Pain Management Chronic pain affects 100 million Americans each year, which is more than diabetes, coronary artery disease and cancer combined, according to data from the American Academy of Pain Medicine. While pain alone may not be life-threatening, it can have a significant impact on your ability to function, your relationships and your quality of life. Other symptoms related to the pain can also be debilitating, including reduced mobility, inability to sleep and depletion of energy. Even your mental health can be affected, as chronic pain is associated with a higher incidence of depression and anxiety. The professional team at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio understands the way chronic pain can take unwanted precedence in your life. We offer different options in treatments to help you manage chronic pain and enjoy more symptom-free days and nights. Through a range of therapies, we will help you manage pain when the source cannot be diagnosed or when the diagnosis results in few options to resolve the problem completely. Pain Management Options Pain management solutions at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio include: Therapeutic Epidural Blocks An epidural block is an injection of a mixture of a local anesthetic (such as norcocaine) and a potent anti-inflammatory (a steroid like cortisone) as a means of controlling inflammation and pain. During the procedure, a small needle is placed into the area of the spine where the pain originates. The medical community has performed tens of thousands of these procedures, so you can rest assured the injections have a strong track record of both safety and success. Epidural blocks may be administered for either diagnostic or therapeutic reasons. Diagnostic blocks are given to establish the location of the structural abnormality that is causing your symptoms. Therapeutic blocks are used to reduce inflammation at the source of the problem, which also alleviates discomfort. Around 70-80 percent of patients that undergo an epidural block should see an improvement or remission of their symptoms. While a small number will see symptoms relieved permanently, others may find significant relief for a few months before they need additional treatment to prolong the positive results. Lumbar Epidural Injections The lumbar epidural injection is one type of epidural block that focuses on relieving low back and leg pain. The injections work by reducing inflammation, swelling and irritation of a disk or nerve in your back. This procedure can also help in the diagnostic process as a reduction in inflammation will make it easier to see potential structural abnormalities in the spine. While the treatment won’t completely stop all pain, it can reduce discomfort sufficiently to break the pain cycle that can cause a lack of movement and weakening of the back muscles over time. While risks associated with epidural injections are rare, there are some potential side effects that are important to know. The injections can lead to infection, bleeding and nerve damage in a very small number of cases. The medication used in the epidural can also cause side effects, including increase in pain, headaches, fever sleeplessness and anxiety. Most of these symptoms are temporary and short-lived, if they occur at all. Our surgeons will discuss these potential side effects with you before your treatment so you know what to expect and symptoms to watch for during and after your procedure. Neurostimulation This treatment involves the stimulation of the spinal cord by tiny electrical impulses. An implanted lead, which is a flexible, insulated wire, is placed near the spinal cord. When it is activated, it sends electrical impulses that block the pain messages to your brain. Local anesthetic and sedation are provided in most cases to ensure you are comfortable throughout your appointment. Massage Therapy The Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio now offers massage therapy services at our Lima office. Massage therapy is a way to promote healing after an injury, increase the range of motion and reduce muscle tension, inflammation and pain. Our licensed massage therapist provides treatment for both relaxation and therapeutic purposes. Treatments can also induce deeper sleep, which may lead to pain reduction for some patients. No matter what the reason for your chronic pain might be, there are ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. To learn more about any of these treatments, contact the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio today at 419-222-6622.