A Guide to Finding an Interventional Pain Management Doctor in Singapore

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Introduction to Pain Management & Treatment

Interventional pain management is a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes minimally invasive techniques to alleviate or mitigate pain, ultimately enhancing patients’ overall quality of life. These techniques can effectively address a range of pain-related issues, including knee pain from osteoarthritis, lower back pain due to conditions like spinal stenosis or slipped discs, shoulder pain stemming from osteoarthritis or rotator cuff injuries, neck pain, and headaches. This is a guide that will help you understand the basics of pain management so you can find the best pain management doctor in Singapore.


Common Types of Pain & Causes

Interventional pain management techniques can be applied to address discomfort in several areas of the body and conditions such as:


  1. Knee pain – to manage issues like osteoarthritis.
  2. Lower back pain – relief for conditions such as spinal stenosis, slipped discs, and vertebral fractures.
  3. Shoulder pain – caused by conditions like osteoarthritis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), and rotator cuff injuries.
  4. Neck pain and headaches

Patients may experience the following symptoms which are common indicators of pain:

  1. The discomfort, pain, or ache experienced in the joints, often caused by inflammation, overuse, or injury.
  2. A feeling of stiffness or difficulty moving a specific body part.
  3. The abnormal enlargement or swelling of a body part, typically due to inflammation or fluid accumulation.
  4. Pain, tenderness, or discomfort when pressure is applied to a specific area, indicating sensitivity or inflammation.
  5. A grinding or creaking feeling while moving, often indicative of cartilage wear or joint damage.

Sources of Pain: Common Risk Factors You Should Know

Pain can stem from a multitude of sources, from the natural aging process to family history and lifestyle choices like high BMI or sports injuries. Recognizing these common risk factors empowers individuals to proactively address and manage discomfort in their lives.

  1. As we age, our bodies may sustain more damage, which can cause discomfort. Our body may not function as well as it once did.
  2. Being overweight can strain your body, especially your knees and back joints.
  3. You may experience pain or discomfort when some portions of your body are inflamed, such as when a joint becomes swollen.
  4. You might be more prone to specific conditions if your parents or family had the same condition.
  5. If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis, you may experience pain. These ailments may have unpleasant effects on your health.

Pain may come from injurious sources, like sustaining an injury while participating in sports or other physical activities.


Pain Management Treatment Options and Diagnostic Procedures

Treatments in interventional pain management encompass day-surgery and minimally invasive procedures, merging medical and physical therapy. The usual approach employs imaging techniques like X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy), ultrasound, or CT guidance to precisely target the root of the pain. Additionally, our team collaborates with allied health professionals and fitness instructors to assist patients in pain management both before and after surgery. It’s important to note that the treatment plan is tailored to individual factors such as the patient’s condition and lifestyle.

1.Knee Pain

Conventional osteoarthritis management typically includes the use of medications, physical therapy, injections into the affected joint, and, in some cases, eventual knee joint replacement surgery. Minimally invasive interventional pain management for knee pain, often performed as outpatient day surgeries, is advantageous for patients who don’t respond to medication and physical therapy and aren’t ready for knee replacement surgery. Treatment options include genicular nerve ablation, genicular artery embolization, and knee joint injection of Autologous Protein Solution (APS), derived from the patient’s blood to relieve symptoms.


2.Back Pain

Non-surgical nerve block treatments encompass a range of medical injections aimed at alleviating pain either outside the spinal cord or at the pain site. These include epidural injections, facet joint injections, nerve root injections, peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, chemical ablation (Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy), and percutaneous discectomy for relieving pressure on spinal nerves or the spinal cord. These treatments aim to alleviate symptoms brought by spinal stenosis, slipped disc, and vertebral fractures.


3.Shoulder Pain

Minimally invasive treatments for shoulder conditions include suprascapular nerve ablation, which uses radiofrequency waves to target shoulder nerves, shoulder artery embolization to block blood flow to pain-triggering areas, and shoulder joint injections of steroids or Autologous Protein Solution (APS) for anti-inflammatory relief. These treatments are beneficial for patients diagnosed with shoulder osteoarthritis, rotator cuff injuries, and frozen shoulder, providing effective pain management.

4.Headache, Chronic Facial and Neck Pain

Headaches, a prevalent health concern that impacts one’s quality of life, are experienced by many individuals. Another condition, persistent idiopathic facial pain, manifests as severe and persistent pain along the trigeminal nerve area. Similarly, neck pain is a common issue, with pain potentially radiating down an arm, leading to muscle weakness or a tingling sensation. Treatments for these conditions include non-surgical nerve blocks, including epidural injections, facet joint injections, nerve root injections, peripheral nerve blocks, and sympathetic nerve blocks, offering solutions for these discomforting conditions.

When to Seek Help from a Pain Specialist

When patients encounter persistent or severe pain that does not subside after undergoing basic treatments like over-the-counter pain medications or traditional therapies like physical therapy, they should think about consulting a pain specialist. A pain specialist may also be helpful for people whose pain seriously affects their ability to function or quality of life, or for people who have been diagnosed with a particular ailment that causes pain (such as osteoarthritis, nerve compression, or persistent migraines).

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Helping Patients

Interventional Pain Management is a multidisciplinary approach that combines various medical disciplines and therapies to effectively address and manage pain, with the goal of enhancing patients’ overall quality of life. Pain specialists work collaboratively with a team, including allied health professionals, physical therapists, psychologists, and others. This team aims to create a comprehensive pain management plan tailored to each patient’s unique needs. These techniques aim to reduce pain, improve function, and enhance the well-being of individuals struggling with chronic or severe pain conditions.


Questions Should You Ask Your Pain Management Specialist

When meeting with a pain management specialist, it’s crucial to inquire and seek clarification to establish a thorough comprehension of your condition and treatment plan. This process will empower you to make well-informed decisions regarding your health. Here are some questions to ask during your consultation:

  1. What is the root cause of my pain? How will this condition affect my daily life?
  2. What is the most suitable treatment for my condition?
  3. How much would this treatment cost? Is this covered by my insurance?
  4. What precautions can I take to prepare for this treatment?
  5. Should I adjust my lifestyle to better manage this condition?

Finding an Interventional Pain Management Specialist in Singapore

The Vascular & Interventional Centre has a team of experienced vascular surgeons specializing in both endovascular and surgical treatments for various vascular diseases. Their integrated clinic and Day Surgery Centre offer comprehensive care for a wide range of vascular conditions. Their approach focuses on understanding patients’ medical conditions and selecting the most appropriate treatment options. Additionally, their interventional pain management method utilizes minimally invasive techniques, guided by imaging, performed as outpatient day surgeries, allowing for a swift return to normal activities. You can send us any questions at [email protected] or by calling us at  +65 6694 6270 during office hours.


What is interventional pain management?

Interventional Pain Management is a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach that combines different medical disciplines and therapies to create personalized pain management plans for patients, aiming to improve their quality of life by reducing pain and enhancing function. This approach involves a team of specialists working together, including physical therapists, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals, to address chronic or severe pain conditions.

What types of pain can a pain management doctor treat?

Pain management specialists offer a comprehensive array of treatments and expert guidance for various conditions, including knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and headache, chronic facial, and neck pain, working closely with patients to develop strategies to alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being.

What tests and diagnostic procedures can a pain management doctor perform?  

Interventional pain management treatments involve outpatient day-surgery and minimally invasive procedures that integrate medical and physical therapy. Typically, these procedures utilize imaging methods such as fluoroscopy, ultrasound, or CT guidance to accurately pinpoint the source of the pain.

When should I seek medical attention for my condition?

If you experience intense pain that persists despite trying common remedies such as over-the-counter pain relievers or conventional treatments like physical therapy, it is advisable to consider seeking guidance from a pain specialist. It is especially beneficial for those whose pain significantly impairs their daily functioning or quality of life, or for individuals diagnosed with specific conditions causing pain, such as osteoarthritis, nerve compression, or chronic migraines.

Where can I find more information about pain management and pain management doctors/specialists in Singapore?

You can visit our website www.sgvascularctr.com/ for resources and articles on this topic. Additionally, you can send us an e-mail through [email protected] for any questions on treatments, costs, and general inquiries.


  1. https://www.sgvascularctr.com/service/interventional-pain-treatments/
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21514-pain-management
  3. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/pain-management-treatment-overview

Dr Chen Min Qi profile

Dr. Chen Min Qi is a fellowship-trained Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon who graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2005. He subsequently completed his basic and advanced training in General and Vascular Surgery while obtaining the Member of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSed) qualification in 2010, and the Master of Medicine (General Surgery) qualification in 2015. Dr Chen was subsequently successful at the fellowship exams obtaining the Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSed) qualification in 2016.

Upon completion of his advanced surgical training, Dr Chen Min Qi joined the newly opened Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) as a specialist in the Vascular Surgery division. In 2018, Dr Chen was awarded the Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) grant from MOH to undergo further subspeciality Vascular training at the internationally renowned St Mary’s Hospital in London, United Kingdom. There Dr Chen gained further experience in surgeries on complex abdominal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, redo open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms following failed EVAR surgeries as well as carotid endarterectomy surgery and lower limb revascularization surgeries.

Upon his return in 2020, Dr Chen Min Qi joined the newly formed Woodlands Health as head of their Vascular service, before joining his current practice at the Vascular and Interventional Centre in January 2023.

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