Chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat, leaving you feeling hopeless about your ability to find relief. Luckily, there are cutting-edge treatments that may be able to relieve your pain without requiring invasive treatment.
Eric K. Fanaee, MD, is an expert in pain management and dedicated to helping people with difficult-to-treat chronic pain. That’s why he offers a range of minimally invasive treatments for chronic pain at his offices in West Islip, Islandia, and Smithtown, New York.
Dealing with chronic pain
Chronic pain is caused by a number of conditions and can be difficult to treat depending on the underlying source of your pain. Dr. Fanaee specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic pain even when other doctors have been unable to do so.
Usually, Dr. Fanaee begins by recommending the following conservative treatments for chronic pain:
- Physical therapy and chiropractic care, which can improve overall musculoskeletal health
- Antidepressants, which can reduce pain sensation in some cases
- Nerve blocks and epidural injections, which can numb certain types of pain
- Joint injections
- Medical marijuana for appropriate types of chronic pain
If conservative treatments haven’t been effective in helping your chronic pain, you might think your only options are a lifetime of pain medication or invasive surgeries. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Minimally invasive treatment options
You might be surprised to know that, thanks to advancements in pain management, there are now numerous minimally invasive options available to effectively treat your chronic pain.
Spinal cord stimulator
If your chronic pain is primarily neuropathic (i.e., caused by nerve problems), a spinal cord stimulator can help. This applies the principle of neurostimulation, whereby electrical signals from the stimulator disrupt the misfiring nerve signals that are causing your pain.
If Dr. Fanaee determines this is an appropriate treatment for you, he implants a trial stimulator using a minimally invasive surgery so you can test the device for a week or so. If the treatment is deemed successful, Dr. Fanee implants a permanent device near your spine as well as a battery under your skin.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive, same-day procedure that involves heating a nerve that is causing you pain so it stops transmitting pain signals. Radiofrequency ablation offers long-lasting pain relief and usually has minimal side effects and recovery time.
During your procedure, Dr. Fanaee numbs your treatment area and inserts a specialized RFA needle to your affected nerves. Then, he heats an electrode through the needle in order to create a heat lesion on the nerve, permanently preventing it from sending pain signals to your brain.
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that treats fractures in your spine using acrylic bone cement. If your chronic pain is related to a vertebral fracture or osteoporosis, this treatment can help relieve your pain while also restoring the natural curvature of your spine.
Dr. Fanaee performs this treatment through a small incision near your spine through which he inserts a needle and a device called a balloon tamp. He inflates the balloon tamp to restore the structure of your vertebrae and then injects acrylic bone cement.
Stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine are among the best treatments to relieve chronic pain caused by injuries or conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and herniated discs. Stem cells are special cells that can differentiate into any type of cell your body needs.
Stem cell therapy works by harnessing the healing power of your own natural stem cells. During stem cell therapy, Dr. Fanaee usually harvests your own stem cells into a concentrated solution and re-injects them into areas where you experience chronic pain.
These cells quickly get to work, becoming the cells your body needs to heal at the site of your pain and triggering new cellular generation as well. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is another type of regenerative medicine that works using the platelets and growth factors in your blood.
Both stem cell therapy and PRP are minimally invasive, requiring just a blood draw or harvesting procedure and a re-injection. Because the treatments are derived from your own natural tissues, there’s minimal risk of side effects or discomfort to you.
Even if other doctors have been unable to diagnose or treat your chronic pain, there’s hope for relief. To find out more about the minimally invasive options available to you, make an appointment with Dr. Fanaee.