the best option for patients with chronic pain and spine conditions. Many patients do not want to be prescribed opioid pain medications for this reason. These problems with oral medications have led to the use of interventional pain management.
At reVive Spine Center, interventional pain management involves the use of injections and pain-blocking techniques to help relieve pain symptoms caused by spine conditions. Injections may also be used for diagnostic purposes, to confirm the source of pain. The effects of these treatments last for several months, providing longer-lasting pain relief without the negative side effects of oral medications. This allows our patients to better progress in their treatments, which may include physical therapy and chiropractic care, with less pain. This is also a great help in our patients’ daily lives, as they can go about their normal activities with less pain and without having to worry about taking medications.
Benefits of Interventional Pain Management
There are several benefits to interventional pain management, including:
- Longer-lasting pain relief
- Pain relief that improves your ability to participate in physical therapy and chiropractic care, which may lead to quicker progress
- Ability to avoid or delay the need for surgery if treatments provide relief of symptoms
- Ability to avoid oral pain medications that can cause addiction issues and other health problems
- Injections that aid in diagnosis in addition to providing pain relief
- Improved quality of life
Interventional Pain Management Options
Dr. Swinarski is trained in several different interventional pain management techniques. Treatments will be recommended based on your symptoms, diagnosis, and location of the pain. Some treatments can also be used as a diagnostic tool; if a patient experiences pain relief from a particular injection, it can confirm the source of the patient’s pain.
Interventional pain management treatments may include:
- Nerve Blocks - Nerve blocks are used to disrupt pain signals from the nerves to the brain to provide pain relief.
- Ultrasound-Guided Injections - Dr. Swinarski may use ultrasound guidance for some injections to help pinpoint an exact location. This can be helpful in instances where the injection must be administered in a very small, precise location, and can also be helpful for diagnostic purposes.
- Trigger Point Injections - Trigger point injections may be used for painful trigger points or “knots” in muscles to help the muscle relax.
- Epidural Injections - With epidural injections, a mixture of corticosteroid and a local anesthetic are injected into the epidural space to relieve pain and reduce inflammation caused by conditions like spinal stenosis or herniated discs.
- SI Joint Injections - The sacroiliac (SI) joints connect the sacrum (bottom of the spine) to the hip bones on both sides. When one or both of the SI joints develop arthritis, it can cause lower back pain and sciatica-like symptoms. SI joint injections are administered in the SI joint space to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
- Spinal Cord Stimulator - Spinal cord stimulators are small, implanted devices that deliver mild electrical pulses to specific nerves in the body. These pulses help to alleviate pain symptoms by disrupting how the brain receives pain signals. Dr. Swinarski conducts a test with temporary nerve stimulators to see if they are effective for the patient before the device is implanted by Dr. Vigna. Spinal cord stimulation is most commonly used for patients who experience continued pain after spine surgery.
Interventional Pain Management in Western New York
Dr. John Swinarski is a doctor of osteopathic medicine who specializes in interventional pain management and physical therapy. Dr. Swinarski believes in treating the patient as a whole to identify the source of pain, working with the other doctors on our team to provide the best care possible. Interventional pain management is an important part of our treatment process, as it allows our patients to progress in their nonsurgical treatments while avoiding the potential side effects of oral pain medications. With longer-lasting pain relief, many patients with spine conditions can enjoy their favorite activities while avoiding or delaying the need for surgery.