This article is an excerpt from the blog post https://newbridgespine.com/blog
The term pain management is often confusing among the huge range of resources and definitions out there.
In the face of the opioid crisis it seems that some specialties and alternative therapy providers, have taken advantage of this very real and serious epidemic to promote their beliefs and businesses. However, little is discussed about how conservative, responsible interventional pain management is an integral part of the solution to the opioid crisis.
Pain Specialists have tools other than opioids to treat pain
These tools are namely same-day, outpatient, non-surgical procedures to treat pain. Cleveland Clinic trained Dr. Chirag Sanghvi of Newbridge Spine & Pain Center sees patients in Maryland and Virginia and states, “I can keep opioid prescribing low because I have other ways to treat pain. I can see my prescribing statistics through the Virginia prescription monitoring program (PMP). These statistics show that over 98% of my prescriptions are below the CDC guidelines of 90 MME (84% below 50 MME). ” These statistics are far below the stats for other physicians who prescribe similar medications this includes primary care physicians (PCP).
Patients seeking pain treatment from their PCP are often prescribed opioids when they could have avoided medications altogether. Once these patients reach a pain specialist often they are already on high doses of opioids or narcotics and may have become dependent.
Pain specialists can target the source of pain
With such a wide variety of procedures the interventional pain specialist can target the source of pain very specifically.
Interventional physicians are able to use ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance as tools to visualize specific nerves and nerve bundles for example to reach the exact point of inflammation.
Mary, a patient diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, disc herniation and disc degeneration in her lower back states, “The first time I [received these procedures] I didn’t have to go back for almost 2 yrs. I haven’t been as pain free for 20 yrs. [I was not prescribed] any pain pills either.”