What is Pain Management?
People may think that pain management basically means that a provider gives a patient opioids and pain medication, and that is simply not true. In Pain Management we like to use all kinds of modalities to control pain. Such as injection therapy (epidurals), radio frequency, physical therapy, dry needling, all used in a way to control pain and avoid the dependence on pain medication.
How does it work?
In Pain Management I work very closely with orthopedic surgeons because I typically see patients who are not candidates for surgery, or have had a surgery and don’t want to repeat a surgery. We are both trying to get people back to work, back to their activities, and back to leading the life they want to live. Pain Management sees all kinds of pain from headaches to plantar fasciitis, but our specialty is lumber and cervical spine pain.
Different types of pain?
You may hear about different types of pain – acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain typically means pain that is present for less than 3 months. An example of acute pain might be a disc herniation in the back. For this condition we typically start with an injection in the disc space followed by physical therapy, and try to get the patient back to their pre-injury function as soon as possible. Other people are in chronic pain which means they have had pain for longer than 3 months. I can see these patients for several years. I try to manage their pain through a number of different modalities to put the patient in charge of their pain and not the pain in charge of them.
How can we help?
Dr. Justin Kruer has been helping patients with pain management for over 12 years. He joined our Missoula Bone & Joint team in August 2019 and is looking forward to helping patients as he did in his practice in the Cincinnati area. Dr. Kruer’s wife is a native Missoulian and they are excited to be back in Big Sky country with their 4 children.
Call to schedule your appointment (406)721-4436 or request an appointment online.
Dr. Kruer is fellowship trained and board certified in pain medicine with 12 years of experience helping patients with pain management. Dr. Kruer is an interventionalist focusing on spine and nerve procedures.