Who We Are
The Interventional Pain Center (IPC) is a UPSVIS specialty clinic and was developed in conjunction with UPHS-Marquette / Duke LifePoint in 2011.
Responding to the needs of the residents of Upper Michigan for focused and effective treatment options for patients with both recent-onset and chronic pain. Our unique, multidisciplinary approach to the care and management of the pain patient focuses on the reduction and elimination of pain, restoration of normal activities of life, and the prevention of future pain recurrences though the utilization of minimally invasive pain therapies.
While all interventional pain procedures are performed at UPHS-Marquette, occasionally Dr. Mehall will see these patients in consultation at our clinic offices on Washington Street (just behind the hospital next to the Washington St. bridge exiting the hospital).
Please note that the Interventional Pain Center does NOT prescribe opiates.
What We Offer
After review of medical history and physical findings, a treatment plan is developed by our medical team. Initial focus is placed on relief of acute pain, utilizing minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment techniques, many of which can be performed in a timely fashion in our state-of-the-art facility, along with well-controlled medical therapeutic regimens. Through the interdisciplinary team of other physicians throughout the Upper Peninsula, focus is also directed to the future prevention of pain exacerbation, utilizing the myriad of rehabilitation services available within the UPHS system. Physical rehabilitation is used to address the source of pain and strengthen and align supporting muscle groups. Strong emphasis is given to long-term maintenance of these regimens and their importance in the prevention of future recurrences.
Low Back Pain / Spinal Stenosis
Low back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States and can result from a very large variety of causes. Most cases of low back pain are degenerative in nature and related to either disc degeneration or arthritic change. As disc material between vertebrae ages, it becomes dried out or desiccated. This lack of effective cushioning leaves vertebrae vulnerable to injury. Bone may grow along the edges of the vertebrae to stabilize them. This bony overgrowth may cause stiffness and loss of flexibility, but more importantly, may cause narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or its openings that allow nerves to pass out of the canal (foraminal stenosis). The desiccated disc material may also bulge through its outermost fibrous covering and extend into the spinal canal. This disc material can be extremely irritating to spinal nerves as they pass through and leave the spinal canal. These changes may all result in pain that is localized to the low back and/or may extend into and shoot through the buttocks, thighs, and calves.
Low Back Pain / Arthritis
Low back pain may also result from arthritic change involving the bony facet joints. These facet joints can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, just like any larger joint in the body. This degenerative change may, again, significantly impact mobility while the resultant inflammation greatly irritates the nerves that supply these joint spaces, as in any similarly arthritic joint.
In the same way, almost all individuals will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Most episodes of neck pain will be mild and not particularly limiting and are likely to resolve with rest. However, if pain persists for more than a week or two, or is severely limiting to everyday activities, further evaluation may be needed. Neck pain may vary and may involve sharp or dull pain, may be associated with stiffness or inability to rotate the neck, and may present as pain shooting to the shoulders, arms or hands, perhaps even without perceived pain in the neck region itself.
Neck pain may occur secondary to many factors. Muscle strain from poor positioning or posture or, perhaps, athletic injury, may give a sensation of pain. The joints between vertebrae in the neck may experience arthritic change just as any other joint in the body, limiting range of motion and causing stiffness. Disc disease occurs similarly to that in the low back. This weakened disc material again may push or protrude into the spinal canal in the neck and push on or irritate nerves or the spinal cord itself, resulting in sharp pain or altered sensations in the arms or legs (radiculopathy). More acute trauma, as in a car accident, may severely damage vertebrae, discs, or the surrounding muscles and ligaments and result in rapid onset of these same symptoms.
Interventional Pain Management with the Interdisciplinary team of Physicians at UPHS
Our very own Dr. Mehall was shown on the local Ask the Doctor show along with a few other members of the UPHS Neuroscience team discussing Brain and Stroke Issues. Great topics and discussions included Aneurysms, Brain Tumors, Dementia, Parkinson’s, along with Carotid Stenosis, Spinal Stenosis and Treatment of Chronic Neck and Back pain.