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Interventional Pain Specialists and How can Non-Surgical Orthopedic Treatment Help With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain changes your life. It doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain relievers, simple home remedies, or even time. Chronic pain is your constant companion and the main reason you miss work, cancel social plans, and experience bouts of depression

Board-certified Dr. Jay Shah at the SamWell Institute for Pain Management is a leading expert in alleviating chronic pain. From our offices in Colonia and Livingston, New Jersey, he diagnoses the underlying source of your chronic pain and uses advanced technology to develop a treatment plan that finally stops your agony.

As an interventional pain specialist, Dr. Shah is committed to relieving your pain without medication or surgery, whenever possible. However, when these traditional modalities are required, he keeps the invasion and drugs to a minimum. His interventional approach to your chronic pain involves a broad spectrum of treatments. Here’s what you need to know.

How chronic pain differs from regular pain

Most pain goes away as soon as the injury that caused it heals. Cut fingers, strained muscles, and broken bones all feel better eventually. But chronic pain is different. Damaged nerves (neuropathy) or malfunctioning nerves (complex regional pain syndrome) can continue to send pain messages to your brain long after your injury’s healed. 

Likewise, myofascial pain involves long-term muscle pain, which may be caused by excess pressure on muscle tissue, resulting in hypersensitivity to pain.

Sometimes the source of chronic pain is known, and other times it eludes detection. Sometimes it causes inflamed joints and lack of mobility, and other times it causes a burning sensation and skin changes. But one thing most types of chronic pain share in common is that they don’t respond to traditional methods and medications. That’s where interventional pain medicine comes in. 

Interventional pain management versus conventional medicine

The conventional approach to medicine is to treat your symptoms, typically with medication. While medication has its place, it should never be the only tool used to treat chronic pain. 

Surgery is another go-to treatment in the conventional medicine toolbox. Again, we believe there’s a time and place for surgery, but it’s always as a last resort, and always as minimally invasive as possible.

At SamWell Institute for Pain Management, we prefer interventional medicine, a field of medicine that’s been steadily increasing in popularity for two decades. This approach allows us to focus on the myriad factors that may be contributing to your chronic pain, as we know that pain often begets more pain, and your condition may involve a complex network of simultaneous problems. 

Our primary goal is to determine the underlying cause of your pain and treat that, if possible. We address the source and your symptoms with interventional techniques, which may include treatments such as:

Each of these affect your chronic pain differently, and they each have specific purposes in your overall treatment plan. Here’s how they help:

Relaxation

When chronic pain stems from tight muscles that form knots called trigger points, massage therapy can ease the tension and release your muscles, relieving myofascial and nerve pain.

Inflammation

Inflammation is present in nearly every type of pain and is a common culprit in chronic pain. Arthritic joints, post-surgical pain, low back pain, and neuropathy all involve inflammation. Dr. Shah reduces this painful swelling with corticosteroid injections. He may also include an anesthetic in your injection to give you immediate relief as you wait for the steroid to kick in.

Nerve signal disruption

Dr. Shah specializes in spinal cord stimulation and dorsal root ganglion stimulation as ways to stop pain caused by malfunctioning nerves. These treatments involve an implanted device that disrupts the pain messages between your nerves and your brain with low-voltage electrical impulses. 

Natural healing

Part of Dr. Shah’s interventional pain medicine strategy involves regenerative medicine to tap into your body’s own healing resources. He uses both stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy to trigger new cell growth, accelerate healing, and stop your pain. 

Strategic movements

Movement is the key to healing, as it increases circulation and delivers oxygen-rich blood to injured and diseased body parts. Our physical therapy team leads you through targeted exercises that promote healing, increase your range of motion, and relieve your pain.

Minimally Invasive Surgical intervention

As we mentioned, there are times when surgery is the only option, and when it is, Dr. Shah may perform a barely invasive procedure to relieve your chronic pain. He might insert a small spacer between two painful vertebrae or relieve the pressure on a compressed nerve.

If you have chronic pain that hasn’t responded to medications, Dr. Shah’s interventional approach may be the answer you’ve been looking for. To find out more, call either of our two New Jersey locations, or book an appointment online today. 

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