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.

doctor making notes on patient chart

What You Should Know about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause irreversible joint damage to your body if it is allowed to progress. So what exactly is RA? You might be shocked to learn that it actually occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks perfectly healthy joints. Unfortunately, this mistake can lead to anything from pain and swelling to stiffness and even the loss of physical function in the affected areas.

While the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis isn’t known, there are a combination of factors that can lead to it, including environmental influences, your immune system, and even your genetic predisposition. While RA might be a chronic illness, it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about minimizing its effect on your daily life. An arthritis treatment near Jacksonville, FL, can actually make living with RA much more manageable.

Take Control of Your Care

When it comes to diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, things can be kind of confusing. The early signs and symptoms tend to mimic those of many other types of diseases. Furthermore, there isn’t a simple test, blood or physical, which can immediately identify RA. Once you have been diagnosed, however, proper treatment can start to help you take back control of your life. While there are still many questions related to RA out there, you don’t have to be left in the dark.

pain management jacksonville fl

Coping with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can really take a toll on your overall happiness and health. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find ways to relieve it through effective pain management near Jacksonville, FL. There are several different ways that help you cope with this chronic pain until you can visit our team of physicians.

One of the best and easiest ways to take control of your chronic pain is to learn proper deep breathing and meditation techniques. This helps you relax your body so that you can relieve built up tension and tightness from your muscles. Reducing stress is one of the main ways you can fight back against pain. That means not only does meditation help, but so does exercise, improving your sleep schedule, and even joining a support group to talk with other people living with chronic pain.

Making smart life choices, including cutting back on alcohol, stopping smoking, and eating a healthy diet, can also play a big role in reducing the amount of pain you experience on a daily basis. Additionally, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about the different recommendations he or she can make that are specific to the conditions you are experiencing.

doctor treating young child

What You Need to Know about Juvenile Arthritis

When you think of arthritis, you probably imagine a senior citizen struggling to open a jar, because that is what they portray in medication commercials. Unfortunately, arthritis can occur in patients of any age – including children. Juvenile arthritis affects approximately 300,000 American children under the age of 16. The disease has different symptoms in children and generally has a much better prognosis. Here are some things you should know about juvenile arthritis:

There are Different Subsets of Juvenile Arthritis

While more subsets of juvenile arthritis are being researched, we started with three different types: polyarticular, pauciarticular, and systemic juvenile arthritis. Each of these subsets affects different joints and presents with different symptoms.

Polyarticular Juvenile Arthritis

The polyarticular subset of juvenile arthritis affects many different joints – usually the small joints of the hand in addition to other joints. This type is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in adults and is twice more likely to develop in girls than boys. Symptoms include low-grade fever, weight loss, and anemia.

Pauciarticular Juvenile Arthritis

This is the most common type of juvenile arthritis, typically affecting the knees, elbows, wrists, and ankles. This form of juvenile arthritis affects four joints or fewer and is often asymmetric in symptoms. For example, the left elbow may be affected and not the right. This type of arthritis is more common in girls.

Systemic Juvenile Arthritis

This type of juvenile arthritis is much different from other forms of the disease because it starts with generalized symptoms that affect the internal organs and other body parts. Early onset usually consists of fevers that come and go and a rash on the chest and thighs. Other symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes and spleen, inflammation of the heart and surrounding tissue, high white blood cell count, anemia, fatigue, and weight loss. This form of juvenile arthritis is rare, and in 75% of cases subsides without long-term damage.

Treatment

When your child needs arthritis treatment near Jacksonville, FL, turn to the compassionate doctors at First Coast Pain. You can make an appointment today at 904.800.7246 or book online.

medical marijuana plant

Commonly Asked Questions about Medical Marijuana

At First Coast Pain, we provide both traditional and alternative treatments for pain, including medical marijuana. Here are some frequently asked questions about this treatment:

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Florida?

Medical marijuana was legalized in Florida in November 2016. Voters approved the passage of an amendment to the state constitution, which allows Florida residents to obtain and use marijuana for medicinal purposes legally.

Do I have to be a Resident of Florida to Receive Medical Marijuana?

As long as you live in Florida for a minimum of 31 consecutive days each year, you can qualify for the program. People who meet this requirement are dubbed “seasonal residents” and are allowed to apply for a medical marijuana ID card.

How Do I Get My Medical Marijuana ID Card in Florida?

To get a medical marijuana ID card in Florida, you must be a Florida resident (or a seasonal resident). You must also meet the requirements of the Compassionate Use Registry. An in-person medical exam from a physician who is qualified to recommend medical cannabis is required to determine this.  If you meet those requirements, you can submit an application to the Office of Compassionate Use, which will then issue your card.

What Conditions Are Covered Under the Florida Medical Cannabis Program?

Medical marijuana is restricted to those with a debilitating illness. The list currently includes:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive Status for HIV
  • AIDS
  • PTS
  • ALS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • A Terminal Condition
  • Chronic Pain (Only if you have another qualifying condition)
  • Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above

Where is the Closest Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinic in St. Augustine, FL?

Our physicians at Florida Coast Pain are qualified to recommend medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL, to patients who have a qualifying chronic pain condition. Make an appointment with our compassionate doctors today by calling 904.800.7246 or book online.

botox for migraines Jacksonville fl

What You Need to Know About Vestibular Migraines

Vestibular migraines affect up to 1% of the population and are associated with debilitating vertigo. According to the ICHD-II (the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders), vestibular migraines meet the following criteria:

  • Current or past history of migraine with or without aura
  • At least five episodes of vestibular symptoms lasting from five minutes to 72 hours
  • At least 50% of vestibular episodes have one or a combination of these characteristics:
    • Visual Aura
    • Sensitivity to Light and Sound
    • Headache with at least two of the following features: pulsating pain, one-sided head pin, moderate or severe intensity, aggravation by physical activity
  • Symptoms that Cannot be Explained by Another Condition

Symptoms of Vestibular Migraines

Vestibular migraines can be very disorienting. If you experience these types of migraines, you may experience:

  • Spontaneous Vertigo – When you feel like you are moving, or your surroundings are spinning.
  • Positional Vertigo – When vertigo occurs due to a change in head position
  • Visually-Induced Vertigo – When vertigo is caused by a large, moving visual stimulus
  • Head Motion – Dizziness with nausea accompanying vertigo

Diagnosis

While there is no clinical test to determine if a person suffers from vestibular migraines, your doctor can diagnose you by analyzing your description of the symptoms and your medical history. To help with the diagnosis, you can build a migraine profile. This will give your doctor a more detailed look at your symptoms.

First Coast Pain offers treatments for headache disorders, including BOTOX for migraines near Jacksonville, FL. Contact our office at 904.800.726 today to find relief from your pain.

What to Do If You Think You Have Arthritis

doctor with patientIf you have begun experiencing consistent joint pain, you are probably concerned that you are developing arthritis. If you suspect you have this disease, here are four things you should do:

Pay Attention to Your Symptoms

When you suspect you have arthritis, take note of your symptoms and monitor any changes in how you have been feeling. Note the type of pain, and any other symptoms like warmth, redness, or swelling in the joint. Your notes can help your doctor diagnose and treat your pain. For tips on how to keep track of your symptoms, see our blog post about keeping a chronic pain journal.

Limit Self-Treatment

When you first develop joint pain, it can be tempting to head straight for the drugstore. There are a myriad of over-the-counter pain medications that you can buy. While these treatments may work short term, you will need to see a doctor to receive a diagnosis. Your doctor will be able to prescribe a treatment plan that helps in the long run. Also, some OTC pain relievers can cause stomach problems if used long term.

Consult a Doctor

If you suspect that you have arthritis, the most crucial step you need to take is to see a reputable doctor. Do not put off this step, because delaying treatment can cause further damage to your joints. Your doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and customize a treatment plan specifically for you and your condition. Not every case of arthritis is the same.

Learn to Live Well with Arthritis

Arthritis is a diagnosis that can be hard to process. If you are proactive in your approach to dealing with this disease, it is possible to live well with arthritis. Learn what steps you can take to manage your arthritis pain naturally by reading our blog post about natural arthritis relief.

If you suspect you have arthritis, make an appointment with our pain management clinic for arthritis treatment near Jacksonville, FL. Call us at 904.800.7246 or schedule an appointment online.

Managing Chronic Pain with a Healthy Diet

woman with grocery bag full of vegetablesWatching what we eat is essential for many reasons. Maintaining a healthy diet reduced the risk of diabetes, obesity, strokes, heart disease, and more. For the millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain, what you eat can also affect your pain levels. While excess weight can put pressure on your body and cause pain, there are other negative impacts resulting from a poor diet that you may not be aware of.

Inflammation

One of the most significant symptoms of chronic pain conditions is inflammation. A diet that is low in fruits and veggies and high in sugar, fat, and salt can exacerbate the inflammation that is already in your body. If you suffer from joint or muscle pain, increased inflammation can significantly increase the pain you feel daily.

Dietary Changes

While it can be challenging to make drastic changes to your diet, there are some small changes you can make today. There is no need to adopt a strict diet regimen. Simply adding fruits and vegetables to your typical diet and making health swaps when you can go a long way towards helping you manage your pain. Another way to reduce inflammation is to keep a close eye on your sodium consumption. Reduce your salt intake and drink lots of water.

Find relief from your chronic pain when you book an appointment at First Coast Pain for pain management near Jacksonville, FL. Call our clinic today at 904.800.7246.or schedule your appointment online.

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

back pain treatment Jacksonville flMany adults will experience back pain in their lifetime. Conditions like osteoarthritis, ruptured discs, sciatica, muscle strains, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, back injuries, and more can all be at fault for your pain. To get an accurate diagnosis and relief from your pain, you will need to see a doctor for back pain treatment near Jacksonville, FL.

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

In many instances, back pain will only last for a few days or weeks. Many people experience episodic back pain that is not a huge concern. However, if this is the first time you are experiencing back pain, it is always good to go to the doctor to make sure it isn’t serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as you can:

  • Persistent back pain lasting longer than a few days
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Incontinence issues (bladder and bowel control)
  • Signs of infection like chills, fever, and sweats
  • Any unusual symptoms accompanying the pain

With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, back pain can be managed and even cured. If you are experiencing back pain, call First Coast Pain today at 904.800.7246 today or schedule your appointment online. Our skilled and compassionate physicians are ready to help you start feeling like yourself again.

The Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Fibromyalgia

medical marijuana st Augustine flWhile the use of medical marijuana is controversial, there is a lot of research that suggests it can be very beneficial for patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. To understand how medical cannabis can positively affect those living with fibromyalgia, we need to take a look at the endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system can be understood by breaking it down into its components: “Endogenous” is used to refer to things within your body, and “cannabinoid,” which comes from the word cannabis and is used to refer to the parts of your body that react to cannabis. Our bodies contain natural cannabinoids, and some studies suggest that deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system can play a role in Fibromyalgia. The endocannabinoid system is involved in numerous processes that are impaired in fibromyalgia, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Immune Function
  • Memory
  • Pain Processing
  • Sleep
  • Stress Response
  • Temperature Regulation
  • The Autonomic Nervous System

How Medical Cannabis Can Benefit Fibromyalgia Patients

Studies done of medical marijuana users suggest that using cannabis can reduce pain, including the nociceptive pain that affects people living with fibromyalgia. It can also minimize stiffness, lower inflammation, enhance relaxation, and improve sleep. It can also improve the mental health of fibromyalgia suffers.

If you have fibromyalgia and are curious if medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL, can work for you; make an appointment at First Coast Pain. You can reach our office at 904.800.7246 or schedule your appointment conveniently online.

What You Need to Know About Retinal Migraines

blue eyeA migraine is much more than just a headache and can manifest in different forms in different people. One relatively rare type of migraine condition is retinal migraine. Retinal migraines are a subset of ocular migraines. Where an ocular migraine affects your eyes, the retinal type only affects one eye. When you suffer from this type of migraine, you experience partial or full blindness in one of your eyes, along with other changes in vision. Let’s take a look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for retinal migraines:

Symptoms

Retinal migraines cause changes in vision, the most common being flashes of light (scintillations), partial loss of sight, and total blindness. These changes in vision usually occur for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour, with the headache and other migraine symptoms following soon after. In some people, these visual disturbances can last much longer, including through the headache phase.

Causes

Not much is known about migraines and their symptoms. One possible explanation for the visual disturbances in retinal migraines is vasospasm, which is a condition where the vessels supplying blood the retina narrow. Migraines are often brought on by specific triggers like stress, staring at screen for long periods, driving long distances, hormonal fluctuations, and even certain types of food and drink. Pay attention to what you are doing before a migraine hits and create a migraine profile to help you deal with triggers.

Diagnosis and Treatment

While there is no specific test for retinal migraines, your doctor can evaluate your reported symptoms and medical history to reach a diagnosis. They will often have to rule out other diseases that can cause visual disturbances first.

There are a few different ways to treat migraines, including preventative measures. Make an appointment with First Coast Pain to receive treatment, including BOTOX for migraines near Jacksonville, FL. You can make your appointment online or call us at 904.800.7246.