South Lake Pain Institute. Treating you, differently.

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All Posts in Category: Medical & Health


According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches and of these, 28 million suffer from migraines. About 20% of children and adolescents also experience significant headaches. The most common type of headache among adults and adolescents is a tension headache, also known as chronic daily headaches. These muscle contraction headaches cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a prolonged period of time. The relentless nature of chronic daily headaches makes them among the most disabling headaches.

If you have chronic headaches and experience a sudden exacerbation, come see us. We provide a quiet environment and treat your headache with gentle and proven techniques, including Intravenous traumeel, lidocaine and magnesium; muscle and ner injections; head and neck blocks and several other options. Faster than the E.R. – visit our walk-in headache clinic today.

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Cancer may be painful for several reasons. The tumor or its growth into nearby nerves, organs, and tissue may all be responsible. A growing tumor may cause pain by putting pressure on nerves, bones, or other organs. Cancer may also destroy the tissues after invading them, which is particularly painful when involving bones and nerves. Tumor spread or metastases could be painful for the same reasons explained.

Cancer therapy, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, may leave painful sequelae (an abnormal condition resulting from a previous disease). After surgery, recovery may be slow and painful. Radiation may burn skin and other tissues. Chemotherapy can cause many potentially painful side effects, including mouth sores, diarrhea and nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy after chemotherapy could be difficult to treat. There are many different ways to treat cancer pain. Pain medications can usually control the pain. Most commonly used are NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil); as well as opioid medications, such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl or methadone.

Severe cases may need nerve blocks, epidurals, and morphine pumps. We may recommend a continuous delivery of medication (epidural, spinal or intravenous) and arrangements could be made to receive these at home, hospice, or the hospital.

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Back pain is the most common reason why people see a doctor. It affects everybody at some point in their life and it can happen with no warning. Typically, back pain is the result of a muscle sprain from lifting and carrying heavy objects incorrectly or repeatedly. Having your back in a bent position for a long period of time may also cause strain. Other causes of back pain may include damage to the discs between the vertebrae, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, which can eventually lead to spinal stenosis.

Fortunately, most cases of back pain will heal itself within a few weeks with the proper care. Diagnosis of the pain can be difficult to pinpoint, so having a doctor look at it should be the first step towards recovery.

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. If one knee or hand has rheumatoid arthritis, usually the other does too. This disease often occurs in more than one joint and can affect any joint in the body. People with this disease may feel sick and tired, sometimes developing fevers.

Some people have this disease for only a few months, or a year or two. Then it goes away without causing damage. Other people have times when the symptoms get worse (flares), and times when they get better (remissions). Others have a severe form of the disease that can last for many years or a lifetime. Severe arthritis can cause serious joint damage.

Doctors don’t know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis. They do know that with this arthritis, a person’s immune system attacks his or her own body tissues. Researchers are learning many things about why and how this happens. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated by a rheumatologist. If pain is severe, then NSAID’s and opioids may be of help. At times, selected joint injections, nerve blocks, and epidurals may be indicated.

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Anterior cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome is a condition that causes chronic pain of the abdominal wall. Around 20% of patients with chronic abdominal pain have abdominal wall pain, which is often caused by ACNES. The primary symptom of anterior cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome is a sharp stabbing pain that typically increases with exercise and the use of the abdominal muscles. A telltale sign that a patient may have ACNES is that the reoccurring pain is always in the same spot.

This painful condition typically affects young women, but it can occur at any age. History of trauma, pregnancy and delivery, or abdominal surgery is sometimes present. A substantial number of ACNES patients report previous visits to the ER with acute pain. Treatment will usually consist of injections of local anesthetic, and in some severe cases, surgery is needed.

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Several conditions may be associated with face pain. Nerves, muscles, tendons, and bones may be implicated. Infections, herpes, trauma, nerve damage, stroke, and surgery may be a cause. If nerves are causing the face pain, it may be a condition referred to as Trigeminal Neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia occurs when a blood vessel presses down on the nerve near the brain stem. Over time, changes in the brain’s blood vessels can result in them rubbing against the trigeminal nerve root. This rubbing eventually wears away the insulating membrane of the nerve and results in irritation.

Identifying the problem will help delineate therapy. Your doctor may choose a trial period of antineuropathics, opioids, or antidepressants. If medications fail some injections may be of benefit; including stellate ganglia, trigger point, and selected nerves such as facial, trigeminal, supraoptical, etc. As well as epidurals, TMJ, and facet joints.

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Several conditions may be associated with eye pain, such as infection, trauma, surgery, cancer, and unknown causes. Different structures within the eye may contribute to pain including the eye globe, eyelids, nerves, arteries, and muscles.

Identifying the cause of pain becomes paramount in treating the condition. Therapy is tailored to the cause. At times, it may just require flushing out with warm water or eye drops. But if the condition is more severe, especially when accompanied by loss of vision or nausea, it may require immediate medical attention. Your doctor may choose a regimen including medications that treat neuropathic and nerve pain, opioids, or antidepressants. In selected cases injections may be of benefit. Stellate ganglion blocks, or nerve blocks, may be offered.

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Discogenic back pain refers to lower back pain that originates from a damaged vertebral disc. This condition is typically due to degenerative disc disease, which occurs naturally as the body ages. The vertebral disc cushions in between two spine vertebrae. Disruption of its normal anatomy may cause pain. Discomfort will be felt in the lower back and occasionally in the legs.

It is important to promptly diagnose discogenic back pain to avoid unnecessary procedures and delay of treatment. Epidural injections may be tried; if not effective, then your doctor may recommend a diagnostic procedure that consists of placing a needle inside the disc and directly assessing the status of the disc under fluoroscopy. Other therapies may include IDET and nucleoplasty. Both procedures are performed by a pain specialist and at times surgery may be avoided. A needle is placed in the disc and small pieces are taken out or the disc is subjected to heat. Your doctor will determine if you may be helped by these procedures. Ultimately, surgery may be the only option.

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Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is a progressive and painful condition of peripheral nerves, typically in the arms and legs. High levels of circulating sugars in blood are thought to cause injury to nerves. The most important treatment of peripheral neuropathy is to maintain normal levels of glucose in blood. Some medications considered to be beneficial include anticonvulsants and antidepressants. These include tricyclic antidepressants like amitryptilin, nortryptiline and desipramine. The most widely used anticonvulsant is gabapentin, more commonly known as Neurontin. These medications may have side effects including dizziness, difficulty concentrating, somnolence, and loss of balance. These effects will subside with time.

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as regional pain syndrome, is a constellation of symptoms usually involving extremities. The hallmark of the condition is pain and inflammation that may progress to complete loss of function of the limb. It may be caused by a minor injury like an ankle twist or a more severe one like bone fractures. Surgery, nerve injury, burns, and intramuscular injection have all been implicated with this condition. The initial injury may be so small that it goes unnoticed by the patients. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome could be difficult to diagnose and may go unrecognized until evaluated by the trained specialist. At times, it is confused with early infection and time is wasted with antibiotic therapy. Symptoms are exaggerated in relation to the suspected injury. Therapy can be equally challenging for this. Tricyclic antidepressants and anti-neuropathics are among the initial medications used. To help with diagnosis, sympathetic blockade injections (neck or back) are given. If injections are effective, it helps in supporting the diagnosis. If pain is difficult to control and medications and injections have failed to help, then further therapy may include spinal cord stimulator and intrathecal pumps.

South Lake Pain Institute is currently conducting clinical trials to help find a cure for CRPS.

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