Pain is our body’s alarm system warning us that something has gone wrong and we need to seek assistance. Unfortunately, pain is often a very late symptom, and chronic pain can be symptomatic of the combination of many problems. Together we will work to understand your symptoms, pinpoint the cause, and plan a course of treatment for your chronic pain.
Our first objective is to ease your pain and stop your condition from progressing. Upon completion of your initial assessment, we will develop a comprehensive, personalized, and holistic physical pt treatment plan incorporating a variety of services to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms and then work to reduce pain, nerve irritation, and tissue inflammation, and increase flexibility. Helping you on the road to a fulfilling, pain-free life is our ultimate goal.
Injection Therapy For Pain Management
Injection therapy is an effective treatment for chronic and subacute pain. The therapy works by injecting drugs into areas causing pain. Our physicians provide orthopedic injections in Oahu to address pain in several areas, including:
- Parts of the spine (disc and spaces between vertebrae)
Whether you’re seeking trigger point injections in Oahu for uncomfortable muscle “knots” or joint injections for painful, inflamed facet joints, our physicians specialize in this form of therapy.
Our orthopedic injections contain effective medicines that include corticosteroids, NSAIDs, morphine, anesthetics, and other drugs designed to reduce swelling and pain without uncomfortable side effects.
Do I need a steroid injection for my condition?
Steroid injections, commonly referred to as “cortisone” injections are considered a staple in the management of many acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Injections with steroids can provide pain relief by reducing the swelling of the structure involved. We often refer to steroid injections as a “super liquid motrin/ibuprofen” because the effects are similar except it’s injected right into the swollen site instead of swallowed and absorbed into your whole system. This swelling may occur inside a joint, tendon, bursa sac or a muscle where a tender knot (trigger points) is felt. When swelling is reduced, pain is reduced and you will be able to move the joint or involved structure more, resulting in better blood flow and healing.
Although “cortisone” or hydrocortisone is a steroid that can be injected, it is not commonly the steroid of choice in modern physical medicine because there are better options available like kenalog or dexamethasone that provide longer and more powerful relief with less side effects. Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab in Kailua, we do administer steroid injections for a number of conditions, to include but not limited to: shoulder impingement conditions like rotator cuff or labral injuries, knee arthritis, ankle impingement or arthritis, trigger point injections, hip bursitis, tennis elbow, heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and other approved tendon and ligament injuries.
Will the injection be painful?
The injection is performed by our trained medical department licensed clinicians, usually a physician assistant (PA-C), nurse practitioner (FNP), or medical doctor (MD). We use the smallest needles and prepare the skin with a numbing spray first to lessen the needle poke. Some injection sites are more sensitive than others and you can discuss any questions or concerns with the clinician. The clinician will help you decide when is the right time to consider the injection during your treatment plan. Steroid injections are typically mixed with a local numbing medicine providing immediate pain relief, usually within a minute. The steroid itself can take up to one week before you feel the full therapeutic effects, but some say its effects were also immediate. The relief from the steroid injection can sometimes be permanent or last up to six months depending on your age, activity level and severity of your condition.
Are there risks involved?
At Oahu Spine and Rehab, we combine the expert skills of our clinicians with the hands-on treatment of massage therapy, rehabilitation, and physical therapy along with chiropractic care to ensure that you can get back to your favorite activities or just day to day activities without pain. Getting a steroid injection is a great way to manage difficult painful conditions that are not improving with standard therapy. As mentioned earlier, this is a more invasive procedure, but if done appropriately the risks and consequences are not as common as publicized. Each patient is evaluated and the decision rests with you and your clinician.
Take the time to talk to our medical department experts and see if the procedure is right for you. Often the benefits of the injection outweigh the risks. Steroid and Trigger Point Injections can also offer prevention of more damage to a joint, cartilage, or other structure by getting the patient back to activities sooner. Although it is not a “magic cure”, a steroid injection provides great benefits to patients in pain and discomfort that are in need of relief without necessarily having to take prescription pain medication.
Different types of pain
There are infinite ways to describe pain. In different vocabulary, languages, and within specific cultural norms. In some cultures, pain is not even recognized. People either ignore the concept altogether denying its influence or they have different ways of expressing it such as through non-verbal communication.
Although it may be difficult, it is important to know how to express pain. Sharp, shooting, dull, aching, throbbing, soreness, tightness, irritating, constant, and intermittent are all good ways of verbally expressing pain, Wincing/contracting, retracting, fist/jaw clenching, and crying are all ways to express pain in a non-verbal manner.
- acute pain starts suddenly and is short-term
- chronic pain lasts for a longer period of time
- breakthrough pain often happens in between regular, scheduled painkillers
- bone pain happens when cancer is affecting a bone
- soft tissue pain happens when organs, muscles or tissues are damaged or inflamed
- nerve pain happens when a nerve is damaged
- referred pain is when pain from one part of your body is felt in another
- phantom pain is when there is pain in a part of the body that has been removed
- total pain includes the emotional, social and spiritual factors that affect a person’s pain experience.
Pain does not feel the same for everyone. Describing your pain clearly will help your doctor or nurse find the best treatment for you. Tell your healthcare team where the pain is, what it is like, how bad it is, and when it happens.
Keeping a pain diary can help you explain your pain to your doctor or nurse.
Pain neglect or not treating pain is a common problem in today’s heavily stimulating society. There are many distractions that can keep us from seeking help. If you feel like you need help monitoring and controlling your pain then please see a Physical or Psychological therapist to address the issues that afflict you.