Chronic pain refers to persistent or recurring pain caused by a medical condition. If you haven’t seen a neurologist for your pain, there are several ways they will help you, from outpatient surgery options to effective injections. Below is the information you should know about what neurology can do to improve your quality of life.
What Neurologists Do
Neurology refers to the study of the nervous system, which includes the spinal cord, your brain, and all the nerves and sensory cells throughout your body. Your nerves continuously communicate with your brain, and they’re responsible for both voluntary and involuntary bodily functions, like breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, speech, and movement. Neurologists study, diagnose, and treat conditions that affect any part of the nervous system, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, trauma to the spine or head, and multiple sclerosis. Your nerves are what send pain signals, and neurologists have several ways of preventing these pain signals from being generated or reaching the brain.
Temporary Measures for Pain Relief
Nerve blocks, like a spinal or celiac plexus block, provide temporary relief of localized pain and allow neurologists to pinpoint where the pain is coming from via process of elimination. Numbing medication is injected into the cluster of nerves sending pain signals so that they stop. Nerves may also be frozen (cryoneurolysis) or cauterized (neurotomy) to prevent the transmission of pain signals for chronic and persistent pain, but you will need to repeat the treatment as they regrow, usually once a year.
Spinal neurostimulators placed through outpatient surgery are useful for persistent pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments, is widespread, or has no known cause. They treat migraines and other conditions like failed back surgery syndrome, neuropathic pain, and complex regional pain syndrome. The stimulators send tiny electric signals to neutralize the pain signals in your body, stopping them from reaching the brain, and doctors will remove them if necessary. Another option for this type of chronic pain and disorders is the placement of an intrathecal pain pump, which releases pain-relieving medications directly to the targeted area of the spine. Patients experience less severe side effects than with oral or IV pain medication while having more relief and better rest. The pump goes below the skin, and medicine will need a refill every 3-6 months.
If you’re interested in outpatient surgery or nerve blocks for chronic pain, reach out to the Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass in Lexington & Somerset, KY. For over 25 years, they’ve provided effective pain relief treatments, including neurostimulators, lumbar and celiac plexus block injections, and intrathecal pumps. Along with these procedures, they offer behavioral and physical therapy to assist with pain management. Learn about their outpatient surgery options online, and schedule a consultation by calling (859) 278-1316, ext. 258.