Posts made in June 2020

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Diseases that Seem Like Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be complicated. Many people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis will tell you that it took some time before they were given a definitive diagnosis. Even if doctors suspect rheumatoid arthritis early on, there is no single test or piece of evidence that confirms the diagnosis. A blend of findings from a patient’s medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies must all be considered, so a diagnosis and the selection of arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL, can be tricky. There are also several medical conditions with similar symptoms. Here are some conditions that can mimic rheumatoid arthritis.

Post-Viral Arthritis – Chronic and acute and viral infections can sometimes result in a polyarthritis that looks just like rheumatoid arthritis clinically.

Lupus – Systemic lupus erythematosus can be associated with joint difficulties that mimic rheumatoid arthritis, but lupus differs by rarely being an erosive disease.

Scleroderma – A comprehensive chemistry panel, a complete blood count, and serologic studies (antinuclear, anticentromere, and antitopoisomerase antibodies) are usually ordered when a patient is suspected of having scleroderma.

Osteoarthritis – The absence of symptoms and signs of systemic inflammation, onset in older adulthood, and a pattern of asymmetric joint involvement, are often enough to distinguish osteoarthritis from rheumatoid arthritis.

Gout – Acute gout usually is associated with asymmetric inflammation and arthritis, but gout attacks can become more frequent, last longer, and may not resolve, leading to chronic gouty arthropathy. It can be distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis by the absence of joint space narrowing and the absence of periarticular osteopenia.

x-ray graphic depicting migraine

Myths about Migraines

People who suffer from migraines are well aware that they are beyond just a mere headache. A migraine is typically accompanied by throbbing or pulsing pain and may include nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and noise. The disabling nature of the pain could cause the sufferer to be confined to a darkened room for hours or even days.

Those are some of the basic facts about migraines, but there are also many myths out there that you should be aware of when you seek out migraine treatment. We at First Coast Pain would like to dispel some of those myths for our patients in the Jacksonville, FL, area and beyond.

Common Migraine Myths

All Headaches Can Be Described As Migraines – There are a number of different types of headaches, and migraines are distinct due to their severity, duration, and accompanying symptoms.

Sufferers Are to Blame for Their Migraines – While factors such as anxiety, depression, and stress may trigger a migraine, the main culprit when it comes to migraine attacks is genetics.

Caffeine Causes Migraines – Caffeine can actually be utilized as a form of migraine treatment when it is used on an as-needed basis (caffeine overuse is indeed known to cause headaches).

senior man in a hospital bed after surgery

Who Needs Kyphoplasty?

Anyone who has suffered compression fractures in their vertebrae should look into kyphoplasty, which is a special type of spine surgery performed by First Coast Pain in St. Augustine, FL. The procedure involves inserting a surgical balloon into a tube to inflate the collapsed area and then filling that area with bone cement, which keeps the vertebra in place. But what causes these compression fractures in the first place? And are you a possible candidate for kyphoplasty?

A spinal compression fracture results from the occurrence of small hairline fractures in your spine, which can cause the vertebra to collapse. This break in your vertebrae causes bone fragments to rub against each other, which can be extremely painful. These fractures typically occur in the middle of the back (thoracic region of the spine), but it’s possible that they could also occur in the lower back (lumbar region).

The individuals who are at the greatest risk of suffering from compression fractures are older adults with osteoporosis, as well as people with cancer that has spread to their bones. If you think you might be a candidate for kyphoplasty, reach out to First Coast Pain today. We will be happy to discuss treatment options with you.

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Recovery Tips After Radiofrequency Ablation

A popular procedure for patients seeking neck and back pain treatment in Jacksonville, FL, is radiofrequency ablation (RFA). While this procedure is quick and minimally invasive, there are some after-effects associated with this form of treatment. For example, the area that was treated may become sensitive immediately after an RFA, and you could experience a slight burning pain or numbness in that area as well. Below, we’ll discuss some tips for recovery following RFA treatment.

In order to reduce swelling and numb the pain in the area of the injection, it is advisable to use an ice pack. You should ice down the affected area for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You’ll also want to wait at least two hours before icing it again; otherwise, you may injure your skin. Please note that you typically should not use a heat pack in the area of the injection following RFA.

Another tip is to avoid baths for two days after an RFA procedure and take warm showers instead. Also, you’ll want to rest for a few days before you return to your normal daily routine. It’s okay to do some of your regular activities, but be sure to take it easy if you start to experience any pain.

For further advice on recovery from this neck and back pain treatment, reach out to First Coast Pain. We’re happy to provide recovery tips that help you get back to normal as soon as possible.