When to visit a pain clinic
You may benefit from a specialist’s care if you have any type of pain that:
- Affects everyday activities.
- Lasts three months or longer.
Enjoy coordinated care from a multidisciplinary team that looks at your physical, behavioral and emotional health. Depending on your needs, your ProHealth pain management care team may include:
- Care coordinator – Helps you get the right care at the right time.
- Neurosurgeon – Uses surgery to treat conditions affecting the nervous system.
- Pain management doctor – Diagnoses and treats pain; oversees your care.
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) doctor – Diagnoses and treats pain and other disabling conditions without surgery.
- Physical and occupational therapists – Help you manage pain through exercises, activities, education and hands-on treatments.
- Psychologist – Focuses on thoughts, feelings and behaviors related to pain.
Diagnosing chronic pain
Count on your care team to figure out the source of your pain – so you can get the best care for your condition. At ProHealth, your team has access to a wide range of diagnostic tests, such as:
- Imaging tests, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Discogram – Uses contrast material and fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray) to discover which spinal discs may be causing pain or weakness.
- Electromyography (EMG) – Shows which muscles or nerves are affected by pain by seeing how they respond to mild electrical activity.
- Medial branch block – Injects an anesthetic to help determine if a facet joint (joint between your vertebrae) is causing pain.
- Nerve conduction study – Finds nerve damage by measuring how fast electricity moves through a nerve.
Personalized pain care
Work with your team to create a pain management plan that fits your condition, goals and preferences. Your ProHealth pain management team can treat or control many types of pain without surgery. Rely on us to help you manage pain in the least invasive way possible.
Live more comfortably with lifestyle changes and noninvasive therapies that improve or prevent pain. If conservative treatments manage your pain, you may be able to avoid or reduce your need for medications or surgery. Ask your team about:
- Psychotherapy – Helps you build coping skills, modify thought patterns or learn relaxation techniques.
- Massage, such as trigger point therapy – Uses hands-on techniques to relieve your pain.
- Occupational therapy – Helps you perform daily activities with less pain by teaching you skills and strategies and/or showing you how to use adaptive equipment.
- Physical therapy – Uses exercises, biofeedback therapy, heat therapy and other techniques to help you move more comfortably.
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy – Reduces pain for short periods by delivering a low-voltage electrical current through small pads placed on specific areas of your body.
ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center
Find exercise classes designed to help you manage pain at ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center in Pewaukee. Learn about classes especially for people with arthritis, fibromyalgia or back pain.
Medications and injections
If conservative treatments don’t control your pain, talk to your care team about which medications may be most effective for you:
- Oral medications, such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – Improve mental and/or physical symptoms.
- BOTOX injection – Relaxes tense muscles and relieves muscle spasms.
- Corticosteroid injection – Delivers medicine directly into a painful joint, such as a hip, knee or shoulder, to reduce inflammation.
- Epidural steroid injection – Injects a steroid into your epidural space to reduce inflammation, decrease pain and improve function; may be used to treat back, neck or arm pain.
- Facet joint injection – Places a local anesthetic and steroid into one of the small joints between your vertebra; may help relieve back pain.
- Neurolytic block – Uses heat or a chemical to damage certain nerves and block pain.
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint injection – Delivers a local anesthetic and steroid into the joint that connects your pelvic bones to your spine; may ease pain in the lower back or legs.
- Trigger-point injection – Inserts a local anesthetic and steroid into a specific spot in a muscle or connective tissue; may be used to treat muscle plain, fibromyalgia and headaches.
Surgeries and procedures
Trust doctors who have experience treating pain with minimally invasive procedures and surgeries, such as:
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) – Uses imaging to guide a thin flexible tube (catheter) into a spinal disc and then apply heat to destroy abnormal nerves and repair your disc; may be used to treat low back pain.
- Nerve ablation – Uses heat or chemicals to damage nerves and stop them from sending pain signals to your brain.
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) – Blocks feelings of pain by continuously delivering a mild electrical current to your spine.
- Spine surgery, including discectomy and vertebroplasty.