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Interventional Pain Clinic

World-class treatment right here in Lakes Country

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Compassionate Pain Care

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s practice mirrors the advanced medical care found in major U.S. teaching hospitals. We prioritize compassion and connection, aiming to treat patients as we would our own family members.

Specializing in neck and back pain, we use interventional procedures to provide individualized care. Our team, including board-certified interventional pain doctors, clinical specialists, and skilled nurses, focuses on creating a safe and welcoming environment.

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Injections Treatments & Non-Surgical Therapies

We offer image-guided injections to reduce pain and improve function. These injections can help by reducing inflammation and swelling of nerves, joints, and discs. They are also used to diagnose specific causes of pain. Treatment aims to improve immediate pain and facilitate participation in therapy programs. The type of injection is based on symptoms and examination. Some specialized injections we offer include:

Back, Neck and Spine Conditions

Back pain affects four out of five Americans in their lifetime. The spine is a complex system of 34 vertebrae, over 100 joints, 120 muscles, 23 discs, and 220 ligaments, with nerve fibers and endings that quickly signal pain. Most acute low back pain resolves with rest, ice, heat, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy. However, some causes may require medical attention, injections, or surgery.

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Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common medical condition in the United States, often stemming from causes like muscle strain, arthritis, herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, or trauma. Most acute cases resolve with rest, ice, heat, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy. However, some causes may require medical attention, injections, or surgery. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause, and specialists are trained to diagnose and treat low back pain effectively.

Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)

Lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica, occurs when a nerve root in the lumbar spine is irritated or compressed, leading to pain in the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. This condition can also cause low back pain. Symptoms can include muscle weakness due to nerve compression. Proper diagnosis and treatment by a specialist are crucial for addressing this condition effectively.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common issue that can significantly impact quality of life, whether it’s acute or chronic. It may restrict your ability to engage in activities you enjoy. Various factors can contribute to neck pain, such as muscle strain, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and whiplash injuries. Consulting a specialist is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and to develop a tailored treatment plan for your specific condition.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is when a nerve root in the neck is irritated or compressed, leading to nerve pain. These nerves supply sensation and muscle control to the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. Irritation or injury to these nerves can result in symptoms such as neck or arm pain, and in severe cases, muscle weakness. Proper diagnosis and treatment by a specialist are essential for managing this condition effectively.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord and nerves, narrows or becomes compressed. This narrowing can also affect the openings through which spinal nerves exit, called the “foramen.” Spinal stenosis can occur in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine, and symptoms can vary, including nerve pain, sciatica, arm pain, neck or back pain, and difficulty walking long distances due to leg pain (neurogenic claudication). Treatment for spinal stenosis depends on the severity and location of the narrowing, as well as the patient’s symptoms, and should be managed by a specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the discs between the vertebrae of the spine, leading to back and neck pain. It often results from aging, causing the discs to thin and become damaged. These discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, and when damaged, they can cause various painful conditions. To diagnose degenerative disc disease, specialists typically use x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. It’s crucial to consult with a specialist to accurately diagnose your condition and determine if degenerative disc disease is the cause of your pain, as other factors may be at play.

Disc Herniation

Between the vertebrae of your spine are discs, which act as shock absorbers. These discs have a fibrous “doughnut-shaped” structure, with an outer ring of dense tissue called the annulus and an inner area of softer material called the nucleus pulposus. As we age, the amount of water in the nucleus pulposus decreases, causing the discs to shrink or thin, leading to degenerative disc disease.

Disc herniations or protrusions occur when a disc bulges outward into the spinal canal. While disc bulges can be a normal part of the spine and may not cause issues if they don’t compress the spinal nerves, a herniated disc involves the inner portion of the disc protruding through the outer ring and into the spinal canal. This can cause pain and symptoms such as neck or back pain, arm or leg pain, and muscle weakness if a nerve is compressed.

Not every disc bulge or herniation requires treatment, as some may not cause pain. However, it’s crucial to consult with a specialist to properly diagnose your disc condition and determine if treatment is necessary.

Arthritis of the Spine (Spondylosis)

Spondylosis is a term for age-related wear and tear of the discs and joints in the spine, which can include degenerative disc disease and arthritis in the facet joints. While many people with spondylosis do not experience symptoms, some may have pain or muscle spasms. Treatment for spondylosis depends on the severity of symptoms and can range from conservative options to surgery. It’s important to consult with a specialist to determine the source of your pain and the most appropriate treatment.

Facet Cyst (Synovial Cyst)

Synovial facet cysts are degenerative spinal lesions that can narrow the spinal canal or foramen, leading to spinal stenosis and nerve pain (radiculopathy). They are diagnosed with MRI studies. Treatment usually starts with minimally invasive spinal injections, but surgery may be necessary for severe pain, muscle weakness, or failed conservative management. Proper diagnosis by a specialist is crucial for determining the best treatment.

Post Laminectomy Pain

Post-laminectomy syndrome, also known as failed back surgery syndrome, occurs when a patient experiences persistent back or neck pain after surgery. Laminectomy, the surgical removal of part of a vertebra to decompress a nerve, is often performed to alleviate such pain. While most patients recover without ongoing pain, some may develop post-laminectomy syndrome.

The exact cause of this syndrome is often unclear. It may result from residual narrowing around spinal nerves, remaining disc fragments compressing nerves, or an unexpected surgical outcome. Studies suggest that smokers and those with a history of failed spine surgeries are more prone to developing this syndrome.

If you experience persistent pain after spine surgery, it’s crucial to consult with a specialist or your spine surgeon. A clinical examination and advanced imaging, such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRI’s, may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Your sacroiliac joints (SI joints) connect your hips to your spine. While they aren’t very flexible, they do move slightly with your body’s movements. Damage or disease in these joints can lead to pain.

Spondylolisthesis

This condition, known as spondylolisthesis, happens when a lumbar vertebra slips out of place, typically sliding forward and distorting the spine’s shape. This displacement can compress nerves in the spinal canal or in the foramen (openings on the sides of the vertebrae), leading to pain and other issues.

Coccydynia

This condition, coccydynia, is an inflammation of the coccyx, the tip of the tailbone. It causes pain and tenderness in the area between the buttocks.

Pinched Nerve

If you’re experiencing unexplained pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling, you might have a pinched nerve. This occurs when something presses against a nerve, disrupting its normal function.

Myelopathy of the Spinal Cord

This outpatient procedure is a diagnostic examination of the spine. It allows the physician to identify problems involving the spine, the spinal cord and the nerve roots.

“I was struggling with constant pain in my back and both hips and taking 600 milligrams of Ibuprofen three times a day. After the spine injection, I have no pain and am no longer taking medications.” Ralph G., Longville, MN
“I was suffering in pain and found no reprieve from other options I tired. Dr. Horowitz’s recommended injection provided the most relief. I am no longer in pain and feel good most of the time.” Joseph G., Brainerd, MN

Frequently Asked Questions

How long until I feel better after a procedure?

The time until you feel better after a procedure varies. Some patients experience immediate relief, often due to the local anesthetic used during the procedure. Typically, it takes 7-10 days for the steroid medication to take effect, resulting in significant relief. After radiofrequency ablation, soreness is common for the first day or two, with most patients reporting relief within five to 10 days.

What more can you tell me about steroid injections?

Steroid injection frequency depends on the cause of the issue and individual response. We tailor treatment plans to each person, considering their condition and medical history. Evaluations at follow-up visits determine treatment effectiveness. If injections don’t work, we explore other safe options. Our goal is to alleviate pain and discomfort. Injection discomfort varies; we strive to personalize each procedure for the best experience.

What do I need to know about the day of my procedure?

Our specialists are fellowship trained, board certified physicians who provide state-of-the-art care tailored to your needs. If you have anxiety or fear about needles or procedures, please let our staff know. We strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible, offering relaxing medications if needed.

Most injections involve numbing the skin with local anesthetic, making them relatively comfortable. However, some procedures may be more uncomfortable, and we can administer additional medications for your comfort. Your safety is our top priority, and we can discuss sedation options if you prefer to be sedated during the procedure.

You will receive a phone call from our scheduling office the day before your procedure with your specific arrival time. We do our best to accommodate your schedule, but please understand that we may not always be able to accommodate all requests. If you have travel limitations, please let our staff know in advance.

What can you tell me about injections and my other medications?

For safety reasons, we may reschedule your procedure if you are currently on an antibiotic for an active infection. It is best to complete the antibiotic treatment and ensure the infection has resolved before undergoing a procedure. However, if you are taking an antibiotic for a chronic condition with no active infection, the procedure may proceed as planned. Please contact our nursing staff if you have any concerns or questions about your medications.

Regarding blood-thinning medications, please do not make any changes without consulting our nursing staff. Some procedures may require you to stop these medications, but the decision is specific to each procedure and type of blood thinner. We will guide you through this process and seek permission from your doctor if needed.

If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, we will check your blood sugar upon arrival. For safety, we may reschedule your procedure if your blood sugar is above 200, as the steroid used during the injection can raise your blood sugar further. We recommend eating a light, non-sugary meal before your procedure to help maintain normal blood sugar levels. Additionally, we advise monitoring your blood sugars closely for the first few days after the injection and contacting your doctor if they are consistently elevated.

Do you prescribe narcotic pain medications?

Our practice focuses on the interventional treatment of painful spinal conditions. We do not provide chronic pain management services, including the prescription of narcotic pain medications.

Do you treat Fibromyalgia?

We do not offer treatments for Fibromyalgia, as this type of pain does not typically respond well to injections. Generalized pain disorders like Fibromyalgia often require a multidisciplinary approach, including cognitive therapies, non-opioid medications, physical therapy, and exercise. These treatments are typically provided by conventional pain management clinics, which we do not offer.

I’m still having pain after my injection, what should I do?

If you are still experiencing pain after your injection, it is important to understand that most injections may take seven to 10 days to reduce your pain. This is due to the nature of the medications and their mechanism of action in your body. However, if you are experiencing worsening pain after your injection, please call our office and speak to our nursing staff. They will help determine if you should be evaluated in clinic and discuss the next course of action. If it is outside our clinic hours, we recommend being seen in the Emergency Department for evaluation.

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