At Westchester Health, our Pain Management Department contains fellowship trained and board certified physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of acute, chronic and postoperative pain.
Pain management is a branch of medicine that uses an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of people living with chronic pain. Treatment approaches to chronic pain include pharmacological measures—such as analgesics, antidepressants and anticonvulsants—as well as interventional procedures, physical therapy and physical exercise.
Our pain management specialists have extensive experience in their field, using the latest technology and techniques to reduce or relieve pain and restore lost function due to illness, injury or surgery. They also assist patients with post-operative, post-traumatic and other types of acute pain that require specialized interventions, such as epidural analgesia, peripheral nerve blocks, joint injections, nerve stimulation, and spinal drug delivery systems. The goal is to safely provide optimal pain management with a balance of pain relief techniques and treatment of side effects.
A comprehensive approach to Pain Management
In our Westchester Health Pain Management group, we believe in compassionate, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary pain management for acute and chronic pain conditions. Our goal is to offer the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment options to our patients. To achieve this, we work collaboratively with providers from multiple specialties to provide the fullest evaluation possible of your pain and an individualized treatment plan.
What makes Westchester Health’s Pain Management Department different?
At Westchester Health, we firmly believe that good treatment starts with good listening. We also believe that the best patient is an informed patient, and that patient education is critical to your long-term health.
From the first time you arrive at our offices, we spend as much time with you and your family as is necessary to make sure you understand your condition, the diagnostic tests we are recommending and all of your treatment options. Throughout your journey with us, we will continue to explain our recommended course of treatment, alternative options and answer any questions you may have so that we can help you understand what to expect.
Whether you have been with Westchester Health for years or are new to our practice, you quickly recognize that our Pain Management Department truly cares about each and every one of our patients. When you need us, we are here for you.
Always at the forefront of medicine
The world of medicine continues to change and evolve, especially when it comes to acute and chronic pain management. As part of Northwell Health, our pain management specialists lead training programs in the Division of Pain Medicine, making guidelines and policy. This ensures that they are on the cutting edge of the newest breakthrough pain management treatments.
Pain Management specialists are experts at treating a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions, including:
The term “arthritis” is used to describe 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround joints, and other connective tissue. Arthritis can result from many causes, including trauma or injury, normal wear and tear on the body, old age, inflammation and infection. Arthritis can be extremely painful but there are a number of effective treatments that can ease the pain and allow arthritis sufferers to remain active and enjoy freedom of movement, including OTC and prescription medications, antibiotics, avoiding impact, hot and cold packs, wraps, steroid injections, nerve ablations and surgical intervention such as joint replacement, fusion surgery or debridement of inflamed areas.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor and/or miss work and is a leading cause of disability. Most back pain results from muscle or ligament strain, bulging or ruptured disks, arthritis, skeletal irregularities and osteoporosis. Symptoms may include acute muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down the leg, and constrained flexibility or range of motion of the back. To relieve back pain, OTC pain relievers and the use of heat or ice might be all that’s needed, but muscle relaxers, narcotics, topical pain relievers, injections, nerve ablations, nerve stimulation and surgery might be necessary, depending on the severity of the condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is basically a pinched nerve at the wrist and occurs when swelling from irritated tendons and nerves narrows the carpal tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. Symptoms include pain, tingling or numbness in the hand, wrist or forearm, numbness or pain in the fingers, and loss of thumb function and hand dexterity. Sometimes these symptoms can also be the result of pinched nerves in the neck. If diagnosed early, nonsurgical methods such as splinting the wrist and/or taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids can improve the condition. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to the touch in tissues throughout the body, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory loss and moodiness. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies pain by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. Symptoms sometimes arise after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or psychological stress, but in other cases, they gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms, such as OTC pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs. Exercise, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, occupational therapy and stress-reduction therapies may also help.
Much more severe than a normal headache, a migraine is characterized by moderate to severe pounding head pain that can last from 2-72 hours. Accompanying symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smell. It is estimated that more than 36 million Americans get migraines, with women experiencing them 3 times more often than men. Doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines but many now think that they occur because of genetically-inherited flaws in the brain. Common migraine triggers include stress, certain food additives such as nitrates and MSG, caffeine, changes in weather, menstruation, fatigue, skipping meals and sleep changes. To relieve the pain of migraines, medications include OTC pain relievers, triptans, anti-nausea medications, opioids and glucocorticoids.
We also treat the following conditions:
- Cancer-related pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Foot Pain
- Hip Pain
- Joint and musculoskeletal pain
- Knee Pain
- Neck pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spine/vertebrae pain
We offer the following diagnostic procedures to determine what is causing a patient’s pain:
Computerized Tomography (CT) scan
CT scans assist in pain diagnosis by providing a series of X-rays that are compiled together to give cross-sectional images of the body.
An injection placed into the spinal disc under X-ray guidance that provides imaging of the disc and information on whether the disc is contributing to a patient’s pain.
A procedure performed and interpreted by physician specialists that uses electrodes to diagnose the health of muscles and nerves.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An imaging modality that uses magnetic fields to create cross-sectional images of the body.
A procedure in which contrast dye is injected under X-ray guidance to look for problems within the spinal canal, including the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Ultrasound uses sound waves of different frequencies to create images of the body.
Since Westchester Health is now part of Northwell Health, you have access to the Phelps Hospital Radiology Department which is designated a “Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence” by the American College of Radiology.
Our treatment options for pain include:
Epidural Steroid Injections
Injection of a steroid under X-ray guidance into the epidural space of the spine. The objective is to reduce inflammation around nerves and a disc.
An injection of steroid/local anesthetic into a joint to reduce inflammation, or a viscosupplementation injection to restore lubrication around an arthritic joint.
To reduce the intensity of pain, a variety of medication procedures may be performed.
Peripheral Nerve Block
In order to numb a nerve that is transmitting pain, a local anesthetic or steroid is injected around the nerve. This is often done under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy and safety of the injection.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Exercise, tissue manipulation, aquatic therapy and other pain relief methods and techniques can improve and restore functional mechanics of the body.
This procedure identifies small nerves that cause pain and then treats them in order to lessen their painful signals.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
A procedure that uses electrical impulses to give patients a different sensation than pain, thereby hiding the unpleasant feeling of pain.
Trigger Point Injections
Injections of local anesthetic with or without a steroid to relieve pain caused by myofascial tightness/spasm.
A minimally invasive procedure done under X-ray guidance using bone cement to stabilize a fractured vertebra and reduce a patient’s pain.