The multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurooncologists, neurologists, neuroradiologists and neuropathologists at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute Pain Center work together to customize pain treatment plans for each patient that incorporates the latest, science-based pain management procedures.
There are numerous pain treatments available to help treat back and neck pain. Some of the innovative procedures available at North Shore-LIJ Health System include epidural injections, facet injections and sacroiliac joint injections, as well as:
- Qutenza® – a US Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription-strength pain patch is available for patients who have a significant amount of pain after their shingles rash has disappeared. The Qutenza patch offers patients a patch delivery system, potentially providing long-term pain relief of three months in a single, one hour topical treatment. It can only be applied by a doctor or a healthcare professional and contains eight percent of the ingredient capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers. The patch treatment may be repeated every three months and can be used alone or with other pain medications. During the treatment, the clinician identifies the target area of pain and a numbing cream is applied. The numbing cream is needed because the capsaicin in the pain patch can potentially cause a burning sensation. The numbing cream is wiped away and then the Qutenza patch or patches (up to four) is cut to the shape of the painful area and then applied to the skin for one hour. After one hour, the patch is removed and then the treatment area is cleansed. It takes approximately one week for the treatment to reach its full potential; however, patients report some pain relief within a few days.
- Cryoneurolysis, Cryoablation – relieves pain by using cold to destroy nerve tissue
- Radiofrequency Ablation – during this pain treatment procedure a probe generates a microwave, allowing a pain specialist to destroy nerve tissue and relieve pain
- Epiduroscopy – using a special, small endoscope, the pain specialist can enter the spinal canal to remove scar tissue and take painful pressure off nerves.
- Discography/Annuloplasty – a tiny scope is used to look at spinal damage, then annuloplasty uses a needle to produce heat and destroy the spinal disc defects that cause pain.
- Nucleoplasty – an advanced pain treatment for spinal pain that reduces the size of a damaged disc to relieve pain-causing pressure on nerves
- Neuromodulation – there are several types of this cutting-edge treatment for pain, including:
- Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): Patients with significant disability, despite optimization of their medical regimen, may be candidates for DBS. Deep brain stimulation is a procedure in which tiny electrodes are placed into the brain with the help of computer guidance. These electrodes are connected to pacemaker-like devices implanted beneath the collarbone, much like a cardiac pacemaker. Continuous electrical stimulation can effectively block the abnormal circuitry of the brain that occurs in a variety of intractable central pain syndromes, including phantom limb pain, post-stroke pain and atypical intractable facial pain.
- Motor Cortex Stimulation (MCS): MCS entails implantation of one or more electrodes over the primary motor cortex in the brain for the treatment of intractable central pain syndromes, including phantom limb pain, post-stroke pain and atypical intractable facial pain. Motor cortex stimulation can be an effective pain treatment option when medication regimens and other pain treatments fail to provide relief.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS): PNS can effectively treat neuropathic (nerve) pain, including migraine and cluster headaches, occipital neuralgia, supraorbital neuralgia, infraorbital neuralgia, atypical facial pain and axial back pain. The procedure involves placing electrodes under the skin in the region of the pain, connected to a pacemaker-like device implanted beneath the collarbone. The result is an improvement in headache or facial pain severity and frequency.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: This technique can block the sensation of pain with an electrical device implanted in the body. It uses a mild current to replace the feeling of pain with a pleasant sensation similar to the feel of running water, or pleasant buzzing or tingling. Spinal cord stimulation is a commonly used pain treatment after back surgeries have failed to provide pain relief. Other indications include peripheral neuropathy (severe pain in the arms, legs, hands or feet), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), lumbar radiculopathy (nerve irritation caused by damage to the discs between the vertebrae) and, in some cases, severe phantom limb pain following an amputation.
- Intrathecal drug delivery system or intrathecal pain pump: This pain treatment modality uses a device that delivers pain medications directly into the spinal canal.
Make an appointment at the Pain Center:
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Pain Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological and neurosurgical care for yourself or your family. Simply fill out our Request an Appointment form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (516) 325-7070.