Pain Specialist in RI

Dr. Handel is an Interventional Physiatrist, a doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a Pain Specialist in RI who concentrates in various spine injections for pain management. Our depth of services, our compassion for our patients and our commitment to excellent care helps make Dr. Todd one of the few considered the best pain doctor in RI.  All Patients are treated with respect and compassion by the courteous staff at the Handel Center.

Our Mission
The mission of the Handel Center for Spine, Sports & Pain Intervention is to improve the lives of our patients by reducing pain through our state-of-the-art multidisciplinary team approach.

Because chronic pain is complicated, a number of different treatment plans may be indicated, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, massage therapy and if needed medications.

Our sole purpose is to promote healthier more productive, pain free lives for our patients, while giving excellent care and customer service.

What is a Pain Doctor?

It is believed we have different and somewhat magnified reactions to pain feelings that other animals because we are also impacted by emotion, behaviors and our brains. Psychologically we are the most advanced. May times one’s symptoms of pain do not match the physical tissue damage uncovered, even small wounds can create intense sensations of pain. From an early age children learn how to communicate that something hurts, pain is subjective, not definitive.

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About Dr. Todd Handel

Dr. Todd Handel is a Pain Specialist in RI and is affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital. He received his medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and has been in practice for 18 years. Dr. Handel accepts several types of health insurance, listed below. He is one of 3 doctors at Rhode Island Hospital who specialize in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He also speaks multiple languages, including Spanish.

Many pain doctors have wide ranging grasp on the underlying conditions of pain so they may treat and manage a patient’s condition. Pain doctors are required to understand a wide variety of pain conditions, which include neuropathic, nociceptive, psychogenic, incident, and some less common types of pain that are associated in particular with specific health conditions.

Our depth of services, our compassion for our patients and our commitment to excellent care helps make Dr. Todd one of the few considered the best pain doctor in RI.

Pain Management Procedures Include:

About the Injections

Any muscle in the body can have one or more trigger points. Several injections may be needed in each trigger point to best relieve pain. These injections may be give in sessions 1 to 2 weeks apart. In some cases, you may not feel much change in your symptoms until after the third injection.

What Is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is very tender to the touch. Pain may also spread to other parts of the affected muscle. Muscles around a knee, shoulder blade, or other bones are prone to trigger points. This is because these muscles are more likely to be injured.

To help relieve neck and arm pain, medication is injection into the epidural space. Your doctor may also do a nerve block. During this, medication is injected near a specific nerve root (the part of the nerve that leaves the spinal canal). A nerve block can help your doctor find out which nerve or nerves cause your pain.
A lumbar epidural injection won’t stop all low back and leg pain. But it can reduce pain and break the pain cycle. This cycle may begin when pain makes it hard to move. Lack of movement can then slow down the healing. By getting you moving again, the injection can help speed your recovery. Not everyone responds in the same way, though. Some people feel more relief from the injection than others. Also, more than one injection may be needed to get relief.

An injection (called a selective nerve block or a selective epidural) can help locate the source of the pain. It numbs the roots of specific nerves. The effect lasts only briefly. If you feel relief, it may identify the pain source. If you feel no relief, the pain’s source may be at another place in your spine. Or, something other than inflammation may be causing pain.

Cortisone is a type of steroid. It can greatly reduce inflammation (swelling, redness, and irritation). Cortisone (or a synthetic steroid) is unlike the steroids some athletes take. It won’t make you gain weight or get bigger muscles. Since it’s injected into and inflamed region and not taken as a pill, little of it goes beyond that region. With oral steroids, side effects can occur throughout the body. But with a steroid inject for local inflammation, you’re not likely to have those side effects.

Medical Branch Nerves

Each vertebra in your spine has facets (flat surfaces). They touch where the vertebrae fit together. This forms a facet joint. Each facet joint has at least two medial branch nerves. They are part of the nerve pathway to and from each facet joint. A facet joint in your back or neck can become inflamed (swollen and irritated). Pain messages may then travel along the nerve pathway from the facet joint to your brain.

Blocking Pain Messages

Medial branch nerves in each facet join send and carry messages about back or nerve pain. Destroying a few of these nerves can keep certain pain messages from reaching the brain. This can help bring you relief.

During this procedure, medication is injected into the inflamed facet joint. The medication helps numb the joint, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Pain relief from the injection should last for weeks to months. If the pain returns a repeat inject or different

We also provide the following treatments:

  • SI Joint Injection

  • Rehabilitation Management

  • Radiofrequency Neurotomy

  • Discogram

  • Diagnostic Testing and Consultation

  • Sports and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation