CHI Oakes Hospital : Imagine better health.

1200 North 7th Street Oakes, ND  58474 (701) 742.3291


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Amy BakkeSuffering from chronic pain?

Talk to your doctor. If you might benefit from an injection that can be done here in Oakes, your doctor can write an order to have this done by Amy Bakke, CRNA, Surgery department, Oakes Community Hospital. For more information, call Amy at 701-742-3840.

Oakes Community Clinic providers are working in collaboration with Amy to optimize the clinical assessment and identify the patient’s needs through a thorough exam and potential MRI. Amy will work with anesthesia providers out of St Francis Hospital in Breckenridge in order to meet all the patient needs.

Coping with Back Pain

Severe lower back pain can be debilitating in patients with herniated and ruptured disks, spinal stenosis causing a pinched nerve to create numbness in lower extremities, and trauma to the low back. Many times oral pain medications and physical therapy may reduce the pain yet still be limiting mobility or daily activities. Epidural steroid injections reduce swelling and inflammation which ultimately reduces back pain.

How Can an Epidural Steroid Injection Help?

An Epidural injection delivers a steroid medication into the area surrounding the spine. The steroid reduces the inflammation caused by the trauma or injury to the area. For pain relief, the injection is done in the epidural space, a space that surrounds the nerves within the spinal canal. Injections are offered right here at Oakes Community Hospital. These typically help people with pain that radiates from the back into the buttocks or legs.

Other Strategies to Manage Pain

To help more people suffering from chronic pain, Oakes Community Hospital is expanding it services. “We are now providing epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, and sacroiliac injections,” says Amy Bakke, a nurse anesthetist at Oakes Community Hospital.

Trigger Points - A trigger point is a tight, painful “knot” of a muscle fiber. It can form where a muscle is strained or injured. The knot can sometimes be felt under the skin and is usually very tender to the touch. Muscles around the shoulder blades, spine and low back are prone to trigger points. This is because these muscles are more likely to be injured or inflamed. Injecting an anesthetic or steroid into the trigger point allows it to relax and reduces the inflammation. Once the inflammation is reduced the blood can flow in these areas and allow the muscle to heal. These injections can help people with muscle related pain, including muscle spasm, stiffness, and pain that worsens as the day goes on.

Sacroiliac Joint - This joint sits between the tailbone and the pelvic bone. An inflamed joint can cause low back pain, difficulty going up and down stairs, and other movement problems. Injecting a steroid directly into the joint lessens pain and inflammation.

What to Expect

With any of the types of pain management procedures, patients come in on an outpatient basis. It usually takes and hour or less. Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray, may be used to guide the placement of the needle. The injection may cause temporary soreness, but you can usually return to your usual activities the next day. You might feel pain relief right away or it may take a day or two.

Although the injections don’t cure the underlying condition, they can break the cycle of inflammation and pain so the tissue and nerves have a chance to heal. The injections are given weeks or months apart, and the number needed is different for each patient. They won’t help everyone, Bakke says, but they are worth trying when conservative approaches have failed.

What You Need to Know About Managing Your Pain

Acute and chronic pain can not only affect your lifestyle, but also your recovery from an illness or surgery. /> It It is for that reason that one of the most important things you can do is “speak up when it hurts.” Your report of pain is the best indicator that you are having pain. Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain, usually on a scale of 0-10. This helps determine how strong your pain is. Your nurse might also ask you where it hurts, how long you have been in pain, and what makes it better or worse. He or she will also ask you to set a “comfort goal”—this is the pain level that is acceptable to you. It is not always possible to be pain free, but CHI Oakes Hospital is here to make you as comfortable as possible.

Several of the ways that you pain can be relieved or controlled include:

  • Pain medicationsi>

  • Heat and cold therapy

  • Massage

  • Physical Therapy

  • Mind/Body techniques

Several pain management treatment options may be used to help relieve your pain. But the most important thing to remember is that no one knows you are experiencing pain unless you tell someone. That is why it is important to “speak up when it hurts,” so CHI Oakes Hospital staff can make you as comfortable as possible.

Talk to your doctor or call us at Oakes Community Clinic and Hospital to see how we can help relieve some chronic pain with Amy and the injections now available!


 CHI Oakes Hospital

1200 North 7th Street

Oakes, North Dakota 58474

(701) 742.3291

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