Minimally Invasive Procedures for Chronic Pain

Minimally Invasive Procedures for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can affect your quality of life. Pain is considered to be chronic when it lasts longer than 3 months without any indication of improvement. Chronic pain can compromise your mobility, flexibility, and strength, affecting your day-to-day activities which can also lead to mental health issues.

Chronic pain can result from an injury or an underlying condition. The first step in treating chronic pain is identifying the root cause of the pain.  Your physician will perform a thorough history, and physical exam and order imaging studies to help determine the pain source.

There are many conventional treatments for chronic pain, but many treatments just mask the symptoms, and surgery may be too invasive or unnecessary. Fortunately, there are minimally invasive treatment options for chronic pain.

Minimally invasive procedures for chronic pain management are less invasive than surgery, hence less pain and recovery time. The goal of these procedures is:

  • To help stimulate healing of the underlying injury.
  • To reduce the pain symptoms.
  • To help the patient return to an active lifestyle and improve quality of life.

Available Minimally Invasive Procedures:


This procedure involves injecting dextrose solution to injured areas to stimulate the body to heal.  It works by creating a mild inflammatory response, which helps to initiate the healing and strengthening of injured ligaments and tendons.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections

Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that contain growth factors that are critical to healing. PRP is a concentrated sample of your own blood containing a high number of platelets.  PRP can be injected to injured areas of your body to promote tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, and encourage new blood vessel formation.

Bone marrow or Adipose (fat) derived cell therapy

Your bone marrow and adipose (fat) are a rich sources of mesenchymal cells, growth factors, and other cells that have tremendous potential for healing and restoring injured tissues.  Through a simple outpatient procedure, your bone marrow or fat can be harvested, processed, and re-injected to injured areas of your body on the same day to stimulate healing and repair.

Final Thought

Chronic pain can affect your general well-being, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Please fill out the form below and visit our website to learn about alternative ways to manage chronic pain.

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How to Reduce Chronic Pain Without Medication

How to Reduce Chronic Pain Without Medication

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It can be constant pain or pain that comes and goes. This can cause physical discomfort as well as mental health issues. You can experience chronic pain due to:

  • Arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic back pain
  • Accidents
  • Surgeries

Conservative Management of Chronic Pain

There are many options for managing chronic pain, including lifestyle changes and  medications, like NSAIDs, over-the-counter pain medications, or opioids. These medicines have many shortcomings, but we’ll highlight the most profound:

  • They don’t work for some patients.
  • They can have side effects and can be toxic to patients with other underlying conditions.
  • Sometimes they have reduced effectiveness, necessitating prescriptions of stronger medications.

However, there are other alternatives that you can use to manage pain, and they include:

Cold and Heat Therapies

Cold and heat are practices that many people use to manage chronic pain. The trick to using cold and heat therapy is knowing when to use them.

Cold therapy

Cold therapy reduces blood flow to the injured area, which slows down swelling and inflammation. In addition, you can apply cold compresses for joint and tendon pain. 

Heat therapy

It is more useful when dealing with muscle pain. It eases the pain by increasing blood flow to the area and relaxing the muscle. Heat also reduces lactic acid accumulation, which could increase pain. 


Exercise relieves chronic pain and can improve strength, mobility, and flexibility over time. When you exercise, endorphins are released which act as natural pain killers. Therefore, it’s essential to find a workout that does not worsen your pain. Chronic pain can affect the quality of life, which can be improved by exercising.

Physical therapy

It is a pain management practice that involves strengthening and stretching exercises, massage, and other modalities, to manage chronic pain and other conditions. Physical therapists will teach you a proper comprehensive home exercise program.  


It is a practice that involves soft tissue manipulation to relax muscles and reduce inflammation.

Shockwave therapy

This device uses sound waves to promote tissue healing. This can be use for muscles, tendons, and joints injuries.

Pain management continues to evolve. Pain management doctors use innovative devices and procedures that can wean their patients off medications. These techniques and devices have been used to successfully treat conditions that were previously difficult to treat.

Get Alternative Pain Treatment From SDOMG

Visit our website to learn more about alternative ways to manage chronic pain. We have a team of qualified certified pain management doctors who will give you quality, non-surgical treatment options to relieve your pain. Fill out this form to request an appointment.

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What Lower Back Pain Might Mean About Your Health

What Lower Back Pain Might Mean About Your Health

More than 80 percent of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.1 It is the single most common cause of disability worldwide 2 and the second most common cause of adult disability in the United States. 3

Most cases of lower back pain have a  benign clinical course which resolves with conservative care such as rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatories, heat or ice therapy, and physical therapy. Some, however, will develop chronic low back pain or pain that lasts for 3 months or longer.

Common Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain

  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis of the spine is a condition where there is degeneration of the joints, discs, and bones in the spine as people age. Arthritis can lead to bone spurs which result in the narrowing of the space around the spinal nerves and spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • Facet joint dysfunction: This occurs when the facet joints, the small joints that connect the individual bones in the spinal column, get inflamed or when the cartilage in the joints becomes injured or worn out. They can also get out of normal alignment, a condition called spondylolisthesis.
  • Bulging or Ruptured Disc: The discs are soft, gel-filled structures that act as a cushion or shock absorbers between the vertebral bones in your spine.   When these discs become injured, they can bulge out and can put pressure on neighboring nerves causing pain. As people age, discs lose their hydration and wear down leading to degeneration. Degenerative discs can develop tears and collapse which causes low back pain, muscle spasm, or spinal stenosis.

Other less common causes of low back pain include spinal cord problems, scoliosis, fracture, and non-spine sources like tumors and kidney stones. It is important that your physician perform a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history and physical examination to give you an appropriate diagnosis for your back pain.

Alternative Treatments

Patients who have failed standard treatments or are seeking alternatives to spine surgery for back pain should consider Regenerative therapiesThese advanced treatments involve the use of your own cells to help your body heal faster. They avoid the risks and long-term complications associated with surgery and reduce pain to help you maintain an active lifestyle. Read about these regenerative treatment solutions here.


  1. Sauver, JL et al. Why patients visit their doctors: Assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined American population. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 88, Issue 1, 56–67. 
  2. Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 24 March 2014. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428
  3. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults—United States, 1999.  JAMA 2001;285 (12) 1571- 1572


5 Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

5 Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 27 million Americans.  It is a chronic inflammatory disease that slowly degenerates the protective cartilage in your joints.  The most commonly affected joints are the knee, hip, shoulder and thumb.  Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary by individual, progress over time and are easiest to treat when treated early.

Watch out for these early signs of osteoarthritis:

  1. Joint Pain:  This is often one of the first signs of osteoarthritis. Joint pain that worsens with activity and is relieved after a period of rest is suggestive of osteoarthritis.  Patients may experience mild joint tenderness or debilitating pain that limits activities.
  2. Swelling:  Natural joint fluid serves to cushion and lubricate your joints.  When the joint is irritated, extra fluid builds up and causes the joint to swell creating pain and stiffness.  Sometimes the swelling can be caused by soft tissue inflammation in the joint.
  3. Loss of Flexibility:  Inflammation, swelling and bone spurs can also limit joint motion. It may become difficult or impossible to fully bend or straighten a joint.  This can affect your ability to perform daily activities or engage in sports.
  4. Abnormal Sensations:  The cartilage between your bones acts as a shock absorber and allows smooth joint motion.  When this cartilage becomes damaged, abnormal sensations or sounds such as crackling, grating or clicking may be experienced.  Sometimes these sensations are associated with pain.
  5. Joint Stiffness: Joint stiffness is a common early sign of osteoarthritis and may occur after sitting or resting for prolonged periods of time. Stiffness in the morning is also a common early sign.  Many times, the stiffness will improve later in the day after you are warmed up.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor.  A clinical evaluation that includes a physical examination and diagnostic testing can accurately diagnose the cause of your pain.  Early detection will result in more effective treatment.

Several nonsurgical treatments are available to help reduce your pain, increase your activity and allow you to get back to doing the things you love.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

In recent years, doctors have learned more about the body’s remarkable ability to heal itself.  Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that harnesses those abilities to heal many joint, tendon and spine injuries.

What is plasma and what are platelets?

Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. It is primarily composed of water and proteins and provides a means for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate throughout the body.  Platelets are a special type of blood cell that stimulate healing.  They contain hundreds of growth factors that initiate the healing process and encourage tissue regeneration.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains a concentration of platelets that is greater than that found in the blood. This significantly increased concentration of growth factors creates an increased stimulus to injured tissues, encouraging them to complete the healing process.

How does Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Work?

Scientific studies show that by increasing the concentration of growth factors, the body can speed up the healing process. By injecting inflamed or damaged tissue, injuries are encouraged to heal quickly even if they have persisted for years.

How is the PRP treatment performed?

About 4 tablespoons of blood are drawn from the patient using techniques similar to a typical blood exam.  The sample is placed into a centrifuge which spins the blood and separates the platelets from the other blood components.  After numbing the injured area, the concentrated platelet solution is injected under the visual guidance of an ultrasound or digital xray by your physician.

Areas where PRP therapy has been shown to be effective include:

  • Chronic tendon injuries: Platelet-rich plasma therapy can treat sports injuries, such as tennis elbow, gluteal tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendinitis and Achilles tendonitis.
  • Joint arthritis: PRP is used to reduce the inflammation, pain and stiffness caused by arthritis of knees, hips and other joints. PRP also improves the cushion in the joint and kills the cartilage destroying cells.
  • Spine pain:  PRP therapy can reduce the pain of chronic disc tears, irritated nerves (sciatica) or joint arthritis.

The effectiveness of PRP therapy varies among different patients as a result of:

  • Overall health of the patient
  • The severity of the injured tissues
  • The length of time the tissue has been injured

Preparing for PRP therapy

The patient should eat and be well hydrated before the procedure to avoid lightheadedness. Patients should tell their doctor about any medications or prescriptions they use on a regular basis. It’s also important to follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners.

The PRP Treatment

The procedure is typically performed in a doctor’s clinic. The doctor begins by drawing blood from the patient, and uses a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the rest of the blood cells. The doctor will then numb the area to be treated and carefully inject the PRP into the injured tissues or joint. The platelets release growth factors which will initiate tissue healing. This treatment takes approximately 30-60 minutes.

After Receiving PRP Therapy

The injection site may be sore for a few days following the procedure.  Patients may take mild analgesics like Tylenol or use ice to minimize soreness.  Patients usually resume gentle activities within the first week after treatment.  The results of PRP are not immediate and patients can observe slow gradual improvement over a couple of months. A review of our clinic data shows that most patients continue to have relief even years after PRP treatment.

Talk with your doctor today if you are interested in learning more about PRP therapy.

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