We closely monitor the individual requirements and conditions of every one of our patients. We offer treatment for conditions like occipital nerve block, thoracic spine pain, lower spine pain and many others. Our team of pain management doctors in Tucson, AZ, along with a dedicated staff of nurse practitioners, work hard to bring you back to a state of normalcy.

The providers at Tucson Pain Institute will determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient following a comprehensive, pain-focused evaluation for the patient in pain. The course of treatment may include but is not limited to physical, interventional, and psychological treatments.

Our goal is to return patients to the most optimal level of functioning while keeping them and their loved ones informed about the conditions that are affecting the patient and the available treatments.

Common Conditions:

  • Cancer Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cervical Spine Pain
  • Thoracic Spine Pain
  • Lower Spine Pain
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Definitions of Treatment:

Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Injections: An epidural injection delivers steroids into the epidural space around spinal nerve roots to relieve pain – back pain, leg pain, or other pain – caused by irritated spinal nerves. The steroid used in the epidural steroid injection reduces the inflammation of those nerves, which is often the source of the pain.

Trigger Point Injections: In the TPI procedure, a health care professional inserts a small needle into the patient’s trigger point. The injection contains a local anesthetic or saline, and may include a corticosteroid. With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in a doctor’s office and usually take just a few minutes.

Major Joint Injections: Many of the major joints (i.e. hip, knee, shoulder, etc.) of the body are susceptible to arthritic pain due to aging, repetitive use, or injury. A joint injection is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid deposited into the joint space or capsule. The goal of a major joint injection is to provide pain relief by reducing inflammation due to arthritis of the involved joint. A joint injection will not cure the preexisting medical problem (i.e. arthritis, abnormal alignment, etc.) but may improve the level of pain. It is not unusual for someone to need more than one injection to get long term benefit. Patients may require orthopedic surgery if more than two injections are needed. If the pain is significantly improved no further injection is needed unless the pain returns.

Spinal Cord Stimulator: Approved by the FDA in 1989, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has become a standard treatment for patients with chronic pain in their back and or limbs who have not found pain relief from other treatments. While the treatment does not work for everyone, most patients who qualify for neurostimulation therapy report a 50 to 70% reduction in overall pain, as well as an increased ability to participate in normal family and work activities.

Peripheral Nerve Stimulator: Peripheral nerve stimulation is a technique in which electrodes are placed along the course of peripheral nerves to control pain. These devices are an extremely safe, efficient, and effective way to ameliorate a variety of severe neuropathic pain conditions.  Once the electrodes are in place, they are turned on to administer a weak electrical current to the nerve. The patient experiences this as a pleasant tingling sensation. By stimulating nonpainful sensory pathway, the electrical current tricks the brain into turning off (or significantly attenuating) the painful signals. In this manner, pain relief occurs. In general, most patients are then able to reduce or discontinue altogether their pain medications.

Occipital Nerve Blocks: An occipital nerve block is an injection of a steroid or other medication around the greater and lesser occipital nerves that are located on the back of the head just above the neck area. The steroid injected reduces the inflammation and swelling of tissue around the occipital nerves. This may in turn reduce pain, and other symptoms caused by inflammation or irritation of the nerves and surrounding structures. Typically, headaches over the back of the head, including certain types of tension headaches and migraine headaches, may respond to occipital nerve blocks.

Sacroiliac Joint Injections: The sacroiliac joints lie next to the spine and connect the sacrum with the hip on both sides. There are two sacroiliac joints, one on the right and one on the left. Joint inflammation and/or dysfunction in this area can cause pain.  The purpose of a sacroiliac joint injection is two-fold: to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain, and to provide therapeutic pain relief. At times, these are separated and a patient will undergo a purely diagnostic or therapeutic injection, although often the two are combined into one injection.

Peripheral Nerve Blocks: Nerve block or regional nerve blockade is any deliberate interruption of signals traveling along a nerve, often for the purpose of pain relief. Local anesthetic nerve block (sometimes referred to as simply “nerve block”) is a short-term block, usually lasting hours or days, involving the injection of an anesthetic, a corticosteroid and other agents onto or near a nerve.

Celiac Plexus Blocks: Celiac plexus blocks are injections of pain medication that help relieve abdominal pain, commonly due to cancer or chronic pancreatitis. The celiac plexus is a bundle of nerves that surrounds the aorta, the main artery into your abdomen.

Facet Joint Injections: Facet injections are injections of medications into the actual facet joints. Facet joints are located between each set of vertebrae in the spine from the neck to the tailbone. Facet joints allow each vertebra to move against the vertebra just above and just below it.

Facet Radiofrequency Denervation: Radiofrequency facet denervation is performed on an outpatient basis, with no overnight hospital stay. Prior to the procedure, you will need to follow eating and drinking restrictions as outlined by your doctor. You will also need to arrange for someone to take you home afterwards.  Your doctor will begin the procedure by giving you sedative medication to make you relax and minimize discomfort. If you need to, you can talk to your doctor during the procedure.

Using an x-ray for guidance, the doctor places a special needle in the nerve connected to the damaged facet joint. After injecting local anesthetic to numb the nerve, the doctor heats the needle to damage a portion of the nerve. This stops that nerve from sending pain signals. It does not damage nerves that go to your arms or legs, and does not damage the joint any further.

Kyphoplasty: the surgical filling of an injured or collapsed vertebra. This procedure restores original shape and configuration and relieves pain from spinal compression.

Vertebroplasty: Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar medical spinal procedures in which bone cement is injected through a small hole in the skin (percutaneously) into a fractured vertebra with the goal of relieving back pain caused by vertebral compression fractures.