Ongoing shoulder pain is quite likely to prevent you from engaging in a lot of activities – even ones that you normally do. You have tried to get relief in a variety of ways, but nothing has worked so far. There are four kinds of interventional pain management treatments that can help you.
- Trigger Point Injections (Intramuscular)
A trigger point is a place in your muscles where knots will often form. Relief may not be easy to obtain. In fact, some people find that they do not go away at all. This is particularly true in accident cases, in osteoarthritis, or in cases of fibromyalgia. In that case, a trigger point injection may help.
After a diagnosis, the doctor may inject an anesthetic into the knotted muscle to remove the pain. A steroid may also be mixed with it to help reduce the inflammation.
- Shoulder Joint Injections
Injections can be given in various places in the shoulder, depending on the cause and source of the pain. A diagnosis will be given first, and then several types of injections may be used to help alleviate pain.
One of the most common injections is cortisone. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that can be injected directly into the painful joint. It is often combined with an anesthesia to provide quick relief. Another type of injection is hyaluronic acid. This substance is naturally found in the joints, but may have been reduced through injury.
- Suprascapular Nerve Block
The suprascapular nerve runs behind the shoulder blade and provides signals to two muscles in the rotator cuff. Pressure on the nerve can cause ongoing pain.
The treatment for this problem is a suprascapular nerve block. Before performing this 15-minute task, you will be given an IV to help you relax. Once relaxed, the doctor will use a real-time x-ray to guide the needle into the precise position. A small amount of dye will be used to ensure that it is in the right place. Once assured of it, the doctor will then inject a combination of an anesthetic and cortisone. The anesthetic will provide you with nearly immediate relief which will last for a few hours. The cortisone will reduce the inflammation, which will also help reduce the pain. The treatment is effective for up to six months, then it may need to be repeated, but many people find the pain does not return.
- Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) of the Suprascapular Nerve
In this treatment, the patient is sedated enough to be relaxed, using an IV. After making a tiny incision, the doctor is guided to the correct nerves by use of a real-time x-ray machine. The cathode is placed near the nerves that are to be treated. The pulsed radiofrequency is energized briefly and then allowed to cool, then turned on again for a few more seconds. Instead of destroying the nerve as in ablation, the nerve is tricked into no longer sending pain signals to the brain. The effects are permanent for many people, but some will need other treatments after a few months.
If you have shoulder pain without relief, we invite you to contact us at Lower Back Pain NY. Our expert Board-certified doctors use interventional pain management techniques that have helped many people already. We have several offices in New York City to help you get the pain relief you need.