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Alternative Pain Management

Modalities

Multiple modalities are employed as alternative pain management techniques to alleviate acute and chronic pain conditions. These modalities may include ice, heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (or TENS), and interferential stimulation therapies. Each type of pain therapy helps to reduce muscle spasm and inflammation. We take pride in offering comprehensive pain management services that include alternative therapies and techniques, and by providing an interdisciplinary approach to helping patients find pain relief. That said, the modalities aforementioned are available at our pain management center through the community-based network we have established. We work as a team with regional alternative medical professionals to deliver the best possible care to patients in need of a better quality of life.

Ice versus Heat for Pain Relief
At the onset of an injury, ice is preferred for the first two to three days – applied for 15 to 30 minute increments – to reduce circulation and prevent swelling when the injured body part is elevated and pressure is applied. Ice slows inflammation, numbs sore tissues, and slows the painful nerve impulses in the affected area. It is best to introduce heat at 48 to 72 hours after an injury to increase circulation, which will help to remove waste and debris, enhance the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to speed healing and raise the pain threshold in nerves. Another benefit of warmth is that it works to relieve muscle spasms and joint stiffness, which, in turn, helps patients move more freely.

Transcutaneous versus Interferential Stimulation Pain Therapy
Transcutaneous and interferential represent two forms of electrotherapy, which is a type of stimulation that uses electrical frequencies to interfere with the transmission of pain messages at the spinal cord level. TENS uses electrodes placed on the skin over a painful area to deliver electrical impulses to the nerve fibers which lie underneath the skin surface. Interferential stimulation allows for a deeper penetration of the tissue with more comfort and increased circulation by applying a high frequency carrier waveform. Our pain practitioners will determine which electrotherapy may be right for you.