Northwest Plain Care, Inc.

421 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 900, Spokane, WA 99201

Medications can be placed at the source of the pain at a very low dose, providing better pain relief and fewer side effects. To reset the pain receptors, a patient is tapered off of oral medications and undergoes a drug “holiday” for a few weeks.  A small catheter (tube) is placed into the spine through a small needle. The catheter tip is placed at the level of the pain. A very small amount of morphine or morphine equivalent medication is placed through the catheter. These doses are increased over a 3 day period to see if the patient’s pain significantly improves.  This procedure can be performed in the office procedure suite. If the patient responds favorably, a permanent catheter and pump can be placed at the hospital as an outpatient. The pump is fully programmable to deliver the right amount of medication to provide the best pain relief. The pump can be refilled in the office every 2-3 months with a very simple 10 minute procedure.

When oral medications and nerve blocks do not sufficiently control the pain, advanced pain therapies or implantable systems may be effective treatments. These systems are designed to interrupt transmission of neuropathic pain signals from reaching the brain.

For each of these procedures, a trial is first performed to see if it is effective and how you will react before we proceed with the surgery.

We strive to provide the best possible cancer pain treatment by working hand in hand with your oncologist. Cancer itself is stressful enough. Our goal is to make you more comfortable with fewer side effects during this trying time. We provide medication management, advanced nerve blocks, and spinal drug delivery to optimize pain relief. One of the most common and effective ways to treat cancer pain is with an intrathecal (spinal) catheter and pump. A patient’s oral medications are converted to a much smaller spinal dose. By placing the medication at the source of the pain, we can provide better pain relief with fewer side effects.  It is imperative that you are referred to us as soon as possible to get the pain under control. A study has shown improved survival with early pain relief.

Spinal Cord stimulation is a procedure for certain types of chronic pain when less invasive options have failed and is one of the few therapies that can be tried prior to anything permanent being done through a minimally invasive trial. By placing specialized wires into the spine through a small needle, the spinal cord can be stimulated. It is thought that this stimulation can interrupt chronic pain signals from reaching the brain. The stimulation also provides a soothing feeling in the painful area. Spinal cord stimulation is indicated for chronic pain of the trunk and extremities. If the patient responds favorably to the trial, permanent leads (wires) and a generator (programmable battery) can be implanted at the hospital as an outpatient.  We are now excited to be able to provide full body MRI compatible systems. Furthermore, the battery contains an accelerometer, much like a smart phone, that will automatically adjust stimulation based upon the patient’s position.

Implantable Therapies

Please click here for more information about Intrathecal Drug Delivery.

Please click here for more information about Spinal Cord Simulation.

Spinal cord stimulation Intrathecal (spinal) drug delivery Implantable Therapies Callout