Pain Management Treatments Offered at Corda Pain Institute
Recognizing that chronic pain is complex and there’s no “one size fits all” treatment effective for everyone, Corda Pain Institute offers various pain management treatments for our New Jersey patients. Whether you suffer from chronic back, neck, or hip pain, you have many available options ranging from facet injections and nerve block epidural injections to spinal cord stimulation. We also offer Chiropractic treatment and the latest rehabilitative techniques when helping patients that are suffering with pain from disc/joint problems, neuropathies, degenerative problems, and spinal surgeries. Dependent on your comfort level, our board-certified pain management physicians are trained in various surgical and non-surgical methods ranging from conservative approaches to more advanced state-of-the-art therapies.
Back pain is extremely common and often self-limiting. Unfortunately, it can become persistent and eventually disabling. Frequently, the cause of the back pain can be traced to a joint in your backbone or spine called the facet joint. The facet joint is an overlapping joint between the vertebrae in your back and often accounts for back complaints. Pain arising from the facet joints is usually located in the lower back and rarely extends below the knee. The pain can be aggravated by bending backward at the waist. In the neck, facet joint pain can result in headaches, neck and/or shoulder pain. Unfortunately, x-rays or MRIs may not be helpful in diagnosis.
If These Injections Help, What’s Next?
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, you’ll be placed on a regular exercise program to regain pain-free function. Additional procedures may be recommended depending on your response to the treatment program.
Does It Hurt?
A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin before the needle is inserted. With the help of the sedation and numbing medications, you’ll be very comfortable during the procedure. After the procedure, you will not be allowed to drive because of the effects of the anesthesia medications. You may elect to have this procedure done without sedation. Please consult your physician regarding any other questions or concerns.
How Do These Injections Differ From Epidural Steroid Injections?
The facet joints are the overlapping joints located between the vertebrae. They act to stabilize the spine and limit the amount of motion in the spine. These joints are quite a distance from where epidural steroids are injected. Injections placed directly into the facet joint provide a more precise method to treat pain arising from the facet joints.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting an electrode(s) into the spinal column to interfere with the body’s pain signals. This results in decreasing the amount of pain that is felt. The device is most effective for leg or arm pain, but it may have some effect on neck or back pain as well. The device itself involves placing a trial lead first. A spinal cord stimulator lead is placed in the back or neck with light sedation provided during the procedure. After the lead is properly placed, it is taped to the back and tried out at home for about 4-5 days.
A successful trial is defined as achieving >50% relief of pain. If this level is achieved, then it can be implanted surgically at a later date. There are many good resources on the Internet (Medtronics, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, and Nevro) for further information.
Nerve Block Epidural Injections
The epidural cavity is the space surrounding the spinal cord extending from the neck to the tailbone. Inside this space are nerves which can cause pain when inflamed. Injection of a steroid solution where the problem lies can relieve inflammation, lessen pain, and promote healing. The procedure itself is quite safe. You can be either asleep (anesthesia), or it can be done with you being awake using a numbing medication at the injection site. Complications are quite rare and are generally limited to soreness at the injection site for which ice application can be very helpful.
Inflamed nerves can result in arm, chest wall, or leg pain. Traditional epidural injections involve placing a steroid solution into the epidural canal around the discs and nerves. Nerve block epidurals (transforaminal steroid injections) involve placing a steroid solution on one particular nerve. The nerve itself is injected as it exits the spine. This approach is particularly helpful for arm or leg pain.
Medical Management of Chronic Pain
Narcotics are sometimes necessary to fight chronic pain. At Corda Pain Institute, we recognize that pain management, when done safely and appropriately, can improve quality of life and restore function. Our goal is to use non-narcotic medications and techniques liberally to lessen the requirement for pain medications. We’ll always endeavor to use the lowered dose of medication to accomplish stated goals.
The risks of long-term narcotic use and alternative treatments will be discussed with you. Patient safety is always our first priority when using these types of medications. A written copy of our policy describing risks of narcotic use, including addiction issues and potential adverse side effects, will be provided through your patient portal.
Legalized Medical Marijuana Program
The State of New Jersey has a legalized medical marijuana program which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician. You may apply for a state-issued New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card permitting you to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per New Jersey state guidelines. For more information, please visit the New Jersey Department of Health’s website.
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Stem Cell Treatment
Your body’s stem cells are the cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Under the ideal conditions present either in the body itself or in a lab, stem cells divide and form daughter cells, which can either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or other specialized cells (differentiation). Stem cells are unique because no other cells in your body are capable of generating new cell types. That’s why researchers are so interested in their potential.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy (Regenerative Medicine) and How Does It Work?
Stem cell therapy, also referred to as regenerative medicine, has been at the forefront of the news lately. Because the use of stem cells promotes the repair of diseased, dysfunctional, or injured body tissue, it’s believed to be the next chapter in organ transplants. Many scientists promote using stem cells instead of donor organs, which are often limited in their supply. Stem cells are now being grown in labs and manipulated to specialize into specific types of cells, including blood cells, heart muscle cells, and nerve cells, which can then be transplanted into a human being. For example, healthy heart muscle cells could be transplanted into an individual with heart disease to repair his or her defective heart muscle without the individual having to wait for a heart transplant.
Chiropractic, in its modern form, was developed in 1895. The concept of spinal manipulation, however, dates back to Hippocrates in ancient Greece, almost 2500 years ago. Today, a Chiropractor is trained in correcting the cause of patient issues and promoting wellness without prescription drugs or surgery.
The primary goal when you come in for care is to restore proper, natural motion to your spine and body. The reason chiropractors focus so much on the spine is that it houses the nerves that supply every system in your body. The respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and circulatory system are just a few of the things that rely on the nervous system to function properly. Often times people experience improved functioning in these systems after getting adjusted.
Commonly, people see the chiropractor for neck and back pain but they can still experience the great benefits that come with getting a chiropractic adjustment. Most patients experience a calming feeling after an adjustment as well as a reduction in stress. These are great side effects to having your nervous system stimulated through a chiropractic adjustment.
Just a few examples of conditions that can be helped with chiropractic care include headaches, sciatica, TMJ joint pain and dysfunction, tennis elbow, rib pain, numbness and/or tingling down the arm or leg, carpal tunnel, sports injuries, and plantar fasciitis.
Chiropractic is beneficial for those who are young, those who are a little more “seasoned”, and those who are somewhere in the middle. Chiropractic adjusting techniques can be altered to accommodate patients of any age, size, or special need.
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