Are you looking for answers to questions you may have about our practice?
This section of our website is intended to assist you in answering practical questions that you may have concerning our pain center, our ability to provide pain care and service for your specific needs and general questions concerning pain management. If you do not find the answer you are searching for, please feel free to contact our staff to assist you with questions not addressed here on this website.
What is interventional pain management?
Interventional pain management is the discipline of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders with the application of interventional techniques in managing subacute, chronic, persistent and intractable pain, independently or in conjunction with other modalities of treatment.
What are interventional pain management techniques?
Interventional pain management techniques are minimally invasive procedures including: percutaneous precision needle placement with placement of drugs in targeted areas of ablation of targeted nerves; and some surgical techniques such as laser or endoscopic diskectomy, intrathecal infusion pumps and spinal cord stimulators for the diagnosis and management of chronic, persistent or intractable pain.
Who are doctors specializing in pain management?
Pain specialists come from various primary specialties with advanced training and expertise. They are mainly anesthesiologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists and neurologists. However, they may include neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and interventional radiologists.
What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain?
Acute pain is pain of a short, limited duration and is usually the result of an injury, surgery or medical illness. Acute pain often goes away with the healing process.
Chronic pain continues for longer periods of time, sometimes even a long time after the healing of the original injury is expected to have occurred. Chronic pain is also associated with frustration, depression and anxiety.
Treatments for acute and chronic pain are often quite different.
Can interventional pain management physicians find the cause of my pain?
Pain specialists are not only experts at treating pain but also at helping to diagnose the source of pain. They will conduct a physical examination and review your medical records in addition to analyzing the description of your pain. Sometimes supplemental diagnostic studies are helpful. More importantly, interventional pain physicians recognize the fact that the precise cause of back pain is determined in only 15% of the patients based on all x-rays, CT scans, myelograms, MRIs, EMGs, nerve conduction studies and history and physical examination.
With the help of modern technology, using precision diagnostic techniques with injection of small doses of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) close to the nerves (pain sources) or other structures under x-ray, we can determine the cause of pain in at least 80% of the patients (vs. 15%).
Are there psychological effects of chronic pain?
Chronic pain may produce feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness and even despair. In addition, it can alter one’s personality, disrupt sleep, interfere with work and relationships and even have a profound effect on other family members.
It is not unusual to have psychological problems with pain.
What types of pain problems can be addressed by pain management?
Problems commonly treated in pain management centers include, but are not limited to:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain’
- Cancer pain
- Sympathetic dystrophy
- Nerve problems
- Occasionally arthritis
What are some treatments for my pain?
Due to the rapid advances of modern medicine, there are different forms of treatments available for pain. The degree of pain varies from person to person, so your treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Treatment may include a single approach or a combination of medications, therapies and procedures such as:
Narcotic pain medicines are often used to treat acute pain or cancer pain. They are prescribed for chronic pain also in conjunction with other modalities of treatment or after other modalities have failed.
Aspirin-like drugs are the most commonly used medications of this type. They not only reduce swelling and irritation, but also can relieve pain.
Originally only used to treat depression, studies have shown that these medications can alleviate pain in certain situations. Furthermore, they may have the added benefit of helping the patient to sleep at night.
These medications may help relieve certain types of pain by reducing abnormal discharges in damaged nerves.
Local anesthetics, with or without cortisone-like medicines, can be injected around the nerve, epidural space or into joints. These may act to reduce swelling, irritation, muscle spasms or abnormal nerve transmissions that can cause pain. They include:
- Epidural injections
- Facet joint blocks/neurolysis
- Intradiscal thermal therapy
- Sacroiliac joint injections
- Lysis of adhesions
- Spinal endoscopy
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Morphine pumps
- Trigger point injections
Exercise and education are some of the treatments that a physical therapist may provide for you.
When necessary, surgical treatment may be recommended. Some minimally invasive surgeries (disc heating, etc.), spinal cord stimulation or morphine pumps are offered at our center.
When necessary, psychotherapy, along with medication management, is offered.
Is an interventional pain management specialist appropriate for me?
Many painful conditions can be successfully treated by your local family physician. If your pain persists and does not improve with treatment, discuss with your family physician whether a referral to a pain management specialist or comprehensive pain management center might be appropriate for you.
You may also be considered for evaluation at Fort Lauderdale Pain Medicine without a referral. We will review your records prior to evaluation and judge your suitability for further evaluation. If we believe that we may be able to assist you, we will conduct a comprehensive evaluation and inform you about your suitability for management.
We accept you without a referral if you meet criteria and your insurance does not need a referral to cover our services.
The major advantages of Fort Lauderdale Pain Medicine are:
- Comprehensive programs
- Holistic approach
- Precision techniques for diagnosis required in 85% of patients
What are the goals of treatment?
- Reduce pain
- Improve quality of life
- Reduce dependence on the health care system
What are my responsibilities?
The care a patient receives at our center depends partially on the patient himself/herself. Therefore, in addition to the Bill of Rights, a patient has certain responsibilities as well. These responsibilities are presented to the patient in the spirit of mutual trust and respect.
- The patient must provide accurate and complete information concerning his/her present complaints, past medical history and other matters about his/her health.
- The patient is responsible for making it known whether he/she clearly comprehends the course of his/her medical treatment and what is expected of him/her.
- The patient is responsible for following the treatment plan established by his/her physician, including the instructions of nurses and other health professionals as they carry out the physician’s orders.
- The patient is responsible for keeping appointments and for notifying the facility when he/she is unable to do so.
- The patient is responsible for his/her actions should he/she refuse treatment or not follow his/her physician’s orders.
- The patient is responsible for assuring that the financial obligations of his/her care are fulfilled as promptly as possible.
- The patient is responsible for following facility policies and procedures.
- The patient is responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and of facility personnel.
- The patient is responsible for being respectful of his/her personal property and that of other persons in the facility.
- The patient is responsible to report any complaint(s) or grievance(s).
What are my rights?
- The patient has a right to receive treatment in the center without regard to race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, handicap or national origin.
- The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of his/her action(s).
- The patient has a right to obtain from his/her physician, complete, current information concerning their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
- The patient has the right to be a participant in decisions regarding the intensity and scope of treatment.
- The patient has the right to receive from his/her physician, information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.
- The patient has the right to obtain information from his/her medical records for use in other health care and educational institutions.
- The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to their care should be treated as confidential.
- The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care.
- The patient has the right to examine and receive an explanation of his/her bill, regardless of the source of payment.
- The patient has the right to know that the facility personnel who care for the patient are qualified (through education and experience) to perform the services for which they are responsible.
- The patient has the right to be informed that he/she may change primary or specialty physicians if other qualified physicians are available.
- The patient has the right to be informed that he/she is responsible for providing to his/her caregivers the most accurate and complete information.
- The patient has the right to be advised if the center proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatments and has the right to refuse participation.
- The patient has the right to express grievances and suggestions to the organization.
- The patient has the right to have an Advance Directive, such as a living will or health care proxy.
- The patient has the right to be fully informed before any transfer to another facility or organization.
- The patient, or the patient’s designated representative, has the right to participate in the consideration of ethical issues that arise in the care of the patient.
- The patient has the right to know about the center’s rules and regulations that apply to his/her conduct as a patient.
- The patient has the right to know that this organization affirms that physical, sexual and verbal/psychological abuse is prohibited.
- The patient has the right to be informed if a health care provider does not have liability coverage.
Do I have to sign a controlled substance contract?
- Yes. If you receive controlled substances from the center. You may view a sample contract.
- No. If you receive medicines from another physician or you do not need controlled substances, you do not need a contract.
How can I be referred?
- Ask your physician
- Call the office to schedule an appointment if you do not have a referral
Does my insurance cover your services?
Most insurance companies cover interventional pain management as medical and surgical services. However, check your policy.
Will you give me all my medications?
We will give medications recommended or prescribed under the terms of the controlled substance contract.
Fort Lauderdale Pain Medicine is not for drug distribution. Drugs are given on individual consideration.
Total management with drugs is only when all else fails and there nothing else to offer.