Treatment of chronic pain usually involves medicines and therapy. Medicines used for chronic pain include pain relievers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Different types of medicines help people who have different types of pain. You usually use long-acting medicines for constant pain. Short-acting medicines treat pain that comes and goes. Many medicines can decrease pain, each one may have side effects. Some side effects can be serious.
What to use other than non safe drugs
If you are taking any pain medicine, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter. You should also check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an herbal supplement or vitamin. Interventional Pain Medicine is a relatively new but growing field that utilizes a variety of procedures such as injections, nerve blocks, and physical therapy to treat painful disorders and injuries
Facet Joint Problems
Facet joint disorders are some of the most common of all the recurrent, disabling low back and neck problems, and can cause serious symptoms and disability for patients. However, facet joint problems rarely involve the spinal nerves. Interestingly, when the acute lumbar or cervical facet joint inflammation is at its peak, the symptoms may closely imitate those of a herniated disc, a deep infection, a fracture, or a torn muscle of the spine, or in the low back, sometimes an acute intra-abdominal problem. Clearly, such episodes can be very disabling and frightening.
Medial branch nerves feed out from facet joints
Nerves that branch off from the spinal cord pass through the facet joints. They extend nerves into the body to control its activities and movement and receive sensation. These are called nerve roots. The nerves that serve the facet joints themselves are called the medial branches. Medial branch nerves are small nerves that feed out from the facet joints in the spine and carry pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. The pain is a warning sign that a joint is irritated.
Medial Branch Block to Diagnose and Relieve Pain
A medial branch nerve block is a procedure in which an anesthetic is injected near small medial nerves connected to a specific facet joint. Typically several levels of the spine are injected in one procedure.
If the patient experiences marked pain relief immediately after the injection, then the facet joint is determined to be the source of the patient’s pain.
Radiofrequency Ablation to Relieve Pain
A radiofrequency neurotomy is a type of injection procedure in which a heat lesion is created on the nerve that transmits the pain signal to the brain. The goal of a radiofrequency neurotomy is to interrupt the pain signal to the brain, while preserving other functions, such as normal sensation and muscle strength.