Healthbeat 4: Pain management - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Healthbeat 4: Pain management


Each year more than 100 million people a year suffer from pain; that's more than the group are diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. 

Pain comes in many different forms. 

According to the National Institute of Health Statistics the four most common types of pain are lower back, headache or migraine, neck and facial. 
The two most common forms of pain are acute and chronic.

Acute is usually temporary after a fall or accident and can be treated with oral medication.

Chronic pain is ongoing or recurrent pain and can be treated with physical therapy or injection. 

"Epidural floods, joint injections, trigger point injections, injections in muscles that ache and nerve injections," said Gary Tillman, certified registered nurse anesthetist. 

At Tri-State Specialists in Sioux City, Tillman uses a continuous fluoroscopy to insert those injections. It allows him to pin-point exactly where the pain is located.

"I use a continuous x-ray to see exactly where the place I need to inject is and it shows up on a screen," said Gary Tillman, certified registered nurse anesthetist, "Those needles are easy to see, the medication has dye in it so it's easy to see the medication and where it goes." 

Tillman says the number of injections needed depend on the patient and how long patients have suffered from pain. 

"There's always a limit on how much medication you can give, cortisone, etc., that it normally determined by how long those pain injections can last," said Tillman. "If it lasts for an extended period of time, more injections are perfectly OK--up to a certain point."

If the pain continues, surgery may be an option if it is right for the patient. 

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