Pain care and management
At UCHealth, we don’t just medicate your pain—we treat the problem that’s causing it. It’s our goal to return you to your normal level of activity as quickly as possible.
Why choose UCHealth for pain management?
UCHealth’s multiple Front Range clinics manage the most complicated pain cases in Colorado.
Our patients benefit from a comprehensive, multi-specialty team approach that often includes psychological and physical therapy evaluations.
As doctors and researchers, we’re continually studying new techniques for treating and managing pain. Patients have the opportunity to participate in research studies that test promising new treatments.
Treating acute, chronic, and cancer pain
Pain is a complicated condition that affects some 75 million Americans. Pain may be your main condition, or it may be the result of surgery, disease, or accident.
If you’re living with pain, you know it can cause considerable suffering and affect your quality of life. Relief is available at UCHealth, where we treat:
- Back pain
- Cancer pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Facial pain
- Limb pain
- Motor vehicle injuries
- Neck pain
- Nerve pain
- Pelvic pain
- Severe angina pain
- Spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis
Tests to diagnose pain
We invest in the latest testing technology to evaluate or diagnose your condition.
Imaging of the spinal cord using computerized analysis of scans after injecting a contrast dye into the spinal fluid.
A diagnostic test to determine if back pain is caused by the discs in the spine. Doctors inject a contrast dye into the discs and then perform a CT scan to highlight any disc abnormality.
A recording of the electrical activity in skeletal muscle.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A non-invasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure, especially the brain and spinal cord.
Nerve Conduction Study
Electrical stimulation of nerves to determine if they are damaged or functioning.
Treatments for pain
At UCHealth, you have access to a wide range of effective treatments and techniques for managing pain.
Botulinum (Botox, Myobloc)
The Botulinum toxin is injected into the region causing the pain to interrupt nerve pain messages. This procedure is used to treat a number of painful conditions, such as:
- Chronic headache
- Chronic myofascial pain
- Chronic back pain
A probe is placed next to specific nerves that are causing the pain. The probe tip is cooled to temperatures between -70 and -180 degrees F to freeze nerves, stopping pain messages from the nerves for up to three months.
Anesthetics and anti-inflammatory agents are injected directly into the area that is causing the pain. The procedure is quick and relatively painless. Pain relief ranges from several weeks to years. Treatment options include:
- Epidural steroid injection (ESI)
- Facet joint injection
- Sympathetic block
- Intercostal nerve block
A cement-like material is injected directly into the fractured vertebrae. This stabilizes the fracture and provides immediate pain relief in many cases.
Before injecting the material, the doctor inserts a special balloon, which is gently inflated inside the fractured spinal bone. The goal is to restore height to the bone-reducing spine deformity.
Surgical removal of herniated disc material through a minimally invasive procedure. Small instruments are inserted into the injured disc using X-ray guidance. A portion of the injured disc is then removed.
This minimally invasive procedure uses a precisely targeted electrical field to keep nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain.
Spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation
Small electrical impulses are applied to block pain messages to the brain and spinal cord. This technique is used to treat pain in a variety of locations that haven’t responded well to other therapies.
Spinal infusion pump
This small device is implanted under the skin during minor surgery. The device enables pain medications to directly enter the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. This treatment is for patients whose pain has not responded to traditional therapies – most commonly, cancer pain and spasticity.
An image-guided, non-surgical therapy used to strengthen broken vertebrae (spinal bone) weakened by osteoporosis or cancer. An orthopedic cement mixture is injected through a needle into the fractured bone. It reduces pain caused by the fracture.
Therapies for pain
If you’re living with pain, you may benefit from psychological or physical therapy, in addition to medical treatment.
A pain psychologist conducts a psychological evaluation to assess coping skills and help develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
You may be referred to a physical therapist who will implement an exercise and musculoskeletal treatment program to restore strength, movement, and flexibility. In combination with other treatments, physical therapy can help reduce pain.
Strategies and resources for living with pain
Remember that you are not alone in having to cope with pain. The following tips may help:
- Explain to your family that pain can sometimes make you tired, sad, and irritable. Seek their support.
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques daily.
- Get regular exercise after seeking professional advice to help reduce pain.
- Make sure you get adequate rest.
- Reduce your level of stress.