News on Pain Management in St. Augustine

Learn more about the latest medical advancements utilized at our spine and pain center in St. Augustine, FL. We’ll share the latest information you’ll want to know about how we treat chronic pain.

Read the latest news on pain management in St. Augustine below. We proudly serve patients in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and the surrounding areas.

medical marijuana

How Medical Marijuana Can Treat Back Pain

Back pain can cause so much discomfort that it can feel impossible to go about your day. Thanks to changes in Florida’s drug laws, patients can consider medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL, and elsewhere throughout the state. Here is how cannabis can help patients overcome pain and live life as normal.

To understand the potential of medical cannabis, it’s important to understand its chemical composition and its effects. Many strains of cannabis contain THC, which is a chemical compound that affects the nervous system. When ingested, THC helps the brain to produce serotonin, which instills feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

Another compound found in cannabis is CBD. This does not have any psychoactive effects, yet it has been shown to alleviate pain and discomfort. It can also reduce feelings of anxiety, helping patients to feel calm without the so-called adverse side effects of THC.

Medical cannabis can help patients feel at ease while suppressing the nervous system’s ability to process pain. This drug can be ingested in various forms, including traditional pills. With proper supervision from a licensed medical professional, patients can find relief from back pain. Compare these treatments to substances like oxycodone, which poses the risk of addiction and dependency.

Medical marijuana isn’t for everyone. As with all drugs, taking this substance does have risks. More research is needed to verify marijuana’s viability as a medical drug. If you are thinking about this avenue of treatment, please get in touch with your physician to discuss your options.

nerve pain in the foot

About Neuropathy

Neuropathy is the result of nerve damage outside of the brain and spinal cord, and it typically occurs in the hands and feet. This damage can cause people to experience weakness, numbness, and pain of varying degrees. However, with neuropathy treatment in St. Augustine, FL, the symptoms can be managed effectively.

The pain associated with neuropathy can range from sudden and stabbing to burning and tingling that is felt throughout the day. In addition to the damaged nerves sending false pain signals to the brain, they can also cause people to lack the sensation of pain when they have an actual injury. Neuropathy can also be triggered by activities such as walking or even just standing in line.

People with this condition may notice that their bodies are very sensitive as well. Something as minor as having a blanket resting on their body could cause pain. This can have a significant negative effect on their quality of sleep.

On the other end of the spectrum, people with neuropathy may experience a loss of feeling — particularly in their fingertips. This can make everyday activities such as typing extremely difficult. If you find that you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this blog post, you should seek neuropathy treatment in St. Augustine, FL, from a trusted pain management clinic, such as First Coast Pain.

doctor showing patient a model of the spine

Answering Your Questions about Spinal Ablation

For patients with spondylosis (arthritis of the spine), as well as those experiencing chronic pain in the neck and lower back, spinal ablation in St. Augustine, FL, can be an excellent form of treatment. This procedure uses radiofrequency waves to destroy nerve fibers that send pain signals to the brain. It is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that can offer lasting relief.

Radiofrequency ablation is also called rhizotomy, and it is a procedure that reduces or stops the transmission of pain using heat. The radiofrequency waves actually burn the nerve that is transmitting the pain signals to the brain. Here are some of the significant benefits of radiofrequency ablation:

  • Nonsurgical
  • Immediate Pain Relief
  • Little to No Recovery Time
  • Decreased Need for Pain Medication
  • Improved Function
  • Quicker Return to Daily Activities

Are You a Candidate?

If you previously had a diagnostic nerve or pain receptor block injection and experienced pain relief, spinal ablation in St. Augustine, FL, is a treatment option for you. Please keep in mind that radiofrequency ablation shouldn’t be performed on people who are pregnant, have an infection, or have bleeding problems, as it is done using fluoroscopic guidance. If you have any further questions about your eligibility for this procedure, please contact First Coast Pain today.

sciatica

Are You Unintentionally Triggering Your Sciatica?

If you are one of the many people who seek sciatica treatment in St. Augustine, FL, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of different ways you could be triggering your sciatica. By identifying and limiting certain behaviors and habits that may serve as triggers, it could potentially make a big difference in your day-to-day life. Read on to learn about some of the most common triggers of sciatica.

Wearing High Heels – When you wear heels, your weight is thrown forward, and your hips may flex forward in order for your body to stay upright. This causes your hamstrings to stretch, and your sciatic nerve runs along the same route as your hamstrings, meaning it could stretch and irritate your sciatica.

Carrying Your Wallet in Your Back Pocket – When you sit for long periods of time with a bulky item such as your wallet in your back pocket, your piriformis muscle can become pressured and irritated. Your sciatic nerve happens to course under this muscle, and it may become pressured by your wallet as well, causing sciatica.

Being Overweight/Obese – If your body is carrying too much weight, it puts a lot of pressure on your sciatic nerve. In fact, as your body weight increases, so does the chance that you’ll experience sciatica.

If you cut out these triggers and still find that you are experiencing pain, please seek sciatica treatment in St. Augustine, FL.

 

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.