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Interventional Pain Management

Doctor examining a patient's back.

People usually experience acute pain directly following an injury or immediately after surgery. Acute pain generally goes away as the body heals. Pain that continues past expected healing periods (about six months or longer) may be labeled as "chronic pain." At HSS, our pain management doctors specialize in “interventional pain management,” which aims to diagnose the cause of pain and use a variety of treatments (or “interventions”) to eliminate pain as quickly and effectively as possible.

Treatment options

Chronic pain that arises from known mechanical issues (degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis or structural changes in the body, such as a herniated disc) can often be targeted with various treatments. If physical therapy or other treatments have not worked and pain is affecting quality of life, an array of interventional pain management methods may be appropriate, including:

However, the difference between types of pain is not always clear.

Chronic pain that has no clear origin can be caused by various musculoskeletal, neurological or rheumatic inflammatory disorders. In most of these cases, pain reduction is best achieved through a multidisciplinary approach in which both pain and the underlying condition causing it are treated. This may include any or all of the following:

  • physical therapy
  • pain psychology or pain coping and distraction techniques
  • non-opioid pain medications
  • medications to treat underlying conditions
  • interventional pain relieving procedures, including acupuncture

Interventional pain management at HSS

Patients travel from around the world to seek care at HSS. Our physicians specialize in the evaluation and management of numerous pain conditions whether neurologic, musculoskeletal, or orthopedic in nature. The Pain Management Service at Hospital for Special Surgery consists of highly skilled interventional pain management physicians with a variety of backgrounds including anesthesiology, neurology, and pain medicine.

Every pain management physician at HSS completes four years of medical school, four years of residency training in pain management, followed by one year of additional subspecialty training emphasizing pain medicine in addition to relevant fields including rehabilitation, psychiatry, and radiology. Pain management physicians treat the symptoms of the disease, which may include fatigue, loss of appetite and sleeping difficulties, to improve quality of life for each individual. Many of these symptoms are seen not only as a result of chronic pain but may also secondarily result from some of the medications used to treat chronic pain.

Learn more about interventional pain management at HSS below.

Interventional Pain Management Success Stories

In the news

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Departments, Services and Specialized Centers: