Posts made in February 2020

woman using TENS unit on shoulders

What You Should Know About TENS Units

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. In short, a TENS unit is a device that delivers small electrical impulses through a person’s skin to reduce pain.

Relieving pain with electricity might sound counterintuitive, but it is effective for many patients. When the electrical impulses flood your nervous system, your body’s ability to transmit pain signals gets reduced. At the same time, the impulses stimulate your body into producing more endorphins. Here’s what else you should know when you’re considering this treatment for chronic pain in St. Augustine, FL.

Recommended for a Range of Conditions

Many different patients utilize TENS units as part of their treatment. They’re often recommended to alleviate the pain associated with conditions like:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Post-Operative Pain

Safe for Many Patients – But Not All

As a drug-free, noninvasive treatment for chronic pain, TENS units are popular with many patients. These devices are also safe for most patients, with only a few minor side effects. You may experience an uncomfortable prickling sensation or an allergic reaction to the adhesive pads.

However, you should avoid TENS if you have heart problems or a pacemaker (or any other type of electrical or metal implant.) Likewise, pregnant people should avoid using TENS near their abdomen and pelvic regions, and people with epilepsy should not use TENS near their head or neck.

 

senior woman practicing yoga

How to Exercise Safely with Arthritis

Exercising is a great way for people with arthritis to reduce their joint pain and stiffness. In fact, routine workouts are often an integral part of arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL. However, if you’re already in pain, you might wonder how to work out without hurting yourself more. Follow these guidelines to get moving.

Talk to Your Doctor First

Before starting any exercise regimen, you should consult with your doctor to determine whether it’s safe for you to work out – and, if yes, what kinds of exercise would be best for you.

Choose Your Workouts Wisely

Based on your doctor’s recommendations, you can choose which workouts best suit your arthritis treatment goals. When you want to increase your flexibility and reduce stiffness, range-of-motion exercises like dancing and yoga are best. To increase your muscle strength and protect your joints, try strengthening exercises like weight training. For weight control and cardiovascular fitness, do aerobic or endurance exercises like bicycle riding and swimming.

Start Slow

Many people make the mistake of pushing too hard when they start exercising for arthritis treatment. Don’t let that be you. Start slow and listen to your body. If something is painful, switch to a different exercise or take a break. Over time, you’ll build your strength and be able to work out longer and harder – but until then, take it easy.

young woman with fribromyalgia – double exposure image

What You Should Know About Fibromyalgia

When you or someone you love get diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s important to understand the facts of the condition. First, fibromyalgia isn’t a disease or illness; it’s a syndrome, meaning a collection of symptoms. There’s no definitive diagnostic test for the fibromyalgia, and symptoms present differently patient to patient, so it often goes undiagnosed for years until the patient seeks pain management in Jacksonville, FL.

Characterized by Pain

Pain is the most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia since patients experience widespread muscle pain and tenderness. The American College of Rheumatology determined that patients should have a history of pain in all four quadrants of the body for three months or more and pain at 11 of 18 tender points to classify their condition as fibromyalgia, assuming other conditions are ruled out.

However, pain isn’t the only symptom. 90% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from a sleep disorder or severe fatigue. Likewise, patients may also experience seemingly unrelated symptoms like headaches, irritable bladder or bowel, noise or temperature sensitivity, restless leg syndrome, depression, or anxiety.

The good news is, there is a range of options available for pain management, including medication and non-medication treatments. Talk to your doctor to determine which treatments might work well for you. You may need to experiment to find out what offers you the best relief.

doctor holding model of the spine

How Epidural Steroid Injections Work

Inflamed spinal nerves caused by a herniated disc of spinal stenosis can leave you in a lot of pain. Thankfully, there is a back pain treatment in Jacksonville, FL, designed to treat these problems so you can begin to resume your normal activities and physical therapy programs. This treatment is called an epidural steroid injection (ESI).

So what exactly is an epidural steroid injection? A mixture of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent, this is a shot that delivers the drugs directly into the epidural space of the spine, which is the area between the protective dura sac and the bony vertebra. When delivered into the painful area, these injections are able to reduce inflammation to reduce pain by flushing away the proteins causing the swelling.

Depending on your unique situation, pain relief from these shots can last from days to years. You will want to talk to your doctor about the specifics of your spinal problems to gain a better understanding of how an epidural steroid injection can help you work towards your goal of living a pain-free life. Individuals that are typically candidates for this procedure include those suffering from:

  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated Disc
  • Degenerative Disc
  • Sciatica

Reach out to the team at First Coast Pain for more information.

joint pain in the hand

What Is Reactive Arthritis?

Different types of arthritis can be caused by different types of events. Reactive arthritis, for example, is typically caused by an infection in another part of your body. That means a virus or bacteria in your intestines, genitals, or urinary tract can actually lead to joint pain and swelling in your knees, ankles, or feet. It can even cause inflammation in your eyes, in your urethra, or on your skin. Some of the different symptoms to look out for include:

  • Pain & Stiffness
  • Eye Inflammation
  • Urinary Problems
  • Inflammation of Soft Tissue
  • Swollen Fingers or Toes
  • Skin Problems
  • Lower Back Pain

Because it is caused by an infection, you should come and see a doctor to receive arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL, to get your pain and discomfort under control. Not only will they be able to help you treat any pain you might be feeling, but they can also get to the bottom of the infection you are dealing with to help remove the cause of the arthritis.

Modern medical technology has made it easier than ever before to help people manage their joint pain. That means there is no reason for you to sit in discomfort any longer than necessary.

woman massaging her foot

How Pain Management in Jacksonville, FL, Helps with Peripheral/Diabetic Neuropathy

The key to any type of pain management in Jacksonville, FL, is to first understand what causes the pain. A common cause for pain and numbness in those with diabetes, for example, is peripheral, autonomic, focal, or radiculoplexus neuropathy.  Today, we are going to focus specifically on peripheral neuropathy, which is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy.

When it comes to any type of diabetic neuropathy, you may not notice anything is wrong at first. That is because symptoms usually develop gradually. This means by the time you begin to notice problems on your own, a significant amount of nerve damage may have already occurred. Peripheral neuropathy, for example, typically affects the feet and legs first before gradually including the arms and hands.

Some of the different signs and symptoms of this type of neuropathy include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling or Burning
  • Sharp Pains or Cramps
  • Increased Sensitivity to Touch
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Loss of Reflexes
  • Loss of Coordination & Balance
  • Serious Foot Problems

If you are diabetic, or if you notice any of these symptoms developing, it is important to go and visit a doctor as soon as possible. There are pain management solutions and other treatments that can help you reduce the amount of discomfort that can be caused by this type of nerve degeneration.