We use a multi-disciplinary approach to prevent, reduce or stop pain.
Proper treatment may include medicine, therapy or procedures to decrease pain and improve function.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you’re not alone: One in three Americans has chronic pain of some kind, according to the American Chronic Pain Association.
One barrier to proper treatment for pain that some patients experience is a tendency for some doctors not to take reports of pain seriously. At Indiana University Health Pain Management, we believe your pain is real and deserves compassionate attention.
There are many varieties of pain, including:
- Acute pain from injury or surgery
- Back pain
- Hip and leg pain
- Neck pain
- Pain from cancer
Pain can result from injury or a chronic condition, or the cause of pain may be unclear. Sometimes treatment can alleviate pain by addressing the cause with therapy or surgery. In other cases, treatment focuses on reducing pain with medication.
Many people with pain do not know the options they have for helping them live more normal lives. Our pain specialists provide a wide variety of treatments that can reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.
Treatments include but are not limited to:
IU Health offers a wide range of injection therapy options. Injection therapy can help alleviate pain in the spine, joints, and back and neck. Depending on the patient’s pain, our highly skilled physicians can provide epidural injections, steroid injections and trigger point injections.
IU Health offers numerous types of nerve blocks that each serve a different purpose and can alleviate a wide variety of pain. A nerve block is created by injecting a local anesthesia or other pain reducing medication to a group of nerves that are causing pain. Nerve blocks can minimize pain in a specific organ or area of the body.
A sympathetic block is an injection of local anesthetic in the “sympathetic nerve tissue,” the nerves that are a part of the Sympathetic Nervous System. The nerves are located in the back on either side of the spine. This block may reduce pain, swelling, color and sweating changes in the lower extremity and may also improve mobility.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation treats chronic neurological pain and is achieved using an implantable medical device. An electric impulse generated by the device produces a tingling sensation that alters the perception of pain. The device is implanted into a patient’s epidural space and is connected via a wire harness to a pulse generator that gets implanted in the abdomen or buttocks.
Pulsed radiofrequency ablation is used to treat chronic pain in various areas of the body and provides longer lasting pain relief. Radiofrequency therapy uses a specialized machine to interrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis. The nerves are usually blocked for six to nine months, with extreme cases being as short as three months or as long as 18 months.
Additional treatment options may include:
- Epidural steroid injections for back and neck syndromes
- Facet joint injections and radiofrequency denervation of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
- Greater occipital nerve blocks for headache treatment
- Joint injection therapy
- Lumbar discography
- Nerve blocks, including occipital and trigeminal, intercostal blocks, inguinal blocks, lateral femoral cutaneous nerve blocks and cervical plexus blocks
- Physical and occupational therapies including massage and aquatic therapy
- One-on-one counseling with a pain management specialist
- Sympathetic blocks including stellate ganglia, lumbar sympathetic, celiac plexus and hypogastric plexus blocks
- Stellate ganglion nerve blocks for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and/or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) of upper extremity
- Trigger point injections
- Viscosupplementation (Synvisc and Supartz) for arthritis of the knee
To ensure accurate placement of injections, we perform most injection procedures using X-ray guidance.
We’re on your team
We believe that treatment is most effective when it’s a collaboration among all the people involved in treating your pain. Your IU Health Pain Management team may include:
- Physiatry (physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation)
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Your regular doctor
Teamwork includes you, too! We need your input to direct your treatment effectively.
We’re building for the future
Through residency and fellowship programs at Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health Pain Management is educating new doctors in diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute pain. We’re also engaged in research that can develop effective new treatments for reducing and managing pain.
Learn more about pain management and treatment options
Visit these resources to learn about pain and the varieties of treatments used to control it:
American Chronic Pain Association The ACPA offers extensive information and resources for understanding and dealing with chronic pain.
Cancer Care: Pain This section of the Cancer Care website includes publications about cancer pain. The site also offers many other resources for dealing with cancer.
National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association This site offers a wide range of educational and support resources for dealing with chronic pain.