A work-related injury is any pain resulting from an injury at one’s place of employment.
Many work-related injuries are associated with the back, but can result in an injury to any part of the body.
Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain refers to any pain lasting in excess of six months. There is no clear cause, as the term applies to any long-term discomfort arising from an initial injury. Chronic pain can occur in virtually any part of the human body and often contributes to other residual health problems including fatigue, decreased appetite, mood swings, and a lack of mobility. These difficulties negatively affect a person’s ability to lead a comfortable lifestyle. Many advances in modern medicine are helping people to manage their chronic pain more effectively to reduce suffering and enhance a patient’s quality of life and functionality. We will fully evaluate your condition and design a holistic, individually tailored plan to help you return to your life.
A platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection is a treatment designed reduce pain and accelerate healing in patient’s suffering from bone, muscle and tendon injuries. Platelet rich plasma is extracted from the patient’s own body as a concentration of platelets cells, which circulate in the bloodstream and are critical for blood clotting. Platelets and liquid plasma contain several elements that are essential to healing, including cell recruitment, multiplication and specialization. Once a blood sample is taken from the patient, the sample is stored in a centrifuge that separates the blood into red, white, and plasma cell components. Platelet rich plasma is then collected, treated, and delivered to the injured area of bone or soft tissue in the patient, using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance to aid the precise placement of the treatment solution.
Facet Nerve Block
A facet nerve block entails administering anti-inflammatory injections into the facet joints of a patient to relieve swelling and promote body movement as a therapeutic treatment, or to identify a source of pain as a diagnostic treatment. The procedures is performed using x-ray guidance down to the nerves that innovate the affected facet joint(s). Facet joints are located between vertebrae in the spine, allowing them to move against each other for an effective range of motion. Patients experiencing chronic neck and back pain, from conditions such as arthritis and whiplash, are leading candidates for facet nerve block treatment. Patients may be given a pain diary to determine whether nerve blocks applied to a certain area have helped to relieve a patient’s pain over the three days following treatment. If the blocks provide relief for a few hours only, the patient may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation of the nerves to the facet joint. This procedure would typically provide 12 months of relief, if successful.
Trigger Point Injection
A trigger point injection is used to treat muscles that are in spasm, painful, or unable to relax. Trigger points in these muscles may irritate the nerves around them, causing referred pain in other areas of the body. During the procedure, a needle is inserted into the muscle and a small amount of local anesthetic is used to sedate the muscle, allowing it to relax. Trigger points usually take effect immediately and can last from hours to months.
Transforaminal Epidural Injection
A transforaminal epidural is another way to introduce saline, local anesthetic and steroid medication into the spine to reduce the inflammation of spinal nerve roots and their surrounding tissues. The transforaminal epidural is a well-renowned treatment for its ability to accurately pinpoint a specific spinal nerve root level. In this procedure, a needle is guided into the foramen section of a patient’s spine using fluoroscopic imaging. The foramen is the hole on the side of the spine, through which nerves extend to a patient’s arms, neck, legs and lower back. The local anesthetic administered usually takes effect immediately, while a steroid solution can take between three and five days to provide anti-inflammatory benefits, which can last up to several months.
Lumbar and cervical rhizotomy (radiofrequency ablation) refers to the selective destruction of nerves in the facet joints of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine to alleviate the pain originating from the facet joints. Facet joint nerves are targeted and destroyed using a probe that emits heat via radio frequency waves. The nerves slowly regenerate over a time frame of between five months and one year, providing long term pain relief until the nerve has fully recovered and the procedure is repeated if necessary.
Lumbar and Cervical Epidural
An epidural is the therapeutic injection of a pain relieving drug or steroid which is injected into the epidural space of the spinal canal. Lumbar and cervical epidurals can be administered at any place along the spine, from the cervical (neck) area, to the thoracic (middle) section and lumbar (lower) region. Similar to nerve blocks, epidural injections decrease the inflammatory factors located in a patient’s spine. The treatment usually requires two to three days to take effect, peaking within seven days and providing up to two months of consistent relief before the numbing effect subsides. The lengthy effect of the epidural makes it an effective means of managing chronic pain among long-term sufferers.
Image-guided Nerve Blocks and Injection Therapies
Image-guided nerve blocks and injection therapies allow specialists to treat pain in a specific part of the body, such as an organ or a limb. Targeting an isolated group of nerves that carry the pain sensation from the affected area, a needle is inserted in the spine and guided to the area where the nerve or nerve cluster is irritated. Using the imaging technique of fluoroscopy to track the needle’s movement, local anesthetic is then administered to numb acute pain. Steroids can also be used to control nerve inflammation. Nerve blocks can be used for different reasons associated with chronic pain. While therapeutic nerve blocks control pain associated with various conditions, Diagnostic and Prognostic nerve blocks help to determine the source of a pain and predict the outcome of certain treatment respectively. Preemptive nerve blocs are also used before certain procedures to prevent ensuing discomfort.