Category: Managing Pain
Published: Tuesday, 01 September 2015 15:45
Most important in your search for the right pain management specialist, is finding the doctor who has the training and experience to help with your particular pain problem, and with whom you feel comfortable and respected.
The severity of your pain will determine the course and methods of your treatment, and your doctor will need to evaluate your condition carefully. A good doctor will take a detailed history, do a physical exam and review any tests you have had performed. He or she will also want to know about your past and current medical history. Sometimes it will be necessary to have diagnostic procedures to assess the causes of your problem in order to determine the best treatment for it.
The end result will be the creation of a highly individualized treatment plan tailored to both your physical and mental needs. This may include both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, geared toward maximizing function and symptom control while minimizing your dependency on medication.
It’s an exciting time in the field of pain management, as new drugs, techniques and technologies continue to emerge. Platelet rich plasma injections and P-Stim/pulse stimulation treatment are just a few examples of the latest innovations.
Doctors trained to treat pain are dedicated to restoring your quality of life and doing everything in their power to help keep your pain managed and under control, and in the best of cases, banished.
Category: Managing Pain
Published: Tuesday, 01 September 2015 15:44
Patients in pain are often confused about what type of doctor to call, and worry that perhaps all a doctor can do for them is prescribe a powerful drug. What many people do not know is there are physicians with specialized training in pain management who have numerous effective techniques at their disposal--some that involve prescribing medication, but many that do not.
One type of doctor skilled in treating pain is a physiatrist - pronounced fizz-EYE-a-trist - not to be confused with a podiatrist or psychiatrist. Trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiatrists are highly skilled at diagnosing and treating acute pain, chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
These pain management specialists have in-depth knowledge of the physiology of pain, the ability to evaluate patients with complicated pain problems, an understanding of specialized tests needed for diagnosing painful conditions, and the appropriate skills and knowledge needed to treat serious pain.
Very often your primary care physician will refer you to a physiatrist, but this step is usually not necessary. You can call to make an appointment directly--perhaps before you call an orthopedist, neurologist, or chiropractor--depending on your condition.
Category: Managing Pain
Published: Thursday, 11 September 2014 13:53
If you are one of the millions of people that sit behind a desk, in front of a computer, in meetings or on the couch for several hours a day, you could be doing severe damage to your body and your overall well being.
Mayo Clinic Endocrinologist James Levine, MD., Ph.D. refers to sitting as "the new smoking," comparing the similarities of their detrimental effects on our physical well-being.
Frequent sitting results in stiff, inflexible muscles which store fat instead of turning it into muscle energy. In fact, just one hour of television causes your body to slow it's production of the fat-burning enzymes by 90%! When the metabolism slows down, our bodies gain weight, leading to whole new set of health issues. Plus, all that sitting also causes your body to lose "good " cholesterol, HDL - the one that keeps the "bad" cholesterol in check. Your body also reduces its ability to manage insulin when you sit, which could put you at risk for diabetes.
Unfortunately, the problems of extended sitting don't stop there. Sitting for hours at a time trains muscles to adapt to that body position. Leg muscles may shorten, resulting in aches and pains, as well as balance issues.
Sitting also weakens your bones. Since our bones support our weight, we need to stand regularly to prevent them from becoming brittle and weak.
If you have to sit for extended periods of time, check your posture. Slouching - which we all tend to do - can cause headaches, neck aches and back problems. Sit up straight, Align your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your knees, feet firmly on the floor. Keep your joints at 90° angles.
What can you do to help stay healthy?
- Every 30-60 minutes, stand up. Walk around your desk, walk to the coffee machine, to the rest room, to the nearby window.
- Stretch or move in place. March, jump, touch your toes, reach for the ceiling.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- WALK - even just for 15 minutes a day. You can do it at lunch.
- Isometric exercises - Try movements requiring a little pressure on your bones and muscles: chair leg extensions, hand presses, side bends, etc. It helps to build them up and keep you flexible.
- Stop on your way home - go to the gym, track or walk the mall.
- Walk when you talk - get up when you're talking on the phone and walk down the hallway, around your desk, into the warehouse.
These simple solutions may actually have a profound effect on your quality of life and may help prevent more serious health complications down the road.
Category: Managing Pain
Published: Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:11
Pain Management is a specialty dedicated to the reduction of pain through a multi-disciplinary approach. Treatment is "patient-centric" and varies from case to case. Our goal is to Evaluate, Rehabilitate and Treat people in pain.
The methodology we use to treat pain varies greatly. There are many factors involved: Is the pain neuropathic in nature? Is it caused by tissue degeneration? Is it a result of an accident or surgical procedure?
Chronic pain - a persistent, increasing pain - can be difficult to treat and control. The first step in finding out its origin. We rely heavily on MRIs and other radiological testing, in addition to performing our own EMG (Electromyography) tests and NCS tests (Nerve Conduction Study) for more definitive diagnoses.
Treatment options for chronic pain patients may include several modalities, including injections, physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, lifestyle changes and exercise. It is important for the patient to take an active role in his/her treatment plan, since feedback is crucial to the design of an effective treatment program.
In some cases, chronic pain cannot be completely eliminated, but pain management will definitely bring significant relief.
For patients who have suffer with post-surgical pain, or pain associated with an illness such as cancer or cancer treatment, pain management can make the difference in the performance of daily activities. By treating the pain, we can improve mobility, resulting in a more active lifestyle, which is the primary complaint we hear from our patients and the reason they have come to our practice.
Pain Management provides relief for many conditions that patients may not ordinarily expect:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Myofascial pain
- Migraine Headaches
- Tennis Elbow
- Golf Elbow
...plus a host of other ailments that we don't always associate with a pain management physician.
If those aches and pains are interfering with your everyday life or if you find yourself limiting your activity due to pain, it's time to visit a Pain Management doctor.
Category: Managing Pain
Published: Sunday, 27 July 2014 03:01
Our knees bear the brunt of the weight of our bodies. They help get us to where we are going, whether it be upstairs, downstairs or just walking straight ahead. When pain sets in, it can be crippling. Knowing what might be causing the pain is crucial to the proper treatment of it.
Although arthritis is probably the most common cause of knee pain, there are many other reasons for this common complaint. To properly treat the pain, it is important to accurately diagnose the cause of it.
For example, ligament injuries - Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL); Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) commonly occur during athletic activities and cause discomfort and instability.
- Cartilage injuries or meniscal tears are seen in both younger and older patients and are extremely painful.
- Patellar Tendonitis is most commonly the patellar tendon, the large tendon over the front of the knee.
- Chondromalacia Patella causes knee pain under the knee cap and is a result of softening cartilage. We usually see this condition in patients 15-35 years old.
- Bursitis is common in people who spend a lot of time kneeling - gardeners, carpet layers, etc.
- Baker's cyst is swelling in the back of the joint. This is usually a sign of another problem, such as a meniscus tear.
There are dozens more causes of knee pain, but these are the most common that our patients present. If you or a loved one is experiencing knee pain, the most important thing you can do is see your doctor immediately. The cause of your pain will almost always become more exacerbated, causing increased discomfort – a "wait and see" attitude can be truly detrimental and should not be an option for you.