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Pain Management Treatment and Rehabilitation

The North Shore-LIJ Pain Management Treatment and Rehabilitation applies many methods to help bring pain under control. With the proper pain management and rehabilitation techniques, a patient can live a more normal and productive life.

Chronic, or lasting, pain touches every aspect of our lives. 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. The North Shore-LIJ Health Pain Management Treatment and Rehabilitation utilizes many methods to help bring pain under control. Our pain management rehabilitation program is multidisciplinary, with many options for treating pain.

Our guiding principle is that by relieving pain early in its cycle, side effects which make pain worse and curb activities can be limited. Early intervention also lets Pain Management Treatment and Rehabilitation patients become more active and avoid some of the effects that worsen health, and the psychological complications of pain. By participating in clinical trials and other pain management research, we also bring the newest pain treatment to patients.

Pain management goals:

  • Increased physical function
  • Decreased reliance on medication
  • Return to work and daily activities

To relieve and control pain, we offer:

  • Nerve and facet blocks: Injections into spinal joints to reduce spine pain.
  • Epidural or spinal opioids or steroids: Injections into the spinal area to lessen inflammation and pain.
  • Implantable narcotic pumps: These pumps, placed inside the body, deliver a precise dose of pain medicine. They are often used to relieve cancer pain.
  • Baclofen pumps: These pumps are used to relieve both severe pain and muscle spasms by implanting a small pump and medicine-filled reservoir in the body. A thin tube, or catheter, goes from the pain pump to the spine where the medication is released into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord.
  • Spinal cord stimulation: This rehabilitation 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 sensation similar to the feel of running water. Spinal cord stimulation is used when back surgery fails, for peripheral neuropathy (severe pain in the arms, legs, hands or feet), and when severe 'phantom limb' pain follows amputations.
  • Neurolytic blocks: These blocks control pain by destroying specific nerves.
  • Patient-controlled anesthesia: Often used after surgery, patient-controlled anesthesia, or PCA, lets patients give themselves a pre-determined dose of pain relieving medicine intravenously.
  • Cryoneurolysis/cryoablation: A pain management technique that relieves pain by using cold to destroy nerve tissue.
  • Radiofrequency lesioning: With a probe that generates a microwave, pain specialists can destroy nerve tissue and relieve pain.
  • Facet injections: Injection of a painkiller or a drug into a particular point in a spinal joint to reduce inflammation.
  • Trigger point injections: These painkillers can be injected throughout the body to reduce pain.
  • Botox injections: Injections of this powerful drug relieve pain by numbing a nerve.
  • Peripheral neurolysis: Neurolysis permanently destroys a nerve ending to bring relief from severe pain.
  • Non-narcotic medication: Medication that relieves cancer pain.
  • Epiduroscopy: Using a special endoscope, the pain management specialist can enter the spinal canal to remove scar tissue and take painful pressure off nerves.
  • Discography/annuloplasty: Discography uses a tiny scope to look at spinal damage, and then annuloplasty uses a needle to produce heat and destroy disc defects that cause pain.
  • Nucleoplasty: An advanced rehabilitation treatment for spinal pain that reduces the size of a damaged disc to relieve pain-causing pressure on nerves.