Just a thought on the injections/shots. My first pain doctor I went to for five years. The majority of my procedures were injections at the facet areas. I never got any relief from them, but still, she persisted in doing them. Finally, she referred me onto my current doctor. Guess what? He wants to do shots too. I honestly think that these "shots" are probably very profitable, especially if the doctor uses general anesthesia. When you add guided fluoroscopy to it, it gets pretty expensive. A little steroid injection ran me 8 thousand. Fortunately, I found a doctor that believes in a multi faceted approach to pain medicine. There are so many "pain clinics' out there that will only use one type of treatment for pain management. Many of them only use alternative techniques like chiropractic, acupuncture, etc, and will not use medicine at all. Some clinics, I have found, do combine alternative techniques with conventional medicine (i.e. drugs, procedures, physical therapy, etc.) Only a few doctors stick to purely conventional medicine, nowadays. There is a lot of money in alternative treatments for pain without the risk of prescribing pain medication. A lot of doctors just don't want to deal with it. In my experience, and I am not trying to stereotype anyone by this, but every single doctor of India/Pakistani descent has tried to get me to use ONLY alternative techniques. Most won't even prescribe anti-inflammatories to you. That is just my experience, and I am sure that is not true for all doctors of Indian descent. When I look for a doctor, I make sure that they stongly practice conventional, western medicine, but you may have another take on it. Pain is so subjective and individualized. No two treatment works exactly the same on different people. I guess the real key is to find a doctor that treats you the way that you want to be treated. But, to find that doctor, you have to know what sort of treatment you want and what kind of outcome you want. I wish I could offer more anecdotal evidence of other treatments, but thats all I have experienced. Please update us when you find out something new!