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Treating FBSS With Spinal Cord Stimulation

brunette girl sitting on the couch at home with a headache and back pain. Back surgery is an essential tool to help those suffering from chronic back pain. Recent technological advances have allowed for the rise of minimally invasive procedures, meaning smaller incisions, shorter recovery times, and a more favorable long-term prognosis. But, for some people, back surgery doesn’t always provide the necessary benefits and can cause chronic back pain. If you’ve suffered from chronic back pain after surgery, there is hope for you to get pain relief. Spinal Cord Stimulation may be able to help relieve pain and restore your quality of life. Here are a few points on how spinal cord stimulation works and if it may be the best treatment for you.

What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

Most back surgeries can help correct back pain and relieve those suffering from it. But, some rare occasions where back surgery is ineffective for some, providing no pain relief. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is a condition that characterizes unsuccessful back procedures. FBSS comes with symptoms such as
  • Chronic pain in the back and neck
  • Numbness in the spine
  • Weak Limbs
  • Tingling sensations
  • And pain that spreads to other areas of the body

Why Some Back Surgeries Fail

Some people already have reservations about having back surgery, so it can be a traumatic experience if they have an unsuccessful procedure. There are a few things that can cause the surgery to go wrong. A common reason is that the candidate may have received an incorrect diagnosis and had an unnecessary procedure. Other factors for FBSS include
  • Age
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Degenerated discs
  • Surgical errors
  • Implant rejection

Treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Pain medication can help temporarily relieve mild symptoms, but a more aggressive approach may be necessary for long-term comfort. One potential solution is spinal cord stimulation.  A spinal cord stimulation procedure uses electrical stimulation to help block pain signals between your spine and brain, giving you much-needed relief. Some patients may be uncomfortable with an additional procedure on their back. For this reason, your doctor can implement a trial period to help you get acquainted with the device before having it implanted under the skin. Although the thought of another spinal surgery may be worrisome for you, spinal cord stimulation surgery is a minimally invasive procedure completed on an outpatient basis and generally takes an hour or two.  Your best bet is to speak with a qualified healthcare professional for a formal diagnosis and discuss your situation’s best options. If you want to learn more about spinal cord stimulation, please get in touch with our Show Low office. Call us today at 855-768-4968 to schedule a consultation.

Your Body Will Thank You For These Constipation Tips

The woman is holding her stomach and describing her stomachache symptoms. The discomfort of constipation can put a damper on your day. Bloating and gas are just some of the symptoms of constipation that can make you miserable. But making a few simple changes can help get your body regulated and help you feel your best. Here are a few tips to help you relieve constipation and regain quality of life.

What Causes Constipation?

Many factors can contribute to constipation symptoms. Sometimes, a diet that is high in carbohydrates can play a significant role in making you constipated. Processed grains such as white pasta or white bread can make you constipated because they are low in fiber, which plays a critical role in keeping your body regulated.

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Dehydration
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Taking certain medications (Opioids, sedatives, blood pressure medicine)
  • A low-fiber diet

Is Constipation Dangerous?

Constipation is uncomfortable, and if the condition continues for too long, it could indicate underlying health problems that you must address. One key indicator that something serious may be happening is if you’ve noticed constipation for more than 14 days, as there is a possibility that you may have a blockage in your bowels. 

Also, pay attention to other warning signs, such as rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, and perpetual exhaustion.

What You Can Do About Constipation

 With a few lifestyle changes, you may be able to get your body regulated again. One thing that can help is adopting a diet high in fiber. Many fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • Apples
  • Prunes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Flaxseeds

Effectively restore your bowels’ functionality to help get you regulated again. You can also add whole grain cereals to your diet, as these are high in fiber and can help with regulation.

Also, staying hydrated with water, avoiding sugary drinks, and getting exercise can help with your constipation symptoms.

When to Seek Help

Sometimes constipation can persist despite our best efforts and can come with other symptoms. If your constipation comes with abdominal pain, bloody stool, vomiting, or bloating, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you need advice on addressing constipation, call our Show Low Office. Schedule a consultation by calling us today at 855-768-4968.

Migraines Can Mean More Than You Think

Female student suffering from eyes pain or headache The occasional headache comes as a byproduct of life’s stresses. But migraine headaches are another matter. Some people suffer from chronic migraine headaches for years before finding relief. In other instances, migraine headaches could be warning signs of other problems. Here are some signals your migraines could be giving and what you can do about them.

Migraines and Heart Disease

While it may not make sense to think that migraine headaches and your heart health share a connection, a surprising fact is that they share a link.

Studies suggest that chronic migraine headaches may double the risk of heart disease. Some experts believe that migraine headaches can lead to heart attacks also.

Many experts think the connection between migraines may be from inflammation or blood clotting issues, but this hypothesis hasn’t been confirmed.

Migraines and Sensory Issues

A migraine symptom to watch out for are migraines that cause you to see auras. An aura is a sensory disturbance that adds to the discomfort migraines bring. Signs of sensory issues caused by migraines may include sensations of

  • Lights flashing around you
  • Tingling of the hands
  • Tingling in the face
  • Seeing spots
  • Changes in your vision
  • Blind spots

Migraines and Stroke Risk

Auras caused by migraines can lead to mild sensory issues, but in some cases, sensory disturbances can lead to serious trouble.

Some people experience muscle weakness, slurred speech, or numbness in their bodies because of migraines. If you or a loved one display any of these symptoms, seek emergency help immediately and call 911. Symptoms like these are classic warning signs of a life-threatening stroke and need immediate intervention. 

The Connection Between Migraines and Mental Health

Chronic stress and anxiety share a link with the presence of migraines. Some experts believe that a history of traumatic events can lead to migraines, so stress management strategies are crucial to combat the effects of migraines.

Sometimes symptoms of depression or anxiety come after chronic migraines develop. Experts aren’t sure why this happens, but some speculate that brain chemistry may factor into the link between mental health and migraines.

If you have migraines and want to learn about your treatment options, call or Show Low office to schedule a consultation at 855-768-4968.

Why Does My Arm Always Hurt?

Handsome young man feeling the pain in shoulder at the gym Constant pain is a troublesome nuisance, and having it in your arm can be alarming. The pain you’re experiencing could be related to a little-known condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Here are a few points that show what it is and how you can treat it.

What is CRPS?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) describes long-term pain in the arm or leg. This pain is usually the result of an injury to the area and can cause:

  • Inflammation
  • Changes in skin color
  • Changes in skin temperature
  • Swelling
  • Hair growth
  • Joint stiffness

Many experts believe that most CRPS causes come after a traumatic injury that affects nerve fibers in the arm or leg.  

Some people can go on to lead practical lives after their injury, but others develop CRPS over time. Many experts are still unsure of why this happens to some people and not others. 

Is CRPS Dangerous?

Although CRPS is not life-threatening, it can have long-lasting impacts on your way of life. CRPS can make it difficult for you to move and make you sensitive to being touched. Also, it’s not uncommon for the pain to spread to another part of the body, further complicating matters. 

How is CRPS Diagnosed?

Many tools can help your doctor form an accurate diagnosis and steer you toward the path of good health. A physical exam and a detailed look at your health history are the foundation for a diagnosis. But your doctor may choose to include a few other tools to gain a deeper understanding, including:

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Bone Scans (To identify changes to the bones)
  • Sweat production tests

Is There a Cure?

While there isn’t a cure for CRPS, several things can help. Your doctor can try conservative methods to manage pain, such as pain relievers, heat therapy, or corticosteroids to help. Also, having a stable support system of family and friends, staying physically active, and participating in things you enjoy can help your mood and mental well-being. 

CRPS can impact your quality of life, but speaking with a qualified medical professional can help get you on the path to good health.

To learn more about your options for treating CRPS, reach out to our Show Low office. Call us today at 855-768-4968 to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Hip Bursitis

Man with back pain holding aching part black and white photo Our hips are essential to how we move about the world. When they hurt, it can be challenging to live an active life. Chronic pain may be related to hip bursitis, a painful condition where inflammation causes the bones in your hip to rub together. If you’ve been struggling with chronic hip pain, here are some things you should know about hip bursitis and how you can find relief.

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a condition when the bursa, the fluid-filled sacs in your hips, become inflamed. The inflammation can make it painful to move your legs or hips. Many patients describe the pain as sharp and intense. This pain can make it difficult to walk, even for short distances.

How Hip Bursitis Affects You

Your hips serve as a crucial joint in your body. Hip bursitis can compromise your range of motion, making daily activities such as walking and biking uncomfortable. Some patients report that they experience more pain at night, which disrupts sleep and can negatively impact them the following day.

Risk Factors for Hip Bursitis

Like other high-use joints such as elbows, knees, and shoulders, overusing your hips can expose them to irritation.

While hip bursitis can affect anyone, it is mainly seen in women, the elderly, and middle-aged persons. 

Other risk factors for hip bursitis include

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Prior surgery
  • Calcium deposits
  • Bone spurs
  • Overuse

How is Hip Bursitis Treated?

Although hip bursitis can be painful, there are many strategies your doctor can use to help you manage it. First, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen may help address pain and other symptoms. Also, modifying your activities and avoiding activities that trigger your symptoms may give some relief. 

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or a cane to help with your pain. 

Surgical treatment may become an option in rare cases when conservative treatments fail. Most surgeries for hip bursitis are outpatient procedures, making for shorter recovery times and allowing you to return home the same day.

If you have questions about addressing your hip pain, our office can help. Summit Health Care Pain Clinic serves the Show Low area and can help you find the pain relief you need. Call our office today at 928-532-1605 to schedule a consultation

Why am I Always In Pain?

Young woman with hands holding her shoulder pain. Suffering from chronic pain has an impact on your quality of life. Enjoying your favorite activities is impossible when your body hurts. Not understanding the cause of the pain can add to the frustration. But, finding out the reason for your pain can help bring peace of mind as you search for relief. Fibromyalgia, although misunderstood, might be the reason behind your pain. Here are a few things you should know about fibromyalgia and how you can cope with it.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that can have an impact on your life. Chronic, widespread pain, sleep disturbances, and mental distress are characteristics of fibromyalgia.

The disorder can exist alongside other conditions such as

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Painful bladder syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Some researchers believe trauma such as surgery, infections, or psychological stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. 

Some risk factors for fibromyalgia include genetics, other chronic conditions, and sex.

How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

A medical professional can determine if you have symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia. An indicator that you may have the condition is if you’ve experienced widespread pain for a minimum of 3 months.

Your doctor can check several areas for pain, including

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Jaws
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Neck
  • Back

What Is The Treatment For Fibromyalgia?

While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, you have several methods to treat symptoms. First, increasing your self-care routine can help. Getting exercise, managing stress, and relaxation techniques like yoga can provide an outlet for you.

Also, pain medication can help you fight the discomfort fibromyalgia brings. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help bring some relief. Although opioids are stronger medications, they aren’t recommended as they have the potential to create dependence. 

Your doctor can help you determine the best medicine for your symptoms.

How You Can Cope

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be life-long. But with self-care and pain management strategies, you can still live a long, high-quality life.

Also, having a stable support system can help you cope with living with fibromyalgia symptoms. Summit Health Care Pain Clinic can support you through your journey with fibromyalgia and find treatment options for pain.

Our practice serves Show Low and the surrounding areas. Schedule a consultation today by calling 855-768-4968.

Are Trigger Point Injections What I Need For Pain?

Copy of iStock 1059416876 1 If you suffer from tension headaches, you understand how they can ruin your day. Over-the-counter medications can work for a while, but you may not want to rely on them forever. Luckily, trigger point injections (TPI) can help treat your headaches at the source. Here is how they work and how to decide if TPI is the best treatment for you.

What Are Trigger Points?

You may wonder what a trigger point is and why you might need to get an injection there. A trigger point is a sensitive area of muscle fibers that tighten after overuse. These microtraumas cause muscle fibers to tighten and become tense. Repeated tightening creates pain and discomfort, leading to trigger points.

Risk Factors For Trigger Points

Several things can increase the risk of developing trigger points. One of the common risk factors for trigger points is stress. Research suggests that people tense up certain muscle regions in response to stress. The repeated strain on the muscles can cause trigger points to form in your body.  

Other risk factors for trigger point development include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Being middle-aged
  • Injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Sleep disturbances

How Do Trigger Point Injections Work?

Trigger point injections are an aggressive treatment option when conservative measures are ineffective. The injections target pain by isolating sensitive areas. Medications usually consist of an anesthetic and corticosteroid mixture. This combination helps relax tense muscles and ease your pain.

From start to finish, the procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete. Afterward, you’re encouraged to stretch, move, and test your range of motion.

Do Trigger Point Injections Hurt?

The fear of pain from needles is quite common. We do our best to ensure the process is as painless as possible.

Some people report that injections sting, but the pain doesn’t last long. At Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, doctors apply an anesthetic cream to the area before the injection to minimize discomfort. 

How Often Do I Need to Get Trigger Point Injections?

Some people get pain relief after one injection, but others need several injections. The number of rejections required for optimal pain relief varies for each person.

If you’re interested in learning more about trigger point injections, we are happy to help. Call our Show Low, AZ office today at (928) 532-1605 to schedule a consultation.

What is Causing My Hip Pain?

iStock 1147453815 1 Your hips are crucial to movement and keeping up with a busy life.

When you’re suffering from hip pain, it makes daily life a challenge. Understanding what causes your pain brings you closer to healing and getting back in action. A common reason for hip pain is hip bursitis, and it may be the source of your discomfort. Here are some tips on hip bursitis and what you can do to treat it.

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a condition that affects 15% percent of women and 8% of men in the United States. Irritation from the bursae, the fluid-filled sac on the side of the hip, causes intense pain. The discomfort can be so debilitating that it makes moving difficult. The pain can be sharp in the early stages of bursitis. From this point, it changes to a dull ache that spreads across the hip.

Risk Factors For Bursitis

Hip bursitis is common among middle-aged women and the elderly, but it’s common to see it at any age. One of the most common causes of hip bursitis comes from placing repetitive stress on the hip joint. Repetitive stress on the hip causes injuries from overuse. Stress injuries can come from running, bicycling, or climbing stairs.

Other risk factors for developing hip bursitis include:

  • Having rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Calcium deposits
  • Prosthetic implants
  • A past surgery

How is Hip Bursitis Treated?

Lifestyle changes can address many cases of hip bursitis. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory drugs, avoiding strenuous activities, and using a cane can help.

More severe symptoms may require physical therapy intervention. If this is the case, physical therapy aims to help restore the strength and functionality of your hip, reduce pain and swelling, and restore quality of life.

If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be used as a last resort to help you find relief.

Hip pain doesn’t have to bring your life to a standstill. Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic can help you take care of pain and get back to enjoying life. If you have questions about hip bursitis, call our Show Low, AZ office. Schedule a consultation at (855)-768-4968 

Can Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Help My Chronic Pain?

IMG 0765 1 1 Being told “It’s all in your head” can be infuriating when dealing with chronic pain. Many people have a misconception about cognitive-behavioral therapy where they think it dismisses their concerns and writes them off as figments of their imagination.

However, cognitive behavior is a tool professionals use to help patients cope with symptoms. Here we address some of the stigmas surrounding chronic pain, explain the goals of CBT, and help you decide if CBT is something that may help you.

Stigma 1: Others Don’t Take Me Seriously

Due to societal norms, the expectation is that there must be physical evidence to support a patient’s claims. Chronic pain can be frustrating for patients because it often lacks evidence of a cause, which can challenge the legitimacy of the condition in the eyes of others. Many who suffer from chronic pain under-report their symptoms out of fear of not being taken seriously by family and healthcare professionals.

Stigma 2: Others Think I Want Attention

If you suffer from chronic pain, you may be worried about losing empathy with those close to you. You may be afraid to reach out because of how someone may respond. However, chronic pain isn’t a condition where someone seeks attention. It’s a condition that requires a specialized approach to get to its roots which is what cognitive behavioral therapy can offer.

Stigma 3: People Think I’m Lazy

Another misconception chronic pain sufferers battle with is being perceived as lazy by others. Chronic pain can cause you to miss out on social gatherings and make you miss work. Because others fail to understand the nature of your condition, they unfairly label you as unreliable or unwilling to participate in areas of your life.

How CBT Can Help you

Often there are negative thoughts, emotions, and actions that coincide with chronic pain. A common frustration among chronic pain patients is feeling unheard. Cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses these things by validating your concerns and acknowledging your pain. 

  • The primary goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to challenge thoughts and beliefs related to your pain.
  • Studies suggest changing how you think about pain can positively impact the mind and body.
  • CBT gives you tools to help you redirect your focus, despite the presence of pain.
  • It helps you get to the bottom of what’s bothering you and points out negative thought patterns that may be worsening the situation. CBT can also help you build positive habits and address negative beliefs.

The keys to being successful with CBT are to believe in its process, active participation and remain consistent with sessions. With time, CBT can help you get on the track toward healing.

If you’re interested to learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy, reach out to our Show Low, AZ office. 

Call us today at 855-768-4968 to schedule a consultation.

Don’t Let Back Pain Ruin Your Summer

Professional male swimmer inside swimming pool. While an aching back can put a damper on your summer plans, it shouldn’t mean you have to put your summer on hold. In addition to other health benefits, keeping an active lifestyle can help you manage back aches.

Here are some ways to help keep back pain at bay and enjoy fun in the sun.

Swimming

If you need a way to beat the heat and manage back pain, a trip to the pool or beach can be what you need. In addition to building your cardio strength, swimming helps support your back because water buoyancy reduces pressure on your spine, allowing for a better range of motion.   

Also, the water helps relieve the discomfort to other joints in your body, providing a comforting feeling, relaxing you, and taking your mind off of back pain. 

Getting in the water may be a good start to getting relief and enjoying your summer.

Walking

Jogging is a great way to stay in shape, but it can harm those with back problems. Staying active can be challenging if you’re recovering from spinal surgery, have a herniated disc, or have other disk issues.

Walking can help bridge the gap between staying active and managing pain.

Running exposes your discs to repetitive impact, making problems worse for those with disc problems. Walking is more gentle on the spine and can provide benefits similar to running. Don’t fret if your back is making you cut back on your running this summer. You can still go for a walk and get the sunshine you need.

Biking

Biking can also help you make the most of your time outdoors and help reduce strain on your back. Bike riding assists in strengthening the muscles that support your back. The low impact from biking gives you the added benefits of blood flow to your problem areas and helping them heal.

Use Moderation

It’s impossible to enjoy summer if you’ve injured yourself from over-exerting. While you may face the temptation to push through, listen to your body and rest if back pain has become unbearable. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level over time. 

Although you might want to go to the golf course, do yard work, or play tennis as often as possible, do these things moderately. Preserve your back health by taking your time and resting when needed.

If your back pain is keeping you from enjoying summer, we can help. Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic serves Show Low, AZ, and surrounding areas. Call our office today and schedule a consultation at 855-768-4968

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