Interventional Techniques

Interventional therapy can alleviate chronic pain by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Interventional pain management involves special procedures such as an injection of local anesthetic, steroid, or narcotic around nerves, tendons, joints or muscles, nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation to treat and manage pain. In some cases of extreme pain, drugs are often given in smaller doses through the catheter directly into the spinal cord. Even though interventional procedures for treating pain seem simple, extreme care should be taken when conducting these procedures. These procedures should be performed by well-trained and experienced specialists. Some of the interventional techniques include the following:

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection: A cervical epidural steroid injection places powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the epidural space of the spine in the neck region.

Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection: A thoracic epidural steroid injection places powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the epidural space of the spine in the mid back region.

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: A lumbar epidural steroid injection places powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the epidural space of the spine in the lower back region.

Discography: Discography is performed under X-ray guidance, the needle is placed inside the suspected disc and a contrast dye is injected. This test is used to determine whether the disc is the source of pain in patients with neck or back pain.

Radiofrequency Lesioning: This technique uses electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction and the transfer of pain signals for 6 to 12 months. During the procedure, a special needle is directed into the involved nerve tissue with the guidance of an X-ray. The needle tip is then heated for 90-120 seconds so that the nerve gets cauterized and destroyed thereby reducing the pain.

Cervical medial branch block: A cervical medial branch block involves the injection of a local anesthetic with or without a steroid near the medial nerve branches supplying cervical (neck) facet joints.

Thoracic medial branch block: A thoracic medial branch block involves the injection of a local anesthetic with or without a steroid near the medial nerve branches supplying thoracic (mid-back) facet joints.

Lumbar medial branch block: A lumbar medial branch block involves the injection of a local anesthetic with or without a steroid near the medial nerve branches supplying lumbar (lower back) facet joints.