What Is Interventional Pain Medicine?
Interventional pain medicine is a relatively recent medical subspecialty that depends primarily on various “cortisone” and “nerve block” type injections to help in the treatment of painful conditions. The specialty had its formal start in the 1960’s however various injections had been used by physicians prior to this for the treatment of pain. The physician most commonly associated with the beginning of formal interventional pain medicine is John Bonica, M.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. In 1960, he and a neurosurgeon developed one of the first pain centers. As an anesthesiologist, he treated people in pain with many of the injections commonly used in the practice of anesthesiology. Several other centers were began in the 1960’s however, in 1976 it was reported by Medical World News that there were still only 17 pain clinics in the United States. The next year there were over 300 such clinics. The late 1970’s and early 1980’s was a period of phenomenal growth for interventional pain medicine which continues to grow both in numbers as well as treatment options to this day. The early pain management centers depended upon a small number of injections such as epidural steroid injections to treat pain. Today, interventional pain centers offer many different types of injections and implanted devices now performed with direct, live X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy). At present, nearly all medical training programs offer interventional pain management programs. Most are still anesthesiology based however now the specialties of physical medicine and rehabilitation and interventional radiology also have formal training programs in interventional pain management.
Perhaps the most commonly recognized “pain injection” is the epidural steroid injection. This injection, which has it earliest beginnings in the 1950’s, uses a “cortisone” type medication to help reduce swelling and inflammation in areas of the spine that cause pain. Many other injections including joint injections, nerve blocks, ligament, tendon and muscle injections as well as implanted medical devices are now offered by most interventional pain management centers. Although injections are the primary treatments used at these centers, medications, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and other techniques are often used in combination with injections to offer a more comprehensive approach to the treatment of pain. A careful blend of multiple therapies is often necessary to accomplish the best results for people in pain.
The Charlottesville Pain Management Center was started by Christopher Lander, M.D. and Rasheed Siddiqui, M.D. in 2001. Prior to this, Dr. Lander had practice both interventional pain medicine and anesthesiology at The University of Virginia from 1989-1991 and then at Martha Jefferson Hospital from 1991-2001. In 2001, Dr. Siddiqui had just completed his fellowship training in interventional pain management at the University of Virginia. The combination of an established community doctor with a newly subspecialty trained doctor was an ideal combination to allow for the most contemporary medical techniques in a practice that understood the needs of the local community. At present, Charlottesville Pain Management Center has three board certified anesthesiologists including our most recent physician Ben Messinger, M.D. We offer a broad range of treatments for simple to complex pain problems. Our medical therapies range from the use of medications and physical therapy to the most advanced spinal implanted medical systems. The majority of our procedures are performed using live fluoroscopic imaging systems in our own specialized procedure rooms at our offices. Our primary goals are treating our patients with the greatest respect, safety and effectiveness. We welcome you to our center.