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

South Kingstown Pain Center RI Blog

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Non-Invasive Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 03, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Doctors who specialize in treating patients for back pain, wish more patients suffering from chronic pain knew the following:

When it comes to strong painkillers and increasingly invasive surgeries, bigger is not better. While surgery is the right option for some, the culture of pain management in the United States has produced the myth that the more invasive and aggressive the technique, the more effective it is. This over-reliance on aggressive techniques, especially opioids and invasive surgeries, puts last resorts at the front of the line while ignoring a range of safer and frequently more effective treatments — injections, vertebral augmentation, stem cell therapy or radiofrequency ablation, to name a few.

Simply put, the more aggressive and invasive techniques have not demonstrated that they produce better results. People aren’t automobiles. Our bodies can’t be put back together quickly or without some downside from surgery. While the more invasive repair may be better for your car, when it comes to people, the less invasive the technique, the better the patient recovery will be.

The primary consequence of the bigger is better mentally has produced a dangerous dependence on opioids for treating non-cancer pain and post-surgical pain. Opioids may be necessary for a relatively comfortable recovery after surgery, but normally not for more than four to six weeks. Recent research estimates that six percent of patients prescribed opioids after surgery become persistent opioid users. Treatment relying on opioids should only be considered a last resort.

Furthermore, it’s not clear that invasive surgeries are effective for patients. As an example, one of the most common pain management procedures is lumbar spinal fusion surgery, which is often used to treat chronic lower back pain. A new study from the medical journal Spine indicates 20 percent of patients undergo another operation within four years of an initial spinal fusion. Patients can only hope they’re not the unlucky one out of five sitting in the doctor’s waiting room who will be back for a second operation.

Pain sufferers should know that the vast majority of their chronic pain could be helped with simple, less invasive procedures without having to make an incision. Patients and doctors should start with the least invasive options before moving on to surgery and more definitive techniques.

Instead of having patients go under the knife and prescribing them opioids, many of patients suffering from chronic lower back pain have experienced tremendous results with radiofrequency ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to deactivate a nerve that transmits pain from a patient’s lumbar disc. This procedure can be done with a needle during an outpatient visit, and it often provides instant relief that can last for years.

Other procedures include epidural steroid injections (ESIs) and vertebral augmentation surgery. Both are minimally invasive options that help relieve acute and chronic pain.

Epidural injections relieve a variety of conditions, including sciatica, herniated discs and spinal stenosis. During an ESI, a surgeon or interventional pain physician injects a local anesthetic and a steroid into the epidural space, providing swift pain relief for the region. While this relief only lasts for a few weeks or months, it provides patients with enough time to continue working on their physical therapy and for the underlying pathology to heal.

Vertebral augmentation is an injection of a cementing agent into a vertebra in order to stabilize a vertical compression fracture (VCF). VCFs can result in severe deformity and extreme pain, and vertebral augmentation can help fix this injury with minimal complication or risk.

For patients suffering the disabling effects of chronic back pain, it’s important to know there are alternatives to opioids and invasive surgeries; not only radiofrequency ablation, but a whole range of minimally-invasive techniques. In the end, surgery may be necessary — but for many, these other options will prove to be not only safer, but also more effective.

For more information on non-invasive treatments for chronic back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: painnewsnetwork.org

About Spinal Cord Stimulation

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 20, 2018

Spinal Cord Stimulation therapy can help manage chronic pain — even when other therapies have failed. SCS therapy has helped hundreds of thousands of people and is:

  • Proven safe and effective
  • FDA-approved for adults with chronic pain of the trunk and/or lower limbs
  • Offers proven pain management
  • Covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and most workers' compensation programs

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Works

While SCS is leading-edge technology, it's actually not as complicated as it seems. Your nerves and brain are constantly communicating with each other. And when you feel pain, it's because those nerves are sending a pain signal to your brain. That's where SCS therapy comes in — SCS masks the pain signals coming from your lower back or legs from reaching your brain.

What defines SCS success?

  • SCS is generally considered effective:
  • If your pain is reduced by at least 50%
  • If you are able to get back to your daily activities
  • If your need for pain medication is reduced
  • If you're able to relax and sleep better
  • Personalized Therapy. Proven Results.

This short videos provide a helpful introduction to the proven technology behind SCS therapy.

For more information on SCS contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: controlyourpain.com

General Options to Treat Chronic Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 06, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingston, RI

There are a variety of options for the treatment of chronic pain. Under the general category of medications, there are both oral and topical therapies for the treatment of chronic pain. Oral medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and opioids. Also available are medications that can be applied to the skin, whether as an ointment or cream or by a patch. Some of these patches work by being placed directly on top of the painful area where the active drug, such as lidocaine, is released. Others, such as fentanyl patches, may be placed at a location far from the painful area. Some medications are available over the-counter (OTC) while others may require a prescription.

There are many things that may help with your pain which do not involve medications. These things may help relieve some pain and reduce the medications required to control your pain. Examples include exercises, best performed under the direction of a physical therapist. There are also alternative modalities, such as acupuncture. Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator (TENS) units use pads that are placed on your skin to provide stimulation around the area of pain and may help to reduce some types of pain symptoms.

Finally, there are interventional techniques that involve injections into or around various levels of the spinal region. These can involve relatively superficial injections into the painful muscles, called trigger point injections, or may involve more invasive procedures. There are multiple procedures that range from epidural injections for pain involving the neck and arm or the back and leg, facet injections into the joints that allow movement of the neck and back to injections for burning pain of the arms or legs.

For more information on treating chronic pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: asra.com

Minimally Invasive MILD Procedure Treats Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 22, 2018

MILD is the first therapeutic option to provide rapid and lasting pain relief from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS), as well as significantly improved mobility. The MILD treatment is a safe, therapeutic option developed to help reduce pain and increase mobility for LSS patients.

Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for decompression of the lumbar spine, MILD removes small portions of the bone and tissue reducing the pressure on the nerves through a low-risk posterior approach. The entire procedure takes place using a 5.1 mm mild Portal, only about the diameter of a pencil.

For more information on MILD procedure, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

When Kyphoplasty is an Option

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 08, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI

Kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column, which are a common result of osteoporosis. Your doctor may use imaging guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone (vertebroplasty) or insert a balloon into the fractured bone to create a space and then fill it with cement (kyphoplasty). Following the procedure, about 75% of patients regain lost mobility and become more active.

Your doctor will likely first evaluate your condition using diagnostic imaging or a physical exam and will instruct you on how to prepare. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or blood thinners several days prior to your procedure and instruct you not to eat or drink anything several hours beforehand.

What are some common uses of the procedures?

Kyphoplasty is used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spine, most often the result of osteoporosis.

Typically, kyphoplasty is recommended after less invasive treatments, such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication, have been ineffective. Kyphoplasty can be performed immediately in patients with problematic pain requiring hospitalization or for conditions that limit bed rest and pain medications.

Kyphoplasty is also performed on patients who:

  • are elderly or frail and will likely have impaired bone healing after a fracture
  • have vertebral compression due to a malignant tumor
  • suffer from osteoporosis due to long-term steroid treatment or a metabolic disorder

Kyphoplasty should be completed within eight weeks of the acute fracture for the highest probability of successful treatment.

For more information on Kyphoplasty, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: radiologyinfo.org

Risk Factors for Chronic Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 25, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

There are specific risk factors that predict who may be likely to need pain management in the future.

Chronic pain currently affects about 116 million American adults — that's more than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. But because pain can stem from many different diseases, injuries, and situations, there are many risk factors to consider when predicting who might experience chronic pain and need pain management solutions.

There are three major categories of risk factors for chronic pain:

  • Biological risk factors that stem from your physical characteristics as well as your medical history
  • Psychological risk factors linked to your mood and personality
  • Lifestyle risk factors

Living With Chronic Pain: Biological Risk Factors

These are the leading physical factors that could put you at risk for chronic pain:

  • Old age. As people grow older and as their bodies age, they tend to need more ways to manage pain.
  • Genetics. Some chronic pain conditions like migraines have been linked to genetics. Studies also have found genetic conditions that can make you more sensitive to pain and require more chronic pain management.
  • Race. African-Americans and Hispanics appear to be at greater risk for chronic pain, studies have shown.
  • Obesity. People who carry a lot of extra weight often develop chronic pain due to their poor health. Obesity also can exacerbate medical conditions that require pain management.
  • Previous injury. People who have recovered from a traumatic injury run a greater risk for future chronic pain. The main pain neurotransmitter is released in greater quantities in people who had previous pain problems or previous longstanding psychiatric disorder. It's a startling increase — it can be anywhere from threefold to five fold.

Living With Chronic Pain: Psychological Risk Factors

These factors can also increase your risk of living with chronic pain:

  • Childhood trauma. People who experienced parental neglect or physical or sexual abuse as children are more likely to have chronic pain. These childhood factors play a large role in later developing a chronic pain problem.
  • Mood disorders. People with depression or anxiety disorders have a greater risk of chronic pain. Many brain areas and neurotransmitters that handle pain signals also manage mood.

Living With Chronic Pain: Lifestyle Risk Factors

The way you live your life can put you at risk for chronic pain:

  • Having a high-risk job. People with jobs that require heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity are at greater risk for developing chronic pain.
  • Stress. Chronic pain has been linked to both chronic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Smoking. Smokers are at greater risk for developing medical conditions that lead to the need for chronic pain management. They also are less likely to respond to pain management therapies.

Living With Chronic Pain: Decreasing Your Risk

Becoming more aware of your risk factors can give you an edge in warding off future chronic pain. Preventive steps you can take include:

  • Improve your health. Eat right and exercise to reach a healthy weight and become physically fit.
  • Quit smoking. There are numerous health benefits to quitting, including the potential to avoid future chronic pain management.
  • Manage your stress. Exercise, meditate, or practice another form of stress relief. Seek help for mood disorders.If you have depression or anxiety, get help before your mood disorder leads to chronic pain.
  • Be smart on the job. Take safety precautions to limit your risk of injury. That's part of why work safety issues are really important — a lot of these jobs can be made a lot safer. In construction, people have to wear hard hats because they decrease the risk of head injuries. The same thing may be true for wearing some kind of brace or support when performing a heavy lifting job.

Here's the bottom line: Knowing more about why chronic pain occurs and how to keep it in check may help you avoid this condition. For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI. everydayhealth.com

Treating Chronic Neck Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 11, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - South Kingstown, RI

Chronic neck pain is the third most commonly reported type of chronic pain in the U.S. and is one of the most common physical complaints around the world. The pain can be annoying or it can be debilitating—but when you’re experiencing it, chances are it’s pretty much all you can think about.

Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

Your neck can be injured easily because it’s so exposed. Because of this, there are many factors that could cause chronic neck pain. It could be the result of a sudden injury or trauma to the neck or spine, or it could be caused by a constant irritation to your neck, shoulders or upper back. It also could be triggered by certain types of illnesses. Some of the most common causes of chronic neck pain include:

  • Bad sleeping position
  • Bad posture when using a computer
  • Slouching when using a smartphone or tablet
  • Holding your phone between your shoulder and chin while talking
  • Stress
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Disk deterioration in the spine
  • Injury or trauma, like whiplash

Treatment for Your Chronic Neck Pain

Treatment for chronic neck pain varies depending on the cause. Some people can manage with some TLC and lifestyle changes, while others may need advanced treatment, such as surgery. Here are some treatment options that are used to treat chronic neck pain:

  • Rest your neck. Avoid activities that put strain on your neck, like some sports and physical activities.
  • Apply ice and/or heat. Ice reduces swelling, while heat helps relieve muscle stiffness. Ice is generally recommended within 24 hours of an injury occurring, but if your chronic neck pain is caused by inflammation in the discs, perhaps caused by arthritis, ice may be helpful when the pain starts to get worse. Some people use only ice, others only heat, while some alternate ice and heat, both for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation unit, or TENS. A TENS unit is a non-invasive, non-medicinal treatment that uses mild electric currents to interrupt the pain messages sent to your brain.
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers: To reduce swelling (inflammation) and/or pain.
  • Immobilization: A brace to keep your head steady, keeping the pressure off your neck.
  • Physical therapy/exercises: Physical therapy may help you stretch your neck and build up strength in your neck and shoulders. A physical therapist can also assess your posture, to determine if this is causing your chronic neck pain, and give you exercises to help improve the way you sit and stand.
  • Relaxation exercises. If chronic stress is leading to pain in your neck, relaxation exercises, such as meditation, may help you manage your stress levels so your neck and upper back muscles don’t tighten up.
  • Steroid injections: If your chronic neck pain is caused by arthritis, your doctor may recommend you receive steroid injections into the joints in your neck, to relieve inflammation.
  • Surgery: A last resort, surgery procedure may be recommended if a disc in your neck is pinching a nerve or the discs are compressed together, causing the pain.

Preventing Chronic Neck Pain

It does seem more often that older folks get some sort of chronic neck pain, but it’s not inevitable. You may be able to reduce your risk of neck pain by taking some simple steps, such as:

  • Checking your posture, especially when working in front of a computer or using a smartphone or tablet.
  • Taking frequent breaks if you work at a computer, stretch, and move your neck around to loosen the muscles.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Managing your stress levels.
  • Not carrying heavy purses or bags on one shoulder.
  • Investing in a good pillow that supports your head in a comfortable position.
  • Stopping smoking if you do. Smoking increases the risk of neck pain.

Chronic neck pain isn’t always avoidable, but your lifestyle and habits may contribute to pain if you’re not careful. Take care of your neck and if you do experience pain, speak with your doctor or physical therapist for advice on how to best manage it.

For more informaiton on treating chronic neck pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: healthgrades.com

Common Causes of Back Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 26, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - South Kingstown, RI

Many people experience a wide range of back pain symptoms. Some common back pain culprits include:

Back strains and sprains. When you make a sudden movement or overdo it by trying to lift or move objects that are too heavy, a back strain or sprain can occur. This type of back injury typically causes pain that gets worse with movement.

Bulging or herniated disk. Your spine is made up of bones called vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are disks that cushion the spine and keep the vertebrae in place. These disks are filled with a jelly-like substance that can slip out of place, irritating nearby nerves and causing pain. Sometimes the pain shoots down the lower back through one side of the buttocks and legs. This is called sciatica.

Chronic conditions. Some kinds of back pain come on more slowly and build up over time. This is the case with back pain caused by degenerative types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a common cause of back pain in people over the age of 65. Degenerative disk disease is often the cause of arthritis in the back. That’s because the disks that serve as cushions between the bones of the spine break down over time. Studies show that almost everyone over age 60 has some level of disk degeneration, though it’s not clear why only some people experience symptoms like pain and stiffness. Strain from abnormal spine curvatures, as with scoliosis, can also cause back pain.

Acute conditions. Some acute conditions can cause back pain symptoms, such as spine fractures or collapse secondary to osteoporosis.

Is Your Back Pain Chronic or Acute?

Back pain that comes on quick and strong is known as acute back pain. This is commonly caused by an injury or event that jars the structures of the back, such as overdoing it while participating in a sport or exercising. Acute back pain typically begins to improve after a few days.

Back pain that persists over longer periods of time is diagnosed as chronic back pain.

Regardless of the type of back pain you’re experiencing, be sure to talk to a doctor and pain specialist and work together to come up with the best treatment plan for back pain relief. For more information on back pain symptoms and relief, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: EveryDayHealth

Causes of Chronic Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 12, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Franklin, MA

Some of the most common types of chronic pain include:

  1. headache
  2. postsurgical pain
  3. post-trauma pain
  4. lower back pain
  5. cancer pain
  6. arthritis pain
  7. pain caused by nerve damage
  8. pain that isn’t caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage

More than 1.5 billion people around the world have chronic pain. It’s the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States, affecting about 100 million Americans.

Causes

What causes chronic pain?

Chronic pain is usually caused by an initial injury, such as a back sprain or pulled muscle. It’s believed that chronic pain develops after nerves become damaged. The nerve damage makes pain more intense and long lasting. In these cases, treating the underlying injury may not resolve the chronic pain.

In some cases, however, people experience chronic pain without any prior injury. The exact causes of chronic pain without injury aren’t well understood. The pain may sometimes result from an underlying health condition.

Risk Factors

Who is at risk for chronic pain?

Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, but it’s most common in older adults. Besides age, other factors that can increase your risk of developing chronic pain include:

  1. having an injury
  2. having surgery
  3. being female
  4. being overweight or obese

Treatment

How is chronic pain treated?

The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and boost mobility. This helps you return to your daily activities without discomfort.

The severity and frequency of chronic pain can differ among individuals. So doctors create pain management plans that are specific to each person. Your pain management plan will depend on your symptoms and any underlying health conditions. Medical treatments, lifestyle remedies, or a combination of these methods may be used to treat your chronic pain.

Medical procedures for chronic pain

Certain medical procedures can also provide relief from chronic pain. An example of a few are:

  • electrical stimulation, which reduces pain by sending mild electric shocks into your muscles
  • Steroid Injections
  • nerve block, which is an injection that prevents nerves from sending pain signals to your brain
  • acupuncture, which involves lightly pricking your skin with needles to alleviate pain
  • Lifestyle remedies for chronic pain

Coping

Dealing with chronic pain

There isn’t a cure for chronic pain, but the condition can be managed successfully. It’s important to stick to your pain management plan to help relieve symptoms.

Physical pain is related to emotional pain, so chronic pain can increase your stress levels. Building emotional skills can help you cope with any stress related to your condition. Here are some steps you can take to reduce stress:

Take good care of your body: Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can keep your body healthy and reduce feelings of stress.

Continue taking part in your daily activities: You can boost your mood and decrease stress by participating in activities you enjoy and socializing with friends. Chronic pain may make it challenging to perform certain tasks. But isolating yourself can give you a more negative outlook on your condition and increase your sensitivity to pain.

Seek support: Friends, family, and support groups can lend you a helping hand and offer comfort during difficult times. Whether you’re having trouble with daily tasks or you’re simply in need of an emotional boost, a close friend or loved one can provide the support you need.

For more information contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: healthline.com

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 16, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI

What Is It?

It's when the spaces between the bones that make up your spinal cord get narrow. This can put pressure on those bones and on the nerves that run from your spine to your arms and legs. It happens most often in your lower back or neck.

The Symptoms

You may not notice any. But if the narrowing puts pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, you may have numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in your arms and legs. In more severe cases, you may have trouble with your bowel, bladder, or having sex.

Who Gets It

It’s most common in men and women over 50 years old. But it can happen when you’re younger if you’re born with a condition that narrows your spinal canal, or you injured your spine in some way.

Your Aging Spine

The ligaments (cords that hold your spine together) may get thicker and harder as you age. Bones and joints also may get bigger, and that can narrow the spaces between your vertebrae. Arthritis, which is more common when you’re older, can make this worse.

Other Possible Causes

Several things can put pressure on your spinal cord and nerves. For example, if you have a herniated disk, the soft cushions or “disks” that separate your vertebrae can crack and ooze. Tumors also can grow in the spine, or a sudden injury can shift your spine or create bone fragments there.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your medical history because injuries and other health problems may cause the same symptoms. She’ll check for pain when you bend backward and test your muscle strength and reflexes. She also may want do imaging scans to look inside your spinal column and check for things like tumors, bone spurs, or an injury.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Your doctor might recommend that you not do some activities. He also might suggest certain exercises to strengthen your stomach and back muscles to help support your spine. Aerobic exercises -- swimming, biking, or brisk walking -- can be good ways to stay active. If you’re older or have weak stomach muscles, you might need a brace to strengthen your backbone.

For more information on comprehensive back pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.

Source: webmd.com


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