Offering the Finest Chronic Pain Management Centers and Doctors
Chronic, or lasting pain, touches every aspect of our lives. Without chronic pain management we cannot fully work, move about or enjoy life. Sudden pain that comes from an illness or injury can be just as disruptive and devastating. North Shore-LIJ Health System offers comprehensive pain management services with many methods to help bring pain under control and manage the side effects of treatment. Our chronic pain management program is multidisciplinary, with many options for treatment.
Chronic pain management can complement the treatment of several conditions, including:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Sickle cell disease
The guiding principle of our pain management doctors is that by relieving pain early in its cycle, side effects that make pain worse and curb activities can be limited. Early intervention also lets patients become more active and avoid some of the deconditioning effects that worsen health, and the psychological complications of unremitting pain. Our ongoing continuing education keeps pain management doctors and professionals up to date on new pain management developments, and makes the entire hospital community aware of the many options for treating severe pain. By participating in clinical trials and other research, we also bring the newest pain treatment to patients including homeopathic as well as pain management medications.
Chronic pain management goals:
- Increased physical function
- Decreased reliance on medication
- Return to work and daily activities
Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain, pain management and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery. It involves the use of medications and monitoring of vital functions during surgery and other medical procedures to relax the body, block pain and induce sleepiness or unconsciousness. While under anesthesia, breathing, blood pressure, blood flow and heart rate and rhythm are all monitored and controlled.
Learn more about our Anesthesiology services.
The Cushing Neuroscience Institute strives to provide collaborative programs that consider physical and emotional aspects of pain, so that patients can receive the most effective care. We focus on restoring functions that have been lost to pain and will provide specialized centers to help patients manage and cope with their pain appropriately through chronic pain management.
Our pain management centers provide the necessary care to lead patients to a quicker and more complete recovery.
Learn more about Cushing Neuroscience Institute.
Pain management doctors and their intervention in pain development with patients are a cornerstone of the clinical approach at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics, providing daily management of patients with postoperative, post-traumatic, and other types of acute pain requiring specialized interventions such as epidural analgesia, other regional anesthetic techniques, or complex pharmacological management. Support is also provided to the operating rooms for placement of epidural catheters and regional blocks for surgery preoperatively.
A Multi-Specialty Approach
North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics uses a comprehensive multi-specialty approach to treat patients with a wide variety of pain-related conditions, including: neurologists, physiatrists and anesthesiologists as well as licensed acupuncturists.
This broad range of specialties enables treatment and chronic pain management of the simplest to the most complex pain-related conditions, including arthritis, cancer pain, migraine, occupational injuries, neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica, post-operative pain, post-back surgery pain, shingles, complex regional pain syndromes, urogenital/pelvic pain, peripheral neuropathy, and neuralgias.
Changing Ideas about Chronic Pain Management
The highly skilled providers of North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics are dedicated not only to the advancement of our pain management centers, but also to revolutionizing popular misconceptions of what pain management and chronic pain management means.
North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics uses a non-narcotic approach to help patients control their pain without the risk of addiction. Non-medication treatments include epidural steroid injections, joint injections, nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation. We believe that non-narcotic pain management medications are the safest form of pain management for our patients.
Better Methods for Chronic Pain Management
If you're in chronic pain, you're also in good company — nearly one in four people in the United States suffer some form of joint pain regularly, and worse, only half of them have visited pain management doctors for pain relief. That's because people rarely understand what pain management is and how it works. At North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics, the emphasis is on treating the underlying cause of your pain rather than just medicating the symptoms.
Pain management and chronic pain management has two goals. The first is to treat the chronic pain that results from disease and injury. The second is to improve your quality of life. A North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics pain management center does this with techniques to reduce painful symptoms while avoiding surgery whenever possible. When surgery is the best method, the Institute's pain management doctors use minimally invasive techniques that are very safe and effective.
We combine these methods with physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture, counseling and other kinds of treatment, to eliminate or minimize the use of narcotics. This helps avoid some of the side effects that make it so difficult for you to enjoy a normal life. These approaches cannot always make you pain free, but it can reduce your pain so that you can take part in normal activities again-so that you can rejoin life rather than sitting on the sidelines.
New Techniques for Common Problems
Three of the most common causes of chronic pain are: herniated (slipped) discs, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. Here are some of the ways North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics relieves the pain caused by each:
Herniated discs: Our approach to chronic pain management begins with nerve root blocks, which are injections to reduce inflammation and swelling and lessen painful pressure on nerves. It also uses percutaneous disc decompression to treat small-to-medium sized herniated discs. In this procedure, a device is introduced into the damaged disc via a needle. Small portions of the damaged disc are removed, relieving pressure on nerves coming from the spine.
Because the Institute uses local anesthesia and light sedation, patients do not stay at the hospital overnight, and the tiny incision means faster healing. An alternative is spinal cord stimulation. Here, pain management doctor’s place an electrode in the spinal column, generating an electrical impulse to block the sensation of pain in much the same way a 'white noise' machine masks unwanted sounds.
Osteoarthritis: Patients with unrelieved back pain resulting from arthritis can be treated with steroid injections into a facet joint, which link vertebrae. If patients find only temporary relief from these pain-relief injections, the Institute offers radiofrequency ablation of the facet nerves, a procedure which destroys only the nerve fibers which transmit pain impulses.
Osteoporosis: Chronic pain management for fractures from osteoporosis includes percutaneous vertebroplasty, a procedure to inject acrylic cement into the vertebra. This fixes the fracture, stabilizes the spine, and reduces pain, and is done under local anesthesia and conscious sedation. North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedics also offers kyphoplasty, which places a balloon into the vertebra through a needle. The balloon then is inflated in an attempt to restore, or partially restore, the damaged spine section's height.
Am I a Candidate for Pain Management?
You may be a candidate for care at our pain management center if your pain is severe and does not respond to conservative treatment, if it lasts more than two weeks, if the need for narcotic pain management medications keeps growing, and if prior surgery has not lessened your pain.
Learn more about Orthopaedics.
Palliative medicine is the active total care of patients with incurable illness. It is a combination of compassionate therapies administered in an interdisciplinary setting whose goal is to maximize patient comfort.
Active programs include the treatment of cancer pain, anorexia/cachexia syndrome, and cancer treatment related to fatigue. An educational program is in development as is a guest speaker roster. Additional programs will grow with the department, this being one of the first of its type in the country. Direct connections with community-based hospice programs have already been implemented as has a home visit program.
Learn more about our Palliative Careservices.