Duke pain experts alleviate your chronic pain using a combination of advanced treatments. Whether your pain is a symptom of aging, disease or injury, or the cause is undetermined, we provide solutions to help you find long-term relief from debilitating pain.
Multifaceted approach to pain relief
Our team specializes in the disease of pain from every source. We offer you relief whether you experience chronic back pain, pain from injury, from cancer, nerve-related discomfort, or other source. Our skilled specialists include neurologists, anesthesiologists, physical therapists and psychologists who work with you to create a personalized pain management plan.
We offer the full realm of pain relief treatments, including medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, biofeedback and more. If you require more advanced techniques, we have the training, skill and experience to perform a variety of nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation and radiofrequency ablation. Our goal is to understand your condition, and recommend the most effective treatments to alleviate your pain quickly and consistently.
Choose Duke for the treatment of your pain because we offer:
- Patient-focused care. Living with chronic pain affects body, mind and spirit. We consider the big picture and fix more than just aches and pains -- we treat your whole person using a variety of mind-body techniques.
- Responsible medication management. If medications like morphine and other opiates are recommended, we offer ongoing counseling and guidance to avoid the risk of addiction or overdose. We also provide advanced options for drug delivery that limit the side effects, including intrathecal pump therapy which minimizes the dose needed by delivering the medicine directly to the source of your pain.
- Seamless referrals. If the source of your pain is a condition or injury is treatable, you have access to Duke’s highly skilled surgeons and orthopaedists.
- More alternatives for treatment. Through Duke's wellness programs, you have access to options like acupuncture, meditation and yoga to help you cope with the pain and anxiety associated with persistent pain.
- Open communication. You are the most important member of your team, We ensure you and your caregivers are well informed about your treatment options, as well as any associated side effects.
- Specialized care for veterans. Because our team of providers includes ex-military personnel who understand the unique pain challenges facing veterans, many soldiers from Fort Bragg Army base choose us for their care.
- Access to clinical trials. You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials that are evaluating novel treatments for pain relief. This gives you access to options that are not widely available.
- Palliative care. The debilitating effects of serious illness are often magnified by physical, mental and spiritual pain and suffering. Our palliative care experts partner with you, your family, and your medical team to help you find relief.
Relaxation techniques help you control your body’s automatic responses to pain, including muscle tension, fast breathing and rapid heart rate.
Clinical psychologists help you manage depression, anxiety and other emotional side effects that can result from living with chronic pain.
An exercise routine that improves flexibility and strength may help relieve stress on the muscles and joints, and alleviate pain.
We offer alternative treatments including acupuncture, yoga and meditation to treat your mind, body and soul.
A variety of medications may be used to help control your pain, including over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil). If those are unsuccessful, prescription medications including muscle relaxers and pain killers may be considered.
An implanted pump releases low doses of medication into the space around the spine that signals for pain to travel to other parts of the body. This minimizes the side effects of high-dose medications and results in better pain control.
Medication can be injected on or near the nerves that are the source of pain. Blocks numb the nerves and block pain signals. Injections are performed during an outpatient procedure.
Cortisone (a type of steroid) injections may offer relief for pain caused by inflamed nerves. This injection may go into the area that surrounds the spinal cord for pain that originates in the spine, or directly into a joint. We deliver the medication to the correct spot using X-ray video during the procedure.
During this minimally invasive outpatient procedure, electrodes are implanted on your spinal cord and a generator is implanted under the skin on the abdomen or buttocks. The generator emits electrical impulses that travel through the electrodes to block pain signals. This procedure is reserved for patients with pain that does not respond to other treatments.
Similar to spinal cord stimulation, during PNS, small electrodes are implanted next to a peripheral nerve -- nerves outside of the brain or spinal cord -- and a generator is implanted under the skin. Electricity from the generator travels to the electrode to block pain signals emitted from the peripheral nerve.
For pain that radiates from the spine to other areas of the body including the legs, arms and head, this minimally invasive procedure may be used to block the source of those pain signals. Using an X-ray to pinpoint the location of the appropriate nerve, we insert a heat source that burns the nerve and prevents the pain signal from traveling to the brain.
Prior to prescribing treatment for chronic pain, our team of specialists performs a comprehensive physical evaluation, taking into account your personal health history and current symptoms.
We use the latest advances in imaging techniques, including CT, MRI and ultrasound, to create high resolution images that help identify and rule out any underlying medical conditions.