There are several minimally invasive procedures to relieve pain. However, there is not a single procedure that cures all pain. A treatment that helps relieve chronic back pain, osteoarthritis, or headaches, may have no effect on chronic pain from fibromyalgia or diabetic nerve damage. Sometimes it is necessary to try several approaches to find the right combination of treatments that work for each patient.
Chronic Pain Treatment Objectives
The objective of treating chronic pain is to focus on the source of pain, and not just masking the symptoms. Sometimes the source of the pain cannot be remedied; however, in all cases, there are three goals to keep in mind:
- Reduction of pain symptoms.
- Remain active.
- Slow the loss of function (maintain the ability to drive, work, and perform daily tasks).
What is a Minimally Invasive Procedure?
Minimally invasive procedures to relieve pain incorporate a variety of techniques that are less severe than open surgery.
Surgery by definition is invasive and operations requiring large incisions are often referred to as open surgery. In contrast, minimally invasive procedures generally limit the size of the incision which results in less pain, a shorter recovery period, and fewer complications.
Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Chronic Pain
There are a variety of options for the treatment of chronic pain. Many people tend to think of oral and topical medications for treating chronic pain. However, there are minimally invasive treatments for pain that do not involve oral medication and their side effects.
Minimally invasive procedures for pain relief include:
- Injections for Chronic Pain. There are various types of injection treatments for chronic pain that address numerous symptoms. The injection is often administered on an outpatient basis and uses X-ray guidance. Types of injections include trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections, selective nerve root block, facet joint block, facet rhizotomy, and sacroiliac joint block.
- Regenerative Medicine. The purpose of regenerative medicine is to regenerate tissue using the patient’s own cells to stimulate the healing process.
- Stem Cell Therapy. The injection of stem cells can help improve conditions relating to aging, arthritis, back injuries, foot and ankle injuries, hair loss, hand and wrist injuries, hip injuries, knee injuries, osteoarthritis, sports & athletic injuries, and more.
- Platelet-Rich Therapy (PHP). This procedure includes the injection of the patient’s own blood platelets, which stimulates the natural healing process and supports faster healing of soft tissue.
- Prolotherapy. This procedure includes the injection of an irritating substance to stimulate the body’s healing response to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints, and connective tissue.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) includes a procedure to place electrodes near the spinal cord that deliver a low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain.
- Pain Pump. This pain relief system includes a reservoir of pain medication and a pump that dispenses medication through a catheter to a specific place near the spinal cord. This pain relief system is beneficial for patients with whom other pain relief methods have not been effective, and who cannot tolerate oral medications.
- Nerve Ablation. This procedure involves the destruction (ablation) of nerves to reduce certain kinds of chronic pain. Destroying the nerves prevents the transmission of pain signals. There are different kinds of nerve ablation including radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, neurotomy, and rhizotomy. Because the nerves grow back, the process offers semi-permanent pain relief and typically must be repeated.
- Nerve Block. Pain can often be blocked with the injection of medication into a specific area of the body. The injection of this nerve-numbing medication is called a nerve block.
- Vein Treatments. Numerous conditions relating to the veins can result in pain. Some of the procedures that treat the blood vessels and vascular disease like varicose veins include:
- Endovenous Ablation. This is a procedure that cauterizes and closes varicose veins. It can be done using a laser, radiofrequency, or steam.
- Phlebectomy. This is a minimally invasive method of removing varicose veins that lie just under the surface of the skin. Small sections of vein are removed through small incisions.
- Sclerotherapy. This is a popular treatment for fading spider veins and small varicose veins. The injection of a solution into the vein causes the vein to scar which forces blood to reroute through healthier veins.
You Are Not Alone
Controlling chronic pain is not simple. Often, a combination of treatments or procedures is necessary to find what works best for each patient. If you are suffering from chronic pain and have not been able to find a treatment that provides relief, a minimally invasive procedure to relieve pain may help.
Novus Spine & Pain Center
The Novus Spine & Pain Center is in Lakeland, Florida, and specializes in treating chronic pain with minimally invasive procedures. By using a comprehensive approach and cutting-edge therapies, we work together with patients to restore function and regain an active lifestyle, while minimizing the need for opiates.
Our Mission Statement: To provide the best quality of life to people suffering from pain, by providing state of the art treatments, knowledge and skill, compassion, and respect for all.
Minimally Invasive Procedures to Relieve Pain Resources
Minimally Invasive Procedure (Wikipedia)
Interventional Pain Management: A Comprehensive Approach to Chronic Pain (Spine Universe)
Treatment options for chronic pain (American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine)
7 Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery (Johns Hopkins)
Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain (WebMD)
Pain Relief and Healing with Laser Therapy (Spine Universe)
Nerve Ablation for Chronic Pain (Kaiser Permanente)