Advanced Interventional Pain Management Provides New Options
// PAIN MANAGEMENT
Are there treatment options other than controlled substances?
Unfortunately, our society has struggled with an overreliance on narcotics and anti-anxiety medications to treat pain, mostly because they were cheap and readily available. We know these medications have never improved patient outcomes, and even a short course will leave many patients believing they cannot live without them. Today, we have much more effective therapies to treat underlying causes of pain and its transmission, namely, decompressing lumbar spinal stenosis or using neuromodulation (electrical impulses) over the spine or the nerves in our arms and legs. These newer techniques can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life without taking pills indefinitely.
Who needs an advanced interventional pain management specialist?
Patients suffering from neck, low back, and joint pain who wish to avoid major surgery, yet still seek a significant improvement in their quality of life. This specialty has become hyper-focused on providing meaningful improvements in the outcomes of patients. We look to find the generators of pain and identify minimally invasive techniques that treat the underlying cause of pain, or at a minimum, prevent pain from impacting the quality of life.
What pain management options are the safest and most helpful?
Advanced interventional pain management is focused on providing safe and effective therapies to treat the underlying causes of pain, whether they are mechanical, chemical (inflammation), or electrical (chronic nerve injury or damage). Epidural steroids, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency ablations have been the mainstay of interventional pain specialists for decades, however, the techniques have shown to have limited efficacy over the long term, and merely temporize the pain. More recent advanced therapies include in-office or outpatient procedures with the same level of safety, but much higher efficacy in treating the underlying disease. These include therapies to treat the mechanical causes of lumbar spinal stenosis, compression fractures in the spine, and conduction of pain in the extremities.
Are alternative therapies effective?
Many alternative therapies have been shown to effectively manage pain, but the key is whether those treatments are effective long term. There is good data showing acupuncture, massage, and meditation all benefit patients suffering pain, though the challenge is whether those benefits can be sustained if the patient stops performing them. To accomplish this, you must target the underlying cause and transmission of pain. It is critical for patients seeking alternatives to ask questions and ensure they work with a specialist who shares the same goal.
What are the long-term goals of an advanced interventional pain management specialist?
Our long-term goal is to improve quality of life, getting patients back to gardening, running, or being able to complete simple processes without being interrupted by pain. There is no greater joy for me than to see a patient come to their first appointment unable to walk unassisted, then six months later, walking in erect of their own accord, grateful for having their life back.
About the Expert
Jaideep Mehta, MD, MBA, FASA,
University Pain Associates
Jaideep Mehta, MD, MBA, FASA, is a double board certified anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician at University Pain Associates. Dr. Mehta diagnoses and treats acute, cancer, and chronic pain with the goal of restoring his patients’ functionality so they can return to enjoying their life. He holds several degrees from University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, and St. George’s University School of Medicine.
Get in Touch
UniversityPain.com // (281) 896-0100