Pain touches us all -- usually as a warning sign of injury or disease. Pain normally subsides following medical care and recovery. But according to the National Institutes of Health, 40 million Americans are unable to find relief for their pain. It is chronic, without correctable cause, and unresponsive to conventional treatments. It is frequently associated with low back disease, headaches, fibromyalgia or disorders of the nervous system. Such longstanding pain disrupts lives, tears at families and jeopardizes careers. It causes productive people to withdraw into a downward spiral of anger, depression and despair. They become less mobile, losing strength and flexibility to the point that even minor activities may increase pain.
Conditions we treat:
The Section of Pain Medicine evaluates and treats a variety of chronic pain issues. We have expertise in:
- Low back and neck pain
- Failed Back Syndrome/Post Laminectomy pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal degenerative diseases
- Neuropathic pain
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Cancer Pain
- Abdominal and pelvic pain
- Headache disorders
- Fibromyalgia and other myofascial pain syndromes
- Treatment resistant chronic pain
- Disability from chronic pain
Following evaluation, there may be recommendations for treatment in the Section of Pain Medicine or for treatment at home or by other physicians at Cleveland Clinic. Treatment options may include: physical rehabilitation, medications, referrals for such interventions as nerve blocks or spinal cord stimulation, and referrals for pain and stress management, including the use of biofeedback. An intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation program is recommended for those with high levels of pain, suffering and functional impairment, and may vary in intensity from inpatient care to a few hours a day of outpatient care.
View Cleveland Clinic's Section of Pain Medicine treatment guide.
- Epidural Steroid injections
- Facet and Medial Bundle Branch blocks
- Knee, hip and joint injections
- Radiofrequency of Medial Bundle Branch
- Neurolytic nerve blocks
- Sympathetic blocks: Lumbar, celiac and neuromodulation including spinal cord stimulation
- Occipital nerve stimulation for headaches
- Botox for headaches
- Combination of interventional procedures with intensive rehabilitation measures
Psychophysiological pain and stress management:
- Outpatient psychotherapy
- Specialized groups for conditions such as abdominal pain and fibromyalgia
- Education classes about chronic pain and its treatment
- Evidence based treatment options that include both non-opiate and opiate therapies
- Personalized treatment plans to help patients move from pain, disability, and suffering to wellness and independence
Interdisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation
- For those with high levels of pain, suffering and functional impairment (See Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program below)
The American Pain Society has designated Cleveland Clinic's Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program as a 2012 Clinical Center of Excellence. This designation was awarded to only five pain programs across the county this year. The award recognizes Cleveland Clinic's program for its outstanding performance in collecting and reporting patient outcomes data as well as incorporating a substance abuse education track as part of the program.
Through this specialized service, the Section of Pain Medicine reaches out to individuals who are physically and emotionally impaired by their pain. This unique three-to, four-week program is intensive and interdisciplinary, with day-long clinics focused on physical rehabilitation, stress and pain control regimens, and medication management, including weaning from all opioids, benzodiazepines and other addictive substances regardless of any chemical dependency diagnosis. The comprehensive approach helps jump-start participants’ long-term management of chronic pain.
Among the many services the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program offers are:
- physical and occupational therapy
- functional capacity evaluation to determine work ability
- coping skills training, including group and individual cognitive behavioral therapy
- individual and group therapy to reduce depression, anxiety, anger and other emotions that result from pain and make it worse
- innovative relaxation therapy and other mind-body exercises
- monitored weaning of addictive substances
- addiction education, if needed
After completing the program, individuals can also choose to continue with the Section of Pain Medicine’s follow-up services.