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Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answer to your question below, feel free to call us at (855) 235-PAIN (7246) and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help. If you have a question about your bill, call our billing specialists at (800) 222-1442.

New Patient Questions

What can I expect at my first visit?

The doctor will review your records with you, assess the findings, and develop a treatment plan. It is helpful to have the most recent MRI/CT scans/ X-ray reports for your area of pain so the physician can develop a treatment plan that will work best for you. 

If you do not have any radiology reports, our doctors can still evaluate you, and they may write a prescription for you to have diagnostic imaging done. 

Our physicians typically do not prescribe pain medication on the first visit.

What should I bring to my appointment?

You should bring your insurance card, photo identification, a medication list (if you are taking any medications), your primary care doctor's name, phone and fax numbers, any records that weren't previously faxed to our office, and your insurance co-pay (if applicable). All records can be faxed to (215) 702-7075.

What records should I have faxed over before my initial visit?

  • Any prior pain management records
  • MRI/CT/X-ray reports for your area of pain
  • Recent records from your primary care and referring physicians
  • Medication list from any physicians who are currently prescribing for you
  • Notes from past surgeries

Medication Questions

Will the doctor prescribe pain medication for me?

Our physicians typically do not prescribe narcotic pain medications on the first visit. 

During your consultation, the doctor will review your records and perform a physical exam. He or she will then develop a treatment plan specifically for you. 

Our physicians will verify your current medications with other prescribing physicians before beginning a treatment regimen. 

Procedure Questions

What are the side effects from steroid injections?

Like every medication, steroid injections have some risks and side effects. Although they are rare, the following side effects may occur:

  • Infection (According to spine-health.com, 0.1%-0.01% patients experience this with epidural injections)
  • Dural puncture “wet tap” headache; improves in a few days
  • Bleeding
  • Hot flashes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • High blood sugar (Although this does not occur often, if you experience high blood sugar, contact your primary care physician for treatment.)

Is it normal to have pain after an injection? What can I do for the pain?

Yes, it is normal to have pain after an injection. Everyone's body works differently; some patients feel worse before they feel better, while others feel better right away. 

If pain persists, apply ice packs for 10-15 minutes every 4-6 hours. DO NOT use a heating pad for 3-4 days after your injection. 

Call the office if you experience any of the following symptoms: fever, persistent headache, bowel/bladder issues, or weakness.

How long does it take for the injection to work?

Everyone is different when it comes to pain relief. Initially the medication works right away, and most patients feel relief within 3-5 days. In some cases, it can take up to 2 weeks for patients to feel the effects of the injection. 

Conscious sedation or local anesthesia: Which should I get?

Conscious sedation: Also known as MAC, or monitored anesthesia care, conscious sedation is administered via an intravenous (IV) needle and gives the feeling that is described as a light "twilight." This is the same type of sedation used for patients having colonoscopies. 

This requires you to fast from midnight the night before your injection, and you must have a licensed driver, over 18 years of age, to take you home after the injection. This is recommended for patients who are afraid of needles, are very anxious, or don't tolerate pain well.

Local anesthesia: A small needle is used to numb the skin in the general area of the injection. This may feel like a bee sting for a few seconds, and is similar to getting a shot. This is recommended for patients who may not have a driver, and who have at least a mild tolerance for pain.

**Important IBC Update regarding sedation**

 IBC plans will no longer cover anesthesia for many pain management procedures.  Please see the link to the policy for additional details.  For questions about how this may affect your upcoming procedure, call us at 610-525-4966 and ask to speak with Lauren Caldwell.  Click here to review policy.

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S.E. PA Pain Management