Pain Relief Procedures and Treatments in Austin, Kyle, and Dripping Springs

The team at Greater Austin Pain Center want to relieve your pain and help you feel like yourself again. Through interventional pain management techniques, we can minimize or eliminate pain from any source – including accidents, arthritis, cancer pain, back and neck pain, and more.

We believe in treating the whole patient – not just the symptoms – so that you have the best chance of being pain-free for a long time to come. Our state-of-the-art pain management procedures are highly effective in eliminating and relieving pain. Dr. Silberberg and our staff believe that pain management can be even more successful by coordinating pain care approaches for the best treatment outcomes.

Epidural Injections in Austin and Surrounding Areas

Epidural injections are a non-surgical option for intense back pain. The procedure involves delivering pain relieving medications directly to or near the source of the pain in the spine during a short outpatient procedure. Epidural injections can be very effective for some people and may be repeated over time. For some, physical rehabilitation is possible once the pain has been relieved. These injections are used to treat pain from the following causes:

  • Ruptured discs
  • Cysts
  • Arthritis
  • Bone fractures
  • Cancer
  • Shingles
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Diabetic neuropathy

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  • Disclaimer: Using this form does not establish a patient-physician relationship. This form is not to be used for emergencies or urgent requests. Please call 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency.

Epidural injections administer local anesthetic and/or steroids into the epidural space. Steroid medication is used to reduce swelling and inflammation. The epidural injection is a short outpatient procedure that can be performed at many surgery centers, hospitals, or medical clinics. Before receiving the epidural injection, your lower back area will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic.

 

Your doctor will use a live X-ray image (fluoroscopy) to carefully insert and guide the needle to the epidural space. A contrast dye is used to confirm the needle placement. Then, the medication solution is delivered to the epidural space, and the needle is removed. You will be monitored for several minutes before you can return home. Your doctor will instruct you on how to relieve temporary, mild pain at the injection site. Most people can resume their regular activities the next day.

There are three physical areas of epidural treatment:

Cervical Spine

The neck is a vulnerable part of the spine and is susceptible to injury and degeneration. A variety of conditions can cause pinched nerves in the neck, which not only can cause pain in the neck, but pain that spreads to the shoulders and arms. Epidural injections are delivered to the cervical spine to treat pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper extremities.

Thoracic Spine

Your thoracic spine is comprised of 12 vertebrae in your chest area. Twelve bones (vertebrae) make up the thoracic spine. Spinal nerves extending from the spinal cord travel out of the thoracic spine to exchange nerve signals with your brain about specific parts of your body, especially the internal organs and muscles that move the ribs when you breathe. For pain in the upper back, thoracic epidural injections are sought out.

Lumbar Spine

The lumbar area of your spine is made up of five large vertebrae in your lower back, forming the curve below your waist. Nerves extending from the spinal cord travel from the lumbar spine to the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet, regulating sensation and movement in the lower body. Lower back pain that radiates into the legs can be treated with lumbar epidural injections.

Trigger Point Injections

A trigger point is a small area in a muscle that is very sensitive to touch, often causing intense pain. Injury, overexertion, muscle tension, and muscle spasms are common causes of these trigger points. They most frequently occur in the neck, back, and shoulders. Injections can relax muscles and relieve pain by delivering medications directly to the trigger point.

While therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and manipulative therapy can be beneficial for some, trigger point injections are considered the most effective way to thwart a trigger point for prompt symptom relief. The injected medication usually consists of an anesthetic to relax the area and relieve pain. A steroid medication is sometimes included in the injection. Injections are usually followed by physical therapy aimed at pain relief and muscle flexibility.

BOTOX Injections

BOTOX® is useful for more than smoothing out wrinkles. In fact, it is used for treating painful muscle spasms and contractions in the neck (cervical dystonia), tension headaches, migraine headaches, back pain, and myofascial pain. BOTOX injections block the nerve signals that trigger muscle hyperactivity and uncomfortable spasms. In many cases, the effects of BOTOX are greater and longer lasting than traditional steroid injections. You can receive BOTOX injections for pain relief as an outpatient in your doctor’s office. Each treatment lasts for about three months, and injections may be repeated if they are successful.

Viscosupplementation

Viscosupplementation therapy is a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. When bones begin to degenerate and synovial fluid (a natural shock absorber and lubricant) starts to dissipate, painful arthritic symptoms can follow. You may begin to notice knee pain, stiffness, and problems with walking or stair climbing.

Viscosupplementation therapy is appropriate for people with moderate to moderately severe knee osteoarthritis that has failed to respond to traditional treatments. For those who are trying to delay knee replacement surgery, or for those who are not suitable candidates for surgery, it is especially useful.

Viscosupplementation uses a product called hyaluronic acid (HA) to supplement the synovial fluid. Your doctor can administer viscosupplementation therapy in his or her office. They will inject HA into your knee joint three to five times, once per week. The time it takes for beneficial effects to be felt is variable, as is the extent of pain relief from patient to patient. Good results can be sustained for 6-12 months.

Further Solutions for Austin Pain Management

In addition to local injections, Greater Austin Pain Center is also qualified for many other procedures and treatments.

Facet Joint / Medial Branch Nerve Blocks

Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provides stability and guide motion. A cervical, thoracic, or lumbar facet joint injection can anesthetize the facet joints and block pain. Facet joint injections can help diagnose the cause and location of pain as well as provide pain relief.

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Medial branch blocks are an injection of medication on the medial branch nerves that supply the facet joints. This procedure is diagnostic and if the patient experiences pain relief for a certain amount of time, then s/he maybe a candidate for radiofrequency ablation.

Joint Injections: Knee, Elbow, Hip, Shoulder, Sacroiliac

Corticosteroid, platelet rich plasma, and other medications can be injected into the site of joint pain to provide relief to osteoarthritis and pain symptoms. The corticosteroid or PRP can help reduce inflammation of the joints and relieve pain in that area. Relief can typically last for several months.

Sympathetic Ganglion Blocks (Stelle, Impar, Lumbar)

Stellate Ganglion Block – the stellate ganglion is a group of nerves at the base of the front of the neck, on both sides of the voice box. The stellate ganglion regulates involuntary sympathetic nervous functions like sweating, blood flow, pain in the head/neck/upper chest/upper arms.

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The injection blocks nerve signals to relieve pain and help increase circulation. The stellate ganglion blocks can help pain caused by complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, and shingles.

Ganglion Impar Block – the ganglion impar is a group of nerves located at the sacrococcygeal junction and the injections are used to treat perineal pain and coccydynia. The ganglion impar block can be helpful in treating pain from the perineum, distal rectum, distal vaginal, distal urethra, and anus

Lumbar Sympathetic Block – lumbar sympatehtic block is an injection of medication into/around the sympathetic nerves located on the lumbar spine. The lumbar sympathetic ganglia send pain signals from buttocks, legs and feet to the brain. This nerve block is effective in treating complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathy, phantom limb pain, postherpetic neuralgia, etc.

Greater and Lesser Occipital Nerve Blocks

Occipital nerve blocks inject steroid or other medication around the greater/lesser occipital nerves located on the back of the head, above the neck area. Occipital nerve blocks can help treat occipital neuralgia and chronic headaches that arise from the neck.

Radiofrequency Neurolysis / Thermal Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure where an electrical current is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue thereby decreasing the pain signals from that area. Radiofrequency ablation is used to treat pain in the lower back or the sacroiliac joints. Medial branch or facet joint injections are usually done prior to a radiofrequency ablation.

Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty

Kyphoplasty is a procedure that helps treat a spinal/compression fracture. During the kyphoplasty, a special balloon is inserted using fluoroscopy guidance. The balloon is inflated, which allows the fracture to be elevated and compacts the inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.

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The balloon is removed and the cavity is filled with a cement-like material. This hardens quickly and allows for the bone to stabilize. This procedure can be done in an outpatient setting and reduction/elimination of pain can be immediate or within a couple of days.

Lumbar Discography

Discography is a procedure that helps to identify the source of a patient’s lower back, groin, hip, and/or leg pain. If prior treatments have been unsuccessful, discography may be done prior to a back surgery to determine the exact disc creating the problem.

Spinal Cord Stimulators

Spinal cord stimulation uses mild electrical pulses to interfere with pain signals reaching the brain. A small device is implanted near the spine and generates these pulses. A patient that is considered a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation is scheduled for a trial run.

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The device is not initially implanted in the body, but the wires are inserted and an external transmitter sends the pulses. After a successful trial a small generator is placed discreetly under the skin and allows the patient control over their relief.

Biologics

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a non-operative therapy that takes advantage of platelets’ wound healing properties. Blood consists of liquid (plasma) and solid (platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells) components.

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Platelets contain growth factors that give them their healing properties. Blood is first drawn from the patient, then the platelets are separated from the other blood cells by centrifugation. The increased concentration of platelets is then combined with the plasma. This “platelet rich plasma” is then injected into the injured or painful area and is thought to speed up the healing process.

Stem Cell Therapy – Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have not yet been transformed to serve a particular function. They multiply by cell division to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Adult stem cells are usually derived from the patient’s own bone marrow. They are able to self-renew and generate cell types of the organ from which they originate. Adult stem cells are different from the controversial embryonic stem cells, as they are harvested from the adult. A special solution is made from platelet-rich plasma and the harvested stem cells then injected into areas such as degenerated joints, ligaments, discs, muscles, etc. The stem cells then start to differentiate into the targeted cell types relieving or repairing the problematic areas.

Start Living Again

Getting to the root of your pain can feel like a confusing journey, but Dr. Silberberg and his staff are here to help. Armed with knowledge and cutting-edge technology, we can help you take your life back. Contact us today and speak with our pain specialists!

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation/examination or replace the advice of your health care professional. This information should NOT be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment. Information used on this website does not constitute or establish a patient-physician relationship.