Pain Clinic

At CVMC’s Pain Clinic, our team of anesthesiologists provide a variety of outpatient pain block procedures, as well as medical consultations, for alleviating and managing chronic pain.

At CVMC’s Pain Clinic, our team of anesthesiologists provide a variety of outpatient pain block procedures, as well as medical consultations, for alleviating and managing chronic pain.

Pain Consultations

Our anesthesiologists provide basic pain consultations for patients referred by their primary care physicians. The anesthesiologist will meet with the patient and provide recommendations about pain medication and other options for dealing with chronic pain. While anesthesiologists do not prescribe pain medication, their specialized knowledge about the types of pain medication available and how different pain medications interact or work together can help the patient’s PCP in prescribing a new or modified course of treatment.

Epidural Pain Block Procedures

Epidural Injections are outpatient procedures conducted in the Ambulatory Care/Day Surgery unit at CVMC. These procedures involve the injection of long-lasting pain medication directly into the epidural space and are commonly used for non-surgical relief of arm, back, neck and lower leg pain (sciatica), as well as other chronic conditions.

About Epidurals

  • What is the Epidural?
    The epidural is a sleeve-like space that surrounds the dura, which covers the nerve roots in the spine. Nerves must travel through this epidural space to reach the arms, chest and legs. In order to avoid injecting pain medication directly into the spine or nerves, medication is injected into the epidural space, where it will travel to the nerves, helping to reduce swelling and inflammation and block pain.

  • Benefits of Epidural Injections
    Epidural procedures can benefit patients who have experienced a recent injury by providing pain relief and reducing swelling, therefore allowing the patient to heal and participate in physical therapy. For patients with chronic pain that has not responded to physical therapy, epidurals can be used over time for long-term pain relief. Some epidurals are also used for diagnostic purposes, in order to locate the source of the pain.

  • Number and Frequency of Injections
    The number of initial injections and the long-term frequency of epidural injections vary from patient to patient. Initial relief is usually achieved with one or two injections. If this initial course of treatment provides permanent relief, no additional injections will be required. For those with chronic pain, injections will be repeated as needed, every few months, as the effects wear off. No more than three injections are administered over a 6 month period.

Types of Epidural Procedures

The following types of Epidural Injections are performed at CVMC:

  • Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
    This injection of a long-lasting steroid (cortisone) into the epidural space is a common form of pain management for sciatica and lower back pain. Pain relief from this procedure is temporary and on average can last several months.

  • Lumbar Facet Joint Injections
    Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide motion. Arthritis, back injuries or other types of stress can cause inflammation and pain in these joints.

    Lumbar Facet Joint Injections are utilized for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. If a patient receives immediate relief from steroid injections to their facet joints, this will confirm that the facet joint is the source of the pain. The injections also include time-released anti-inflammatory medicines, such as cortisone, that can provide long-term relief of several months to a year. For patients who experience long-term relief, this procedure can be repeated over time as necessary.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation is an alternate interventional treatment that uses heat to reduce or stop pain transmission through a nerve. By blocking the nerve from sending along a pain signal, RFA can provide extended relief for chronic pain.

Anesthesiologists specially trained in this outpatient procedure provide treatment through the Pain Clinic at CVMC.

  • When is radiofrequency ablation used for treatment?
    RFA is most often used to treat chronic pain in the neck and spine when a patient does not respond to other treatments or procedures, such as physical therapy or medication.

  • How long does the pain relief last?
    Most patients experience pain relief that lasts six to 12 months.
Central Vermont Medical Center Campus


Central Vermont Medical Center
130 Fisher Road
Berlin, VT 05602




24 hours a day, 7 days a week