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Can Anything Stop My Chronic Pelvic Pain?

Even though chronic pelvic pain is common, affecting one in seven women, it’s often hard to talk about. First, it involves private body parts that aren’t up for discussion in most social circles. Second, it’s usually difficult to describe even to your doctor, as it can come and go, feel sharp or dull, and occur in one spot or throughout your pelvic region. Third, it becomes harder to find anyone who’ll believe your pain is real after so many tests have come up negative.

Dr. Jay M. Shah at SamWell Institute for Pain Management is different. He understands your elusive pain and knows how to treat it. Renowned for his interventional pain management strategies, Dr. Shah offers cutting-edge treatments that address even complicated pain that’s plagued you for months or years — like chronic pelvic pain.

A word about chronic pelvic pain

Any pain that lasts six months or longer is considered chronic pain. Most pain has a clear source. For instance, when you sprain an ankle, you know why it hurts to walk. But when pain occurs in your pelvic region, the source is not always obvious. 

When the condition is known, the first course of action is to treat that problem. Some examples of detectable conditions that may lead to chronic pelvic pain are:

But it’s not uncommon to experience chronic pelvic pain without an obvious cause. You may be developing a condition that’s yet to be diagnosed or have a musculoskeletal issue that’s compressing your nerves. Whatever the reason you’re in pain, Dr. Shah can get to the bottom of it and bring you relief. Here are the main treatments he recommends when battling chronic pelvic pain. 

Medication

Medication can be a very effective treatment for some nerve pain. Dr Shah may prescribe gabapentin (Neurontin®), which affects your sensitivity to pain, or pregabalin (Lyrica®), which may calm overactive nerves. 

Nerve blocks

If oral medication doesn’t bring relief, it may be because your nerves are malfunctioning. This can happen after an injury or surgery, when the nerves fail to “rewire” correctly. The result is constant pain signals even though the source of the pain is gone. 

A targed nerve block under live image guidance resolves this issue. Dr. Shah injects an anesthetic into the area and bathes the nerves with the numbing medication. The nerve block not only provides immediate pain relief, it also resets your nerves to restore proper functioning.

Radiofrequency ablation

If your chronic pelvic pain doesn’t improve with more conservative treatments, radiofrequency ablation, also called rhizotomy, is the next step in the progression of pain management treatments. In this procedure, Dr. Shah inserts specialized needles capable of emitting radiofrequency energy. When directed at the nerves triggering your chronic pelvic pain, this energy heats them up and prevents them from sending pain messages for six months to two years. 

Spinal cord stimulation

Studies show that women with chronic pelvic pain respond well to spinal cord stimulation (SCS), especially those whose pain stems from PID, interstitial cystitis, and adenomyosis. 

SCS is a minimally invasive procedure, where Dr. Shah implants a small device in your abdomen or buttock area. The device contains leads and electrodes that emit specific doses of electrical stimulation that interrupt pain signals and stop your pain. This procedure is typically performed initially with a 7-day external stimulator “trial” period to ensure you are a good candidate for a long term implant of the device.

Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation

In a procedure very similar to SCS, dorsal root ganglion stimulation involves the implantation of a small device to block pain signals between your nerves and your brain, but DRG stimulation is more precise and focused. When your pain is generalized, as is often the case with conditions such as fibromyalgia, SCS may be most appropriate. 

But when specific nerves can be identified, Dr. Shah can target them more precisely by focusing on your dorsal root ganglion, a bundle of nerves found in the epidural space in your spinal column. This procedure is typically performed initially with a 7-day external stimulator “trial” period to ensure you are a good candidate for a long term implant of the device.

Which treatment is best for chronic pelvic pain?

Each of these treatments is highly effective, but choosing the right one depends on the specifics of your condition, your symptoms, and the treatments you’ve tried in the past. Dr. Shah thoroughly evaluates your pain in terms of frequency, intensity, location, and duration, along with a complete exploration of your medical history. His primary goal is to relieve your pain by addressing the underlying cause.

To learn more about Dr. Shah’s pain management treatments for chronic pelvic pain, contact us by phone at either our Colonia or Livingston, New Jersey locations, or book your appointment online

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