Back pain is an expensive health problem for both patients and businesses. A 2012 study reported that we spend about $635 billion on pain every year, with a significant amount of that spent on back pain. Over the years, quite a few studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective for back pain than medical care, plus chiropractic patients spend less money on their care than medical patients do.
Because back pain is such a common problem, a group of Canadian researchers recently investigated the role that the type of primary caregiver has on financial compensation.
This was a large study of 5,511 patients who experienced a work-related back injury in Ontario, Canada. The patients saw the following providers for their first visit:
- 85.3% saw a medical doctor
- 11.4% saw a chiropractor
- 3.2% saw a physical therapist
The authors set out to “compare the duration of financial compensation for back pain” among patients from each care group.
The study found that chiropractic patients had the shortest amount of time receiving compensation for their pain and also were less likely to have a recurrence.
In addition, chiropractic patients didn’t need to see other healthcare providers for their pain. 75% of chiropractic patients saw no other provider, while 58.6% of physical therapy patients also saw a medical doctor.
The authors conclude:
“The type of healthcare provider first visited for back pain is a determinant of the duration of financial compensation during the first 5 months. Chiropractic patients experience the shortest duration of compensation, and physiotherapy patients experience the longest.”
Blanchette M, Rivard M, Dionne CE, et al. Association between the type of first healthcare provider and the duration of financial compensation for occupational back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2016 Sep 17.
Opioids are certainly in the news. The US Surgeon General recently issued a statement on the relationship between their widespread use for chronic pain and the subsequent epidemics of opioid addiction and accidental overdose (US Surgeon General, 2016). The US National Institute for Drug Abuse and Centers for Disease Control have also issued concerns (see here and here, respectively). Mainstream media reports on the problems of opioids appear almost daily.
After a couple of decades of strong proponents and persistent messaging on the benefits of opioids, the tide of public opinion and the opinion of health experts seems to be turning against the widespread use of opioids for chronic pain.
Among people with chronic pain who use opioids, this change in perspective on the use of opioids can be alarming. For about two decades, people with chronic pain have been encouraged to take opioid medications. Many have subsequently come to rely on them. Some may have even come to believe that it is impossible to manage chronic pain well without the use of opioid medications.
We now face a dilemma in the management of chronic pain. We have strong proponents for the use of opioids and strong proponents against the use opioids. Both sides have valid concerns that lead to their respective positions.
Often, the sides in this dilemma seem to get expressed in untenable ways. It’s as if the stakeholders in the field have to choose between two bad options: either you take opioids on a chronic basis and expose yourself to the risks of addiction and accidental overdose, which are actually occurring to people with chronic pain at epidemic proportions; or don’t take opioids, remain safe from addiction and accidental death, but expose yourself to pain, which may be intolerable. Healthcare providers seem to face a corresponding dilemma: either manage patients on chronic opioids while exposing them to addiction and accidental overdose or refrain from opioid management and expose them to what might be intolerable pain. Whether patient or provider, both options seem bad.
Is there a third option?
There is another way, of course. It’s called chronic pain rehabilitation and it effectively shows people how to successfully self-manage chronic pain without the use of opioid medications. Chronic pain rehabilitation clinics have been around for three to four decades. However, it’s hard to get people to go to them. It’s not because they are ineffective. Research over the last four decades shows clearly that they are effective (Gatchel & Okifuji, 2006; Kamper, et al., 2015).
Managing pain without opioids
People who’ve been managing their pain with opioids are often a little leery of recommendations to go to a chronic pain rehabilitation clinic. The recommendations seem to run counter to much of what’s been previously recommended throughout the long course of care for their chronic condition. After years of recommendation and encouragement to take opioids by some providers, it’s hard to understand why other providers might recommend and encourage the exact opposite. Maybe they are recommending learning to self-manage pain without the use of opioids because:
- They don’t believe my pain is as bad as it is.
- They think (wrongly) that I’m addicted to opioid medications.
- They think my pain is all in my head.
- They just want to make money off their program that they are recommending.
- They are ignorant of what’s most effective for chronic pain (i.e., they don’t know what they’re talking about).
- They are not as compassionate as the previous providers who recommended opioid management.
In all these concerns, people become leery of a recommendation to forego opioids because it’s hard to believe that the recommendation is being made in the best interest of the patient. It seems that relief of pain through the use of opioids is what’s best for the patient and anything that runs counter to that recommendation must be in the best interests of someone else.
Moreover, it’s a sensitive topic. Let’s face it, no one feels especially proud of managing their chronic pain with opioids. Rather, people with chronic pain do it because it seems a necessity – they believe that the pain will be intolerable without opioids. The recommendation and encouragement to take opioids by healthcare providers and by society, more generally, is helpful in this regard. Such encouragement supports the decision to use opioids, one in which there’s always been some ambivalence. Again, no one is exactly proud of taking opioids for chronic pain; upon reflection, there is always some degree of doubt or concern about their use that leads to a sense of vulnerability and sensitivity. It’s helpful to have others, especially healthcare providers, recommend and encourage their use.
When, however, other healthcare providers recommend against opioid use and encourage learning to self-manage pain instead, it can sting because it taps right into the inherent sense of vulnerability and sensitivity that occur when taking opioids.
It’s hard to see a healthcare provider as acting in the best interest of patients when they openly question the issue that can be so sensitive. The recommendation to learn to self-manage pain without the use of opioids shines a direct light onto the inherent sense of vulnerability or shame that so many feel when using opioids for the management of chronic pain.
The recommendation inadvertently breaks all the tacit rules that healthcare providers (and pharmaceutical companies) have heretofore been following. The rule up until now has been to reassure patients that it’s okay to take opioids for chronic pain. Over the last two decades, the field has asked patients to trust these assurances that they shouldn’t be ashamed of their need for opioid medications. Now, the field is changing and has begun to question the need for opioids. In so doing, we break the trust of patients who have been on opioids for some time: we expose them to potential pain, but also the shame that heretofore we alleviated with assurances that taking opioids is okay. It’s no wonder that patients are now upset.
In a microcosm, it’s this dynamic that occurs in the offices of chronic pain rehabilitation clinics everyday when, after the initial evaluation and recommendation to participate in the therapies of the clinic occurs, patients leave and refrain from accepting the recommendation to learn to self-manage pain. Such patients are doubtful that it will work and are afraid of the pain that would ensue if it doesn’t. Moreover, though, they tend to leave feeling somewhat ashamed that the provider so openly talked about the fact that they could learn to self-manage pain without the use of opioids. Providers are supposed to provide reassurance that it’s okay to be on opioids, not question their use.
Even when it’s well-informed and done in the best interest of the patient, the recommendation and encouragement to learn to self-manage pain without the use of opioids can be heard as a subtle yet stinging rebuke because of the inherent sensitivity that occurs when taking opioids for chronic pain.
How, then, do we bridge this divide?
The Institute for Chronic Pain has a new content page that may play a small role in such bridge building. When patients come to chronic pain rehabilitation clinics for the first time, they may have never had an experience of a provider talk to them about self-managing pain without the use of opioids. As we’ve seen, it’s a complex and sensitive interaction that occurs under the surface of the words that are spoken. It can be a lot to take in. It can feel like the rules are being broken. As we’ve seen, it can be easy to become angry and accuse the provider of incompetence, ill-will or insensitivity. Oftentimes, people need a little time to reflect on the discussion and talk it over with their loved ones. No one comes lightly to the decision to taper opioids and learn to self-manage pain instead.
The new content page provides assistance with this reflection. The hope is that patients can use the information on the page to further reflect on if and when it may be time to begin learning to self-manage chronic pain. Providers can refer their patients to the page too, ask them to read it, and come back for further discussion.
For countless people over the last four decades, chronic pain rehabilitation has provided hope and a way to take back control of a life with chronic pain. However, it must be approached with sensitivity and compassion. Initially, the idea that one can successfully self-manage chronic pain without the use of opioid medications can be threatening, especially for those who have been managing pain with opioids for some time and for those whose providers have long provided reassurance that it’s okay to take opioids. Nonetheless, if your providers have recently begun to express concerns about the long-term use of opioids or if you yourself have concerns about their long-term use, you might find it helpful to read the new ICP page on the common benefits of learning to self-manage pain without the use of opioid medications.
You can find the new page by clicking on the link here.
Gatchel, R. J., & Okifuji, A. (2006). Evidence-based scientific data documenting the treatment and cost-effectiveness of comprehensive pain programs for chronic non-malignant pain. Journal of Pain, 7, 779-793.
Kamper, S. J., Apeldorn, A. T., Chiarotto, A., Smeets, R. J., Ostelo, R. W., Guzman, J., & van Tulder, M. W. (2015). Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for chronic low back pain: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 350. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h444
Author: Murray J. McAllister, PsyD
Date of last modification: January 23, 2017
About the author: Dr. McAllister is the executive director of the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP). The ICP is an educational and public policy think tank. Our mission is to lead the field in making pain management more empirically supported. Additionally, the ICP provides scientifically accurate information on chronic pain that is approachable to patients and their families. Dr. McAllister is also the clinical director of pain services for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (CKRI), part of Allina Health, in Minneapolis, MN. Among other services, CKRI provides chronic pain rehabilitation services on a residential and outpatient basis.
The post Is It Time to Talk About Managing Pain Without Opioids? appeared first on Institute for Chronic Pain Blog.
Countless studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to treat musculoskeletal complaints like back pain, neck pain, or sciatica. Now a new study from Switzerland has looked at the relative benefits of chiropractic compared to medical care for the most common types of pain issues.
In this study, the authors examined data from people who reported spinal, hip, or shoulder pain. 403 patients saw a medical doctor for relief; 316 people saw a chiropractor. Four months after treatment, the patients were asked to fill out a survey reporting on their recovery.
The authors found that:
- “Patients initially consulting MDs had significantly less reduction in their numerical pain rating score…”
- Patients who saw MDs were significantly less satisfied with the care they received and the outcome of that care.
- Patients who saw a chiropractor had significantly lower healthcare costs for their treatment.
The authors conclude that patients should first be sent to a chiropractor for musculoskeletal problems, rather than a medical doctor:
“The findings of this study support first-contact care provided by DCs as an alternative to first-contact care provided by MDs for a select number of musculoskeletal conditions. Restrictive models of care in which patients are required to contact a medical provider before consulting a chiropractic provider may be counterproductive for patients experiencing the musculoskeletal conditions investigated and possibly others. In addition to potentially reducing health care costs, direct access to chiropractic care may ease the workload on MDs, particularly in areas with poor medical coverage and hence enabling them to focus on complex cases. The minority of patients with complex health problems initially consulting a chiropractic provider would be referred to, or comanaged with, a medical provider to provide optimal care.”
Houweling TAW, Braga AV, Hausheer T, et al. First-Contact Care With a Medical vs Chiropractic Provider After Consultation With a Swiss Telemedicine Provider: Comparison of Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction, and Health Care Costs in Spinal, Hip, and Shoulder Pain Patients. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2015;38(7):477-83.
Sprains and strains are often considered to be “minor injuries.” They are anything but. Most sprains and strains can result in a significant amount of pain. The severity of some injuries may even require medication, physical therapy, or even medical procedures. Sprains and strains can create significant complications.
Sprains and Strains are the Most Common Work-Related Injury
Strains and sprains are quite common. In fact, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report,1 strains and sprains remain as the number one cause of all work-related incidents, accounting for nearly 31 percent of work-related injuries. For employees, strains and sprains can mean time away from work. For hourly workers, the lack of work can mean that there will be no money coming in. For small business owners, employees who suffer from strains and sprains may require time off. This can result in being understaffed or even unable to open.
Understanding one’s injury is critical to identifying potential medical and legal remedies. Both sprains and strains are considered to be “soft tissue injuries.”2 A sprain occurs whenever a ligament is either overextended or torn as a result of stress. The most common sprains are sprained wrists and sprained ankles. Although these sprains often occur during sports and exercise, they may occur at any time. Strains are similar to sprains but affect muscles or tendons.
Sprains and Strains are Capable of Causing Lifelong Medical Problems
Sprains and Strains can create lifelong complications. Doctors have concluded that these types of injuries can be considered permanent injuries. While they may become less painful with proper treatment and time, they will never completely go away. In fact, these injuries may be aggravated by minor movements. Further problems can arise whenever sprains and strains are neglected. Neglected injuries often become serious, chronic injuries.
Examples of Ways Sprains and Strains can Affect Your Life:
Recurring Pain. Many sprains and strains can be remedied with time and care. However, these injuries can cause nagging pain that doesn’t seem to go away.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life. The pain from an injury may keep you from being able to engage in some of your favorite activity. Lower body sprains may keep one from exercising, dancing, or even walking without a cane.
Ongoing Medical Care. Lingering injuries may require physical therapy, assistance such as a cane or brace, or even having to regularly take medicine to quell the pain.
If you have suffered a strain or a sprain, you may be entitled to recovering compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim or filing a lawsuit against a third party. If your accident was the result of the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be entitled to damages for your medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a sprain or strain as a result of another person’s negligence, you need an experienced, aggressive attorney. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have the experience and wherewithal to get you the maximum recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 727-222-6922 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
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Posted From: https://www.dolmanlaw.com/slip-fall-accident-clearwater/
One of the sneakiest accidents that can happen to almost anybody, at any time, is a slip-and-fall. These accidents almost always occur in an unforeseen place, at a time when you are least expecting it—at the grocery store, in the hallway at the office, exiting the restroom at a restaurant, or even while visiting someone else’s home.
These unfortunate accidents can be minor, and even humorous. The entire America’s Funniest Home Videos television show was almost solely built on this concept. But they are not always funny, and they are not always minor.
Slip-and-falls can be seriously dangerous with grave consequences and injuries. These incidents are often caused by a change in the expected surface someone is walking on. Whether the ground is slippery from a liquid, uneven from a crack in the sidewalk, or has a random step that is difficult to see, it only takes a small change to cause someone to hit the ground with force. Part of what makes slip-and-falls so dangerous is the physics behind how a human falls. When someone slips or trips, their feet often slide ‘out from under them’. As their feet move out and upward, the head and upper-torso move in the opposite direction, straight toward the ground. And when someone falls without the chance to put out their hands, the results can be disastrous.
It should be noted that these types of accidents are easy to prevent if the responsible party acts accordingly. Fixing the walkway, buying a non-slip mat, or painting a step bright yellow could make all the difference between someone going on with their day and someone suffering from a life-altering accident.
COMMON CAUSES FOR A SLIP- OR TRIP-AND-FALL
- Debris on floors
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Uneven stairs
- Inadequate lighting
- Cracked pavement
- Uneven flooring
- Wet flooring
- Lack of handrails
- Holes in flooring
- Poorly placed fixtures
- Inadequate warning signage
- Worn carpet
- Spilled food or drink
- Broken floor tiles
COMMON INJURIES THAT RESULT FROM A SLIP OR TRIP AND FALL
According to the National Safety Council, accidents in which a person either slips or trips while walking result in almost 9 million hospital emergency room visits per year. Most people would assume that these accidents only result in minor injuries like a little bruising or scraping. However, serious injuries can occur due to the way the human body falls and the unexpected and surprising nature of the accident. Often, it is the suddenness of the incident that allows so much room for injury, since the body has little time to prepare itself.
Common injuries from slip- or trip-and-falls include:
Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes. As mentioned earlier, slip and falls are not always serious or life-threatening events. Often, the most common injuries from the resulting fall are bruising, scrapes, and/or cuts that can range from mild to major, but they almost always are completely recoverable. This doesn’t mean they aren’t painful; they just won’t cause lasting trauma or disability.
Sprains and Fractures. The second most common injury from falling is an injury to the muscles, ligaments, and bones. In many cases, these parts of the body absorb most of the impact and take most of the falling pressure. For example, slipping or tripping can cause a person to twist their ankle, spraining the connective ligaments. Some sprains and twists are caused by the body’s natural reaction to trying to catch itself, but other injuries are caused by the impact itself. For example, the impact of landing on the ground can fracture or break bones. The most common fractures resulting from falls are to the hand, forearm, upper arm, spine, hip, pelvis, leg, and ankle; whichever is the first point of contact.
Shoulder Dislocation. As a person slips and falls, it is not uncommon for them to land on their shoulder directly, or for it to take a brunt of the impact through the hand and arm. These injuries could be minor, like sprains or bruising, or more serious like the dislocation of the shoulder—known as a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves connecting the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. The injuries tend to be common in slip and falls and are extremely painful. They are, however, considered highly treatable.
Hip Fractures. The younger and older population are most at risk of slipping and falling. The younger population is limber and more prone to healing; the older segment is more fragile and heals more slowly. Elderly people, in addition to being prone to falling, are more likely to be injured when they do fall. Quite simply, our older population is at a high risk of being seriously injured by these types of incidents. One of the most dangerous injuries resulting from a fall is a fractured hip. More than 95% of broken hips are suffered from falls. One in five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury. This is because hip fractures in elderly people often require long periods of hospitalization, bed rest, and long-term care. Once this cycle begins, it is often hard to break out and make a full recovery.
Head and Brain Injuries. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury—also known as a TBI. As mentioned above, slip and fall type injuries often cause a person’s head to go speeding towards the ground, with little or no warning. These injuries are called ‘traumatic’ because any damage that occurs to the brain—the body’s most important organ—is considered serious. However, TBIs run the gamut on a scale of severity. Some people may suffer a minor concussion that heals relatively quickly, while others may receive a TBI that causes severe swelling of the brain, accompanied by seizures, mood changes, cognitive impairment, and other life-long debilitations. Slip- and trip-and-falls cause 40% of all TBIs in the US that require emergency treatment.
Back and Spine Injuries. Next to the brain, which is required to breathe, the spine is almost equally important in maintaining life. The spine and the spinal cord are responsible for almost every movement in the human body. When a person slips and falls, they often injure their back in some way. It may be from the twisting motion, from the sudden impact of falling on their head or buttocks, or from contact with a foreign object like the corner of a step. This impact can strain the spinal muscles and ligaments, fractured vertebrae, cause spinal discs to bulge or herniate, or damage the spinal cord itself. Because of the 100 billion+ nerves the spine is connected to, these types of injuries are almost guaranteed to be painful. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis, varying disabilities, a lifetime of pain and suffering, or any other number of neurologic and sensory impairments.
Neck Injuries. When someone injures their neck, they’re actually injuring the upper, cervical portion of their spine. For this reason, most neck injuries are similar to back injuries in that damage can occur to the vertebra bone, the spinal cord, the spinal disc, or any of the nerves, muscles, and ligaments around it. What makes a neck injury so serious is its relation to the rest of the spine and body. Since damage to the neck occurs at the upper portion of the spine, it increases the chances of temporary or permanent disability or paralysis to more part of the body. Basically, everything from the neck down is at risk. Neck injuries from slip and falls can be caused by the whiplash motion of the sudden fall, or from a person actually landing on their head or neck.
WHO IS LIABLE?
The most common person liable for slip and fall injuries is the property owner where the fall occurred. However, other, third-parties may be responsible as well.
If the trip or slip and fall occurred on someone else’s property, and they were negligent toward that property, the owner of that property will most likely be held responsible. It’s also possible that the party responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of that property may be liable for the injuries you’ve suffered. For example, a woman in Louisiana has recently filed a lawsuit against the grocery store chain Winn-Dixie after she slipped and fell in a puddle of clear liquid at one of their grocery stores. She severely injured her shoulder as a result. However, not all slip and fall injuries are a result of someone’s negligence. We all have a responsibility for our own safety and to watch where we’re going. The best way to determine who is liable is by contacting an experienced trip and fall attorney. Once an attorney is retained, an investigation can be carried out to look into the many different factors involved in the slip and fall accident and the coupled liability.
CONTACT PINELLAS COUNTY TRIP AND FALL ATTORNEYS DOLMAN LAW GROUP
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to slipping or tripping on someone’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The easiest and smartest way to determine if you have a case is to contact an experienced trip and fall attorney.
Our attorneys at Dolman Law Group will aggressively fight to hold the negligent party responsible for the damages they have caused and to ensure our client gets the compensation they deserve. We make it our mission to ensure that our clients heal physically, emotionally, and financially.
For a free and confidential consultation on your case, call us today at 727-451-6900 or contact us electronically via our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
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Posted From: https://www.dolmanlaw.com/injection-therapy-following-car-accident/
Spine and back injuries are an exceptionally common result after someone has been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Clients often show up at our office in varying levels of pain after such accidents, hoping we can help them to get on the right track towards recovery. Sometimes their pain level improves over time; other times it progressively gets worse to the point that’s it’s a constant disturbance in their normal life.
Car accidents are so unexpected. But what my clients are often even more surprised about is just how debilitating back pain can be. In our experience as a law firm, these injured victims who are suffering from this kind of debilitating pain are desperately seeking a solution. Injection therapy could just be the answer. Although it does not work for all patients, in all cases, the patients who do see results are often very pleased with the pain-relief they experience.
More traditional diagnosis techniques, like an MRI, don’t always reveal the exact location of an injury or the exact source of pain. More recently, techniques have been developed that serve multiple purposes, two of which are to help locate the sources of the back pain, while simultaneously relieving pain. These two types of injections serve the same purpose but are used for different parts of the back. The general idea is to inject pain medication into an area; if the pain is gone, then the causal area has been determined.
Selective Nerve Root Blocks
Selective Nerve Root Blocks (SNRB) are used to help diagnose the exact location that is causing pain in a patient’s neck, while also helping to alleviate some of the actual pain. During an SNRB, the nerve is injected by guiding a needle through a small gap at the point where to vertebrae meet. This is called the foramen. [Read this article to learn more about the basic anatomy of the spine.]
Two medications are often used, either together or one at a time. The first of these medications is a steroid, an anti-inflammatory medication (usually cortisone) that reduced painful swelling. The second medication is a numbing agent called lidocaine which is used to reduce pain. In order to ensure the needle is guided into the correct spot, fluoroscopy (a form of live x-ray) is used to help guide the doctor.
The way in which this type of injection can be diagnostic is almost too simple—but extremely effective. Basically, if the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the pain generator is the specific nerve root that has just been targeted. The anti-inflammatory goes to work reducing the swelling and tension in the area, and the numbing agent instantly stops the pain. It’s similar to receiving a Novocain shot at the dentist. The results are instantaneous.
Because of this immediate result, a Selective Nerve Root Block can be a crucial factor in determining the source of pain when other techniques fail. In addition to the diagnostic function of SNRBs, they can actually provide a great source of therapeutic relief for lower back pain, radiating pain, pain from herniated discs, and neck pain.
The reason for nerve root pain in the neck and back is compression. When an injury or old age causes the vertebra to push down on a nearby spinal nerve root, it becomes pinched and inflamed. The result is a debilitating pain in the neck, back, or extremities.
This technique is also used to help patients more easily tolerate physical therapies. Often, the level of pain a person is experiencing can greatly reduce their ability to perform the exercises and stretches that will help them to get better. If the patient can have time without the debilitating pain, they can move along in therapy more quickly.
SNRB injections are more difficult to perform than the more standard epidural steroid injections, which is why they should be performed by an experienced physician. Since the injection site is next to the nerve root itself, it can occasionally cause pain in the area or nearby extremities to temporarily worsen.
Success rates vary depending on the primary diagnosis and whether or not injections are being used primarily for diagnosis. Immediately after the injection, patients often feel a noticeably lesser degree of pain or even no pain at all. However, this is only from the numbing agent which will wear off in a few hours. After that, the anti-inflammatory will take a few days to kick in. Once the cortisone starts working, the pain relieving effects last anywhere from a few weeks to many months. While there is currently no definitive research to clearly dictate the frequency of SNRBs, it is considered reasonable to limit the injection to three times annually.
Facet Joint Blocks
The facet joints are responsible for allowing your back to be flexible, enabling you to bend and twist. Nerves branch off from your spinal cord through these joints on their way to other parts of your body. The facet joints can become painful due to arthritis of the spine, repeated stress to the area, or from a back injury.
When the facet joint itself is the generator of the patient’s back pain, a facet joint block injection can be utilized to alleviate the pain. Similar to SNRBs, facet block injections can be both a diagnostic tool and an alleviator of pain. Just like the nerve block injections, facet joint blocks can isolate and confirm the specific source of back pain too. They also work to numb the source of pain and soothe the inflammation for the patient.
The procedure is nearly identical to that of the SNRB. In a facet block procedure, physicians use fluoroscopy to guide the needle into the facet joint capsule itself. At this point, they inject the numbing agent lidocaine and/or a steroid, likely cortisone, as an anti-inflammatory agent. If the patient’s pain ends after the injection, it can be inferred that the pain generator was indeed the specific facet joint capsule that was injected. There are very few risks associated with this technique.
Dolman Law Group
If you or a loved one has neck, back, or extremity pain that cannot be soothed, you should consider having therapeutic injections. If this procedure is right for you, it will be recommended by an experienced physician. Likewise, if you are unaware of the cause of your nerve or joint pain, you should consider one of the injections above.
Dolman Law Group works with our clients to ensure that they recover completely: physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a car accident, and now you have neck or back pain, you should seek medical treatment right away. After you have secured health care, be sure to contact an experienced attorney at Dolman Law Group. You can call us at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our contact page.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
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5 Chiropractic Solutions for Treating Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 3-6 million people in the United States. Scores of pharmaceutical companies offer drugs to treat the condition although there is no cure.
Few people are aware that your local Pinellas Park, Florida, chiropractor has several solutions to treating this condition. Through a combination of chiropractic care, pain-free Laser Therapy, massage therapy, and lifestyle and nutritional counseling, our patients experience a decrease in the severity and duration of their physical pain of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disorder that includes muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. The American College of Rheumatology defines the condition as a history of pain in your left and right sides and above and below the waist for longer than 3 months. For reasons yet to be discovered, 90% of people who develop fibromyalgia are women. Additionally, people with fibromyalgia may experience:
- Sleep disturbances
- Morning stiffness
- Temperature sensitivity
- Cognitive and memory problems ("fibro fog")
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Painful menstrual periods
- Numbness or tingling of the extremities
- Restless legs syndrome
Fibromyalgia is currently believed to be a stress-related condition. Metabolic changes result from a stress-induced decrease in blood flow to an area of the brain called the pituitary. This causes a decrease in many essential hormones, like the growth hormone-releasing hormone and the thyroid-stimulating hormone. Hormonal changes lead to irregular muscle healing, hypothyroid, and memory and cognitive changes.
Pinellas Park Chiropractors Treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is sometimes difficult to treat. It is important for you to find a medical professional who is familiar with fibromyalgia and treatment. The most effective treatments with the largest results are those that include a variety of methods like those available at the Gulf Coast Rehabilitation and Wellness Center serving the Tampa Bay area. Our team approaches the condition from multiple treatment sources.
Here are five ways the Gulf Coast Rehabilitation and Wellness Center treats fibromyalgia:
1. Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care keeps the spine and muscles from losing too much movement in those who suffer with fibromyalgia. The tightening up and lose of the muscle’s natural pliability leads to a neurological reflex that causes further tightening. This vicious cycle will continue and over time leads to increased pain and other symptoms like increased sleep disturbance.
Regular adjustments to the spine keep it moving. Due to the diminished healing ability of those with fibromyalgia, chiropractors with experience treating the condition modify their adjustments to be more gentle than normal. When seeking chiropractic care, it is imperative that patients make sure their doctor is familiar with the muscular changes that occur with fibromyalgia.
2. Treating Fibromyalgia with Laser Therapy
is a new technology that provides pain relief to any area of the body. The treatment is non-invasive and painless, although some patients report a warming sensation that many find pleasant. Laser Therapy reduces inflammation and treatment is completed in about 10 minutes.
3. Lifestyle Counseling
A good chiropractor will include lifestyle counseling as part of your treatment plan. This may include advice about:
- Work activities (restrictions or reducing hours)
- Daily exercise and rehabilitation
- Sleep practices
4. Nutritional Counseling
Chiropractors understand that what you put in your body can have the ability to either stress your body or to help your body heal. A chiropractor can provide you with nutritional guidance so that you learn to avoid foods that will worsen your symptoms and increase intake of foods that will lead you toward health and wellness. This may include nutritional supplements as well.
5. Massage Therapy
For the greatest success at treating your fibromyalgia, ensure your chiropractor has a licensed massage therapist on board. Massage therapy relaxes the muscles and can focus on trigger points where you feel pain. This will help reduce the pain caused by your condition.
Here’s What To Do
Fibromyalgia is a treatable condition. If you are suffering from this condition, here are a few simple steps to begin living a higher quality life:
Step 1: Find a medical professional in Pinellas Park, FL, familiar with fibromyalgia.
Step 2: Set up a consultation. Call (727) 541-2520 or visit http://gulfcoastrehab.us/ for a free consultation.
Step 3: Before your consultation, think about your entire medical history and your current symptoms. Take notes and write down any accidents or injuries you sustained, including dates and when you believe your symptoms began. Bring this with you to your consultation.
Step 4: Stick to the course of treatment and recommendations exactly as your chiropractor outlines. Failure to follow their treatment plan will likely not produce the quality of life you seek.
Call Today for Fibromyalgia Relief
We know fibromyalgia treatment. Call (727) 541-2520 or visit http://gulfcoastrehab.us/ for a free consultation. An evaluation by one of our chiropractors is the beginning to sleeping better and living well in control of your fibromyalgia pain in Pinellas Park.
Posted From: http://gulfcoastrehab.us/blog/b_67330_why_car_accidents_cause_neck_pain.html
Why Car Accidents Cause Neck Pain
Why do so many car accidents cause neck pain? Much of the pain you might experience after an auto accident in Pinellas Park is caused by a neck strain, neck sprain, or whiplash sustained as a result of the pure force of the wreck throwing your head around.
The average human head weighs about 11 pounds. At 8 percent of the human body mass, that’s a lot of weight for a little neck to hold! Your neck is able to support the weight of your head, because it is structured to distribute tension spatially which provides mechanical stability. It doesn’t take much to throw off this stability, and an unbalanced weight distribution combined with the power of an impactful thrust easily injures the delicate neck structures which remain responsible for carrying around your head after injury.
The Mayo Clinic reports the leading cause of spinal injuries are car collisions, taking on more than 40 percent of spinal injuries annually. This statistic is disturbing given the high importance of the spine in maintaining the body’s normal function. The spine is complex and delicate. In a car accident, the spine often sustains injuries resulting in spondylolisthesis, disc herniation, compression fractures, whiplash, or strains to muscles and ligaments.
So what are you to do? You cannot control other drivers on the road, but you can prepare yourself to know what to do in case you are involved in a car accident.
What to Look For
Know what symptoms to look for after your car accident. Your movements, work or daily activities, or even how you sleep can worsen an injury if you are not careful. Remember, the spine is delicate.
Some injuries can even be made worse if a person is moved, which is why first responders are careful when on the scene of bad car collisions. Slow impact car crashes can cause neck pain and injuries too. Some pain, like muscle strains, heal over time while other serious injuries can remain symptomatic for months or even years.
How can you tell the difference in a muscle strain or a serious injury? An experienced chiropractor can advise you the extent of your injuries. Here are some common diagnoses for neck pain following a car accident:
- Disc herniation – Discs absorb much of the impact in a car wreck. These have limits to the force they can bear. Too much force or the way a body twists may cause a disc to herniate during a car accident. Herniation is when the soft center in a disc pushes through damage to the disc’s exterior which irritates surrounding nerves. The result may be arm or leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
- Fractures – Compression fractures are serious injuries which can cause severe pain and lead to an injury of the spinal cord. It is important not to move if you suspect a fracture, and allow first responders to handle the situation with a neck collar and backboard.
- Spondylolisthesis – This is a condition caused when a vertebra moves out of place due to a stress fracture in the bone. Pressed nerves cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the lower extremities, and may cause loss of bladder or bowel control. Sometimes this condition does not manifest until years after the car accident.
- Whiplash – Whiplash often occurs during rear-end collisions, but may occur from any type of car accident. Symptoms can appear within 24 hours or months later, and include pain, stiffness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.
What to Do: Make an Appointment
Seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident, whether you experience any neck pain or not. A qualified chiropractor can safely rule out any serious injury.
The medical professionals at Gulf Coast Rehabilitation and Wellness Center have over 40 years’ experience treating car accident injuries including neck and back pain. Call (727) 541-2520 or visit http://gulfcoastrehab.us/ to discover how chiropractic care in Pinellas Park can help with your whiplash or other car accident injuries.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note 1-800-SOS-PAIN and Gulf Coast Rehabilitation & Wellness Center are not legal referral services, and provide medical services only. 1-800-SOS-PAIN and Gulf Coast Rehabilitation & Wellness Center are not responsible for the outcome of your legal case, nor any relationship you may have with an attorney for any reason.
What is Whiplash and Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD)
Caused by Car Accidents?
A common car accident neck injury in Pinellas Park is whiplash and also whiplash associated disorder or WAD. To understand this condition and how it occurs, let’s first take a look at the make-up of the spine.
The spine is divided into three parts: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back), and lumbar spine (lower back). It is comprised of a chain of ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones. This chain extends from the base of the skull down to the tailbone.
Bones/vertebrae provide structural support. A disc sits between two vertebrae. Each vertebra has a facet joint on each side. Facet joints allow smooth motion for rotating and bending backward and forward. Ligaments and muscles surround the spinal column and provide support. Injury to any one of these structures can cause mild to extreme pain and is a common result of a car accident.
Causes of Chronic Neck Pain
The cervical spine or c-spine supports your head while protecting your nerves and spinal cord. The cervical structure is vital to your health and well-being.
After a car accident in Pinellas Park, you may suffer from strained muscles and/or ligaments, which can take up to 6 to 10 weeks to heal. More unfortunate car accident victims experience more serious car wreck neck injuries to the facet joint or disc, which can take several months to heal. Injuries left untreated can last a lifetime or cause other chronic health problems like degenerative disc disease.
The most common cause of neck pain following a car accident is facet joint pain either alone or in conjunction with disc pain. You feel pain to the right or left of the cervical spine. The neck may also be tender to the touch.
Chronic neck pain can also result from disc injury. Whiplash, or the sudden thrusting forward and back of the head as occurs during a vehicle collision, often damages the outer wall of the disc. The nerve endings in the outer wall signal pain. Without treatment, the disc can weaken over time and hurt under stress of normal daily activity like performing computer work. A damaged disc in the neck can also herniate out and pressure a nerve.
Neck muscles can become sore and hurt when overworking to protect injured discs, joints or the nerves of the neck. They may also ache due to another factor like poor posture, lack of exercise, and work habits.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash neck injuries cause a whole host of symptoms after a car accident in St. Pete or Pinellas Park. Whiplash Associated Disorders are other symptoms you can experience as a result of whiplash, including:
· Cervicogenic or neck-related headache
· Worse migraines (than prior to the car accident)
· Arm pain resulting from pressure on the nerve
· Referred pain between the shoulder blades
· Low back pain
· Difficulties with concentration or memory
· Mild brain injury
· Sleep disturbance
· Blurry vision
· Ringing in the ears
· Tingling in the face
Treatment for Whiplash
You should always seek treatment after a car accident, regardless of whether you experience any neck pain or not. It is possible for you to have a neck injury from a car wreck, but not feel pain for several weeks. An evaluation by a Tampa Bay chiropractor will help diagnose any injury. Treatment may include:
· X-ray imaging to diagnose fracture, instability, disc height, and bone spurs.
· Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can find disc herniation, disc injury or compression of a nerve or the spinal cord.
· Chiropractic spinal adjustments to realign the neck to its correct anatomical position.
· Massage therapy by a licensed therapist to relax strained muscles and relieve pain.
· Laser Therapy to reduce inflammation and pain.
· Rehabilitation exercises to strengthen muscles around the spine so they provide better support.
Call Us After A Car Accident
Gulf Coast Rehabilitation and Wellness Center offers a complete risk free neck pain evaluation for men, women, and children as well as car accident victims. Our trained medical professionals examine your health and customize a treatment plan using various methods to relieve neck pain in Pinellas Park, FL, including spinal adjustments, neck pain exercises, massage by a licensed massage therapist, and weight loss management. We believe in treating the whole person instead of just focusing in on one problem to achieve overall health and wellness.
Call (727) 541-2520 or visit http://gulfcoastrehab.us/ to schedule an appointment to discuss your whiplash, an injury, chronic pain, or your general health.
Posted From: http://gulfcoastrehab.us/blog/b_67231_car_accident_how_these_6_chiropractic_therapies_can_help.html
Car Accident? How These 6 Chiropractic Therapies Can Help
When you think about a chiropractor, the first thing that likely comes to mind is spinal adjustments, or the sound and feeling of your spine cracking and popping by their hand. But chiropractic care is more than just spinal manipulations and is extremely beneficial to your body after a car accident in Pinellas Park.
Your spine suffers trauma in a car accident, even during minor fender-benders. Chiropractors use all sorts of methods to treat neck and back injuries. The primary method of treatment is spinal manipulations and adjustments, however, these 6 other chiropractic therapies also help speed your recovery and reduce back and neck pain after a car accident. Here is a brief description of some of the most common:
1. Lifestyle Counseling
A chiropractor practices integrative medicine – treating the whole person and not just the injury. They believe wellbeing goes beyond the absence of pain or disease. How you live your life greatly affects your long-term health as studies have shown over and over. Small unhealthy choices add up over time leading to big health issues.
For example, diet counseling and medical weight loss are well within the chiropractors’ realm. They receive specific training in the area of diet and nutritional counseling. A number of serious illnesses and diseases like chronic back and neck pain, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are due to poor diet and nutritional imbalances. A well-trained chiropractor can design a nutritional program for your individual needs to help you reach optimal health following your auto accident, and reduce your risk of developing a serious health condition.
A chiropractor may counsel you on a number of lifestyle choices for the benefit of your health:
- Diet and nutrition
- Proper lifting techniques
- Over consumption of alcohol
- Too much medication
- Regular exercise
- Stress, especially in excess
2. Physical Therapy Modalities
- Muscle Stimulation – Light electrical pulses are transmitted through electrodes placed on the skin. This form of therapy is used for pain relief, to reduce inflammation, treat muscle spasms, or reduce muscle atrophy. Some types of electrical stimulation perform a combination of such effects.
- TENS – A Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit is a small machine used at home or in office as a means to control pain. It works by using electric currents at various strengths.
- Ice and Heat – Ice and heat are an age old method of treatment for painful conditions. Ice therapy and cold packs reduce inflammation and swelling. Heat therapy relaxes muscles and increases circulation for chronic cases. A chiropractor may utilize both depending on the injury.
3. Soft Tissue Therapy
Hands-on, soft tissue therapies improve the function of soft tissues like ligaments, muscles, joint capsules, and tendons.
4. Therapeutic Exercise
Studies show that people who participate in an exercise treatment plan following a car accident recover faster than those who do not. A good chiropractor prescribes strengthening exercises for their patients who have been involved in an auto accident, depending on their injury. Such forms of therapeutic exercises reduce pain; prevent muscle deterioration; keep joints healthy; increase stability, strength, and range of motion; and protect against recurring an injury or sustaining a new one.
Stretching after an injury like those sustained in a car accident prevents scar tissue from forming. Maintaining a regular stretching program keeps tissues flexible, adds mobility, and protects your body from new injuries. An experienced chiropractor will instruct you on how to stretch properly, and can even provide supervision to get you started.
Traction devices or methods are applied to distract or gently pull apart the vertebra to release compression of the nerves.
Call an Experienced Chiropractor
Always seek medical treatment right away after a car accident, regardless of whether your neck or back hurt. A qualified chiropractor will safely rule out any serious injury, while also using a variety of modalities to help the body heal itself along with manipulation so that you don’t experience a worsening injury later.
The medical professionals at Gulf Coast Rehabilitation and Wellness Center have over 40 years’ experience treating car accident injuries including neck and back pain. Their number one goal is to return you to a pain-free and healthy life. Call (727) 541-2520 or visit http://gulfcoastrehab.us/ to discover how chiropractic care, medical weight loss, or other therapies available in Pinellas Park can help with your car accident injuries.