Cancer pain can significantly impact your life as the pain can affect your ability to perform daily activities and even disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue. It can also result in anxiety, depression, and stress, affecting your mental health and social interactions. It is essential to manage Austin cancer pain effectively to improve your quality of life, reduce emotional distress and improve overall functioning. You can discuss the available cancer pain management techniques with your Republic Spine and Pain provider and determine which works for you.
1. Spinal cord stimulator
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) involves the implantation of electrodes into the epidural space of your spinal cord, which are then connected to a small generator under the skin. The generator emits electrical impulses that interfere with the pain signals traveling to your brain, thereby reducing the pain sensation. SCS can be an excellent option if you have not experienced relief from other pain management techniques or who have had intolerable side effects from other treatments. However, many medical experts reserve this procedure for advanced or end-stage cancer cases, which may not be appropriate for all patients or all types of cancer pain.
2. Intrathecal (spinal) injections
Intrathecal (spinal) injections involve injecting pain medication into your spinal fluid. Intrathecal injections may include opioids such as morphine, hydromorphone, and fentanyl. Your doctor delivers the drug using a small catheter that they insert into your spinal canal. The team typically places the catheter in your lower back region, continuously delivering the medication using a pump. Intrathecal injections provide a targeted approach to pain management, which reduces the amount you need, and, therefore, the side effects associated with oral medication.
3. Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a non-surgical treatment involving heat generated by high-frequency electrical currents to destroy the nerve fibers transmitting pain signals. During the procedure, the team will administer local anesthesia and use guided imaging techniques to locate the nerve fibers responsible for your pain. They will then insert the RFA probe into the area and heat it to generate a lesion that damages the targeted nerve fibers. This procedure provides long-lasting pain relief and effectively reduces pain levels in cancer patients. You can return to normal activities soon after the procedure and experience a significant reduction in pain levels, leading to an improved quality of life.
4. Nerve blocks
Nerve blocks can effectively treat cancer pain that has spread to nearby nerves, bones, or organs. Your provider can administer them in various locations of your body, such as the spinal cord, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and extremities. The benefits of nerve blocks include reducing the need for opioid medications, minimizing side effects associated with opioid use, and improving quality of life. This technique can also provide long-term pain relief, making it a valuable option for patients with chronic pain.
5. Medication management
Medications for Austin cancer pain management may include opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Your pain level, medical history, and potential side effects will determine the medication you need. Regular monitoring of your pain level and medication side effects is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and to adjust the dosage if necessary.
If you experience cancer pain, call the Republic Spine and Pain office or book an appointment online for treatment.