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People experience two types of pain, acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is a normal sensation that is often triggered by the nervous system to alert you that something is wrong with a certain part of the body. Chronic pain is quite different from this; it persists even after various remedial efforts. The pain signals keep firing through your nervous system for even years after initial injury. Some people even suffer chronic pain in the absence of disease, past injury or any evidence of body damage.

Chronic pain conditions often affect older adults. Complaints from chronic pain include headaches, cancer pain, arthritis pain, lower back pain and neurogenic pains because of damage to the central and peripheral nerves.

Research has shown that over 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic pain. More than 100 million of these people are in the American population alone. Chronic pain in America affects a huge portion of the population cutting across all ages. This translates to the cost of about $600 billion every year in medical treatment for pain along with lost productivity from the working population. Research has also shown that pain is not managed optimally in the US. This amount is definitely in excess and can be reduced.

There needs to be a cultural transformation in the American understanding and approach towards managing pain. For many individuals, chronic pain has become a disease on its own. Therefore, pain management should be addressed in a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary way. Prevention should also be an important goal in pain management. Pain is a huge burden on everyday life for many Americans. Besides the extremely inflated health-care costs, many hospitalized patients who are dying experience severe pain in their last days. An estimated 42 million of the American adults experience chronic pain that disrupts their sleep several nights in a week.

Various effective comprehensive approaches have been adopted for pain management today. Doctors are constantly working on new procedures using the advancement of modern technology. Incorporating various interventions in pain management is crucial to tackling this plague of the American population today. Medical pain management has led to the development of new drugs and combination of medications for personalized treatment of each patient. Doctors focus mainly on nonopioid medical therapy to avoid the habit-forming behavior of repeated use of opioid therapies. This minimizes the common side effect of addiction to pain medication.

Physical therapy is also interacted in pain management, including maintaining a fitness plan, healthy nutrition, home exercises and plenty of sleep. Dealing with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety also reduces pain symptoms during pain management treatment. Poor mental health can greatly increase pain symptoms. Doctors today do not rely on western medicine alone. Pain management techniques from all over the world such as acupuncture from the Far East have been assimilated into the treatment approach of doctors in America today.

These therapies have been effective for thousands of years in their countries of origin and today western medicine is tapping into this through clinical trials to determine the uncovered health benefits.

Although back pain can be the result of a trauma like a sport injury or a fall, many people experience back pain because of everyday activities done the wrong way. Things like lifting, reaching, sitting, sleeping may be done the wrong way repetitively leading to back problems. Back pain can happen to anyone but it is more common among older people, people with poor physical fitness, people who are overweight or obese, people with back pain and people with hereditary conditions that cause pain. Back pain can be prevented and if you already have back pain, you can stop it from getting worse. Here are a few important things you should know about back pain and how to prevent it.

Exercise can prevent back pain

Exercise keeps your joints fluids and your muscles active. If you are physically unfit, you are very likely to feel pain when doing the most basic tasks. Exercise is one of the most important activities for back pain prevention. Your muscles are meant to move and exercise ensures you do exactly that. In addition, helps control your excessive weight. Excessive weight, especially in the abdominal area creates additional strain on your lower back.

Good eating habits are important

Maintaining healthy eating habits controls your weight and prevents excessive weight gain, which is bad for your back. A good diet provides all the necessary nutrients that your body needs for proper functioning every day. Good nutrition can reduce unnecessary stress on your body and maintain proper functioning of the nervous system, which is commonly effected among people with back pain. People who have irritable bowel syndrome suffer from back pain too, a condition manageable through nutrition therapy.

Get into a proper sleeping position

Your sleeping position can intensify your back problems if you are not laying down properly every night. You should sleep sideways not flat on your back or stomach. If you have to sleep on your stomach, you need to place a pillow under your lower abdomen to help reduce the strain off the back. You also need to use a supportive mattress and pillow when sleeping. Getting a restful, night of sleep is crucial to combat back pain.

Always maintain proper posture

Bad posture is the cause of back pain for many people. With today’s sedentary lifestyle that is more prevalent among the adult generation, people spend a lot of time hunched over their computers. For close to eight hours a day, many people sit at their desks with little movement. The damage resulting from this terrible posture and repetitive behavior is quite devastating. Working at an ergonomically correct workstation can prevent most of the damage caused by poor posture on your back. You need to maintain the natural curves of the back while sitting in order to keep it strong.

Stop smoking

Smoking increases the risk for cancer, lung disease and persistent back pain. Smoking can worsen your existing back pain. The theory put forward for this is that smoking narrows blood vessels leading to less oxygen and nutrients reaching your spine.

There are over 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic back pain. These people cannot enjoy a full and active life unless they get into a pain treatment program that can give them the pain relief that they need. Pain management doctors in Fort Lauderdale  are specialists whose main focus is the treatment and management of chronic pain resulting from injuries, accidents, diseases and various other conditions. Most pain doctors often have pain management clinics that solely focus on pain relief.

These doctors often work with other specialists in the medical fraternity for the recovery of patients in case more than one treatment approach is necessary. They will diagnose and manage the chronic pain. There are some pain doctors who further specialize in the treatment and management of pain that commonly affects certain parts of the body such as neck or lower back. They work with all kinds of individuals from athletes, construction workers and any other individual who needs relief from pain.

There are various medications that are often used for pain relief such as non-aspirin pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Corticosteroids and anti depressants among others. When these medications do not work effectively or lead to major dependency, you should consider seeing a pain doctor as they use various other techniques to bring pain relief. Pain medication only suppresses the pain, which returns when the medication wears off. There is also the risk of kidney damage from too much medication intake. Pain management aims to address the cause of the pain and eliminate it completely.

Some of the techniques used by pain doctors include:

  • The doctor can inject local anesthetics along with corticosteroids around the nerve roots, muscles and joints to relieve the irritation, inflammation and muscle spasms.
  • Nerve blocking is a technique commonly used to block a group of nerves that causes pain in specific organs or regions of the body. The doctor uses local anesthetics to block these nerves and prevent the pain.
  • Physical therapy through tailored exercises can help increase function and reduce pain in certain parts of the body. Pain doctors today use unique methods for physical therapy such as whirlpools, ultrasounds and deep tissue massage.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a popularly used electrical stimulation procedure for pain relief. The technique relies on a small device that stimulates the nerve fibers through the skin making it a non-invasive procedure.
  • Counseling and relaxing techniques can also eliminate the emotional anger, sadness and hopelessness that lead to unrelenting pain. A holistic approach of physiological support as well as medical treatment can lead to a huge improvement.
  • Surgery is often the last resort when no other pain management methods can work on a specific case. Surgery is often the last resort since there is the risk of many complications as well as long periods of downtime and recovery. However, surgery can be quite effective for specific pain cases. The surgery may be targeted at the nerves or correcting position of bones, tendons and ligaments that may be causing pain.

American Pain Experts, Pain management Fort Lauderdale where a drop of our care can get your life back. Our physicians and staff pride ourselves in providing the most advanced and up-to-date pain therapy available in Ft Lauderdale and surrounding areas.

There is an alarming number of people suffering from chronic back pain today. Most of people live with the pain barely living up to their potential or enjoying a fulfilling life. Fortunately, most of the causes of spine problems can be easily prevented and corrected. Your spine is the series of bones from the base of your head all the way down to your lower back at the top of your hips. Taking care of this area can help prevent a barrage of spine problems and keep it healthy. Here are some of the things you could be doing wrong or you should start doing:

  • Besides the importance of good sleep to your overall health, sleeping well is also very important for your spine. Your body needs a good night’s sleep to rest and repair, preferably for a minimum of 7 hours each night. Your sleeping position can hurt or help your spine. You should avoid sleeping on your stomach, which puts too much pressure on your spine or sleeping on your back without the correct support. Sleeping on your side with a comfortable pillow and your knees bent towards your chest is the best position for your spine. You should buy a supportive mattress and a pillow that can align your neck properly.

 

  • Lifting the wrong way or twisting your back while lifting can easily hurt your spine. You need to lift in the proper form to avoid hurting your back. You should always look for lifting equipment or aids before you try picking something heavy off the ground. If you have to lift, the proper form is standing very close to the object and using your legs instead of the upper body. Bend at your knees instead of the waist and lift while keeping your back straight. If it’s too heavy to lift, just as ask for help before you throw out your back.

 

  • Staying in the same position for extended periods often leads to muscles stiffness and soreness. Stretching can help keep your body flexible and at ease. You need to maintain a good range of motion for the health of your spine and stretching can help you do exactly that. It can even reduce the risk of injuries. There are various stretches that you can do for the entire body and even at your desk when in the office. Stretch out your neck, shoulders and arms, back, thighs and legs. Staying active also helps you cover most of the stretching when you move around and do various activities.

 

  • Most of the muscle cramps and stiffness you experience could be due to dehydration. Staying hydrated, helps maintain soft tissue elasticity and fluidity in the joints making it easy to have a wider range of motion. The spinal discs are vulnerable to loss of hydration when you do not take enough water.

 

  • Watch out for the warning signs if you do not want your back problems getting worse. Ignoring that stiff neck could lead to even bigger problems that could easily be corrected when you see the doctor early. If you experience pain and discomfort in your back for more than five days, you should see a doctor.

American Pain Experts, Pain management Fort Lauderdale where a drop of our care can get your life back. Our physicians and staff pride ourselves in providing the most advanced and up-to-date pain therapy available in Ft Lauderdale and surrounding areas.

Back pain is such a common problem for most people that four out of five people will experience some form of back pain in their lives. It is the fifth most popular reason why people go to see the doctor. Back pain comes in various ways and affects various parts of the back. For some people, it is only a temporary pain that is triggered when doing some activities. It could also be the result of an accident or injury that causes others to experience back pain. There are a couple of ways to prevent back pain or keep it from getting worse.

Exercise

Exercise is good for your back. Constant resting or keeping your spine in one position may cause stiffening or limit your mobility since your back is only comfortable in one position. Regular exercise helps to reduce inflammation and muscle tension making it easier to move your back without feeling pain. Exercise also helps to control excessive weight gain, which can worsen the back pain. Having too much weight in the mid region can shift your center of gravity and strain your lower back. Target exercises that can help you stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight.

Sleeping position

If you often experience back pain in the morning that subsides during the day, or have a lot of difficulty sleeping, it could be due to your sleeping position. There are some sleeping positions that can trigger back pain or even using the wrong kind of bedding like very stiff pillows and mattresses. According to medical experts, the best sleeping position is on your side with your knees slightly pulled towards your chest. If you want to sleep on your back then use two pillows, one under your lower back and the other under your knees.

Posture

Good sitting posture can keep the back pain away. You should use chairs with a straight back or lower back support. When seated, your knees should be a little bit higher than you hips so you may need to prop your feet up on something. People who work long hours at desk jobs should find the best sitting posture and take breaks to rest every once in a while. Standing posture too also affects back pain. Keeping your head up and pulling your stomach in can help. Resting one foot on something then shifting your weight to the other foot after a few minutes can help as well.

Lifting

Lifting heavy things the wrong way is also a common trigger for back pain. You have probably heard of people saying they busted their back while lifting something heavy. You should always use trolleys, handcarts and other supporting equipment to lift heavy stuff. If you have to lift it yourself, you should not bend at the waist but squat down, hold the object close to your body while pulling your stomach muscles in then stand up while avoiding twisting your body. Pushing is the best way to move heavy objects instead of pulling.

American Pain Experts, Pain management Fort Lauderdale where a drop of our care can get your life back. Our physicians and staff pride ourselves in providing the most advanced and up-to-date pain therapy available in Ft Lauderdale and surrounding areas.

 

Failing to manage your chronic pain can lead to significant mental and physical issues. Maybe it’s time to approach the situation head on. Look for practical ways to deal with chronic pain. Forget about relying solely on prescription medication because they only hide the pain rather than dealing with the underlying cause of pain. Here is how to approach the whole situation.

Get a complete diagnosis

It’s important to visit a specialist who will help you understand the cause of your pain. Treating pain would be a waste of time if the cause is unknown. Chronic pain is described as severe pain in different area(s) of your body that may last between three to six months or longer. It may occur due to physical injury, a chronic medical condition or any other unknown cause. Chronic pain can occur due to a traumatic event or physical and psychological abuse. A pain specialist will diagnose the problem and offer a suitable approach to treat chronic pain.

Managing your medication

In many cases, you will be given some medication that will help you to manage chronic pain. You need to use the medication as directed by the doctor or pain specialist. Overdosing is highly discouraged because pain medication has deadly side effects when overused. Relying on pain medication like morphine can have adverse effects on your health so make sure you reduce usage overtime and seek other alternatives of dealing with the pain.

Physical therapy to manage chronic pain

Individuals who suffer from severe pain are at risk of gaining weight, losing strength and flexibility because of limited movement. Physical therapy not only helps to boost stamina and make you active, but can also release the body’s natural painkillers to help you alleviate pain. Physical therapy and meditation can also help to loosen the muscles and reduce pain. You can get better sleep and reduce stress due to physiotherapy.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Chocolate, eggs, processed foods and dairy should be consumed in moderation. These are foods that have chemicals which cause inflammation and may worsen the pain. Look for foods that are easy to digest and can reduce inflammation such as leafy green vegetables, fruits like pineapples and plums as well as soy products. Turmeric is also a nice ingredient to include in your meals or tea because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Maintain a proper posture so that you do not damage your spine or strain your neck and muscles.

Become active in something you love

In order to focus less on the pain, you need to engage in physical activities that you love. Spend time with people who support you and do not isolate yourself. Interacting with people really helps you to take your mind off the pain.

Join a support group

Sharing your experience with other people can be one of the best ways to cope with chronic pain. Even though talking about your pain alone may not eliminate it completely, psychotherapy can help you to improve your quality of life. A good support system will help you to manage the chronic pain effectively.

From arthritis to poor posture, heavy lifting and pregnancy, the causes of back pain are diverse. There is really no single cure for back pain. The best you can do is to take steps to manage your condition. In most cases, it gets better with time. The following tips can help you manage lower back pain.

Stay active

Nothing can worsen back pain faster than inactivity. Move as often and as quickly as possible. Do not take more than 3 days of bed rest. Once you feel better, perform your regular activities, walk and swim as a form of exercise. You obviously need to avoid exercises that strain your back or cause pain but make sure you are not inactive.

Strengthen the abdominals

Once you are able to perform some minor exercises, start by working out your muscles. Muscles that support the lower back really need strengthening because if they are weak, you will experience a lot of strain on the lower back. The abdominal muscles support your back so strengthening them helps to improve your posture and align your spine.

Take note of sitting positions that aggravate lower back pain

Your lower back pain suffers if you slouch in your desk or sit for long hours. You need to stand up at least every 20 minutes and stretch backwards. You can also lie on your bed and stretch your entire body then put one leg on the floor. Lean forward to stretch your muscles while keeping the back in a neutral position. These movements help you stretch out more and improve your flexibility. Avoid lifting heavy objects if you are still recovering from lower back pain. If your job involves heavy lifting, start by bending from the knees to pick up the item.

Get proper footwear

Poor alignment of feet can cause lower back pain. It happens because high-heeled shoes make your posture unstable and add more pressure on your spine. Low-heeled shoes, special inserts or insoles and running shoes can provide more support and prevent or ease your back pain.

Keep your weight in check

Overweight or obese individuals are at a higher risk of lower back pain because of the excess weight. This extra weight places a lot of strain on your back and you’ll need to avoid it in order to manage your pain. Change your diet, exercise more often and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid excess weight.

Talk to a specialist

If you have been suffering from severe pain on the lower back that doesn’t seem to go away after days of treatment, you need to see the doctor immediately. Lower back pain, if not treated early can cause obesity, loss of bowel or bladder control and a host of other problems that need to be addressed. Some patients are able to obtain relief by exercising whereas others have to go through physical therapy. You just need to see a specialist who can help you deal with the condition and discover ways to manage it.

Pressure on the muscles, tendons and ligaments on your neck or upper region of the spine can cause a lot of pain. This strain or pressure is usually caused by poor posture, injuries and body mechanisms that affect the muscles.

  1. Maintain proper sleeping posture

There’s a risk of bending your spine when you sleep on your side. Sleeping on the back allows the spine and head to be properly aligned. The spine can rest naturally especially if your pillow is not too high. You can also use an orthopedic pillow that helps you to maintain a good sleeping posture. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended because you’ll have to turn your head on one side in order to breathe and this constant rotation is bad for your spine.

  1. See an eye doctor

If you have vision difficulties, you will constantly be forced to lean forward in order to see properly. This constant craning of the head in order to see properly can cause serious neck pain.

  1. Get rid of bad habits

You will need to stop poor habits like watching TV or reading a book while lying down because they strain your neck muscles further. Sit down properly when you want to watch a movie or read a book.

  1. Take note of the position of your chin

Your chin and chest should be aligned for you to know whether you are sitting correctly. If your chin is far away from your chest you could be straining your neck muscles.

  1. Shoulders back, chest out

This is probably the easiest way to maintain an upright posture. Always keep your shoulders far back and the chest in front so that you are able to support your neck.

  1. Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is the easiest way to keep your spinal discs healthy and flexible. Drink 8 glasses of water every day to prevent dehydration.

  1. Distribute weight evenly across your shoulders

When you carry heavy items on one side then you make the shoulders to become uneven and cause so much strain on the neck muscles. Avoid carrying a heavy handbag on one side of your shoulder and try as much as possible to distribute weight evenly whenever you are carrying heavy things.

  1. Exercises for neck pain

There are a number of exercises that you can try out to work out the muscles and trigger points that often cause pain. Massage therapy can also help you to relieve tension on the trigger points and alleviate pain.

  1. Hold your phone correctly

Holding your phone between your ear and shoulder can make you bend over and strain the neck muscles. You can try using a headpiece to avoid bending over especially if you use the phone regularly.

  1. Armrests

Resting your arms will ensure you don’t put so much pressure on the neck muscles.  Just relax your arms and perform circular stretches to maintain flexibility.

Taking the steps above to reduce neck pain can go a long way in helping you manage pain and improve your quality of life.

At American Pain Experts, we are focused on giving the patient the best care while treating them. In addition our experts will advise you on the best practices to take in order to prevent neck pain.

Contact our Fort Lauderdale location at 954-678-1074

 

Neck pains are less common than back pains but there are a significantly large number of people who suffer from neck pain across the world. This particular pain can be around the neck alone or can involve the arms and shoulders. Some people indicate presence of a mild headache and stiffness of the neck.

Neck pains can be a symptom of an underlying disease but in most cases it indicates the aging of the spine. As you get older, the discs degenerate and the spine may become less stable. There are three types of neck pains:

  • Axial neck pain – The axial pain is musculoskeletal and involves the soft tissue. Muscle strain is an example of this type of pain.
  • Radiculopathy – This is neck and arm pain as a result of root compression and is characterized by pain around the arm and shoulder region. Numbness and weakness may also be experienced.
  • Myelopathy – This type of pain is as a result of increased pressure causing spinal cord  compression and as a result it also affects the legs. A person suffering from this may have difficulty walking and numbness in the arms.

The pain may be acute or chronic in each type. Acute pain comes as a result of injury or sudden stress. It can normally be resolved with medication and bed rest for several days. Chronic pain is that pain persisting over three months. At this point it is wise to consider management plans like therapy or surgical interventions.

Chronic pain treatment can be classified in three sections:

  •  Medication
  • Therapy
  •  Surgery

Medicine

Unresolved chronic neck pain is usually examined with scans and X-Rays to determine the  cause. If the pain persists, your doctor will recommend drugs to relieve the pain, anti-depressants and muscle relaxers as a combination. This can be used as a short-term solution as during this period your doctor will monitor the effectiveness at every appointment.

Therapy

There are numerous techniques that are used in therapy to offer pain relief.

  • Physical therapy  : Therapy can use exercises to strengthen the neck and align your posture. The use of heat or ice and electrical impulses is also effective in pain relief.
  • Traction : This is the use of weights, pulleys to stretch your neck. This therapy may provide relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation if done correctly under the supervision of a specialist.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) : Electrodes are placed on your skin close to the pain source and deliver minute electrical impulses that may help to relieve pain.
  • Soft collar : This supports your neck and helps to take off the weight from your structure. It may help in pain relief but it also requires use over a monitored and timed period toavoid more damage.

Surgery

This is an effective way of correcting myelopathy and nerve root compression. It is the most  invasive of the methods but may offer the best chance of pain relief. A combination of the  surgery and therapy would offer relief and avoid recurrences as recommended by a specialist  doctor.

The beginning of a back pain issue is usually unforeseen and can be sudden or worsen over a  period of time. Knowing the type of pain you are experiencing can go a long way in getting the right treatment. The pain can be classified according to the area the pain is radiating from and the intensity of the pain.

Upper and middle back pain

Upper back pain is caused by injury to the tendons and ligaments that have been overworked either during an accident or in daily activities. The wear and tear could result in severe upper  back pain. There are also lifestyle causes to this type of back pain like poor posture and obesity. The posture can eventually cause pain to the neck, arms and the upper back.

Some activities can cause the muscles to contract and increase the pain as a result. A simple pain killer can get rid of the pain but if the pain progresses, visit a chiropractor or a physician who will recommend the best treatment. Most of the time the doctor will recommend adjusting your posture and therapy to help release the muscle tension.

Lower back pain

This is mostly as a direct result of injury or trauma, heavy lifting or increased tension at the  lower back. The tension can cause back pains and in some cases even muscle spasms. The  tension can be relived through therapy and exercise to strengthen the back and weakened abdominal walls.

Neck pain

This is pain extending from the base of your skill to the shoulders and arms. In some cases, it can include the upper back. This pain causes stiffness and headaches in some cases. It develops in people over 50 as a result of strained neck muscles but sleeping in a bad position or sitting in front of your computer for long hours is also likely to cause the same effect.

Sciatica (buttocks and legs)

It is as a result of compression to the sciatic nerve. It is the longest nerve in the body running from the pelvic base all the way to the legs and ending at the feet. Irritation to this nerve can  cause pain radiating from your lower back and is also felt in your legs.

The most common cause is a ruptured disc in your vertebrae. It will most likely pass without  extensive treatment but in prolonged cases; your physical therapist will recommend selected  exercise for you to help in easing the pain.

Chronic and acute back pains

All of the above pains can occur in different measures but they can all be chronic or acute. This  is determined by the period they have occurred. Acute pain is short term and is usually less  severe while chronic pain has prolonged over a period of time.

If you experience any of the symptoms below, it is important to visit a doctor immediately as  they could indicate increased severity.

  • A high temperature 100°F and above
  • Constant back pain even after resting
  •  Pain radiating to your chest and upper back
  •  If you have or have had cancer
  •  Loss of bowel, bladder control or ability to pass urine
  •  Pain below your knees and down your legs
  •  Recent back injury