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Medray Imaging - Vancouver MRI Clinic
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Pain Management

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MedRay Imaging is proud to offer Image-Guided Pain Management services to the Tri-Cities and to the Province of BC.

Chronic pain is a problem in society. Whether it's osteo-arthritis, a new or old injury, or another condition, the options for finding relief are improving, including Image-guided pain management injections.  

Who are good candidates for this treatment?

There are a variety of patients who may benefit from image-guided injections, including….

  1. Those who find limited relief from typical treatments: physiotherapy, or oral pain medication.
  2. Those who are on waiting list for surgery such as knee or hip replacement.
  3. Those who have tried ‘everything’ and the next step could mean surgery. 

How does it work?

MedRay has specialized equipment (C-arm fluoroscopic and ultrasound machines) operated by subspecialty-trained physicians, and a team of certified technologists. The physician uses live x-ray or ultrasound technology to ensure the needle enters the appropriate site. He or she may inject a small amount of contrast agent to confirm the needle is properly positioned. Finally, the physician injects a dosage of a local freezing and a medication, such as a corticosteroid or a hyaluronan agent (e.g. Synvisc-One ©). Patients may experience pain or discomfort related to the procedure for a day or two. Some patients experience immediate, temporary pain relief from the local anesthetic. If successful, patients can usually expect to feel relief within days although the full effect may take weeks.

What type of chronic injury will MedRay treat?

MedRay has the capability to treat chronic back pain, and peripheral joint and/or tendon pain, such as knees, hips, feet, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and hands.

What is the process?

It starts with a visit to your doctor, who will decide if image-guided pain management is a good option for you. Once you receive a requisition and a prescription for the cortico-steroid or hyaluronan agent, then MedRay will contact you to make arrangements for your treatment. Please note that MedRay requires a proper diagnosis before we can accept a requisition for treatment. For back treatments, MedRay requires either a CT or MRI within the past 2 years. For peripheral joint treatments, MedRay requires a x-ray within the past year.

How long does it last?

Like any treatment option, success is not guaranteed. Patients may receive no relief, or relief for a few weeks, a few months, or indefinitely. Patients may return for additional treatment as often as every three or four months with a referral for subsequent injections from a referring physician or specialist.

What about blood thinners? (i.e. applicable only for treatment of back pain. The following does not apply for treatment of peripheral joint pain)

If you are taking blood thinner medication such as Plavix ®, Eliquis ®, Xarelto ®, or others, then talk with your doctor about whether this treatment is right for you. You may need to stop taking your medication for a number of days before and after treatment. If your doctor feels it is unwise to be off blood thinners, then you may need to find alternative arrangements.

Click here for the timeline associated with stopping blood thinners.