Drug Testing Patients is Appropriate for Pain Patients -3 Reasons Why


According to a recent NIH study, 1 in 3 Americans is dealing with some sort of pain issue, and the cost of pain in the US exceeds $550 billion dollars annually. An unbelievable twenty percent of doctor visits  entails a narcotic prescription.

Opiate prescriptions in the US over the previous 10 years has been unreal. When pain management doctors in Arizona write for narcotics, they assume substantial liability. That liability can be lessened by certain safety methods. The first involves a pain contract between the doctor and patient establishing the relationship boundaries.

A second method of safeguarding is the state monitoring system of the pharmacy board. There are monitoring systems in over thirty states, and to help figure out those who are “doctor shopping.”

One of the primary methods of safeguarding the medical provider prescribing narcotics at an Arizona pain clinic is urine drug testing, and here are three reasons elucidating its importance:

  1. Protecting Yourself: A significant number of those receiving narcotic medications, over 20% in fact, will divert their medications. This may seem surprising, but even retired people at times need to supplement their fixed income by selling their medications. Drug testing helps ensure individuals test positive for the drugs they are actually being prescribed. If the person is selling medication and one of the buyers ends up in a fatal motor vehicle accident, that prescription may be traced back to the prescribing physician. Assuming the individual has been compliant with their pain agreement, the state pharmacy monitoring board history is checked, and the urine drug screening has been consistent, it would be extremely difficult to find fault with the prescribing provider.
  2. Protecting Your Practice: As the field of pain management increases as a specialty, more state medical boards are recommending urine drug testing for those receiving narcotic pain medications. 80% of pain medication prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, so this recommendation applies to all doctors writing these prescriptions. Protecting Your Practice: As pain management increases as a medical specialty, more state medical boards are recommending urine drug screening for patients receiving narcotics. Eighty percent of narcotic prescriptions are written by primary care doctors, so this recommendation does not just apply to pain specialists.
  3. Protecting Your Patient: Patients will sometimes trade their narcotic medications for illicit substances such as cocaine, ecstasy, or LSD. Unfortunately, this may degrade their condition and place their life at risk with potential overdose or cardiac reaction. One of the best ways to protect against this is urine or saliva drug screening. The test encompasses both the major prescribed medications along with the most prevalent illicit substances. One trick patients will utilize is taking some of the prescribed medication the morning of their appointment with the doctor. The way to detect this is to send the sample into a laboratory for confirmatory testing of metabolites. It takes time for metabolites to appear, and patients often do not know this. Another trick patients will try is utilizing bleach or other adulterants to cheat a positive illicit substance test. Sending the sample in for confirmatory testing will evaluate for these as well.

The overlying theme for why it is appropriate for Phoenix pain doctors to drug test their patients in one word is:  PROTECTION. Ensuring compliance with a narcotic treatment program will allow better outcomes for one’s pain management patients along with implementing appropriate safeguards for the doctor and his or her practice.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!

An Overview of Inversion Therapy ( A Form of Spinal Traction )


Inversion therapy is a treatment that involves anti-gravity. A person’s feet are put into some sort of tight shoes, and the individual hangs upside down in search of pain relief. Does it work? Is it safe?

The theory with inversion treatment is that it reduces gravitational pressure from the spine such as on nerve roots and the disks. The intervertebral disk space is heightened during the anti-gravity therapy. Inversion therapy is in reality a form of spinal traction, with a person’s own body providing the traction.

Inversion therapy has been found to be effective for short term back pain relief. There have been some well designed research studies evaluating it for long term relief. Unfortunately these studies have shown it to be ineffective for longer relief. In conjunction with a comprehensive treatment protocol for back pain including treatment with phoenix chiropractors, inversion therapy may fit in nicely to assist with pain relief.

When people hang upside down for inversion treatment, it may increase blood pressure. So for individuals who have a problem with heart disease or blood pressure, it should not be tried. Otherwise, it looks fairly safe.

The same risk may hold true for glaucoma, which is a condition with elevated intra-ocular pressure in the eye. This may be exacerbated with upside down treatment.

Inversion therapy does not need to include a ninety degree angle, it can be done at less. The treatment may be done twice daily for 20 minutes or so. Those new to the therapy should probably start with a smaller angle, say 30 degrees until comfortable. Most individuals do not need to go beyond 60 degrees for excellent pain relief.

Will inversion therapy help with a bulging disk? Probably not. The inversion will pull arthritic joints and disks apart, allowing individuals to feel symptomatically better for a while. However, it is unlike intermittent traction with spinal decompression treatment where a negative pressure is created inside the disk. This negative pressure pulls in increased oxygen and nutrients to the disc space, allowing for potential healing.

Can inversion therapy help relieve sciatica pain? The answer is potentially yes. The reason is it can in fact pull the discs apart temporarily, which can relieve pain from a pinched nerve. But as mentioned, there is no real evidence that an inversion table sucks back in a herniated disc.

The bottom line is inversion treatment may provide short term relief for back pain, but long term relief has not been proven. The pain from sciatica may also be helped, but same as back pain it’s typically short term.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!

The 5 Biggest Trends In Pain Management


The field of pain management is changing continuously. In a lot of ways the treatments are getting better, and every once in a while a fantastic new treatment evolves. One of the more significant evolutions, however, has been a better understanding of treating a person’s pain better rather than undertreating or ignoring it.

Here are 5 of the most impressive evolutions (or regressions) in pain management that are currently happening:

  1. Improvement in pain management in Arizona interventions. Over the last few years, there have been some improvements in pain procedure technology that have allowed physicians to get better results. One of these is transforaminal epidural shots. The initial type of epidural injection that was invented was called intra-laminar shots. Now pain docs are able to pinpoint place their needles into the location where the nerve root exits the back, getting the cortisone more accurately where it is needed. Another improvement in pain treatments is with radiofrequency thermal ablation machines. When they were first put on the market, they were only able to treat two areas simultaneously. Now they can do four, reducing the overall procedure time.
  2. Biologic treatments. Regenerative therapy is not just on the horizon, but is becoming reality. There are now injection materials that contain a number of regenerative ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, stem cells, and specific cytokines. This will hopefully show to be helpful in treating arthritis, soft tissue and cartilage injuries, and disc problems.
  3. Disc treatments have gone down. As the research has come out showing that intradiscal electrothermy and percutaneous discectomies have marginal results, their use is decreasing. In addition, there is some preliminary data showing that discography may promote degeneration of the disc. So its use is decreasing as well. The disc is such an enigma with how to treat it. Surgery is a roll of the dice at times, and interventional nonoperative pain treatments are a question mark too. If there is one area that could use a better option, it is degenerative disc disease.
  4. Performing kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty for spine fractures. These treatments are done as an outpatient, and do not involve surgery. They take less than an hour, and can provide quick pain relief for those with compression fractures. More pain management doctors in Arizona are learning how to do them in the pain management field.
  5. Comprehensive spine care centers. As more research comes out showing the benefits of multiple specialists participating in a patient’s care such as chiropractic phoenix az, comprehensive centers are becoming more common. This has benefitted patients tremendously by having more providers with varied backgrounds coming together for the benefit of the patient. Patients can end up needing less narcotics and becoming much more functional.

Preferred Pain Center is a Comprehensive Pain Center including Medical and Interventional Arizona Pain Doctors, Phoenix Chiropractors Treatment, Phoenix Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression Therapy, and Manipulation Under Anesthesia.

Call (602) 507-6550 for your appointment TODAY!