Frequently Asked Questions

For Pain Management

What is chronic pain?
What are spinal injections?
What is an epidural steroid injection?
What is a facet injection/ medial branch block?
What is a Radiofrequency (RF) procedure?
What is sacroilitis?
What are the treatment options for fibromyalgia?
What are the treatment options for neuropathy?
Why should I have my Pain Management in a Hospital
 instead of a private office?

Do you prescribe narcotics for chronic pain?



Answers

What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is pain that persists for 3 months or longer. This can be quite debilitating in that it affects many aspects of your life. It also affects sleep patterns and the ability perform activities of daily living such as bathing and preparing meals.

What are spinal injections?
Spinal injections are performed to both diagnose and treat painful conditions of the back and neck. Needles are used to administer medications. Decisions for injections are made after appropriate history, physical exam, and diagnostic testing are performed.

What is an epidural steroid injection?
The injection of steroids (cortisone) around spinal nerves can reduce the inflammation responsible for radiating arm or leg pain. The procedure may have to be repeated every 2-3 weeks depending on the response to the injection. There are several ways to perform these injections. We utilize X-Ray (fluoroscopic guidance) to ensure safe needle placement.

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What is a facet injection/ medial branch block?
These blocks are used to identify if a very specific part of the spine is causing back or neck pain. You will be asked to keep a diary after the injection to see how you respond to the injection. Further treatment can be planned based on the result.

What is a Radiofrequency (RF) procedure?
A needle is applied to a nerve and a special machine is used to heat the tip of the needle and destroy the nerve. This is used after a successful medial branch block or sympathetic nerve block. The RF procedure can give more than 6 months of pain relief.

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What is sacroilitis?
Sacroilitis is a condition in the sacrum, located at the lower part of the spine. It occurs spontaneously or after a trauma/fall. It is also very common in people who have had prior spinal surgery. Injections of steroid (cortisone) into the joint and surrounding ligaments can give tremendous relief of this pain.

What are the treatment options for fibromyalgia?
Treatment of Fibromyalgia requires a multidisciplinary approach. There are new medicines with FDA indications for this disease. This will be discussed in your evaluation. You will also be advised to maintain a high level of activity and function.

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What are the treatment options for neuropathy?
Various medicines are available for neuropathy due to Diabetes and or other causes. These tend to be chronic illnesses, requiring the careful balance of targeted medicines.

Why should I have my Pain Management in a Hospital instead of a private office?
Hospital-Based Pain Management Physicians like Drs. Kissel, Stewart and Takawira are monitored through Emory Eastside and Johns Creek Medical Centers. The Joint Commission certifies Hospitals and requires the highest quality care standards. Our Doctors have helped to implement and design protocols to meet these standards in our facility.

Do you prescribe narcotics for chronic pain?
Your physician will assess your need for pain medications. Narcotic pain medicines are appropriate for chronic pain treatment if your physician deems it to be appropriate. Every patient is evaluated individually. You will be asked to read and sign a Narcotics Agreement on your first visit.

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Established 1979