Interventional Pain Management and Regenerative Medicine

In West Denver, STAR Spine & Sport specializes in musculoskeletal medicine to diagnose and treat pain stemming from disease, auto injuries, sports injuries, work injuries, and other trauma. Conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons frequently cause debilitating pain that can make even the simplest tasks difficult, let alone working or being active.

Our board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians (physiatrists) utilize cutting‐edge as well as time‐tested treatment methods to maximize function and quality of life. We offer many on-site conveniences including EMK and EKG studies, lab work, and ultrasound-guided therapeutic injections.

Our dedication to patient-centered care is evident by the results we’ve been able to achieve with our interventional pain management and regenerative medicine procedures. Patients who have tried everything else to manage their chronic pain and limited mobility have experienced a return to normal function after customized, comprehensive treatment from our pain management specialists.

Musculoskeletal medicine (MSK) is the specialty management and treatment of the spine, joints, nerves, muscles, and tendons emphasizing the non-surgical treatment of these conditions. Management includes any needed diagnostic tests, imaging, ultrasound evaluation, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG/NCS), history, and physical examination needed to complete a specific diagnosis.

After diagnosis, our providers will develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This may include appropriate referrals to an occupational, physical or hand therapist; complimentary medicine such as chiropractic, acupuncture, or osteopathic manipulation; ultrasonic or fluoroscopic-guided diagnostic; and interventional techniques including injections.

Drs. Hemler and Morgan provide regenerative medicine options with the goal of restoring joint, disk, or tendon function and preventing spine surgery, knee surgery, or any other operative procedures.

Regenerative medicine utilizes your body’s own curative mechanisms for true healing, restoring and rebuilding your tissue. Whether your injury is recent or an old one you’ve been trying to manage for quite awhile, regenerative medicine is able to drastically improve or eliminate your symptoms.

We offer the following regenerative medicine services:

  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Stem cell therapy, including mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy
  • Prolotherapy

For stubborn pain that just hasn’t responded to other treatment methods, we offer therapeutic injections as well as procedures including radiofrequency rhizotomies to decrease and eliminate pain. Our providers may use a discogram to accurately pinpoint the cause of your pain so it can be properly treated.

Interventional pain injections STAR provides include:

  • Transforaminal epidural steroid injections (cervical and lumbar)
  • Facet joint injections
  • Medial branch blocks
  • Sacroiliac and other joint injections
  • Trigger point injections

Common conditions we treat with therapeutic injections include:

  • Back and neck pain from conditions including degenerative disc disease and herniated discs
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Joint pain
  • Knee pain
  • Nerve pain such as postherpetic neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, and sciatica
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis
  • Radiculopathies
  • Sports-related injuries including rotator cuff tears and golfer’s and tennis elbow

Board certified in electrodiagnostic medicine, Dr. Hemler uses state-of-the-art testing including electromyograms (EMGs) and nerve conduction studies to test the function of muscles and nerves when the source of your pain has not been determined.

Typically, both tests will be used together, as the EMG tests only muscle function and the nerve conduction study tests nerve function. After testing, we will review your results with you and use them to develop your personalized treatment plan.

During an EMG, small needles are placed in muscles near the affected area that allow electrical activity of muscle contractions to be measured. This test will help determine whether nerves are sending the correct signals to your muscles and how the muscles respond to those signals.

To determine how fast or slow nerves are functioning, a nerve conduction study uses sensors over nerves in your arms and legs, which are stimulated with a very small amount of electricity. Dr. Hemler compares these results with normal ranges to diagnose nerve conditions.

After an automobile accident or other sudden trauma, neck strain, or whiplash, often goes untreated. Though it may heal on its own, recovery time is much longer. Ligament or tendon tears in the neck may not heal without medical care.

Neck pain and stiffness from whiplash may last for weeks, months, or even years. Our spine specialists approach whiplash like any other musculoskeletal condition, offering innovative treatment options that promote healing and reduce or eliminate pain.

Dr. Hemler, Dr. Morgan, or Kirk may recommend PRP therapy or other regenerative medicine to stimulate your natural healing response for quick relief. Other therapeutic injections may be given if the nerves have been affected.

Our practice works with personal injury attorneys and accepts letters of protection (LOPs). We will work with insurance companies to ensure you receive the proper medical care you need, providing necessary medical documentation to help make sure your diagnostic and treatment methods are covered. We want you to concentrate on healing while we take care of the rest.

Treating athletes of all skill level and ages, we have helped many patients return to play in pre-injury condition. Our sports medicine specialists use a combination of specialized treatments to ensure optimum patient outcomes for musculoskeletal conditions.

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in between our goal is to get you back in the game. Healing after an injury takes time, and some athletes struggle for years to get back into their sport.

Our cutting-edge sports medicine team is dedicated to your complete recovery quickly and safely. This is why we use a combination of therapies, including regenerative medicine with prolotherapy, PRP, or stem cell therapy, and therapeutic nerve blocks or other injections to eliminate pain and inflammation.

An on-the-job injury can be devastating, not only to your physical health but your mental health as well. As you worry about time off work and making sure your treatments are covered, you aren’t able to focus on your healing.

Our occupational medicine specialists offer workplace solutions to promote health and wellness on the job, including work hardening and work conditioning services. For any injuries affecting your musculoskeletal system, we provide comprehensive treatment options to help you return to work and normal activities, including joint injections and PRP and stem cell therapy.

During your work injury treatment, our doctors and physician assistant stay in contact with the workers’ comp insurance company, offering detailed diagnosis and treatment reports. Our goal is to help you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) as quickly as possible, but we also want do it safely as well.