5 Things Dr. Hashmi Wants You to Know About Pain Management

Pain can creep up on us.

An overlooked small twinge of pain in our back turns into constant pain when we garden, take the kids to their games, or make dinner. It keeps us from walking the dog, slows us down during work, and even keeps us from going on that family vacation. When pain starts to take over your daily life, it’s time to talk with Dr.  Zishan Hashmi, Lakeland Regional Health Interventional Pain Management specialist.

What exactly is pain management and how can it bring relief to patients? We sat down with Dr. Hashmi, and he told us the 5 things he wants patients to know about the pain management program at Lakeland Regional Health.


Zishan Hashmi, MD

Interventional Pain Management

1. How do patients know if they need pain management?

We know pain is frustrating, especially when it is chronic. Chronic pain is pain that lasts persistently over 12 weeks and can create not only physical but emotional pain. Patients with chronic pain usually experience it throughout their spine, but it can be anywhere in your body. When you experience this kind of pain, we encourage you to discuss it with your primary care provider (PCP) right away so they can begin medication intervention and physical therapy.

2. When will patients be referred to Dr. Hashmi?

Physical therapy will usually be the first path your PCP will recommend. Most pain problems resolve with physical therapy and conservative measures. However, when pain persists, we know that incorporating various types of intervention will be most beneficial for our patients in pain. We want to ensure you receive care in our LRHPG network, so our patients will be referred to our Pain Management team appropriately.

3. What is your approach to treating patients experiencing chronic pain?

My approach to providing pain relief is a multifaceted one. We know that the right combination of physical therapy, medication, and intervention techniques will help patients feel relief sooner.  Each patient is different, so I prioritize patient education, taking the time to explain their condition, treatment options, and what to expect throughout treatment. I prioritize treating each patient as an individual and taking a holistic approach to their care, which includes not only their physical pain but also their emotional and psychological well-being. I always work toward getting patients back to their lives as soon, and as safely as possible.

4. What is the most common interventional pain management procedure?

Since most chronic pain happens in the lower back, the most common procedure we use is an epidural. You may be thinking of epidurals administered during pregnancy, but there is a difference. While both epidurals involve injecting medication and are aimed at relieving pain, the pain management epidural is a powerful anti-inflammatory with no catheter. The goal is to reduce inflammation of the nerves around the spinal cord. The procedure is done at our surgical center, is minimally invasive, and takes less than 10 minutes.

Along with epidurals, our team offers many advanced minimally invasive procedures. Some of these include:

  • The only hospital in Polk County to offer basivertebral nerve ablation (Intracept). This procedure involves heating the basivertebral nerve with a radiofrequency probe to stop it from sending pain signals to the brain.
  • Spinal cord stimulator implant that sends low levels of electricity directly into the spinal cord to relieve pain during different activities and sleep.
  • Interspinous Spacer (Vertiflex), for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (lower back and leg pain), inserts a small metal spacer between 2 spinal levels to decompress the nerves being pinched by lumbar spinal stenosis.
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation is an advanced minimally invasive procedure which electrodes are placed along the course of peripheral nerves to control pain
  • Kyphoplasty injects special cement into the vertebrae and creates space for the treatment with a balloon-like device to restore a damaged vertebra’s height and relieve pain.

5. What is your favorite part about being a physician at Lakeland Regional Health?

Lakeland Regional Health as an organization is dedicated to the patient. We are motivated to ensure our patients are receiving the most up-to-date, advanced procedures. I am so happy to be in this community. Our patients are wonderful, and it is my privilege to care for them!

Don’t let chronic pain take control of your life.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, discuss it with your primary care provider today. To make an appointment with one of our providers, click here or call (863.284.5000).