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What Does it Take to Get a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant?

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A spinal cord stimulator implant can be an excellent option for those with chronic pain that have not responded to conservative treatments. This may include  failed back surgery, where there is no longer an indication for surgery. A SCS implant may be an excellent option for helping with chronic back and/or leg pain and reduce the need for pain medications.

Hear Dr. David Greene, CEO of the Florida Pain Network, discuss the steps involved with obtaining a spinal cord stimulator implant. They are expensive devices, and it takes a couple steps prior to approval for a final implementation.

The Florida Pain Network connects those in pain with pain management doctors in Florida. This includes pain clinics in Orlando, Tampa pain clinics, Port St Lucie pain management, Ocala, Fort Myers and many others. Visit the Pain Management page to find those closest to you or simply call (877) 877-8556 today!


Why Florida Pain Doctors Recommend Spinal Cord Stimulation

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A spinal cord stimulator, also called neurostimulation, is an excellent last option for those suffering from chronic pain and for whom further surgery is not an option. You may have tried pain medication management, physical therapy, nerve blocks, spinal surgery and more, but yet your pain is still at an undesirable level.Pain Management Fort Myers

Spinal cord stimulators have been around since 1967 and are approved by the FDA for managing chronic pain in the back, neck, arms or legs. They’re also covered by most major health insurance plans, Workers Compensation and Medicare as well as Medicaid.

These devices have helped hundreds of thousands of those suffering from chronic pain to improve their quality of life and to get back to work along with decreasing the amount of pain medication necessary.

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A Spinal cord stimulator lead and paddle.

The technology for neurostimulation works by altering pain signals before they get to the brain. The device involves a paddle that is made of silicone and placed around the spinal cord with small electrical pulses going through it. These mild electrical pulses decrease pain sensation and replace it with a more pleasant massaging sensation.

To be specific, there are three components to the spinal cord stimulator system. The first is a generator that is similar to a pacemaker and sends pulses to the leads. The generator also contains the battery component and is placed under the skin usually above the buttock area or around and under the abdomen.
The second component is the leads that has the paddle. These deliver pulses from the generator to the area around the spinal cord. It is placed into the epidural space, which is the space around style cord.

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Spinal cord stimulator programmer/battery.

The third component of a spinal cord stimulator is the programmer. This is a handheld device that does not get implanted and ask like a remote control. It is able to change the programming for the device to help with better pain management.

Currently, a spinal cord stimulator device is recommended if the Florida pain management doctor runs out of other options. Surgery is no longer indicated, pain management has not been sufficient despite best efforts, and even pain medications are not abating the pain.

Initially a trial device is put into place and if that works, the permanent implant is scheduled after insurance approval. It is an outpatient procedure.
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The overall success rate with spinal cord stimulation is over 60%, and if chronic pain has not been in place for many years it may be upwards of 80% satisfaction.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, then a spinal cord stimulator may be for you.

This includes pain clinics in Fort Myers, Orlando pain clinics, West Palm Beach pain management, Ocala pain clinics, Boca, Delray Beach and more. Simply input your zip code on THIS PAGE or call (877) 877-8556 today!


Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Offering Hope to Those With Spine or Extremity Pain

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The future of pain management involves regenerative medicine. Currently, virtually all pain management treatments involve reducing or eliminating pain with methods that do not heal the problem. While there are very effective treatments in pain management to do this, what we really want is pain reducing treatments that help alter the problem at hand, such as arthritis and soft tissue inflammation or degenerative disc disease.Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet rich plasma therapy, also known as PRP, represents a huge step in the regenerative medicine category. This treatment is a low risk therapy that involves simply taking a person’s own blood. The blood is placed in test tubes and spun in a centrifuge machine very fast for about 10 minutes. This separates the blood into three layers. The top layer contains concentrated platelets and growth factors.

This is the layer that is used as platelet rich plasma by pain clinics in Orlando, West Palm Beach, pain management Fort Myers and more. Out of the 30 to 60 mL taken from a person’s blood, 5 to 10 mL end up being usable as PRP. PRP is then injected into the problem area, which may include tennis elbow where there is soft tissue inflammation,  arthritis which is mild to moderate, rotator cuff tendinitis, ligament injuries, Achilles problems and more.

PRP sparks up an inflammatory reaction which can initially make the area more painful than it was before, but typically only for a couple days. The platelets and growth factors then help to heal the damaged area rather than just simply masking pain. In addition, PRP is an attractant for the body’s own stem cells. As stem cells infiltrate the area, they can also provide some tissue regeneration.

Three of the major professional sports leagues have approved of the use of PRP along with the World Anti Doping Association.
PRP therapyMultiple professional athletes have had the procedure including Tiger Woods, Dwight Howard, Hines Ward, Troy Polamolu and quite a few others.

More and more research studies are coming out in favor of platelet rich plasma. There was a recent study out of South Florida looking at PRP for epicondylitis of the elbow including both golfers and tennis elbow. Patients did extremely well overall with the treatment, and less than 10% ended up needing surgery. Quite a few patients got rid of all their pain and most were very pleased with the outcome.

Another recent study out of the Hospital for Special Surgery looked at the injections with PRP for moderate degenerative arthritis. In this study, follow-up MRIs showed that in three out of four of the patients, no further degenerative arthritis was noticed on high-resolution MRI scans. Clinically, the injected patients had statistically significant improvements in their pain along with functional abilities.

These studies are very exciting. If platelet rich plasma can be shown in larger studies to have long-term pain reducing effects and regenerative capability for these types of Pain Management Doctors in Floridaconditions, it will be a total homerun. It’s a low-risk procedure and cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 per injection. This is much less than the typical regenerative medicine type product. It may be necessary to have a series of injection with one every few weeks.

Pain clinics in Florida may offer PRP treatment, and it is being shown to help a lot with various soft tissue and arthritis conditions. National Pain Institute, for one, offers platelet rich plasma at its various locations. Visit THIS PAGE to find a Florida pain management clinic close to you!


FAQs on Medial Branch Blocks – from the Florida Pain Network

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Medial branch blocks are extremely effective outpatient pain management procedures that are performed thousands of times a day across America.

What exactly is a medial branch block?Back Pain Treatment Orlando

This procedure involves the injection of numbing medicine around the facet joint in either the neck or the back. Steroid medication may or may not be included with the procedure, and the injection serves two purposes. The first reason for receiving a medial branch block is for diagnostic purposes. It can tell the Florida pain management doctor whether or not that particular arthritic joint is causing some of the patients discomfort.

The second purpose of a medial branch block is for therapeutic reasons. Studies show that medial branch blocks provide on average, 2 to 3 months of exceptional pain relief for the affected joint.

What are the medial branches?

Each joint in the spine receives sensation from tiny nerve endings. In order for a joint to be painful, it needs a nerve supply. These nerve endings are known as medial branches and they come off of nerve roots as they exit the spinal cord.

The purpose of the block is to stop the nerve endings from signaling pain to a person’s brain.

Pain Management West Palm BeachThere are two medial branches that supply each facet joint, one coming in from above and one from below. This is why the injections involved the needle going into two areas.

How are these injections performed?

This is an outpatient procedure performed in a procedure room or in an ambulatory surgery center. IV sedation is not necessary and typically the pain management doctor will numb up the skin and the soft tissues down to the affected joint.

Most modern pain doctors use fluoroscopy for the procedure, which is a real time form of x-ray. This helps ensure the highest accuracy for needle placement.

Once the accuracy is satisfactory, typically contrast is injected to ensure additional placement. At that point, the numbing medicine and possibly some steroid is injected into places around the facet joints.

For this procedure, the needle does not enter the joint itself, but stays around the joint to block the medial branches.

Once the procedure is completed, patients are monitored in the recovery room for 30 to 60 minutes to ensure stable vital signs and no allergic reaction occurs. The patients are then allowed to go home.

What are the results of the procedure?

As a diagnostic procedure, medial branch blocks have shown excellent accuracy for figuring out the source of an individual’s pain. This goes for both the neck and the back.Medial Branch Block Injections

In addition, these injections have shown to have an 80% effectiveness for relieving facet related pain. Studies have shown that the pain relief with medial branch blocks averages 2 to 4 months. This has even been shown without the steroid medication.

If the medial branch block works well for pain relief and then wears off, a radiofrequency ablation may be performed which can provide an additional 6 to 18 months of pain relief.

Usually, this procedure is approved by insurance companies with a 50 to 80% pain relief from the medial branch block.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Risks with a medial branch injection are extremely low. There is a very small risk of infection, nerve injury, bleeding, or allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Because the injection does not go into the spinal canal, it would be exceptionally rare to have a neurologic injury result.

For patients who are on blood thinning medications., those medications should be stopped 5 to 7 days prior to the procedure. Talk to your pain doctor about the exact time frame.

What is the bottom line with medial branch blocks?Pain Clinics in Florida

These procedures are very low risk and high reward. They are great at diagnosing the particular facet joint as the source of an individual’s pain, while at the same time, offering 2 to 4 months on average of exceptional facet joint related pain relief.

The Florida Pain Network connects those in pain in Florida with pain management providers across the state. This includes pain clinics in Orlando, pain management clinics in Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie pain management and more.

Simply visit THIS PAGE to find those closest to you, or call (877) 877-8556 for assistance today!


How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work for Back Pain?

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One of the top pain management procedures of the 21st-century has been radiofrequency ablation. It’s also referred to as radiofrequency denervation, medial branch rhizotomy, radiofrequency neurotomy, and RFA.

All the different names add up to the same meaning. It is a procedure where pain management doctors apply radiofrequency thermal energy to the area around painful spinal joints to relieve pain.

Treatment for spinal arthritis unusually comes to the need for surgery. Most of the time, it is treated nonoperatively with medications, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture or interventional pain treatments such as RFA.

Initially, the Florida pain doctor will perform a procedure known as a medial branch block as an outpatient. This procedure simply involves placing numbing medicine on the outside of the joint where the pain doctor diagnoses the source of an individual’s pain.

This may simply be one spinal joint or several. For a joint to be painful, it needs a nerve supply. Facet joints in the spine receive sensation from the medial branches, which are tiny

Medial Branch Block

Each spinal joint receives sensation from medial branch nerves.

nerve endings that come from the spine.

There are two tiny nerve endings that supply each spinal joint and give it the ability to have sensation and feel pain. The medial branch block will inhibit the ability of those nerve endings to transmit pain and provide pain relief if that joint is the pain generator.

If the medial branch block works and then subsequently wears off, insurance companies will approve a radiofrequency ablation procedure. Usually the threshold is 50 or 80% pain relief necessary for the approval.

The radiofrequency ablation procedure involves thermal energy being applied to the joint in an outpatient setting. The Florida pain doctor will place a metallic catheter into the area around the joint. Up to four joints can be treated simultaneously, and the heat applied is usually around 80°C for about 90 seconds. Prior to applying heat, the pain doctor will perform a test to make sure here she is not close to any actual nerve roots.

The results of radiofrequency ablation procedures are outstanding. Over 80% of patients achieve pain relief between six months and 18 months. This means less need for narcotic medications, increased functional mobility, and increased ability to work and play with one’s kids.

Additional studies have shown that if the pain relief wears off and a repeat radiofrequency neurotomy is performed, the results on the repeat procedure are just as good as the initial.

The risks of radiofrequency ablation procedures are small. There is a small risk of infection, bleeding, nerve injury and the biggest risk is that pain relief will not be achieved. There’s also a small risk that pain may initially be worse after the procedure for a time after the procedure. This is typically due to muscle spasms sparked up from the procedure. It is usually transient and goes away within a couple weeks.

The procedure has been revolutionary for pain management doctors in Florida. This includes pain management Orlando clinics, Port St Lucie pain management clinics, pain management West Palm Beach clinics and many more.

Visit the page HERE to find the pain clinics closest to you or call (877) 877-8556 for assistance.