Pain Management

Pain Management: Finding and Treating the Underlying Cause of Pain

Many patients Dr. Foroohar has seen have pain, whether it's in their neck, back, arm, leg, shoulder or hip. She works very closely with pain management.

What is pain management?

Pain management is a medical specialty that uses an interdisciplinary approach, including injections and medications, to relieve pain and improve the quality of life for patients with acute or chronic pain.

The source of your pain might not be where you think it is

Dr. Forohar sees a lot of patients with shoulder and hip problems whom she ends up diagnosing. Patients usually have an MRI of their neck or back which shows something, but when she actually sees the patient, the pain may not be from their neck or back, but from their shoulder or hip.

What is causing your pain?

The main issue in treating patients is understanding where their pain is coming from. Dr. Foroohar will use a paitent's history, the examination, the imaging and neurological testing, as well as an EMG to help identify the underlying cause of the symptoms.

This information determines which treatment plan will be successful. There are a lot of factors that affect treatment plans and how a patient will respond to it. Once Dr. Foroohar has all the facts, she is treating the underlying problem and hoping to reduce your pain, allowing the patient to feel better.

Have you been injured on the job?

Some patients have work-related injuries. These are different from cases where somebody was just shoveling snow and has pain. Work-related injuries involve other parties such as case managers and Workers' Compensation insurers involved in the patients' care. These cases involve decisions on when patients can return to work, as well as their physical limitations.

Pain management injections can be an important part of treatment

Dr. Foroohar may refer patients to a pain management specialist for an injection. Injections can be done in conjunction with oral medications and/or physical therapy.

There are several types of pain management injections, classified by the part of the body where they are administered:

  • Epidural—In the space just outside the spinal cord and spinal nerves.
  • Facet—Along the spinal joints in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
  • Transforaminal—Through the bone opening where the spinal nerve exits the spine.
  • Trigger point—Superficial (near the skin's surface) injections in painful areas along the spine.