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All Posts in Category: Pain Management

nerve blocks

What are Nerve Blocks?

Since pain is the result of aggravated nerves, pain management doctors often look for ways to impair pain-causing nerves.

One way of accomplishing this task is by utilizing a procedure called a nerve block. A nerve block is a procedure in which medication is injected in to the nerve in order to cut off or “block” the nerve’s ability to send pain signals to the brain. In doing so, the nerve is numbed and the patient no longer experience the sensation of pain caused by that nerve.

Why Are Nerve Blocks Recommended?

Nerve blocks are primarily used for pain along the spine. Doctors can recommend nerve blocks for diagnostic, preventive, and/or therapeutic purposes.

  • Diagnostic cases: A temporary, or short-term, nerve block is injected in order to determine the specific nerve that is causing the pain.
  • Preventive cases: The patient usually already has a history of chronic pain, with a pattern of flare-ups. For such a patient, a nerve block can prevent future flare-ups of pain.
  • Therapeutic cases: The nerve block is injected strictly to relieve pain.

The reasons for a patient undergoing a nerve block often overlap.

Are Nerve Blocks Right For You?

Most doctors recommend nerve blocks when conservative options have already been tried and failed – such as physical therapy and medications.  It is recommended that you always talk to your doctor about your treatment options.  He or she can guide you through a treatment plan that is right for you. For more information on nerve blocks procedures and other types of minimally invasive surgery and the surgeons at the Orangewood Surgical Center, call (714) 221-4236, or visit OSCsurgical.com.

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radiofrequency ablation

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is commonly used to treat lower back pain. Radiofrequency ablation works by applying the heat generated from radiofrequency waves to the nerves that are generating the pain in the spine. This eliminates the pain-causing nerves in the spine, which stops those specific pain signals to the brain.

Why is Radiofrequency Ablation Different from Other Options?

Research “lower back pain treatment”, and you’ll see there are many different treatment options available. Plus, chances are that the more doctors and specialists you see, the more varied your recommendations will be. Generally, though, radiofrequency ablation is set apart from other options, because of the very nature of the procedure. While other options – such as physical therapy, medications, and epidural steroid injections – are designed in-part to help treat the source of what is triggering the nerve, radiofrequency ablation eliminates the nerve itself.

For this reason, radiofrequency ablation has helped many patients with severe pain find long-sought relief – from both the physical pain, and the stress of juggling a host of pain management treatments.

If you are ever confused about any recommendation coming from a doctor, the best thing to do is to talk to him or her. Your doctor will be able to give you a clear understanding on why a specific treatment is needed.

Ideal Candidates for Radiofrequency Ablation

The ideal candidates for radiofrequency ablation are those with chronic severe lower back pain, and who have not experienced relief from other non-invasive treatments.

For more information on minimally invasive surgery and the surgeons at Orangewood Surgical Center, call (714) 221-4236, or visit our About page.

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What to Look for When Choosing a Hip Specialist

What to Look for When Choosing a Hip Specialist

Question Your Provider

Ask your provider about their credentials. First, make sure they meet all the minimum requirements of a practicing orthopedist in the U.S. These include a 4-year MD or DO degree and a residency. Then, don’t be afraid to ask if they are certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, if they completed fellowship training, how long they have been practicing, and about their areas of specializations.

Also, make sure you feel comfortable with your doctor. He or she will be making possibly life-altering decisions for you, so it is important that you trust him or her. Choosing the right specialist is crucial to the success of your recovery.

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Injections

Trigger Point Injections vs. Epidural Steroid Injections

Dealing with persistent muscle pain is never easy, especially when over-the-counter pain medication, relaxation techniques, or even physical therapy don’t seem to relieve the pain for long. Cortisone injections for pain relief are a solid course of action after prior methods have failed, and an ideal non-invasive treatment option before considering surgery. Two common pain relief injections include Trigger point and epidural steroid injections.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points, small knots found in muscles or fascia tissue, can often lead to sensations of chronic pain or tenderness. Trigger point injections are delivered directly into the trigger point in order to relieve various musculoskeletal disorders. Patients undergoing symptoms of fibromyalgia, tension headaches, or myofascial pain may find trigger point injections to be highly helpful.

Epidural Steroid injections

Epidural Steroid injections (ESI) are used to reduce swelling and inflammation in order to relieve muscle pain. This anti-inflammatory medicine is injected into the area surrounding the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Epidural steroid injections are useful in treating many conditions including but not limited to, sciatica, arthritis, degenerative disc disorders, and lumbar spinal stenosis.

Both trigger point injections and epidural steroid injections offer relief for muscle pain and inflammation. If you are experiencing chronic muscle pain please visit your doctor to see if cortisone injections are a viable option for you.

OSC offers cortisone injections for various muscle pains, including lower back pain and arthritis.

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