Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain (CFAP)

Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain | Momentum Medical

Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain, or CFAP, is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The pain and discomfort associated with CFAP can be debilitating, affecting one’s quality of life. Unfortunately, traditional treatments such as medication and therapy may not always effectively manage the symptoms.

Interventional pain management is a minimally invasive approach that targets the source of the pain, providing relief for those suffering from CFAP. Let’s explore interventional pain management, interventional treatments and procedures for pain management, and its benefits for those with CFAP.

Understanding Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain

Chronic functional abdominal pain is a condition that affects the digestive system and causes ongoing discomfort or pain in the abdominal region. The symptoms of this condition include bloating, cramping, nausea, and diarrhea

The causes of CFAP are not entirely clear. Still, it is believed to be linked to stress, anxiety, and other psychological factors. Risk factors for this condition include a history of gastrointestinal disorders or infections, as well as a family history of digestive problems. 

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience ongoing abdominal pain or discomfort.

Diagnosis of Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain

When diagnosing CFAP, healthcare professionals will take a detailed medical history. They may perform physical exams or lab tests to determine the cause of your condition. 

  • Medical History and Physical Examination

The first step in diagnosing CFAP is to take a detailed medical history. The healthcare provider will ask about the patient’s symptoms, including the location, duration, and severity of the pain or discomfort. 

They may also ask about any triggers or alleviating factors the patient has noticed. The provider will also inquire about other medical conditions, medications, or dietary habits contributing to the symptoms. 

A thorough medical history can help the provider rule out any other underlying conditions that may be causing the pain or discomfort.

  • Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

If the medical history and physical examination do not reveal any underlying conditions, the healthcare provider may order diagnostic tests and procedures to confirm the diagnosis of CFAP. 

These may include:

  • Blood tests: To check for any signs of inflammation or infection
  • Stool tests: To check for any bacterial or parasitic infections
  • Imaging tests (abdominal ultrasound or CT scan): To check for structural abnormalities.
  • Endoscopy: A procedure in which a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the digestive tract to check for any signs of inflammation, ulcers, or tumors.
  • Colonic transit study: A test to evaluate the movement of stool through the colon.
  • Hydrogen breath test: A test to diagnose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). 

Traditional Treatment Options for Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain

Treatment options for CFAP vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. Traditional treatments for CFAP include:


Your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage the pain associated with CFAP. These may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Antispasmodic medications that relax smooth muscles can help reduce abdominal cramping.
  • Antidepressant medications that can reduce the intensity of pain signals and improve mood.
  • Antidiarrheal medications to help manage diarrhea and control symptoms.
  • Prokinetic medications help speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract.

Dietary Changes and Lifestyle Modifications

Dietary changes and lifestyle modifications can also help alleviate the symptoms of CFAP. 

  • Some common dietary changes include avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, and fatty foods. 
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help to reduce symptoms. 
  • Additionally, increasing physical activity and reducing stress levels through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can help alleviate symptoms.


Psychotherapy is another traditional treatment option for CFAP. This type of therapy can help individuals identify and address any underlying psychological factors that may be contributing to their symptoms. 

Psychotherapy can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns, and relaxation therapy, which helps individuals reduce stress levels.

What Is Interventional Pain Management?

Interventional pain management is a specialized medical field that focuses on diagnosing and treating chronic pain. It involves using minimally invasive procedures such as nerve blocks, epidural injections, and radiofrequency ablation to alleviate pain and improve function. 

For chronic functional abdominal pain, interventional pain management may involve nerve blocks or injections to target the specific nerves causing the pain. This approach can be highly effective in reducing pain and improving the quality of life for those suffering from chronic functional abdominal pain.

Types of Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain

Nerve Blocks and Injections

To manage chronic functional abdominal pain, nerve blocks, and injections are frequently utilized. Medicine is injected into the impacted muscle or nerve in these procedures. 

The medication used can consist of steroids, anesthetics, or a combination of both. Nerve blocks and injections can offer temporary relief and might require repetition at regular intervals to continue easing the pain.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses heat to destroy the nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain

The minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a small needle into the affected nerve and passing an electric current through it to generate heat. This results in the destruction of the nerve fibers and provides long-lasting pain relief. 

If the pain returns, the procedure may need to be repeated.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is a medical procedure where a small device is implanted under the skin to send electrical impulses to the spinal cord

This helps to block the pain signals that travel to the brain, providing relief. The patient controls the device and can adjust it for pain relief. 

This is a long-term solution that can improve the quality of life for those suffering from chronic functional abdominal pain.

The Role of Interventional Pain Management in Treating Chronic Functional Abdominal Pain

Interventional pain management is an essential medical approach that can help alleviate chronic functional abdominal pain. This type of pain can be debilitating and significantly impact a person’s quality of life. 

Momentum Medical offers a range of interventional pain management procedures that can help manage chronic pain. Our team of experienced medical professionals will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. 

With our state-of-the-art facilities and advanced techniques, you can trust us to provide safe and effective pain management solutions. Choose Momentum Medical for your interventional pain management procedure and take the first step towards a pain-free life. Call us now for an appointment!