Interventional Pain Management
Interventional pain procedures are minimally invasive procedures (injections) mostly done on Day care basis involving either injections of drugs to target areas, ablation of targeted nerves or some surgical techniques such as implantation of intrathecal infusion pumps or spinal cord stimulators or intradiscal procedures. Interventional therapy can alleviate chronic pain by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. With advancement in technology and especially use of C Arm fluoroscopes for image guided blocks and ultrasound, Interventional pain procedures could be done in much more reliable and predictable manner.
Pain physician of today is competent to treat entire range of pain encountered in the delivery of quality health care, whether it is due to a discrete cause like cancer pain & postoperative pain to primary pain problems like musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, urogenital pain, headaches etc. Pain Medicine which incorporates Interventional pain management has been acknowledged as a discrete discipline by the American Medical Association.
The main indications for interventional pain procedures are:
Pain reduction in response to the injection may suggest a potential pain generator.
Pain reduction after injection may facilitate active rehabilitation component of treatment. These injections are not cures but are adjuncts to an active guided excercise program.
The advent of Radiofrequency (RF) ablation both thermal and pulse radiofrequency have quiet changed the outlook of interventional pain procedures in terms of providing longer lasting solutions for pain problems of the patients. The spectrum of Interventional pain management has broadened with neuromodulation. Be it Spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal pumps or peripheral nerve stimulators, these devices have moved in the analgesic ladder and are now indicated earlier rather than late for managing neuropathic or cancer pains.
Thus the advantages of Interventional pain management are
- Almost painless with faster results
- Minimally Invasive (only needle puncture required)
- Usually done under local anaesthesia
- No hospitalization required
- No hindrance in living routine life
- Cost effective
- Riddance from long-term medications
- Averting surgery and complications related to it
Therefore Interventional pain management when practised as multidisciplinary approach along with Physiotherapy and Psychotherapy can effectively manage pain and improve functional ability thereby improving the quality of life.