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  • Better Life Spine & Pain Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

What is chronic pain?

The term “chronic pain” refers to pain that’s lasted six or more months, or pain that persists after an original injury or surgery has healed.

What is pain management?

Pain management is a multimodal approach to controlling, managing and minimizing pain. Treatment plans may include minimally invasive interventional procedures (like spinal-cord stimulators, injections, pain pumps, epidurals, etc.) psychological support, medication or potentially a referral for surgery.

What type of training do pain management doctors have?

Most pain-management doctors specialized in anesthesiology then “subspecialized” in interventional pain management. Pain-medicine training is a one-year fellowship program dedicated to acute, chronic, and cancer pain.

What can I expect when I see my pain management doctor?

Dr. Gilthorpe will perform a physical evaluation and review radiographic images and medical records before crafting a full treatment plan -- one that’s specific to each individual patient. He may perform some procedures in-house, on the spot, insurance and other factors permitting.

What can I expect immediately after injections?

You will feel relief from the topical anesthetic used during the procedures, however, this will wear off quickly. But by that point, the medication Dr. Gilthorpe injects into your body will begin to take effect, this process can last a few days or a week, with each passing day potentially offering more relief.

How long to injections last?

The length of a pain procedure’s effect can vary, some will be semi-permanent treatments that need to be performed once or twice a year. Others may need to be repeated with more frequency. This depends partly on the type of procedure and on the physiology of each individual patient.

Other than injections, what are my non-medication options?

Intrathecal pain pumps, kypoplasty and spinal-cord stimulators are among the potential treatments. Medication is prescribed conservatively for those patients who need it.

Will I be asleep -- under general anesthesia -- for procedures?

This depends on your personal preference: interventional procedures can be done in our in-house suite in a relatively short time, unless the patient opts for sedation. In those cases, Dr. Gilthorpe will perform your procedure at a nearby hospital.

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