The 5 Biggest Trends In Pain Management

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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!

Does Research Show Massage to be Effective for Health Conditions

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Massage in the US is very popular. Approximately thirty percent of Americans receive a massage annually. About 30% of those receiving massages report obtaining one for a health condition such as general wellness, pain management, migraine, or for injury rehab. Over eighty percent of patients agree with the comment that massages may be helpful for health and wellness improvement.

For what health issues has massage therapy shown to be helpful? Here is a list of what the literature has shown good results from massage:

· Cancer related fatigue

· Reducing pain in cancer patients

· Low Back Pain

· Arthritis affecting the knee

· Decrease post-operative pain

· Bumping up the human immune system effectiveness

· Reducing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

· Decreasing blood pressure

· Decreasing frequency of headaches

· Relieving alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Many studies have shown massage therapy to be very helpful for chronic low back pain. In a number of studies, effectiveness has been shown for up to a year. It’s been shown to be better than education, relaxation, and acupuncture, with equivalency to exercises and bracing. Massage was interestingly inferior to TENS unit and spinal manipulation treatment with chiropractors in phoenix. With regards to neck pain, research has not shown definitive conclusions, so it is unclear if in fact massage is truly helpful for benefitting neck pain and function.

For carpal tunnel syndrome, patients routinely showed improvements in pain, grip strength, anxiety, and depression when compared with controls. So there is some preliminary data for the utilization of massage in patients suffering from CTS. Perhaps surgery could be avoided with its treatment inclusion along with chiropractic phoenix az.

With regards to fibromyalgia, massage has mixed results. Some research has shown it to be helpful for pain management doctors in arizona, whereas some has shown only short term or no relief. More research is definitely needed in this field. Fibromyalgia affects patients very differently. Some individuals may not tolerate massage at all, whereas others get a lot of relief from it.

Research into massage for headaches exists, but it is routinely either low quality or limited into how much of a conclusion can be drawn from it. There are some findings showing massage to be superior to acupuncture for migraine headaches. In one study patients had a decreased number of overall monthly migraines along with severity. There is also one study in the literature showing that craniosacral massage may be beneficial for tension type headaches.

Shoulder pain has been looked at in a number of studies, most of which varied tremendously with the types of patients treated. Most patients in these studies showed improvements for range of motion, pain, and functional disability despite having numerous different conditions in the studies. So massage helps considerably with shoulder pain.

Massage should not typically be considered as initial treatment for health issues that are chronic and non-malignant. It should be instituted as a complement to other conventional initial treatments like PT and medications.

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!

Diagnosing and Treating Sacroiliac Joint Pain Is a Remarkably Difficult Challenge

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SI joint area pain may or may not be actually coming from the SI joint. It may be strictly situated in this area (the buttock) or it may radiate down the leg somewhat. It may be confused with myofascial type pain in the paraspinal muscles, piriformis, or gluteal muscles. Other patient problems that can mimic SI joint pain include intervertebral discs that have tears in the outer portion (annulus), or potentially arthritic and painful facet joints that have pain that radiates into the buttock region.

All of these issues may lead to pain in the same region, therefore, delineating the exact pain cause may take some significant mental consideration. A thorough history and exam of the patient is critical to ruling in or out some of the potential diagnostic sources.

The challenge for SI pain is finding the patients whose history and physical match true symptoms for SI joint pain, and then a diagnosis of SI joint pain can be confirmed by a positive response to an anesthetic intra-articular block.

A significant amount of time more than one anesthetic block will be necessary into the SI joint to definitely rule int the joint as the pain generator. Once this diagnosis occurs, the additional treatment options may begin. At times patients will obtain relief for a while from the anesthetic blocks themselves, or it could just be short term. Should the pain block not work after a while, a radiofrequency neurotomy has been shown to work well. Arizona pain doctors typically debate the exact techniques that are best for the joint.

The sacroiliac joint can be very difficult to enter for an interventional procedure. Fluoroscopic assistance is critical, as the SI joint is irregular and jagged. It may necessitate an unusual angle for entry. Understanding the exact entrance point with this real time x-ray may make the difference between a successful outcome with a satisfied patient versus missing the joint and the individual remaining in pain.

Along with the interventional pain efforts, additional treatment options include NSAIDS, physical therapy, Phoenix chiropractors treatment, spinal traction, and potentially massage and/or acupuncture. It may take several different options including both alternative and traditional medicine to help the patient get better.

No great surgery option for SI pain exists. There is a new fusion procedure for the SI joint, but no long term data exists as to its success. Currently, it seems prudent to avoid fusion and treat the issue with outpatient treatments such as radiofrequency neurotomy.

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!