Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Franklin Pain and Wellness Center

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Spinal Cord Stimulation to Treats Back Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 15, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

Walking down the sidewalk may seem simple, but a year ago, Michael Holtz was in too much pain to walk.

To help ease the pain, he would use opioids for pain relief.

He had nerve damage along the leg and had been in chronic pain. He was at the end of his rope.

Holtz has degenerative disk disease and has had more than 20 surgeries for chronic pain, taking a variety of prescription drugs including opioids.

Struggling with depression, and desperate for pain relief, Holtz tried everything.

Holtz was like many patients who are hitting a wall to manage their chronic pain.

He had tried cortisone injections, epidurals, acupuncture, physical therapy, a number of different blocks, radiofrequency ablation is a spinal nerves and continued to be quite dysfunctional with the pain.

But, spinal cord stimulation provided relief for Holtz.

Here's how it works: a small device consisting of wires and a battery is surgically implanted in a patient, controlling pain by delivering electrical impulses to the spine to block pain signals.

This therapy also gives the patient an opportunity to control the sensation, the stimulation, the intensity of what they’re getting themselves, vis a vi a bluetooth device.

Now six months later, Holtz controls his own pain.

The device is helping thousands of patients like Holtz suffering from chronic pain, get off medications, and avoid opioids

It does not involve a drug. It avoids the issues with dependence on medications and certainly with over treatment and undertreatment and withdrawal.

A spinal cord stimulator has a average life span of ten years. It’s remotely charged through the Bluetooth device. It’s a one-time surgery. You can swim and go on an airplane with it.

For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


Radiofrequency Ablation for Treating Arthritis Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 01, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - South Kingston, RI

Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.

Which Conditions Are Treated With Radiofrequency Ablation?

RFA can be used to help patients with chronic (long-lasting) low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis.

How Long Does Pain Relief From Radiofrequency Ablation Last?

The degree of pain relief varies, depending on the cause and location of the pain. Pain relief from RFA can last from six to 12 months and in some cases, relief can last for years. More than 70% of patients treated with RFA experience pain relief.

Is Radiofrequency Ablation Safe?

RFA has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It also is generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. There is a slight risk of infection and bleeding at the insertion site. Your doctor can advise you about your particular risk.

For more information on Radiofrequency Ablation for treating back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.

Source: WebMD

Managing Pain in the Workplace

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 18, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Pain is the top cause of adult disability in the United States, costing the workforce as much as $334 billion each year in lost productivity costs, according to a 2012 study. While the musculoskeletal “pain points,” such as back pain and carpal tunnel, are well known and their direct costs well-documented, there has been less emphasis on—or awareness of—the secondary or mental health effects of pain: anxiety, depression, unclear thinking and memory loss.

Even what someone might consider mild discomfort or irritation can cause these secondary effects and can affect everything from sleep to diet to exercise. As a result, these conditions can—and often do—impinge on the workplace, with symptoms manifesting themselves in form of diminished employee morale, focus and performance.

There is also a “compounding effect”—the more pain persists, the more of an impact it can have. It may become a vicious cycle, as discomfort in one area causes problems in another. Employees who are suffering and unable to work miss out not only on the income, but also the sense of meaning, purposefulness and belonging that can be gained from a job. Initial distress may lead to chronic anxiety and even depression.

Those who are able to work may only be there in body, unable to focus and perform as expected. This is known as presenteeism and it can be an even greater drag on productivity than absenteeism. In fact, according to a recent report, the cost of presenteeism to businesses is 10 times higher than that of absenteeism and amounts to as much as 57.5 days lost per employee each year.

For more information on combatting the effects of chronic pain in the workplace, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.

Source: Risk Managment Magazine

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Works to Treat Chronic Back Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 04, 2018
Spinal Cord Stimulation Works - Franklin, MA

Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) systems work by interrupting pain impulses before they reach the brain to help you manage your pain and lead a fuller life.

The Science of Pain

Your nerves and brain are constantly communicating with each other. And when you feel pain, it's because the nerves are sending a pain signal to your brain. The pain can be acute, which occurs immediately after an injury and goes away within two months when treated properly. Or the pain can be chronic, which includes any type of pain that lasts six months or longer.

How Do Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems Work?

SCS systems have a small implanted pulse generator (IPG) and thin wires called ‘leads” that are placed into your body. To manage your pain, the leads deliver tiny pulses to specific nerves on the spinal cord that mask pain signals traveling to the brain. Some people say SCS feels like a gentle tingling or fluttering sensation that replaces the pain. The medical term for this is "paresthesia." The feeling is different for everyone and the amount of pain relief you receive from SCS therapy will vary.

Spinal Cord Stimulation, or SCS, may offer hope for many of the estimated 100 million people who suffer from chronic pain. For more information on spinal cord stimulation for treating back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Employers Target Back Pain Through Wellness Plans

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 27, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that back pain relief is gaining popularity as a wellness plan offering. Nearly half of Americans suffer from musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and the annual cost of treatment and absenteeism to employers is around $213 billion annually. Back pain accounts for 10% of healthcare costs and is a major cause of lost productivity.

Employers spend three times as much on musculoskeletal disorders as cardiovascular disease. This adds up to about $1,200 per employee a year.

Poor posture often causes back problems, and one employer shared how it teamed up with UpRight, a wearables technology vendor, to help employees improve their posture. They created a device that can detect slouching and reminds employees to correct their posture.

Employee wellness programs have expanded beyond physical fitness, healthy eating and weight control. After employers learned more about what was distracting employees, wellness programs expanded to include financial and emotional well-being.

Helping employees manage back pain — a major and costly health concern — through wellness programs is a similar response to a critical need among employees.

A poll shows that 51% of remote workers suffer from back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders because they often develop poor working habits by not having an ergonomic setup at home. Offering back-pain management through wellness programs not only helps maintain a healthier workforce, it's also a way to engage off-site employees, who sometimes feel isolated from the workplace.‚Äč

For more information on back pain prevention at work, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


Treat Low Back Pain Safely, Rapidly and Effectively

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 13, 2018

The Disc-FX System safely, rapidly and effectively performs minimally invasive discectomy procedure for contained lumbar spine herniations. The innovative, patented design combines simple, intuitive function with precise surgical results.

  • Less invasive compared to traditional discectomy procedures
  • Minimum annulotomy reduces risk of herniation
  • Multi-functional therapeutic options; debulking, ablation and modulation
  • Manual excision of herniated nucleus through 3.0mm portal
  • Ablation and denervation achieved with use of Trigger-Flex

Watch the video below to see how easily Disc-Fx can help with your herniated disc.

For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


How Chronic Pain Impacts the Workforce

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 23, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA

Chronic pain is affecting more and more Americans. A recent study revealed that chronic or severe pain affects nearly 50 million American adults on a consistent basis. What impact does chronic pain have on the workforce, and how can an HR team better support these individuals?

An Invisible Disability

Chronic pain is typically defined as pain which lasts for three to six months or longer. It is very often an invisible disability, which makes it very difficult for people to live with. They may need to take more sick days, or go through periods of time where their productivity takes a hit — and their fellow colleagues may not understand why. This absenteeism also has a financial cost. A survey revealed that approximately $24.2 billion is lost annually in the professional sector as a result of absenteeism from poor health.

When someone needs to miss work due to illness or injury, impacts are felt throughout the organization. Other people may step in to take on the work, or a new hire may be trained up if their time off work is more substantial. At first your financial statements may not seem impacted, yet the Integrated Benefits Institute estimates that opportunity costs of disability can amount to an additional 38 percent of absent workers’ wages for the U.S. workforce.

Helping Those with Chronic Pain

For HR directors or managers, it can feel like there is no clear approach to dealing with chronic pain in an effective manner. However, there are various ways to manage chronic pain in the workplace, and the importance of incorporating compassion into the process cannot be overstated.

Here are several ways you can support your workers:

Break Down the Stigma: One of the major barriers that people with chronic pain endure is the fact that it’s so often an invisible disability. People may not look like they have anything wrong with them, yet they are battling a very real illness. Be proactive in building a wellness culture in your organization. Take steps to eliminate barriers that might cause people to not seek help or explain what they’re dealing with, whether through educational meetings, personal sit-downs, or proactively checking in with someone whose productivity is dipping, to see whether there is a bigger issue at play.

Enhance Awareness of Treatment Options: Many people who suffer from chronic pain do so without knowing where to turn. By providing employees with information about effective treatment options, they can find the best plan for dealing with the pain. You can adapt the office environment such as incorporating ergonomic stations where people can work — and make sure that employees are taking their breaks.

Offer Benefits Like Disability Insurance: The chances of someone having an illness or injury that puts them out of work for several months is higher than most people realize. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, one in four of today’s 20-year olds will experience a disability before retirement age. Disability insurance is an affordable benefit that helps to protect an employee’s income if they do need to take time off the job — reducing the financial pressure while they recover.

Chronic pain isn’t something that’s going to disappear from the professional landscape, but its impacts can be lessened with the right approach. By building a workplace culture that is open and inclusive, you’ll be able to support employees and boost morale across the organization.

For more information on chronic pain management, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


Chronic Pain Triggers to Avoid

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 09, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA

If you’re among the 1 in 5 people in the U.S. living with chronic pain, you know that some days are better than others — even when you’re rigorously following your treatment plan.

In those instances, the pain is often triggered by something out of your control, like the weather or a sudden bout of catastrophic thinking. Some of these triggers are universal, while others are a bit more personal. Read on to learn how to recognize what’s setting off your pain and the strategies for relieving it.


Nearly everyone with chronic pain can experience a worsening of symptoms when they’re very stressed. If a patient’s pain is relatively stable and they then experience a stressful problem in their life, invariably the pain gets worse.

What to do: Try mindfulness-based stress reduction, which can also reduce pain. Until you deal with the stress, no amount of medication is going to help.

Weather Changes

It’s not just a superstition. When the temperature climbs or dives, you may notice a change in symptoms. Even extremely heavy winds can worsen your pain levels.

How the weather affects a person’s pain is hard to prove scientifically, but one January 2015 study in the journal Pain Medicine found that patients with fibromyalgia said that weather changes were one of their main triggers.

What to do: Short of going on vacation, staying indoors during a weather change is the best way to manage the pain. Arthritis patients with chronic pain often feel better if they dress warmly and wear gloves.

Too Little Sleep

Sleep and chronic pain have a complicated relationship. It’s a very vicious cycle. The more pain you have, the less well you will sleep. And the less you sleep, the more you will have pain. In fact, 95% of people with chronic pain have sleep problems.

What to do: Practice something that doctors call “good sleep hygiene.” That means no TV or other electronics in the bedroom. Television and cell phones emit light, and light can stimulate brain activity and make it harder to fall sleep, he says. Other rules: Don’t exercise two to three hours before bedtime and try to finish a meal or alcohol beverage at least four hours before you want to fall asleep.

Inflammatory Foods

It’s thought that certain foods (like the processed kinds) may cause inflammation in the body, which then triggers more pain. But the supporting research isn’t “rock solid” and it’s difficult to say how many people these types of foods affect. (And some patients may not make the connection between a flare-up and what they just ate.)

What do to: If you experience a flare-up after eating a certain food, avoid it. Processed fare, for instance, triggers more inflammation than green leafy vegetables or tree nuts. You can also add anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil and salmon to your diet.

Catastrophic Thinking

When you’ve been living with chronic pain, it’s natural to think that things will get worse. You get a little pain in the tip of your finger and you decide your arm is falling off. Well, that tendency to “catastrophize” will only make you feel worse.

In fact, it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy: In a 2011 study in General Hospitality Psychiatry, researchers found that chronic pain patients who both catastrophized and were depressed were more likely to have pain-related disability.

What to do: Pay attention to your thoughts. When you start worrying , notice it without judgement. Say, “There I go again,” not, “What’s wrong with me?” By cutting off these catastrophic thoughts, you might find it easier to go about your daily life, suggests the authors of the 2011 study. If you need to seek help, try to choose a psychologist or counselor who specializes in treating chronic pain patients.

For more information on pain management, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


Coping with Pain on the Job

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 16, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Use Computers Properly to Avoid Back Pain and Repetitive Strain Injuries

Managing pain at work is a job in itself. While work is a great distraction, the added stress and physical demands can cause or aggravate chronic pain.

As we spend more of our work and leisure time on computers, repetitive strain (or stress) injuries (RSI) are on the rise.

RSI is caused by the motions that are repeated again and again while typing or browsing the Internet for long periods of time, particularly if the user has poor posture and doesn’t change position for several hours.

Proper ergonomics—the science of designing the workplace environment to fit the user—can prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Revealed in pain in the shoulders, hands, neck, or arms, RSI can also be caused by repetitive movements similar to assembly line work. These types of soft tissue injuries are diagnosed as nerve spasms, trigger finger, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis.

Those with RSI experience constant pain in the hands, elbows, shoulders, neck, and the back, and sometimes cramps, tingling, and numbness in the hands. Hand movements may become clumsy and fine motor tasks increasingly difficult.

In 2002, employers reported a total of 487,900 lost workdays due to work-related RSIs, nearly 50 percent of all lost work days. And of course, people who work in pain may not be as productive as those who are pain free.

  • Computer-related RSIs are caused by several factors:
  • Stress—creating tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Repetitive movements—improper keyboarding and mouse use
  • Force—typing too hard or holding the mouse too tight
  • Poor posture—leaning forward or reaching for the mouse
  • Unchanging positions—sitting too long without a break

If you spend a lot of time at a computer, at home or work, consider these changes to improve your ergonomic design.

  • Adjust your chair so you sit with feet flat on floor or on a foot rest. Knees should be bent at 90 degrees and legs uncrossed.
  • Your desk should be at a height so that your elbows form an ‘L’ and you don’t have to reach for the mouse or keyboard. Consider a keyboard tray support if needed.
  • Shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Place the monitor at eye level, so your neck and head are in a neutral position. Arrange it so there is no glare on the screen.
  • With your back against the back of your chair, place the monitor an arm’s length away from you, so that you don’t have to lean forward to read.
  • Move your legs often. Sitting with the legs immobile for long periods of time can lead to swelling and potentially, blood clots.
  • Be sure that your mouse isn’t forcing you to bend or stretch your wrist, hand or fingers.

If you use a laptop, make sure that you are not leaning forward, with your shoulders hunched, putting stress on your forearms and wrists. This can lead to neck strain. Lower your risk by using a separate monitor, docking station, and keyboard with your laptop.

Change posture and activities often. Take a break, stretch, walk around the office, or do something else for a while.

If you have a coffee break or lunch hour, get out and walk, or do some stretching exercises.

Here are some general tips for alleviating back pain while at work.

  • Make sure your seat is the proper height from the floor and try to maintain a good posture while sitting. Do not sit hunched over your desk. It is important to keep your neck in alignment with your back.
  • It may be helpful to place a small stool at the foot of your chair. When you are feeling back strain, place your feet on the stool to ease the strain.
  • Place your hands on the sides of your chair with your weight resting on your arms for a few minutes. This will take the pressure off your back.
  • When you lift, make sure you bend from the knees and not your back. Bending at the knees puts most of the strain on your legs rather than your back.

For more information on pain management at work, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


Tips for Managing Back Pain at the Office

Darren Kincaid - Friday, February 09, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, cradling a cell phone, carrying a purse over same shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, caring for small children, or even sleeping.

Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one's ability to control and are not difficult to change.

The following guidelines suggest several ways to improve posture and ergonomics, especially for people who work sitting in an office chair for most of the day.

  1. Identify the warning signs of back pain caused by poor ergonomics and posture

    Back pain may be the result of poor ergonomics and posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends); pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back, and extremities; pain that goes away after switching positions; sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car; and/or back pain that comes and goes for months.

  2. Keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair and while standing

    When standing, distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet. While sitting in an office chair, take advantage of the chair's features. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. Any prolonged sitting position, even a good one, can be tiring. Shifting forward to the edge of the seat with a straight back can alternate with sitting back against the support of the office chair to ease the work of back muscles.

    Some people benefit from a naturally balanced posture that is achieved by sitting on a balance ball; in this posture the pelvis is rocked gently forward increasing the lumbar curve which naturally shifts the shoulders back (similar to sitting on the edge of a chair seat).

    Also be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward, or tilting the head.

  3. Get up and move

    As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk.

  4. Use posture-friendly props and ergonomic office chairs when sitting

    Supportive ergonomic "props" can help to take the strain and load off of the spine. Ergonomic office chairs or chairs with an adjustable back support can be used at work.

    Footrests, portable lumbar back supports, or even a towel or small pillow can be used while sitting in an office chair, on soft furniture and while driving.

    Using purses, bags, and backpacks that are designed to minimize back strain can also influence good posture.

    Proper corrective eyewear, positioning computer screens to your natural, resting eye position can also help to avoid leaning or straining the neck with the head tilted forward.

  5. Increase awareness of posture and ergonomics in everyday settings

    Becoming aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques. This includes making conscious connections between episodes of back pain and specific situations where poor posture or ergonomics may be the root cause of the pain.

  6. Use exercise to help prevent injury and promote good posture

    Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, or bicycling will help the body stay aerobically conditioned, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong. These benefits of exercise promote good posture, which will, in turn, further help to condition muscles and prevent injury.

    There are also specific exercises that will help maintain good posture. In particular, a balance of core muscle and back muscle strength is essential to help support the upper body and maintain good posture.

  7. Wear supportive footwear when standing

    Avoid regularly wearing high-heeled shoes, which can affect the body’s center of gravity and induce compensatory alignment of the entire body, thus negatively affecting back support and posture.

    When standing for long periods of time, propping a leg up on a foot rest, wearing supportive shoe orthotics, or placing a rubber mat on the floor can improve comfort.

  8. Remember good posture and ergonomics when in motion

    Simply walking, lifting heavy materials, holding a telephone, and typing are all moving activities that require attention to ergonomics and posture. It is important to maintain good posture even while moving to avoid injury, walking tall with shoulders back for example.

    Back injuries are especially common while twisting and/or lifting and often occur because of awkward movement and control of the upper body weight alone.

  9. Create ergonomic physical environments and workspaces, such as sitting in an office chair at a computer

    It does require a small investment of time to personalize the workspace, home, and car, but the payoff will be well worth it. Undue strain will be placed on the structures of the spine unless the office chair, desk, keyboard, and computer screen, etc. are correctly positioned.

    It's much easier and less time consuming to correct everyday ergonomics and minimize back or neck pain than to add doctor visits and corrective therapies for debilitating pain conditions.

  10. Avoid overprotecting posture

    Remember that it is important to maintain an overall relaxed posture. Avoid restricting movements by clenching muscles or adopting an unnatural, stiff posture. For individuals who already have some back or neck pain, it's a natural tendency to limit movements to avoid provoking increased pain.

    However, unless there is a fracture or other serious problem, the structures in the spine are designed for movement and any limitation in motion over a long period of time creates more pain and a downward cycle of less motion and more pain.

The above changes are relatively easy to make and will pay off in terms of a healthier spine and less pain and stiffness over time.

For more information on managing back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA.


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