When you’ve tried just about everything, and you still have back or neck pain, you need to make an appointment to see Dr. Alfredo N. Lopez del Castillo at The Pain Relief Center (9731 Fourth Avenue, 718-966-8120).
Dr. Castillo is a pioneer in the field of pain management. He was the first pain specialist in Staten Island to be Board-Certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He was one of the first pain specialists in Brooklyn, and has safely performed “more than 20,000 procedures for neck and back pain since 1981.”
This compassionate doctor, who takes great pride in his kind bedside manner, became interested in the field in the 1970s when, as a family practitioner, he met many patients suffering with severe back pain. He would refer them to orthopedic doctors and neurologists, yet most of them continued to experience pain.
Dr. Castillo wanted to help. He became an anesthesiologist in 1979, in part because he wanted to master the administration of epidurals, the procedure that he finds to be the most effective way to treat severe back pain. Over the years, epidurals have brought about life-altering changes for many of his patients. In fact, countless have said, “You gave me a new life,” as they find themselves pain-free after years of suffering.
Interestingly, Dr. Castillo says, recent studies prove that back pain occurs when herniated and bulging discs leak fluid. This leakage causes inflammation, which creates pain. Epidurals neutralize the inflammation, shrinking the disc, and sealing the point of leakage. As a result, the body can heal, and pain disappears. Sometimes patients get results after just one procedure. Sometimes, two or three epidurals are necessary to feel well.
Dr. Castillo puts it in simple layman’s terms: If your kitchen floor is dirty, you can mop it once, and it will be clean, but some dirt will probably remain. It may take another mopping or two to fully remove all the dirt, to get the clean result you want.So it is with reducing back pain.
What’s also intriguing about these same studies is that some people have severe bulging or herniated discs, yet they feel no pain at all. This is because the discs don’t leak, says the doctor, proving that the cause of pain is, indeed, the fluid. “When liquid irritates the nerves, you can feel pain all the way down your leg,” he says.
The overwhelming majority of his patients have already seen chiropractors, been to physical therapy, and been treated by orthopedic doctors and other specialists, says Dr. Castillo. Some have even had surgery; yet they are still in pain. “We have an enormous success rate,” says the doctor, even with these patients who have exhausted nearly every alternative.
With more than 30 years experience in the field, Dr. Castillo has mastered the art of administering epidurals. He says that he is so gentle, that some patients have asked when he was going to start. He has replied: “We’re finished.”
Because Dr. Castillo wants only the very best care for each of his patients, the procedures are done at New York Community Hospital, on Kings Highway and East 26th Street, in a “clean, new pain management suite built specifically for these procedures,” he says. Care is of the highest caliber, he notes.
Most major medical plans cover both the cost of the hospital as well as the doctor’s fee, he says. Complimentary car service is provided to patients, both to and from the facility.
The doctor has his own trained staff of professionals who have worked with him for 13 years at Victory Memorial Hospital. Prior to his affiliation with Victory Memorial, he was director of Anesthesiology at Bayley Seton Hospital in Staten Island.
People do not have to live with pain. “We want to help,” says Dr. Castillo. Make an appointment today. Additional information may be found at www.brooklynpainreliefcenter.com.