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Pain Treatments

Your Pain Is Unique. Your Treatment Should Be, Too.

Pain management specialists at Davis Hospital and Medical Center create unique, effective, and custom-tailored treatment options for each and every patient struggling with pain. The process of selecting a treatment method is influenced by many factors. As a patient at Davis Hospital and Medical Center, you can expect personalized, one-on-one attention from your pain management specialist. Click on a pain management therapy below to learn more about it. Treatments marked with an asterisk (*) tend to be more widely used and prescribed. To learn more about conditions that cause acute and chronic pain, view this resource. To find a pain management specialist, call 1-866-431-WELL.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Injections

  • Botox Injections
  • Brachial Plexus Blocks
  • Carpal Tunnel Injections
  • Celiac Plexus Blocks/Splanchnic Nerve Blocks
  • Epidural Steroid Blocks (Lumbar, Thoracic, Cervical, or Caudal)*
  • Facet Joint Injections*
  • Intercostal Nerve Blocks
  • Intravenous Regional Sympathetic Block
  • Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks
  • Medial Branch Blocks for Facet Joint Injections*
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks*
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
  • Prolotherapy
  • Radiofrequency Neurotomy / Rhizotomy*
  • Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections*
  • Selective Nerve Root Blocks
  • Stellate Ganglion Blocks*
  • Tendon Sheath Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections*
  • Ultrasound-Guided Bursa Injections
  • Vertebroplasty*

Other Procedures

  • (Lumbar) Discography*
  • Epidural Blood Patch
  • Implanted Intrathecal Pumps
  • Epidural Infusion Catheters
  • Neurolytic Blocks
  • Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS)*

Diagnostic & Therapeutic Injections

Botox Injections

Most people are familiar with the use of botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) for cosmetic purposes; but you may not know that pain management specialists have found this drug to be effective in relieving chronic neck pain, migraine headaches, and cervical muscle pain. BOTOX works by blocking the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract. With BOTOX, many patients find their neck muscles are more relaxed, which provides pain relief.

Brachial Plexus Blocks

The brachial plexus is a nerve network that carries signals between the spine and the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to the brachial plexus can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and paralysis in the limbs. The brachial plexus may be irritated by tumors, nearby inflammation, or trauma to the shoulder (among other causes).

If your pain management specialist in Layton has reason to believe your pain is related to the brachial plexus, you may receive a nerve block, a diagnostic procedure in which an analgesic is injected into the nerve. If symptoms are relieved by this injection, your doctor may be able to provide further treatment, having found the source of the pain. 

Carpal Tunnel Injections

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers. Steroid injections of the ulnar bursa, which surrounds the median nerve (source of pain), may provide short-term pain relief. While steroid injections are not recommended as a long-term therapy, they may be useful for providing temporary relief until you are able to have carpal tunnel release surgery.

Celiac Plexus Blocks / Splanchnic Nerve Blocks

These nerve blocks may be used to provide abdominal pain relief. The celiac plexus (also known as the solar plexus) serves as the hub for a complex network of nerve fibers. The celiac plexus may become compressed, entrapped, or otherwise irritated by nearby tumors or inflammatory conditions of the abdomen. By injecting the celiac plexus with an analgesic, your pain management specialist can block pain signals from this area. This is a temporary pain management therapy.

Epidural Steroid Blocks (Lumbar, Thoracic, Cervical, or Caudal)*

Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a very common treatment option for joint pain. ESIs can be used to treat lower back pain, neck pain, pain caused by herniated discs, spinal stenosis, pinched nerves, and more. Epidural steroid injections have been used in the clinical setting for more than 60 years. However, pain management specialists can now administer ESIs with more accuracy than ever before, thanks to fluoroscopic x-ray guidance. Injections are typically administered as a series of three, spaced about one week apart. Each injection takes less than a half hour to receive.

Facet Joint Injections*

Facet joints are small joints located between and behind vertebrae. They provide stability and support to the spine. Unfortunately, facet joints are a source of chronic pain for many people, especially patients with osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases. Facet joints may cause pain in the back. Or, by irritating nearby nerves, facet joints can cause pain that radiates out into the neck, arms, legs, hips, buttocks, and elsewhere. Facet joint injections are a short-term therapy that can provide pain relief for a wide variety of chronic pains.

Intercostal Nerve Blocks

Intercostal nerves are just below the ribs. Some people may experience severe pain in this area after surgery or a fractured rib injury. Herpes zoster – better known as “shingles” – is another common condition that may cause pain in the intercostal nerves. By injecting a local anesthetic into the intercostal nerves, your pain management specialist at Davis Hospital and Medical Center may be able to relieve your pain. If injection therapy is successful, longer-lasting injections may be administered after the initial local anesthetic. 

Intravenous Regional Sympathetic Block

Intravenous regional sympathetic blocks are sometimes used to treat complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and other chronic pain conditions. You may also hear this treatment referred to as “Bier block anesthesia.” The block works by interrupting the abnormal pain signals of the sympathetic nervous system. It is the pain management specialist’s goal to have the abnormal nerves function normally following Bier block therapy.

Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks

The lumbar sympathetic nerves are located on the left and right sides of the lower spine. These nerves may become pinched or otherwise inflamed, causing pain that is often characterized as “complex regional pain syndrome” or “reflex sympathetic dystrophy.” If your Layton pain management specialist suspects your chronic pain originates in these nerves, then you may receive a diagnostic injection of local anesthetic. (Bupivacaine is commonly used.) If the local anesthetic provides pain relief, steroids may be injected at a later date for longer lasting pain relief.

Medial Branch Blocks for Facet Joint Injections*

The medial branches carry signals from nerve endings near the facet joints (on the left and right of the spine) back to the brain. The medial branches may be injured by trauma (e.g. car accident) or otherwise become pinched or inflamed. This can cause severe pain in the neck (upper medial branch injury), radiating out across the neck and shoulders, or lower back (lower medial branch injury), radiating out into the buttocks and upper legs.

A medial branch block is a diagnostic test during which your pain management specialist injects anesthetic into the medial branch. If this produces pain relief, then the physician may follow up by performing radiofrequency neurotomy or some other longer-lasting procedure on the medial branch nerves.

Peripheral Nerve Blocks*

A peripheral nerve block is used to provide pain relief during surgery. Some surgeries and pain management procedures require a peripheral nerve block. The block may numb an entire limb, or just part of the limb. A continuous peripheral nerve block (CPNB) offers extended pain relief for the recovery process.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Platelet rich plasma injections are one of the more recent technologies to develop in the field of pain management. This non-surgical procedure takes full advantage of your body’s ability to heal itself. First, your healthcare provider performs a basic blood draw. The blood is then put into a centrifuge that separates the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells. This takes just a few minutes. Next, the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the injury site. The PRP mixture attracts the body’s own growth factors to promote fast healing and recovery.

Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is a type of minimally invasive injection that can treat a range of acute and chronic pains, including tendonitis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatic pain, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, disc pain, and more. During prolotherapy, an irritant, such as dextrose (sugar), is injected into the injured tendon or ligament, along with a small amount of numbing medication. The irritant induces a faster healing process, using the body’s own natural properties. This process is usually repeated over the course of several weeks or months for best results.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy / Rhizotomy*

Also known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or lesioning, this pain management therapy is a widely used and successful treatment option. RFA may be used after your pain management specialist has performed a diagnostic procedure, such as a medial branch block, to pinpoint the source of your pain.

During radiofrequency neurotomy, your pain management specialist uses a special needle, placed with fluoroscopic guidance, that emits intense, concentrated heat. The heat destroys the irritated nerves that are relaying pain signals to the brain.

Local anesthetic and mild IV sedation is used during this procedure. It is normal to feel some discomfort – usually a buzzing or tingling sensation. However, this procedure should not be painful. If successful, the results could last for about a year – at which point the ablated nerves regrow.

Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections*

The two sacroiliac (SI) joints connect the spine to the pelvis. These joints are responsible for allowing hip motion. The SI joints are also prone to inflammation and stiffness. Pain may be caused by some form of trauma, such as an auto accident, pregnancy, improper lifting, difference in leg lengths, or degenerative diseases, such as arthritis.

Your Layton pain management specialist at Davis Hospital and Medical Center may recommend SI joint injections for lower back and hip pain. These injections, comprised of a local anesthetic/corticosteroid mixture, reduce inflammation and pain. Injections are administered under fluoroscopic guidance to help ensure accuracy. Many patients find SI joint injections provide effective pain relief for several months.

Selective Nerve Root Blocks

A selective nerve root block is a type of procedure pain management specialists use to locate and diagnose pain caused by nerves along the spine. These nerves may be compressed or otherwise irritated by herniated discs, bone spurs, or misaligned vertebrae. Pain may radiate out into the neck, arms, buttocks, or legs, depending on the location and severity of nerve impingement.

During a selective nerve root block procedure, your Layton pain management specialist will inject the nerve root with a local anesthetic/steroid combination. This injection is performed with x-ray guidance and local anesthetics to ensure accuracy and minimize discomfort. Mild IV sedation may be given as well.

Stellate Ganglion Blocks*

The stellate ganglion is a nerve bundle located on the front left and right sides of the neck. These nerve bundles are responsible for relaying sympathetic nerve signals between the brain and upper extremities. When these nerve bundles do not function properly, they may cause a painful burning sensation, oftentimes labeled “complex regional pain syndrome” or “reflex sympathetic dystrophy.”

During a stellate ganglion block, your Layton pain management specialist injects a small amount of local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion. If this successfully controls pain, then a local anesthetic/steroid mixture may be injected for longer-lasting relief. Stellate ganglion blocks can also be used to manage the effects of shingles and chronic angina, as well as to reduce sweating in the face, head, and upper limbs.

Tendon Sheath Injections

If joints are stiff or painful to move, your pain management specialist may talk to you about having a tendon sheath injection. By injecting the surrounding tendon sheath with an anesthetic/steroid mixture, your Layton pain management physician may be able to provide symptomatic relief and help you increase your range of motion.

Trigger Point Injections*

A trigger point is a tight “ball” of muscle that develops in the muscle or fascia. Trigger points can appear in any muscle, though they most frequently develop in muscles that are overused. Trigger points can cause pain in seemingly unrelated areas of the body. This may be because the trigger point is compressing or irritating a nearby nerve. This is known as a “referred pain,” and one of the key aspects of myofascial pain syndrome.

A trigger point injection (TPI) can help relieve tension and referred pain. A TPI may contain a steroid or nothing at all (“dry needling”). Your pain management specialist at Davis Hospital and Medical Center can tell you more.

Ultrasound-Guided Bursa Injections

Patients with bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sac – commonly in the knee, elbow, hip, and shoulder) may be candidates for ultrasound-guided bursa injections at Davis Hospital and Medical Center. These local anesthetic/steroid combination injections reduce inflammation of the bursa, reducing friction in the joint and promoting a greater range of motion with less pain. Ask your pain management specialist in Layton for more information.

Vertebroplasty*

Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure done to restore a compressed vertebra in the spine. Patients with osteoporosis, spinal cancer, or some kind of spine trauma may be candidates for this procedure.

During a vertebroplasty, the physician injects bone cement into the space of the compressed vertebra. The goal is to restore the spine to its original height, thereby providing pain relief. Vertebroplasty also helps stabilize the spine. Your pain management specialist can tell you more about this procedure.

Other Procedures

(Lumbar) Discography*

Lumbar discography is a diagnostic procedure done to pinpoint the source of pain in the spine. During the procedure, special contrast dye is injected into the discs of the spine. Your physician will ask about the pain/sensation experienced with each injection in order to determine which disc – or discs – is causing pain. Once the discs have been injected, an x-ray may be taken of the spine (a discogram).

Mild IV sedation and local anesthesia may be given during this procedure to reduce discomfort. However, patients must be awake enough to communicate with the test administrator. If the test is successful, your physician may be able to use the results to plan an effective surgery.

Epidural Blood Patch

Patients who have had an injection into the spinal column sometimes experience severe headaches after the procedure. This is usually due to a small leak of spinal fluid into the epidural space. During an epidural blood patch, your Layton pain management specialist injects a small amount of your own blood into the epidural space. The blood is a natural coagulant, “sealing” up the leak and stopping the headaches. While these headaches are not a threat to your health, they can be completely debilitating, prompting many patients to seek treatment.

Implanted Intrathecal Pumps

An intrathecal pump is a medical device placed between the spinal cord and the spinal cord’s protective sheath for the purpose of administering drugs. The pump may deliver medication via catheter at a constant rate or at a computer-programmed rate. This therapy is typically reserved for patients who cannot take medications orally or intravenously and/or are not candidates for surgery.

Prior to permanently implanting an intrathecal pump, your physician will insert a temporary one to see if the therapy is effective. If the pump helps with pain relief, a permanent implantation can be scheduled. Patients with implanted intrathecal pumps must see their physician regularly for medication injections. The medication is then gradually released over time. Pumps may last for three to five years before they need to be replaced.

Epidural Infusion Catheters

Epidural infusion catheters are used for delivering pain medication to patients with chronic pain. Your pain management specialist at Davis Hospital and Medical Center can tell you more about this therapy.

Neurolytic Blocks

A neurolytic block is a pain management therapy that involves destroying nerves that relay pain signals. This may be accomplished chemically (neurolysis) or with the needle application of intense heat (radiofrequency neurotomy). Many of the nerve bundles mentioned on this page may be the target of a neurolytic block.

Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS)*

A spinal cord stimulator is a small electrical device that emits very low-voltage electrical impulses to the nerves of the spinal cord. This device provides spinal pain relief for many patients who are unresponsive to other surgical and non-surgical therapies. The SCS works by interfering with pain signals traveling between the brain and the spinal cord. Many patients find this device to be effective in helping manage chronic back pain.

Before permanently installing a spinal cord stimulator, your physician will have you do a 5-7 day trial; the main difference between the trial device and the permanent device is that the permanent device’s battery is placed under the skin. The pain relief and other sensations should be the same.

If the trial is successful in providing 50% – 70% pain relief, then a permanent placement procedure may be scheduled. During the procedure, tiny electrical lead wires are attached to the spinal cord by a neurosurgeon at Davis Hospital and Medical Center. These devices have rechargeable batteries; some devices may last as long as ten years. 

Pain Management in Layton, UT – Find a Physician

Additional pain management options may be available. Therapies and approaches are subject to change. To find a physician who specializes in the treatment of pain, click here, or please call 1-866-431-WELL (9355).

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