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Ask The Expert: Interventional Pain Management

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Ask The Expert: Interventional Pain Management

Vlada Frankenberger, DO, is a physician with St. Charles Hospital and has more than 14 years of experience in pain management. She received her medical degree at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed fellowship training in Interventional Pain Management in the Department of Anesthesiology at New York’s prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center. She is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and board certified in Interventional Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

What is Interventional Pain Management?   
Dr. Frankenberger: Interventional Pain Management is a highly specialized area of medicine which uses non-surgical techniques to precisely target nerves and deliver potent medications to relieve pain. Some people are familiar with the term nerve blockers, which are just one of several interventional techniques.  Radiofrequency abilation is a particular example of a nerve blocking procedure used
to relieve back and knee pain over a longer period of time. Interventional techniques are used to treat pain in all parts of the body including, back, hip, knee, foot, face, neck, shoulder and more.

How are interventional techniques different than traditional pain management techniques?  
Dr. Frankenberger: Traditional approaches to pain management include oral pain medications, which address pain broadly throughout the entire body rather than focusing on the specific area of pain. Interventional techniques are highly targeted to precise areas of the body. I have found that patients are often wary of using oral medications, such as opioids, for fear of becoming addicted.  Surgery is also a traditional approach. However, many  patients avoid surgery at all costs, even if it means they live with pain. Interventional procedures are performed in a physician’s office and patients can go home the same day. They can return to work or the activities they love, pain-free and often, without surgery.

What is unique about your approach?
Dr. Frankenberger: I offer a comprehensive approach to pain, which includes a combination of therapy, medications and interventional treatments. Because I am also a trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, I can draw upon the best techniques from both medical
fields--anesthesiology and PM&R. PM&R physicians specialize in restoring a person’s ability to move and function.

For more information about interventional pain management at St. Charles Hospital, please call  (631) 474-6797.