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.

patient speaking with doctor

What is Undifferentiated Arthritis?

Most people are familiar with arthritis, but many don’t realize how many different types exist. Furthermore, not all patients fit perfectly into a singular category. When someone exhibits symptoms consistent with inflammatory arthritis, but no definitive diagnosis can be made, they are said to have “undifferentiated arthritis.”

How does a diagnosis of undifferentiated arthritis affect your options for pain management in Jacksonville, FL? Since every case is unique, you’ll likely go through some trial and error to figure out what is most effective for you. Keep your mind open to all the possibilities available to you; they range from physical therapy and steroid injections to alternative medicine. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, therapies, or medications.

One of the most important things for undifferentiated arthritis patients to keep in mind is that their condition may change. Roughly half of patients go into remission, about a third develop rheumatoid arthritis, and the others develop other conditions. When practicing pain management in Jacksonville, FL, it’s important to also continuously track your condition and report any changes to your medical team. While ideally your arthritis will go into remission eventually, you’ll need to address rheumatoid arthritis as soon as possible to stop the progression of the disease.

medical marijuana oil

How Medical Marijuana Fights Inflammation and Pain

If you’ve been prescribed medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL, you’re likely curious about how exactly it works. Marijuana, also known as cannabis or hemp, has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. However, the science behind its benefits has only been established relatively recently — and new findings are published frequently. Doctors today prescribe cannabis to fight inflammation and temporarily relieve pain based on the results from these recent studies.

So, how exactly does marijuana help with inflammation and pain? The answer largely depends on which substance derived from the plant you’re using. With over 450 categorized substances, there are several that offer medicinal effects.

In general, however, these substances work by activating the body’s CB2 receptor. The CB2 receptor plays a crucial role in inhibiting tissue inflammation. When this receptor is activated, it prompts the tissue’s cells to release fewer cytokines (pro-inflammatory signal substances). That means you feel less inflammation and thus less pain.

It’s important to note that this effect, as beneficial as it can be, does not actually cure the underlying condition that is causing inflammation and pain. You will still need to follow recommendations concerning other treatments, exercise, stretching, and so on. However, many people still find medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL, to be a valuable addition to their life.

joint pain in the hand

How Recognize Early Arthritis Symptoms

We see many patients every day at First Coast Pain who are seeking arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL. That is why we thought it would be useful to provide some information on alleviating arthritis pain.

Before we jump into the discussion of treatments, we need to take a moment to look at what arthritis is. Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than 100 different types, and it can strike one joint or multiple joints at the same time.

The sooner you are diagnosed with arthritis, the quicker you can begin seeking treatment and relief from the pain and discomfort. Here’s what you need to watch for so that you can recognize the early signs:

  • A primary indicator is pain, stiffness, and swelling in one or more joints.
  • You experience morning stiffness of the affected joint that persists for one hour, at least.
  • Your pain and stiffness increases with inactivity and reduces with physical activity.
  • Your range of motion is reduced.
  • These symptoms are also sometimes accompanied by fever, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue.

You can seek relief from the pain and discomfort with arthritis treatments that include guided steroid injections, peripheral nerve radiofrequency ablations, as well as regenerative therapies.

woman with lower back pain

Back Pain FAQ

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints among adults, and it’s definitely one of the most prevalent reasons that clients come to us for treatment at First Coast Pain.

To provide some useful information about back pain and treatments, our staff has assembled an FAQ list on back pain and pain management in Jacksonville, FL.

Q: Does back pain affect everyone?

A: Back pain does not affect everyone, but it is extremely common in both men and women. It generally develops in those aged 30 to 50 due to inactive lifestyles, being overweight, and aging.

Q: What causes back pain?

A: Back pain with no particular cause is known as non-specific pain. It can be caused by muscles, ligaments, cartilage, or nerves that are not functioning properly. Other causes include slipped discs, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis.

Q: What is sciatica?

A: Sciatica is a painful condition with intense pressure on a very specific area of the back. Its causes can be traced to a ruptured or herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve that runs from the spinal column down the legs. Sufferers experience shock-like or burning pain in the lower back and possibly down into the foot.

Q: How can I get relief from the pain?

A: Chiropractic treatments can be very effective in helping relieve pain. You can seek relief through treatments such as epidural steroid injections, facet injections, radiofrequency ablation, and nerve blocks, for example.