In Search of the Best Pain Clinic in LA: Avoiding Block Shops

By | February 23, 2012

I'm sure that this guy would love to do your epidural injection.

I would like to return to our series on finding the best pain clinic in LA and what it would be like. Sometimes it is as important to know what to avoid as what to seek out. Over the last 30 years there has been a consistent trend in pain management toward the comprehensive and integrated pain clinics. Recently there have been a number of alarming reversals of this trend. One of these is the growing practice of offering diagnostic and therapeutic procedures at free standing imaging centers. These clinics make no pretense at total patient care. They are simply block shops. After performing a CAT Scan or MRI of the spine the patients are advised not only of their diagnosis but of the need for extensive injection therapy as well. I have seen many cases where a patient is given six injections in quick succession and then discharged as a hopeless case. There is nothing inherently wrong with radiologists doing injections, but there is something wrong with the approach that maximizes the number of injections without consideration of other potential forms of treatment. We at Schlesinger Pain Centers believe that we have a responsibility to our chronic pain patients to present all of the therapeutic options at the beginning of therapy. We believe that we have a responsibility to minimize the number of procedures and recommend competing therapeutic options from complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) to surgery, regardless of whether we will benefit financially. It is sad that in these troubled times that some of our fellow physicians seem to have forgotten that their primary responsibility is to the patient, not to themselves or their shareholders.


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