UPMC Horizon Pain Management Center
UPMC Horizon offers a full range of treatments for chronic pain caused by a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Carpal/tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated discs
- Low back pain
- Posttraumatic pain
- Raynaud's Syndrome
- Complex regional pain syndromes
- Strains/sprains of the neck, chest, or back
Patients who wish to be treated must obtain a physician referral. An initial consultation will determine if a patient is accepted for treatment.
Common Treatments for Pain
Acupuncture – involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific points on the body to relieve chronic pain
Epidural injection – placement of anti-inflammatory agents into the epidural space to reduce disc and nerve inflammation.
Therapeutic caudal nerve block – uses local anesthetic and injections of anti-inflammatory medicine near a specific nerve or group of nerves to relieve pain.
Intercostal nerve block – an injection of a local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication in the area between two ribs. This treatment is used for pain caused by herpes zoster (shingles), an acute viral infection that inflames the nerves spreading outward to the spine. It may also be used for pain caused by a surgical incision in the chest or as a diagnostic nerve block to help determine the cause of pain.
Lumbar sympathetic block – an injection of local anesthesia around the group of nerves in the lower back for patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a disease involving a disturbance of circulation to the skin or neuropathic degeneration.
Advanced treatments for pain
Radiofrequency denervation – radiofrequency current is used to heat a small volume of nerve tissue, interrupting pain signals from that specific area.
Laser assisted spinal endoscopy (LASE) – a miniature endoscope with a laser fiber enable the physician to view the center of the disc and remove a portion of it, reducing and/or eliminating the pressure on the nerve root along with the pain.
Nucleoplasty – insertion of a transmitter catheter into the center of the disc and the use of radio waves to dissolve tissue volume, reducing the pressure on the nerve root along with the pain.
Provocative discogram – a diagnostic x-ray test that attempts to replicate the patient’s pain source in the discs. Dye and an antibiotic mixture is injected into the disc, enabling the physician to determine whether the disc is painful when the pressure is increased in the disc.
Neurostimulation – the surgical placement of a neurostimulation system under the skin to send mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord or to a peripheral nerve.
Intrathecal Drug Delivery System – outpatient/inpatient surgical treatment. A catheter (thin, flexible tube) is implanted in the intrathecal space and is connected to a pump releasing medicine at a set rate. With delivery of the medicine to receptors in the spinal cord, smaller amounts of medicine are needed to obtain relief from pain and there is a reduction in side effects. Antispasmodics such as Baclofen and pain medicines such as Dilaudid and morphine sulfate are delivered by the pump.
Ahdy Nassif, MD, PhD