Living with pain is not living. Dealing with unrelenting pain can have devastating effects on quality of life and lead to a number of life-disrupting issues, including lack of mobility, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight loss or gain, and even addiction.
The knowledgeable specialists and staff of the Pain Management Center at Grace Health System® are committed to working with you and your primary care physician to find the source of your pain, and determining the best means of bringing you lasting relief.
The Pain Management Center also refers patients to our Chiropractic Care Center and the on-site Grace Compounding Pharmacy is available to fill pain management specialists’ prescriptions for medications.
Patient-focused, comprehensive care…the Pain Management Center at Grace Health System®.
We start with a thorough examination and historical analysis to find the root cause of the underlying causes and issues of pain. This in-depth interview will give pain management specialists an opportunity to evaluate any and all underlying factors that may be contributing to or aggravating pain.
Your doctor will talk with you about a possible diagnosis, and will schedule you for a series of tests with other specialists designed to meet your needs. This may include getting an imaging study like a CT scan, MRI, xray, ultrasound, an electromyography (EMG) or nerveconduction study. These studies are used to diagnose injuries or diseases affecting the muscles and nerves.
All information gathered by Grace’s lab and imaging professionals is reported back to the interventional pain specialists, who will then consult with you and your family about the best course of treatment.
During this consultation, the various treatment options available will be discussed and your specialist will recommend what is best for you. Since the root causes of pain are different for everyone, we don’t take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to pain management. Everyone’s circumstances are different so Pain Management Center providers take time to make a thorough, comprehensive diagnosis then they individualize each person’s treatment plan to achieve best outcomes.
One of the most common treatment modalities for management is a pain or nerve block. Different types of blocks are available based on the nature, location or root cause of pain. Pain management specialists may elect to inject cortisone or another steroid at selected locations along the spine to alleviate pain in what’s called an Epidural Steroid Injection. Blocks are often used to treat pain that spreads from the lower back to the hips and down the leg.
Your doctor may recommend an infusion pump. Pumps allow patients to manage their pain by administering a controlled amount of medication as needed.
Another option for those who want to minimize medication use or find medications not to be effective is electrical nerve stimulation. This procedure involves implanting a device that sends electrical pulses to the nerves in the spine. The resulting electrical stimulation interferes with or counteracts the nerve impulses that cause pain.
Besides use of painkillers and devices, there are alternative ways to manage chronic pain including stress-management techniques, like self-talk, hypnosis and meditation. Your doctor may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines also known as NSAIDS, to help you manage pain.
Some types of pain can be caused by mental or emotional issues unrelated to physical deformities. Your pain specialist may investigate and discuss psychological therapy as part of your treatment, which can also be helpful for managing emotional issues caused by long-term chronic pain.
Finally, if these non-invasive therapies don’t prove effective to lessen pain, Pain Management Center specialists may recommend a surgical procedure. Depending on the source and type of pain, there are very effective surgical options available to treat and manage the root causes of pain.
Let’s face it, we’ve all suffered back pain at some time in our lives. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says 80 percent of adults have had low back pain at some point, with more than a quarter of them having it in the last three months.
It’s the most common cause of job-related disability, and a main reason for people to miss work.
Dr. Hemmo Bosscher with Grace Health System®’s Pain Management Center says some patients have abnormalities of the spine that may need back surgery, such as a large herniated disc or severe narrowing of the spine. However, many patients have back pain or pain radiating down a leg (“sciatica”), but are not candidates for back surgery.
Dr. Bosscher offers relief for many of these patients through a technique he helped develop called epiduroscopy. The procedure involves putting a tiny camera into the spinal canal to get a better look at what exactly is causing back pain.
Dr. Bosscher says the patient is awake during the procedure and can tell him precisely from where the pain is coming. “Once the camera is inside the spinal canal, I can look at nerves and discs, but I am more interested in other areas where we have learned that pain comes from. At these sites, a thin inflamed membrane can often be found and removed with resolution of back pain.”
An epiduroscopy takes about an hour to complete, is performed under sedation and does not require overnight hospital stay. Post-operative pain is mild, but a patient is advised to gently increase activity level after the procedure.