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Desert Pain expert doctors target acute and chronic pain with innovative treatments – St George News


Stock image | Photo by Oleh Veres/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As Southern Utah’s premier pain management team, Desert Pain Specialists practices cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine that incorporates the latest treatments available.

The doctors of desert painwho are all certified in anesthesiology and interventional pain medicine, strive to improve the quality of life of patients through innovative pain management solutions. They treat all types of acute and chronic pain, including back pain, neck pain, sciatica, neuropathy, migraines, and sports injuries.

“We are up to date on all standard and cutting-edge treatment options for our patients,” said Dr. Court Empey, founder of Desert Pain. “We’ll walk them through each of their options and help them determine the best solution.”

Epidural steroid injections

Back pain is among the most common health problems plaguing Americans today and can stem from a variety of sources, including bulging discs, sciatica, bone spurs, and arthritis. Epidural steroid injections can restore mobility and improve quality of life for many patients with chronic back pain.

Epidural injections use a corticosteroid, which decreases inflammation in the affected area and provides pain relief that can last up to three months or more. The epidural space lies outside the spinal cord and extends from the base of the skull to the sacrum. Injections performed in the lower or middle back can also help relieve pain associated with the legs.

“Anytime a patient experiences pain that radiates down their leg or arm from the spine, an epidural steroid injection is a treatment option that may provide relief,” Empey said.

A Treatment Room with a View at Desert Pain Specialists, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Jeff Hauck courtesy of Desert Pain Specialists, St. George News

Spinal Cord Stimulation

For patients who have exhausted all non-surgical options to relieve their chronic back pain, spinal cord stimulation can finally relieve. A spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device that delivers electrical impulses directly into the spinal cord to interrupt nerve impulses that produce pain.

“Spinal cord stimulation is the gold standard when most other treatment options have failed,” Empey said.

The process begins with an electrode that is inserted into the skin and connected to a stimulator, which the patient can turn on and off. A temporary pacemaker is implanted as a trial to determine the appropriate pulse strength for maximum pain relief before the permanent device is placed.


Extremely painful spinal compression fractures are more common in older people due to osteoporosis or falls, but can also occur with a traumatic injury. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment option that can provide immediate pain relief and restore spinal height.

During a kyphoplasty, the doctor inserts a small balloon in the middle of the broken vertebra. The balloon is then inflated, creating a space that is filled with bone cement to stabilize the fracture. Patients typically return to normal daily activities shortly after undergoing the procedure, Empey said.

“One of the most rewarding procedures for us to perform is a kyphoplasty, as most patients present with severe pain from a compression fracture,” he added. “Once we fix it, the patient’s pain usually goes away instantly.”

Radiofrequency ablation

A welcome waiting room greets guests at Desert Pain Specialists, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Jeff Hauck courtesy of Desert Pain Specialists, St. George News

Patients with chronic lower back or neck pain as well as joint pain caused by arthritis may benefit from radiofrequency ablation. This procedure uses electrical current from radio waves to heat surrounding nerve tissue and reduce pain signals in the affected area. Under fluoroscopic guidance, the doctor will inject a microelectrode into the target region and begin the stimulation process.

“We can find these little nerves under x-ray guidance and burn them off to stop them from working and causing the patient to feel arthritis pain in the spine,” Empey said.

Radiofrequency ablation is a safe outpatient procedure that provides fast relief. Empey said the results could last a year or even longer for some patients.

Empey encourages anyone with concerns about acute and chronic pain or questions about specific procedures to contact Desert Pain.

Empey, a native of St. George, created Desert Pain in 2007 to fill an unmet need in the community for the treatment of chronic pain. Today, the practice includes five specialists joined by 10 physician assistants and nurse practitioners as well as a licensed clinical social worker. Each of the doctors has undergone 13 years of study, residency, and training in order to perform these advanced procedures that yield life-changing results.

Desert Pain operates a state-of-the-art facility at Riverfront Medical Center in St. George that allows them to provide unparalleled quality of care to their patients. And with satellite locations in Hurricane, Hildale (opening September), Cedar City, Kanab, Beaver, Panguitch, Delta and Fillmore as well as Mesquite and Overton, Nevada, they’re ready to meet the needs of the city’s growing population. region.

Dial 435-216-7000 or visit Desert Pain Website to make an appointment today.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.



  • Desert Pain Specialists | Telephone: 435-216-7000 | E-mail: [email protected] | Website.
  • Pitches:
    • St. George: 617 E. Riverside Drive, Suite 301.
    • Hurricane: 48 S. 2500 West, Suite 110.
    • Cedar City: 1760 Main Street N.
    • Beaver: 68 N. Main St.
    • Panguitch: 200 N. 400 East.
    • Kanab: 348 N. 300 West.
    • Delta: 126 White Sage Ave.
    • Fillmore: 65 N. Main St.
    • Mesquite, Nevada: 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600.
    • Overton, Nevada: 475 N. Moapa Valley Blvd.

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