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Tips for Dealing with Neck Pain

physical therapist correcting patient’s postureNeck pain can be challenging to live with, but there are a few things you can do to lessen your pain.

Seek Treatment

The first thing you should do when you start experiencing neck pain is pay a visit to the doctor. While some neck pain is temporary and will go away over time, it could be a sign of something else. Your doctor can give you a diagnosis and treatment plan that will help your neck pain go away much faster.

Correct Your Posture

Slouching while sitting or standing is one of the most frequent causes of neck pain, so working to correct your posture can cause your neck pain to decrease or go away entirely.

Sleep with Fewer Pillows

Your neck is made up of multiple bones that form a forward curve. Sleeping with multiple pillows causes your head to flex forward, which places increased stress on your neck. Using one pillow while you sleep helps support your neck’s natural curve as you sleep, which can result in less neck pain.

Avoid Looking Down at Your Phone

We’re not saying that you can’t use your phone – they’re essential these days, but you should reduce your use. When you look down at your phone, you are putting your neck in an extreme forward position, which can cause pain.

If you are suffering from neck pain, visit the capable physicians at First Coast Pain for pain management near Jacksonville, FL. We offer a personalized approach to pain treatment and multifaceted treatments that can include medication, physical therapy, and behavioral interventions. Contact us today at 904.800.7246 or make your appointment online.

What You Need to Know about Hemiplegic Migraines

migraine treatment Jacksonville flHemiplegic migraine is a rare condition that begins in childhood and can be very frightening to experience. The most distinctive symptom of a hemiplegic migraine is the motor aura, which results in paralysis or weakness in one half of the body. Other than the motor auras, hemiplegic migraine sufferers can also experience visual and sensory auras that are typical of a classic migraine. The duration of the auras in hemiplegic migraines tends to be much longer than a typical migraine.

Two Types

Hemiplegic migraines are split into two categories: familial and sporadic. Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is caused by mutations on one of three genes: CACNA1A, on chromosome 19; ATP1A2, on chromosome 1; and SCN1A, on chromosome 2. These genes are inherited from a parent with the dominant gene. If one parent has a form of FMH, their child has a 50% chance of getting it as well.

Sporadic hemiplegic migraine (SHM) is much less common and shows up in people without a family history of the condition. The genetic mutations responsible can happen simultaneously.

Treatments for Hemiplegic Migraine

Treating hemiplegic migraine can be tricky. Medications like triptans, ergotamine derivatives, and beta-blockers can increase the risk of stroke in patients with acute hemiplegic migraine. However, there are solutions out there for you. When you visit First Coast Pain for migraine treatment near Jacksonville, FL, our physicians will provide you with a personalized solution for your hemiplegic migraine conditions. Make an appointment online today or call our clinic at 904.800.726.

The Benefits of CBD Oil for Chronic Pain

medical marijuana st Augustine flThe use of cannabis as a treatment for pain dates back to ancient China, but it has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Many chronic pain sufferers are now turning to CBD oil as an alternative treatment. CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid – a compound that is found in the marijuana plant. You may be aware of THC, another cannabinoid that has psychoactive effects. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a “high” and is therefore seen as ideal for medical use. Here are some of the benefits of CBD:

Reduces Inflammation

CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of chronic pain in conditions like osteoarthritis and IBS. Reduced inflammation makes these conditions much more manageable.

Promotes Better Sleep

People with chronic pain often experience disrupted sleep patterns. CBD encourages sounder sleep, which can help make chronic pain more manageable.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of cell-to-cell communication that contributes to brain functions like mood and memory. It also affects how we experience pain. There is some evidence that CBD has an effect on this system, which may be why some people find it useful for treating their pain.

Decreased Side Effects and Dependency

Many people are turning to medical cannabis to avoid the side effects of traditional painkillers. With some stronger painkillers, there is also the risk of developing a dependency on it, which is something you will not find with CBD.

First Coast Pain offers personalized, multi-faceted treatment for your chronic pain, which includes medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL. Find out if CBD is right for you when you make an appointment at our pain clinic today.

Four Types of Chronic Back Pain

back pain treatment Jacksonville flBack pain is one of the most common health issues facing Americans today and can stem from a wide variety of different problems. Chronic back pain is diagnosed when you experience pain for more than three months – regardless of the cause. Here are four different types of chronic back pain.

Mechanical – This type of back pain includes problems with the spine and surrounding muscles including scoliosis, spinal disc problems, and muscle tension.

Injury – An injury to your back can cause temporary pain while it heals, but some patients experience back pain long after an injury is fully healed. Traumatic injuries like fractures or repetitive back strains over time can cause this type of back pain. If your job requires heavy lifting, you are at risk for chronic back pain.

Diseases and Conditions – Some diseases and other conditions can result in back pain both indirectly and directly. Conditions like arthritis and even pregnancy can result in chronic back pain.

Infections or Tumors – Tumors on the spine can put pressure on the spinal cord and cause nerve pain. You may also be experiencing chronic back pain if you suffer from a bone infection like osteomyelitis.

Seek effective back pain treatment near Jacksonville, FL, when you contact First Coast Pain at 904.800.7246. You can also book your appointment with our experienced and compassionate physicians online.

Using Medical Cannabis to Treat Endometriosis

medical marijuana st augustine flEndometriosis is an incurable condition where uterine-lining cells grow outside of the uterus, which thicken and shed just like they would during your period. This tissue then becomes trapped in your body and can create cysts, scar tissue, and bands of fibrous tissue known as adhesions that can cause your pelvic tissues and organs to stick together. This disorder causes severe abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, painful urination and bowel movements, heavy periods, and a host of other unpleasant and painful symptoms. Medical cannabis can be used to provide people living with endometriosis with relief from their symptoms.

Cannabinoids Reduce Inflammation

Endometriosis is what is known as a chronic inflammatory disease. THC and CBD, two cannabinoids found in marijuana, have been shown to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. This can help reduce cramping and pain in endometriosis patients.

Anti-Proliferative Effects

A 2010 study showed that cannabis can help prevent the growth of endometrial tissue, which is the root cause of endometriosis symptoms.

Pain Relief

Cannabis has long been used as a treatment for chronic pain because it has natural pain-relieving properties that can be extremely helpful when dealing with endometriosis.

Reduces Nausea and Diarrhea

Other symptoms involved in endometriosis are nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. Marijuana possesses antiemetic properties, which can help treat these symptoms.

First Coast Pain offers alternative treatments for your chronic pain, like medical marijuana in St. Augustine, FL. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and begin treating your endometriosis pain.

Creating Your Migraine Profile

When you decide to see a doctor for your migraines, you will receive personalized care. That’s because no two people experience migraines the same way. Many different factors influence your symptoms, and you can use these to create a migraine profile that your doctor can use to diagnose and treat you.

Family History – Migraine headaches are a hereditary condition, so you should speak with other migraine sufferers in your family. You will likely discover that you share symptoms and triggers, which can help you in treating and preventing your headaches.

Pattern – Before you visit First Coast Pain for your migraine treatment near Jacksonville, FL, write down some information about your migraines. Look specifically for symptoms, time of day, number of headaches per month, and what triggers your migraines. If you are a woman, note how your migraines relate to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause.

Medication – Be sure to make a list of all the medications you currently take, as this may influence your treatment. You should also list what treatments you used for your migraines in the past, even if you discontinued use.

Medical History – If you have other medical conditions, it is important to tell the doctor. One treatment that would work for a healthy person may be dangerous for someone with blood pressure or kidney issues.

Lifestyle – Your daily lifestyle can also play a role in how we treat your migraines. Things like caffeine and alcohol intake, your daily diet, exercise routine, and other lifestyle choices may be impacting your headaches.

Start getting treatment for your migraines today when you schedule an appointment with First Coast Pain.

What is Nociceptive Pain?

There are many different types of chronic pain that affect different parts of the body. The six main types are nociceptive, somatic, visceral, neuropathic, psychogenic, and idiopathic. Nociceptive pain is felt in your soft tissues and sensory nerves called nociceptors. Some examples of nociceptive pain include headaches, pelvic pain that is not caused by nerve damage, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Nociceptive Pain can be Somatic or Visceral

Nociceptive pain can be broken down into two groups: somatic and visceral.

  • Somatic Pain – This type of pain is felt in the muscles, skin, and other soft tissues. Examples include tension headaches, arthritis, pelvic pain due to joint instability, and back pain that is not caused by nerve damage. There are many sensory nerves in these areas, so it is relatively easy to locate.
  • Visceral Pain – This type of pain is felt in your internal organs and can include endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bladder pain, and prostate pain. Visceral pain is hard to localize because there are fewer sensory nerves there. You can feel visceral pain outside of where the pain originates.

Causes of Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain can be caused by inflammation, physical pressure, or injury. Chronic nociceptive pain can be the result of a prolonged injury, which makes the nerves more sensitive, or it can be issues with inflammation as seen in arthritis, fibromyalgia, and headaches.

Treatment

Treatments for nociceptive pain depend on the cause. When you schedule an appointment with the compassionate and skilled doctors at First Coast Pain, they can diagnose and begin treatment for your nociceptive pain. We offer a wide range of treatments including arthritis treatment near Jacksonville, FL. Contact us today and find the relief you’ve been searching for.

Keep a Pain Journal to Manage Chronic Pain

Chronic pain patients can benefit from keeping a journal of their pain. The information you are gathering can help you, and your doctor identify patterns. These patterns can show you what typically triggers your pain, what makes you feel better, and more. It can help you make better decisions throughout the day so that you can better manage your pain.

How to Setup a Pain Journal

When you create your pain journal, you should make it as detailed as you possibly can. Some details to include in your journal are:

  • Rate your Pain – Use a 0-10 system to describe how severe the pain is.
  • Descriptions – Use an adjective to describe the pain like burning, tingling, shooting, sharp, pulsating, or dull.
  • Time – When does the pain occur? Do you experience more pain in the morning or the afternoon? How do you feel at night?
  • Activity – Jot down what you were doing when the pain started. When you exercise or do other activities, write down how you feel afterward.
  • Log Food and Drinks – What did you eat or drink that day? Your diet may be affecting your pain symptoms.
  • External Factors – Think about external factors like the weather or anything else that may have contributed to your pain.
  • How do You Feel? – What is your mental state when you are experiencing pain?

 

Are you having difficulty managing your chronic pain? Get personalized treatment for your chronic pain, including migraine treatment near Jacksonville, FL, from First Coast Pain. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Smoking Can Worsen Chronic Pain

cigarettesIf you are a smoker who also suffers from chronic pain, you may be unintentionally worsening your chronic pain symptoms. More than half of people receiving treatment for chronic pain also smoke cigarettes, which is surprising considering smokers only make up 18% of the population.

How Smoking Affects Chronic Pain

Nicotine is an addictive substance found in cigarettes that reduces the function of your heart and lungs, hindering your body’s ability to circulate oxygen through your bloodstream. It also slows healing, increases your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces the elasticity of your skin. These health issues combine to increase the intensity of your chronic pain.

Smoking cigarettes tightens your arteries, which decreases the speed of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges in your blood. Your muscles and joints need blood to function correctly, and when you smoke, you are depriving them of blood, and the blood they do get is much lower in quality.

Chronic pain sufferers often deal with fatigue, which smoking can exacerbate. In addition, smoking slows down the healing process, meaning you recover from injuries much more slowly.

Quitting smoking is not an easy process, but it can help you manage your chronic pain better. Contact our doctors for effective pain management near Jacksonville, FL, today and schedule a consultation.

Common Misconceptions about Arthritis

arthritis treatment jacksonville flLike many diseases, there are many misconceptions about arthritis floating around.

Only Old People Get Arthritis

This is the most common misconception about arthritis. The truth is, arthritis does not discriminate – you can get it at any age. Even children can develop arthritis. There are over 100 forms of arthritis and related conditions, and some are more common for specific demographics.

Osteoarthritis is the type commonly found in seniors, but people can also develop rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

Cold, Wet Weather Can Cause Arthritis

Many people think that moving to a warm, dry climate can cure or alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, but this condition can cause pain regardless of your environment. Warmth can help relieve symptoms, but you can achieve this with a hot bath or shower without needing to move.

Arthritis is Minor Aches and Pains

Taking aspirin or other over-the-counter pain relievers is not enough to treat arthritis because it isn’t only associated with minor aches and pains. This disease causes chronic pain, but also causes joint damage, limited range of motion, joint deformity, inflammation, fatigue, and other limitations.

Arthritis is a complex disease and each individual needs a customized treatment plan.

Arthritis is Hopeless, and You Can’t Be Helped

While there is no known cure for arthritis, your ability to manage the disease throughout your life with minimal pain is possible. There are things you can do to maintain your independence while suffering from arthritis, and you may even be able to find some relief with the right treatment.

To speak with a compassionate, experienced doctor about arthritis treatment near Jacksonville, FL, contact First Coast Pain at 904-800-7246 or book an appointment online.