Pain Management

Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital Interventional Pain Services provides treatment for a wide range of pain conditions, including back pain, cancer pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), disc herniations and bulges, failed back surgery, joint pain, occipital neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, sciatica and more.

Many people suffer with chronic pain because they are unaware of the treatment options available to help them live a better quality of life. Our team of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants wants to educate you about the options you have to minimize your pain and maximize your function.

Our physicians are trained in pain management and have years of experience treating rare conditions. Depending on your individual needs, your treatment may include the latest medicines, physical therapy, exercise, spinal cord stimulators, nerve ablations and minimally invasive surgical procedures.

We offer comprehensive care to treat all aspects of your health, including the emotional effects of chronic pain. Through our partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, we have access to the latest in pain management research, and the ability to bring you advanced care to improve your quality of life.

Treatment Options

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Interventional Pain Services offers the following pain management treatment options:

  • Acupuncture. This treatment involves piercing specific peripheral nerves with needles to relieve the discomfort associated with painful disorders or for therapeutic purposes.
  • Epidural catheter. In this procedure, a catheter is placed into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord, allowing the injection of an anesthetic drug and providing pain relief.
  • Epidural injections. In this pain management procedure, injections of an anesthetic substance are put into the epidural space of the spinal cord.
  • Facet injection. In this procedure, injections of steroids and local anesthetic are put into the facet joints (the paired joints in the spine) to determine if it is a source of pain or to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDET). This procedure relieves the pain of certain disc problems by heating a catheter––inserted via a needle placed in the affected disc––and searing or cauterizing the nerve fibers along the disc wall.
  • Intrathecal pump system. This medical device delivers very small quantities of medicines directly to the spinal fluid.
  • Kyphoplasty. This minimally invasive procedure alleviates pain from spinal compression fractures. An orthopedic balloon is placed in the affected vertebra and is inflated. The resulting cavity is filled with bone cement to stabilize the vertebral fracture.
  • Medial branch block. This diagnostic procedure confirms the diagnosis of facet joint disease and finds out if the facet joints are contributing to your pain.
  • Medical therapy. Medical therapy uses prescribed medicines to manage a disease or condition.
  • Neurolytic block. This form of anesthesia, where a neurodestructive agent (e.g., phenol and alcohol) is injected at or near a nerve that has been causing extreme pain, provides pain relief.
  • Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT). This therapy uses the hands to diagnose, treat and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your physician moves your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.
  • Physical therapy. With physical therapy, instructional support and treatment of physical disabilities is provided by a trained physical therapist, under a doctor's prescription. This therapy helps a person improve the use of bones, muscles, joints and nerves.
  • Radiofrequency nerve lesioning. A procedure using a specialized machine to interrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis. The nerves are usually blocked for six to nine months (can be as short as three months or as long as 18 months).
  • Selective nerve root block. A block is performed to determine if a specific spinal nerve root is the source of pain and reduce inflammation around the nerve root, thus decreasing or relieving the pain.
  • Spinal cord stimulator. This implantable medical device treats chronic neurological pain. During the procedure, an electric impulse generated by the device produces a tingling sensation that alters perception. The device is implanted into the epidural space either by percutaneous approach or by surgical laminectomy or laminotomy. A pulse generator or radiofrequency receiver is implanted in the abdomen or buttocks. A wire harness connects the lead to the pulse generator.
  • Sympathetic block. In this procedure, a local anesthetic is injected in the sympathetic nerve tissue––the nerves that are a part of the sympathetic nervous system. The nerves are located on either side of the spine, in the back. This block may reduce pain, swelling, color and sweating changes in the lower extremity and may improve mobility.
  • Trigger point therapy. In this therapy, pressure is applied on tender trigger points in the muscles to relieve pain and tension. Injections at the trigger points may also be used.
  • Vertebroplasty. This minimally invasive procedure stabilizes compressed vertebrae and alleviates pain by inserting a needle into the compressed portion of a vertebra and injecting surgical cement into it.

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