As an interventional pain-management doctor and physiatrist, Marc Caragea brings significant experience and depth of knowledge in the minimally invasive technologies and procedures that help bring pain relief to his orthopedic patients. Specifically, Dr. Caragea has a range of procedures aimed to provide targeted pain relief, improve functionality, and enhance the overall quality of life for his patients who have back, spine, and musculoskeletal conditions. Utilizing the latest advancements in orthopedic diagnostics and pain-management techniques, Dr. Caragea develops minimally invasive and comprehensive treatment plans tailored to meet each of his patient’s unique needs.
What Is Interventional Pain Management?
Interventional pain management, as it relates to spine care, refers to a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the back and spine through minimally invasive procedures. Interventional pain-management doctors place a special emphasis on determining the precise cause of their patient’s pain. Additionally, they play an important role in coordinating additional care such as physical therapy, psychological therapy, and rehabilitation programs in order to develop a comprehensive, effective pain relief treatment plan.
What Is Physiatry?
Physiatry, also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), is a medical specialty that focuses on the nonsurgical treatment of back, spine, and musculoskeletal conditions. Physiatrists possess specialized training to create personalized, comprehensive care plans that encompass a variety of nonsurgical treatment options for back, spine, and musculoskeletal pain, along with rehabilitation therapies.
Common Procedures Pain Management Specialists Utilize
Dr. Caragea is board-eligible in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and fellowship-trained in a number of pain-management procedures, including:
- Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal injections: These targeted injections deliver medication, such as steroids or anesthetics, directly into the affected areas of the spine to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve mobility—allowing patients to regain functionality and engage in daily activities with less discomfort.
- Sacroiliac joint injections: Pain doctors inject a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid into the sacroiliac joints, which are located at the lower part of the spine, to alleviate pain and inflammation caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction, restoring mobility and improving overall function.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: Also known as rhizotomy, this procedure uses heat generated by radiofrequency waves to selectively disable the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the joints or other areas of the spine. It can provide long-term relief from chronic back pain, allowing patients to experience reduced pain levels and improved quality of life.
- Ultrasound-guided injections: Ultrasound imaging helps musculoskeletal specialists precisely guide the placement of medication into the affected joints, such as hips, shoulders, and knees, , optimizing the effectiveness of treatment and enhancing pain relief in the targeted area.
- Kyphoplasty/Vertebral Augmentation: Often recommended to treat compression fractures caused by osteoporosis or trauma, Kyphoplasty involves the insertion of a balloon into the fractured vertebra to create space, followed by the injection of bone cement to stabilize the vertebra, alleviating pain and improving function.
- Basivertebral nerve ablation: During this procedure, radiofrequency energy is used to disrupt the basivertebral nerve that is responsible for transmitting pain signals. This treatment offers relief for individuals suffering from chronic back pain, improving their overall comfort, function, and quality of life.
- PRP/Regenerative medicine: Pain-management doctors using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy inject a concentrated form of their patient’s own blood platelets into the affected area of the back, spine, or joint. PRP therapy stimulates the body’s natural healing processes and promotes tissue regeneration, leading to reduced pain and improved spine function.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: Using a small device that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord, pain specialists can modulate pain signals and provide relief for patients with chronic back and leg pain that has not responded to other treatments.
- Peripheral nerve Stimulation: Similar to spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation involves the placement of electrical leads near the peripheral nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals. The electrical impulses can effectively alleviate pain and improve function in targeted regions.
- Discography and Intradiscal Therapeutic Procedures: Patients receive an injection of contrast dye into their intervertebral spine discs, helping identify the specific discs that are causing pain and guiding further treatment decisions.
Dr. Caragea has dedicated his research, training, and expertise to alleviating the pain experienced by his patients. He is recognized as one of Hendersonville’s top spine doctors for pain management. Learn more about him so you can Emerge Stronger, Healthier, and Better from his treatments.