Dr. Chowdhury: Q&A

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1: What is pain management?

Pain becomes chronic when discomfort has been persistent for over 3 months.  You may not be able to cure the pain, but can likely manage it to where a patient is able to live a healthier life without discomfort. Take for example, diabetes, diabetes is not curable, but is  managed with the help of  insulin and medication that manage your blood sugar levels. Chronic pain is no different, pain specialist provide several therapy options that help you manage and live through the pain.

 

2. Why should I seek a pain management specialist and not my primary care physician?

An interventional pain specialist bridges the gap between conservative pain treatments, offering little to no relief, and more invasive, expensive surgery options which could permanently leave you with  less of a  positive outcome.  According to experts only two to three percent of people whom have chronic pain need surgery. Less invasive surgeries performed by a pain specialist could be very beneficial to patients who may not need major surgeries and can provide with a less expensive form of relief. A pain specialist can differentiate what is causing your pain, where the root of them problem lies and treat it appropriately.

3. When should I seek Pain Management?

SECOND ATTEMPT: Acute pains usually come and go, a slight pain in your knee or back is likely to go away within a week or two. Usually, pain medications, physical therapy and perhaps even the help of  a chiropractor  will relieve the pain, when those options are not enough and the pain develops into a chronic this is when one should consult a pain specialist.  The longer you wait to treat the affected area, the more difficult the area is to treat. Living with pain may also has an effect on the body. Your heart, blood pressure, immune system , sleeping patterns and weight could be affected by chronic pain.

4. What are some of the Pain Management therapies you perform?

Any interventional procedure that is performed at any major university center, I am skilled and able to perform. What needs to be understood is that every patient is different, one procedure may give patient A 100 percent relief while patient B will only receive 50 percent relief.  In order to target the pain more effectively we require a thorough history and physical examination of a patient. Nerve tests, radiological tests, blood tests, urine tests and genetic tests  are conducted to address your pain and pain level. When the problematic  area is diagnosed a pain management plan is put into place.  Our multi-faceted practice will provide you with the most effective therapies for your level of pain.

5. Are the procedures painful?

Procedures are not painful. Procedures could be painful if not done appropriately. Here at the Center for Pain Management proper sedation methods are used. An anesthesiologist is always on duty and will administer and monitor the patient throughout the procedure. The patient does not feel a thing.

6. What are some of the latest procedures?

I am trained to perform all  procedures available in this country, I also look for the newest and innovative technologies to  provide patients with the best possible treatment options. For example, we conduct a procedure called Radio Frequency Denervation. This  procedure deactivates the nerves that carry the pain signals to the brain which will eliminate the pain for the problematic area. Procedures such as the balloon kyphoplasty catering to patients with spinal fractures, osteoperosis and benign tumors are conducted here in our office.  The M.I.L.D. procedure (Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression) is a procedure  that caters to patients who suffer from spinal Stenosis. Discograms, myleograms, epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections are also conducted in our office.

7. Is it possible to live without pain?

Yes, It is possible to live without pain, but if you cannot perform daily activities such as a picnic in the park, carrying your grandchildren or taking a nice walk, is this really living? Billions of people suffer from chronic pain and most do not know that pain management is an option. Pain can affect your whole body and cause the body to develop a list of other complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, low libido, obesity and difficulty sleeping to name a few.

8. Pain is the body’s way of telling us that there is something wrong, is it beneficial to eliminate all pain?

First, we test for acute pain. A lower abdominal pain may suggest appendicitis and one may need to have an appendectomy. Testing all of your symptoms first will make sure that pain is not coming from an area of the body that may not need chronic pain attention.  We seek attention to all pain to identify the root of the problem.

9. Pain is not just Physical, but it can be emotional and psychological, can your practice help me?

Yes, we have counselors, psychologist, physical therapist and our trained staff that are continuously working to provide our patients with the best possible treatments. We have a well established chronic pain management program to evaluate and treat all pain causing symptoms. We are a multi-faceted practice and can help you with all areas in regards to pain.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO: We also control pain medications that are administered to a patient, we monitor and keep medications to a minimum so that the patients does not  become dependent on the medication. Our also assists where we counsel for this type of situation.

It may discourage some to know that most procedures are done through the back, but pain signals travel to the brain through the spinothalamic track, injecting the spinal cord is more effective than any oral medication and less of it is needed for treatment.