Frequently Asked Questions
In what way is Integrative Pain Centers of America (IPCA) unique?
- IPCA offers highly specialized care that can provide pain relief, restore function and get our patients back to the active lifestyle that they love.
- IPCA is dedicated to providing precise diagnosis and treatment for those with chronic pain by implementing Tandem Integrative Pain Solutions, (T.I.P.S.®) a unique protocol developed by Integrative Pain Centers of America and implemented since 2005 with the best outcomes. T.I.P.S.® is a combination of modern medicine and alternative eastern medicine, implemented in a comprehensive, integrated approach. T.I.P.S.® is very successful in treating patients with chronic pain syndromes.
- Beyond treating symptoms, we strive to identify and fix the underlying cause of pain in order to restore the highest level of function and quality of life possible.
- Our approach is tailored to fit individual needs with dignity and respect. IPCA patients receive a highly personalized treatment plan, keeping the patient well informed and involved in care decisions.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
At your first appointment, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your pain by your IPCA provider. There is a possibility that you may have a procedure on your first visit, so please come prepared with a ride. If your procedure is not performed during that visit, you will be scheduled for a follow-up procedure or appointment. Specific information and instructions regarding preparation for the next appointment will be given to you at that time. Learn more about your first visit.
What should I expect on the day of my appointment for a procedure?
After taking your vitals and brief medical history, you will be guided to the procedure room by our nursing staff. You may need an IV for mild sedation during your procedure, but the staff will talk with you about that first. Sedation may be administered once you are positioned for your procedure. Throughout the procedure, your blood pressure and vital signs are closely monitored.
Once the procedure is completed, you will be guided to a recliner to rest for a short time. Following this, your vitals will be taken and recorded. You will be fully awake; the doctor simply wishes to ensure that are not too “woozy” before leaving. If you have chosen to have sedation, you will need to have someone come with you to drive you back.
You will be awake; however, your reflexes may be a little slower if you have any residual grogginess. If you do experience grogginess, it typically lasts for a brief time after the procedure. You should feel back to your normal state of alertness by the end of the day.
What do you mean by “interventional pain management”?
“Interventional Pain Management” is a subspecialty of pain management that employs invasive techniques such as facet joint injections and nerve blocks alongside X-rays or ultrasound-guided procedure(s) are used as a key component in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient’s pain condition.
How are these pain procedures different from the other shots I have gotten?
- Injections performed at Integrative Pain Centers of America are used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
- IPCA strives to perform procedures that will heal rather than mask your pain. We use specialized techniques and imaging equipment to assure pinpoint accuracy, and allow for micro amounts of medication to target pain and provide longer lasting results than other generalized approaches.
- Our procedures are performed in a state-of-the-art, sterile fluoroscopy suite to provide appropriate safeguards against infection. Click here to find out more about the injections we give and why they work better, on our treatments page.
Does the pain injection hurt?
Most injections hurt about the same as an intramuscular shot or IV placement. Anxiety about the procedure can exacerbate the way you perceive the pain. Therefore, majority of procedures are done under local anesthesia or monitored anesthesia care (MAC).
How long are the procedures?
All of our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Most procedures are relatively short (less than 15 minutes). However, a patient spends approximately 45-60 minutes at our facility on the day of a procedure, due to evaluations performed before and after the procedure.
How long will the pain relief last?
Your doctor can best answer this question at your consultation. It will depend on the condition that is being treated and the severity of the chronic pain.
How many pain procedures do I need for my condition?
Your response to the interventional pain procedure determines the frequency and number of procedures you require. The earlier you seek the help of an interventional pain specialist, the better the expected response.
Do I need a referral from my primary care physician?
While a referral is not required, in order to provide efficient care, we require access to your previous records for your condition. Most patients are referred by physicians or other healthcare providers who are familiar with the integrative services we provide. You can speak with your primary care provider to coordinate your care, or contact us directly for information.
Our physicians review all referrals to be sure that the patients we see are eligible candidates for the services we provide. If necessary, our physicians may contact your provider with questions about your problems.
Does IPCA offer telephone consults?
Our staff cannot answer medical questions and our physicians do not perform telephone consultations.
Does Integrative Pain Centers of America take my insurance?
Integrative Pain Centers of America contracts with a number of major insurance plans. Sometimes insurance companies have different plans that provide various coverage levels for each plan. It is best for you to contact your insurance provider to confirm that our services are covered by your specific plan. We request that you provide us with your current insurance information at the time of your referral, to enable us to bill your insurance directly.