Advancements in chronic pain treatment – more than medication

chronic pain treatment, beyond medicationPain management specialist Dr. Robert J. Berens shares how advancements in chronic pain treatment are providing relief without a prescription.

What advances have a made a significant impact in chronic pain treatment?

Over the past few decades, the treatment options have been refined and improved for interventional pain medicine. We have many techniques to target specific nerves and try to reduce or eliminate their ability to generate pain signals in the brain.

Sometimes we can accomplish this with medication management and other times, minimally invasive techniques can offer more directed treatment with a more rapid resolution.

We have advanced techniques in radio frequency treatments to provide longer-term control of pain, in addition to directed nerve root therapies to establish relief.

Spinal cord stimulation is an area of significant improvement. We are now able to implant targeted stimulators into the area of the spine to control abnormal signals to the brain that are difficult to treat with other modalities.

What is interventional pain management?

Interventional pain management is a discipline in pain medicine that helps relieve patients of their pain by going beyond medication. It relies on a wide array of therapies to diagnose, reduce, and often eliminate a patient’s pain.

Minimally-invasive techniques have the ability to diagnose a problem and treat the pain accordingly – often via a procedure or treatment, such as injections or devices and managed over time if necessary.

Many interventional treatment therapies have been used to treat most aspects of spine related pain, and return a patient to their normal level of activities as soon as possible.

What are the advantages of seeing a pain management specialist?

Most patients initially receive their pain care from the primary physician. When pain control is not within reach or a more targeted treatment is available, the primary physician or others will refer to a pain specialist.

When is it time to seek a pain management specialist?

Pain can often begin as an acute problem and slowly change into a chronic problem that is difficult to treat. Chronic pain can be from a long-standing problem with or without an initial injury.

Once a problem does not appear to be improving, it is likely entering a chronic phase. Acute and chronic pain can be treated by a pain specialist and this should be considered at any time in the course of the problem.

It can often be noted that early referrals to an interventional specialist can often help to provide a more rapid reduction in pain, and at times eliminate the source.

Why have you continued to provide care at TMC?

I have been associated with TMC since 1990 because TMC has been a leader in our community and has consistently provided patient-centered care.

We have been fortunate to have a fabulous staff to support our services and provide compassionate care to our patients.

TMC has established itself through its commitment to excellence and its focus on creating the best team approach in Southern Arizona.

Dr. Berens

Dr. Robert J. Berens is board certified in pain management and anesthesiology. He has been in practice since 1990 and has served as the medical director of the TMC Integrative Pain Center since 2004.

For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call (520) 324-2080.

The Integrative Pain Center is located at 5355 E. Erickson Dr.

 

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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