The place of interventional pain procedures

Stephanie Davies




Interventional pain procedures are used for diagnosis and localisation of pain, and are also used for therapeutic purposes. They can be an additional tool to manage pain symptoms and must be considered part of the range of strategies for pain management.

Key Points

  • If the patient has a dominant anatomical pain source, pain procedures can be part of the range of socio psychobiological strategies for pain management.
  • Pain medicine physicians are trained to incorporate active behavioural strategies with conventional medical options.
  • Pain medicine physicians decide whether pain procedures are suitable and which procedures to perform.
  • People with pain should be encouraged to undertake daily walking, simple movements, pacing activities, mindfulness meditation and threat-reduction activities before pain procedures.
  • Pain cannot be localised using current imaging techniques, so pain procedures are used to help diagnose anatomical pain sources.
  • Therapeutic pain procedures can provide three to12 months of pain reduction, which can provide a therapeutic window for the patient to progress with their active behavioural pain strategies.
  • If therapeutic procedures provide the patient with pain relief and the pain then recurs, a repeat procedure will usually provide similar relief if the pain sources are shown to be the same.