Non-surgical options for pain relief

Dr. Yoon's team offers innovative, non-opioid treatments

Sook K. Yoon

Interventional pain management offers patients real and lasting relief from persistent, sometimes crippling pain – the kind of pain that can dominate your life. And this approach does so without the use of narcotic prescriptions. In fact, at Longstreet Clinic Interventional Pain Management, we utilize a range of non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures.

So, what exactly is interventional pain management? I hear this question quite a bit. Quite simply, it is a field of medicine centered on reducing pain and improving the quality of your life. It is especially helpful for those who suffer from:

  • Back pain/neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nerve pain
Dr. Sook. K. Yoon

However, our practice can also help you identify the source of pain even if you are uncertain of the cause.

The first job of interventional pain management specialists is to identify and diagnose patients correctly. To accomplish this, we run a full battery of tests, which may include labs and imaging such as X-rays and MRI. Conveniently, we have easy access to these tools as part of our Neuroscience & Orthopedic Center here at Longstreet Clinic.

This Center is almost wholly unique in our entire state in that it combines a wide range of doctors and care providers all dedicated to identifying and addressing any musculoskeletal or nerve concern that a patient may have. It also allows other doctors (such as orthopedists and neurosurgeons) to quickly send patients to me if they see an issue that our office can better address. Conversely, I may send a patient to them if I see that they need help in those specialty areas.

For instance, if you suffer from foot drop, incontinence, hand weakness or numbness, then we probably need to talk with neurosurgery as soon as possible. And in those cases, we can get you in front of a neurosurgeon in a timely manner – even on the same day. But if pain is your only problem, your concern falls into a gray area, where your insurance company may consider major surgery is elective. And that is where interventional pain management makes a meaningful difference. In fact, many of our patients receive real and lasting relief from pain they may have battled for weeks, months or even years.

We do this via several modalities, including electrical stimulators, epidural injections, and nerve ablations or nerve blocks, but we also utilize simpler treatments such as braces and compresses – all dependent upon the type and source of pain.

Just to give you an idea, if you come to our office knowing that you have lower back pain, I can perform same-day imaging. And if the image reveals a problem with your lumbar spine, our team can supply an X-ray or ultrasound-guided epidural injection to affected section of the spine. The shot contains anesthetic to reduce pain and a steroid to reduce inflammation, which can provide immediate relief.

There are plenty of other examples of how interventional pain management works. We can also perform radiofrequency ablation – during which we actually burn parts of a nerve to help reduce the pain that you feel. We can also place a small spinal cord stimulator in your body which utilizes a minor electrical current to block the way the brain receives pain.

These options are just part of a whole range of procedures that are proven to reduce pain and allow you to avoid major surgeries. And they can provide lasting relief – in other words these are not necessarily just short-term solutions.

The best news is that, if you feel that interventional pain management may offer you a pathway to recovery from pain, we are here for you. You likely do not need a special referral, and you do not need to wait until other treatment avenues leave you exhausted and wondering when the pain will end.

While many patients are referred to me by their primary care provider or specialty colleagues like orthopedists, neurosurgeons and podiatrists, other patients call me directly – most insurers allow that. And you can see me or my nurse practitioners.

We have done much to grow this practice in three years and seen much positive change over that time. We’re still working to open eyes, however, and let people know that there is no reason to suffer, and there’s no reason to fear – either your body or the treatments that can reduce the pain.

Persistent pain is one of the most draining things you can experience, but through interventional pain management and the treatment paths available at Longstreet Clinic’s Neuroscience & Orthopedic Center, we’ll find a route to relief.

Dr. Yoon sees patients at Longstreet Clinic’s Neuroscience and Orthopedic Center in Gainesville, located at 655 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Suite B. You can contact Dr. Yoon’s office directly at 678-207-4100, or visit our website to learn more.

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