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Pain Management: Combatting Stereotypes and Pain, One Patient at a Time

Many people hear “pain management” and think prescription medications, specifically opioids. But honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At Stormont Vail Health, the pain management team works to provide interventional care that will reduce and relieve pain for everyone that walks through the clinic doors.

“We care about your pain. We have team members that are patients here as well,” said Terri Parker, Pain Management Medical Assistant.  “We believe in our work. We work as a team and care like a family. We are there for you no matter what you’re going through.”

What happens when a pain management clinic doesn’t utilize opioid medications? There are a multitude of options that depend on the type and location of pain, but here are some of the most commonly used alternatives:

Steroid Injections & Epidurals

Different steroid injections can help to relieve pain and inflammation and are delivered directly into the problem area. The shots can be used to treat a number of different conditions, including joint pain, arthritis, and sciatica. Lumbar epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are also used as a pain relief option for certain chronic low back pain, like pinched nerves.

Radiofrequency Ablation

One of the newest pain control techniques that only involves a minimally invasive procedure, is called radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or rhizotomy. In RFA, an electrical current, produced by a radio wave, is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue to decrease pain signals in that specific area. This versatile treatment can be used for neck, back, knee, pelvic, and other pain.

Spinal Cord Stimulators

Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are surgically implanted devices that send mild electric currents directly into the spinal cord to relieve pain. SCS devices can help with chronic pain like sciatica or on-going pain caused by arthritis and nerve damage. There have also been amazing results shown in stroke survivors and diabetic patients with pain in their legs and feet.

The pain management team wants to help you live your best, happiest, and healthiest life and knows that you can’t do that if you’re in pain while trying to handle day-to-day tasks.

“My favorite part of working in pain management is having a patient say they received pain relief post-procedure,” said Valerie Conklin, RN. “It just makes you feel good knowing your patients are able to tolerate and enjoy their daily life because they have less pain, and I am able to have a part in that.”

Are you interested in seeing the other treatments we have available? Click here to learn about how we can help you reduce your pain and get back to the life you deserve.

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