The Mad River Interventional Pain Treatment Center focuses on a large array of chronic, debilitating pain conditions stemming from spinal pain, nerve damage and joint pain, and other painful medical conditions. The director, Shahram Abbassi, MD, has been treating chronic pain for the past 22 years.
Diagnosis of Spinal Pain
The most important aspects of diagnosing spinal pain is an adequate history, followed by physical examination and radiological studies, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Quite frequently, even all these sophisticated techniques do not give us the proper diagnosis. In theses cases, the most helpful tool in our arsenal is 'diagnostic blocks'. These injections are done for the sole purpose of finding exactly which area is, or is not, contributing to the painful condition. Diagnostic blocks need very close collaboration between the doctor and the patient; the doctor provides a good explanation, and the patient provides a very accurate health history and journal.
Treatment of Spinal Pain
In general, spinal pain is initially treated conservatively with rest, medications, physical therapy acupuncture and other similar modalities. If and when these modalities fail to achieve the desired level of pain control, then injections, and perhaps surgery, are other options.
Risks and Side Effects
With any medical procedure or treatment, there are some inherent risks. In general, spinal and joint injections are quite safe. All of our other procedures are performed with X-ray or ultrasonic guidance to provide the safest technique and greatest likelihood of success.
Specific Cautions for Patients Taking "Blood Thinners"
We serve many patients who take "blood thinners". Some of these medications actually interface with with blood clotting by changing the "stickiness" of the platelets. A few examples of the medications are Plavix, Xarelto, Eliquis, and aspirin. Other drugs like Warfarin (Coumadin) actually do thin the blood. Patients who take these types of medications must be off of them for a certain amount of time, depending on the specific medication, prior to injections. Our office will work with your physicians to determine the safest amount of time for you to be off of them prior to an injection.
Preparing for Your Visit
Your physician or other health care specialist will make a referral to our office at 826-8271. Our office staff will make an appointment for you in a timely fashion, will inform you about the necessary requirement, and will try to answer an questions you might have before your visit. Whether a procedure will be performed on your first visit is decided on your individual case and condition. Please follow these guideline:
- If you are taking a "blood thinner" medication, we must be notified ahead of your visit
- Do not stop taking any of your daily medications unless advised by us
- NO alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs, including marijuana, on the day of the visit/procedure
- Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothing, including undergarments as necessary
- Minimize any jewelry and leave any valuables at home
- Sedation is not required in order for a procedure to be performed, but if you request sedation, a designated driver must come with you to sign you out
- If you have any recent infections, or are taking antibiotics, you must notify our office ahead of your visit for instructions
- You may bring a friend, significant other, advocate or someone you feel comfortable with during the visit, however no one but the patient, the physician, and his assistant will be in the procedure room during the procedure
Still have questions? Please call (707) 826-8271
The Pain Treatment Center is located on the driveway to the left of the Shaw Medical Pavilion. Ample parking is available.