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Garden State Pain & Orthopedics provides alternatives to opioids for pain relief.

Apr 15, 2021

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Approximately 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease. Seeking relief, many turn to opioids. This class of prescription drugs is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain, but carries serious risks

Garden State Pain & Orthopedics provides alternatives to opioids for pain relief.

Approximately 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease. Seeking relief, many turn to opioids. This class of prescription drugs is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain, but carries serious risks and side effects. 

Experts at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics understand their patients’ concerns regarding opioids for pain management, and have been providing proven, safe alternatives since 1994.

“As doctors and pain specialists, we’ve learned a lot more about the long-term side effects of opioids since the 1990s and 2000s,” said Dev Sinha, MD, a partner at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics. “Risks include such side effects as opioid-induced constipation, nausea, and mental fogginess as well as increasing dependence on/growing tolerance of opioids and addiction.”

An additional side effect — opioid-induced hyperalgesia — can actually have the unintended result of  increasing sensitivity to pain for those on chronic opioid therapy. 

“Many doctors may not realize that pain medications like opioids can end up being counterintuitive,” he said.

Knowing the risks, many patients are seeking alternatives. They want to alleviate their pain, but don’t want to risk the side effects and possible dependents. 

“Patients are increasingly exploring safe alternatives and doctors are presenting those options to patients and/or referring them to pain specialists more than ever,” Dr. Sinha said.

While Garden State Pain & Orthopedics commonly treats conditions such as low back or neck pain (for which patients may have had surgery in the past but still have persistent pain), abdominal or pelvic pain, and pain resulting from acute injury, many patients come seeking effective options to opioids, Dr. Sinha said.

“Most patients coming to us are professionals who want to get off of opioids because they’re not working and/or are creating dependence and taking over their lives,” he said.

Safe and Effective Options

Patients who visit Garden State Pain & Orthopedics are evaluated by physicians who look at his or her pain medication prescription through the statewide monitoring system, review their imaging, conduct a physical exam, and have a candid discussion with them about their options.

“Patients who come off of opioid medication abruptly can experience flu-like withdrawal symptoms, so we develop a plan to wean them off their medication safely, which can include a gradual tapering of medication or a rotation to a safer alternative,” said Dr. Sinha, adding that he and his colleagues are all certified to administer Suboxone therapy.

There are a number of interventional pain techniques and therapies to help manage chronic pain, including:

  • Trigger-Point Injections — This treatment relaxes the muscles and reduces pain or tension. The approach is often considered a temporary fix, but can be repeated. 
  • Injection Therapy — An epidural-type treatment for those with pelvic or abdominal pain. It is often administered as a superior hypogastric block.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation — Featuring a pacemaker-type device that helps block pain signals to the brain. Physicians place two small leads in to a patient’s back and a battery on the outside of his or her body. It’s worn for seven to 10 days to assess its effectiveness. If a patient sees his or her pain drop by at least 50%, the system can be implanted during a same-day surgery in Garden State Pain Control’s Clifton surgery center. There is about a 70% trial-to-permanent-implant ratio, which reflects the high degree of pain relief.
  • Intrathecal Pain Pump — This implantable pump delivers pain medication to patients without the need for an injection. The pump is placed in the stomach and a wire in the spine. This technique is usually a last resort for patients who  are on a high dose of opioids. Patients do well because the medicine is delivered directly into the spine. This approach also offers a trial before implantation.

A Positive Experience

The team at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics includes seven physicians, two physicians’ assistants and a nurse practitioner who are known for their caring and compassionate approach.

“Many patients have been stigmatized and/or turned away by others in the medical community, so we offer a lot of empathy, and patients really feel that,” Dr. Sinha said. “We try to review their case and see how we can help them.  We take pride in keeping wait times short, taking our time with each patient, and treating them like family.”

“It’s extremely rewarding to witness the real-life change and quality of life enhancement we’re able to deliver to our patients,” Dr. Sinha said. “We want people dealing with chronic pain to know that there’s hope and that Garden State Pain Control can provide them with a safe and effective course going forward.”

With convenient locations in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet and Jersey City, Garden State Pain & Orthopedics has been providing compassionate and comprehensive pain management to people struggling with acute and chronic pain since 1994. For more information, visit www.gardenstatepain.com.

— Susan Bloom

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