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What does the Sparrow Pain Management Center do?

The Sparrow Pain Management Center evaluates and treats individuals with acute and chronic pain.

How do I receive care at the Sparrow Pain Management Center?

You must have a physician's referral to the Pain Management Center.

Individuals referred to the Pain Management Center are called promptly by the nurse case managers for a telephone interview. Within one or two days of this interview, the individual's case is reviewed by a Pain Management Center nurse case manager, a physician and possibly by a pain psychologist.

Based on this review, the individual is scheduled for an initial evaluation. The Pain Management Center physicians are anesthesiologists with extra training in the diagnosis and management of pain. We also have a neurologist on staff who specializes in headache pain. The Pain Management Center psychologist specializes in the psychological support of pain in individuals and offers individual and group treatment to help patients cope with pain.

Does my insurance cover care at the Sparrow Pain Management Center?

Most insurances including commercial, auto, worker's compensation, Medicare, or Medicaid typically cover services provided by Sparrow Pain Management; however, some services may need to be prior authorized or may have limitations in coverage. Case management staff will always do their best to obtain authorizations and/or verify patient copays or coinsurances. Patients, however, are expected to know their health benefits and should always verify coverage before receiving treatment to ensure financial responsibility.

Will I be pain free?

Our goal is to reduce pain as much as possible. At the time of initial consultation, the goals of treatment are discussed.

Why would I see the Pain Management Center psychologist?

The Pain Management Center psychologist helps individuals better understand the nature of pain and teaches them how to better control pain through many different techniques.

The Pain Management Center psychologist also can 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, relaxation training, pacing techniques, distraction techniques, and how to identify and deal with pain triggers.

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.

How long will I need injections or treatment at the Pain Management Center?

The duration of a treatment plan is discussed after the initial consultation. As treatment proceeds, the plan and duration can change, but this is always discussed with the individual

How long will an injection procedure take?

The duration of any procedure at the Pain Management Center depends on the procedure and the individual.

Sedation is offered for most procedures which require a longer preparation and recovery time. Specific details, including procedure duration, are discussed prior to scheduling any procedures.

Am I asleep during the injection procedure?

Intravenous sedation is available for most, but not all, Pain Management Center procedures. General anesthesia is not appropriate for Pain Management Center procedures.

Although intravenous sedation does not guarantee that everyone will sleep through their procedure, it is adequate to provide comfort for Pain Management Center treatments.

What will I be injected with?

Depending on the specific procedure, procedures can include injection with a local anesthetic and steroid. Specific details, including the planned substances for injection, are discussed prior to scheduling any procedures.

Will X-rays be used in the procedure?

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

Are there any activity restrictions after the procedure?

Generally, you should avoid strenuous activity after a Pain Management Center procedure, but specific activity restrictions depend on the actual procedure.

All patients need a driver to take them home after any procedure. If sedation is used, the Pain Management Center recommends that you do not drive for 12 hours after the sedation.

Are there any risks involved in receiving an injection?

Fortunately, direct injury to nerves from the injection or by infection is rare and estimated at about a one in 50,000 chance depending on the procedure.

What are the side effects from steroids used for injections?

You may not have any noticeable side effects from the procedure. Occasionally a patient may experience some of the following side effects:

  • Tenderness and/or aching at the site of the injection site.
  • Bleeding or bruising at the injection site.
  • Numbness or weakness of arms or legs for a few hours.

Following your procedure, you will be given a list of potential side effects based on your health conditions and the specific procedure that you had.

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

Medication treatment depends on the individual and the pain problem.

At the initial consultation, the physician will discuss any medication plans, if necessary, to treat the pain problem. 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.