Pain Management Center of Lansing
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Pain Management Center of Lansing do?

The Pain Management Center of Lansing evaluates and treats individuals with acute and chronic pain using a multi-disciplinary approach.


When should I seek help for my pain?

You may find your pain to be too difficult to live with day in and day out; however, you may know someone else in similar pain who copes for years without treatment. Everyone feels pain differently. It is important that one does not gauge their own level of pain against the experiences of others, but rather decide for themselves whether or not their pain is tolerable. If you experience one or a combination of the following, it may be time to seek help:

  • Pain that lasts longer than 4-6 weeks after an injury or illness
  • Pain for which you cannot reason the source
  • Unusual increase in moodiness or irritability over things that formerly weren’t bothersome
  • Insomnia or any inability to sleep due to pain
  • Muscle aches and stiffness lasting longer than normal (just a few days)

How do I arrange to be seen at the Pain Management Center of Lansing?

Our preference is a referral by a physician, but self-referrals are also accepted after review. The individual will be scheduled for an initial evaluation by a physician and nurse practitioner within 3 weeks of referral (sooner for acute pain problems).


Does my insurance cover care at the Pain Management Center of Lansing?

Yes, for most cases, but there may be co-pays and deductibles as for treatment anywhere. The receptionist can confirm our participation with your insurance carrier at the time of scheduling. However, as many insurance plans vary in their coverage, it is the patient’s responsibility to know their insurance coverage limits and co-pay amounts.


Will I be pain free?

Our goal is to reduce pain as much as possible and maximize your level of functioning. At the time of initial consultation, the goals of treatment will be discussed.


Why might I be recommended for an appointment with the pain psychologist?

Our pain psychologist helps individuals better understand the nature of pain and teach them how to better control pain through many different techniques. The psychologist may also help one be less irritable, less depressed, less angry, and less dependent on others because of their pain. Some of the tools and skills which the psychologist offers include sleep restoration training, biofeedback and relaxation training, pacing techniques, distraction techniques, and how to identify and deal with pain triggers.


Is my injection procedure for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes?

Aside from asking you a series of questions that pertain to your symptoms – such as location, frequency, intensity, radiation, and duration of pain – as well as establishing your history of illness, injury, and surgery, the physicians at our pain management center may recommend tests to obtain an accurate pain diagnosis. Some procedures may be performed strictly for diagnostic purposes, while others may have therapeutic benefit. For example, x-rays, computerized axial tomography (CAT or CT) scans, bone scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are generally used to determine what is causing the pain, and epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, and peripheral nerve blocks often serve a dual role – to diagnose and help reduce pain.


Will I be treated with an injection on the first day I am seen after my initial consultation?

No. The initial consultation is necessary to completely evaluate the pain problem and develop a treatment plan. If the treatment plan includes injections, these will be scheduled after the initial consultation.


If I need injections, how many and how long will they last?

The duration of a treatment plan will be discussed at the initial consultation. This varies depending on the nature of your pain problem. As treatment proceeds, the plan and duration might change, but this will always be reviewed with you.


How long will an injection procedure take?

The duration of any procedure depends on the specific procedure and the individual. Sedation is offered for most procedures which requires a longer preparation and recovery time. Specific details, including procedure duration will be discussed prior to scheduling any procedures.


If I have sedation, am I asleep during the injection procedure?

Intravenous sedation is available for most, but not all procedures. General anesthesia would have to be used to guarantee that one would sleep through their procedure. General anesthesia is not appropriate for injection procedures. Although intravenous conscious sedation will not guarantee that everyone will sleep through their procedure, it is adequate to provide comfort for Pain Management Center treatments.


Will x-rays be used in the procedure?

Depending on the specific procedure, x-rays (C-arm fluoroscopy) might be used to help the physician place the needle close to the appropriate nerves. Specific details, including the use of x-ray will be discussed prior to scheduling any procedures


Are there any activity restrictions after the procedure?

Generally one should avoid strenuous activity after a procedure, but specific activity restrictions will depend on the actual procedure. We encourage all individuals to arrange for someone to drive them home after any procedure. If intravenous sedation is used, a driver is required since we recommend that individuals do not drive for 12 hours after sedation.


Are there any risks involved in receiving an injection?

Yes, but fortunately direct injury to nerves from the injection or by infection is rare and estimated at about a 1/50,000 chance depending on the procedure.


What are the side effects if steroids are used for injections?

For diabetic individuals on insulin, they might notice an increase in daily blood sugar measurements for a few days after the injection. For most of the non-diabetic individuals the steroids will not have any noticeable effect.


Will the Pain Management Center physicians write my pain medication prescriptions?

Medication treatment will depend on the individual and their pain problem. At the initial consultation the physician will discuss medications that may be recommended as part of your overall pain management treatment. For some cases, especially when there is no change in the medication plan, all prescriptions will continue to be written by the individual's primary care and/or referring physician.


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