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Pain management

Detecting the Cause of Pain

At Great Lakes Spine Center, we have implemented an active and comprehensive approach to the treatment of back and neck pain. Our specialist in Interventional Physiatry and Pain Management will diagnose and treat spine-related conditions, including the supervision of physical therapy services, provided on-site, in order to ensure maximum benefit.

A physiatrist is a specialist in the non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. An interventional physiatrist has undergone additional training in order to perform X-ray guided spinal injections with the highest level of skill and safety. The interventional physiatrist at Great Lakes Spine Center, Kavitha Reddy, M.D., will act as the patient’s “pain detective”, discovering the source of the problem and then determining how best to proceed with treatment. In most cases, this will not involve surgery.

A structured and diagnosis-dependent physical therapy prescription will be the main component of treatment. Medications and other forms of treatment may also be prescribed, depending on the nature of the problem. For example, the use of spinal injections under X-ray guidance is often instrumental in the diagnosis and treatment of many spine-related disorders. Accurate placement of an anesthetic and/or steroid medication at a specific site in the spine will indicate whether pain is stemming from this area or not. If the symptoms improve significantly, then the injection becomes not only diagnostic but therapeutic as well.

Dr. Reddy follows the guidelines set forth by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. These guidelines are based on evidence within the medical literature so that patients are not subject to unnecessary injections. Also, medication may be utilized to assist those patients in whom anxiety and tolerance may be an issue. The injection suite is part of the Spine Center, which alleviates the need to check into the hospital and also reduces cost.
During the initial visit, a thorough history and physical examination is performed. Also, the results of prior studies (X-rays, MRI, CT, EMG) and treatment interventions are reviewed in detail. Further diagnostics may be ordered if not already performed or otherwise indicated and appropriate.


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Psychological intervention, such as pain/stress management techniques and counseling for mood disorders, will be incorporated if indicated.

The philosophy behind managing a patient with musculoskeletal disorders is not unlike management of a patient with heart disease. For example, if a patient has heart disease, the primary care physician may refer the patient to a cardiologist for additional testing and non-surgical treatment. In some cases the cardiologist may conclude that surgery is necessary, and only then is the patient sent to see a surgeon. Patients with musculoskeletal disorders –including back and neck pain—should be approached in the same manner.

For those cases which fail conservative treatment, the Flint area’s two most experienced neurosurgeons will offer their skills to finding a solution.

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