Epidural Steroid Injections

Understanding Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections are a common treatment option for many forms of low back pain and leg pain. They have been used for low back problems for many years and are still an integral part of the non-surgical management of sciatica and low back pain. The goal of the injection is pain relief; at times the injection alone is sufficient to provide relief, but commonly an epidural steroid injection is used in combination with a comprehensive rehabilitation program to provide additional benefit.

What is it? An epidural steroid injection is a procedure to help relieve pain that originates in your neck or back. It provides pain relief by delivering a steroid (anti-inflammatory medication) into the spinal area. The steroid helps to decrease the inflammation that causes swelling and irritability of the spinal nerves. By decreasing the inflammation, the nerve returns to a more normal state, which should reduce the pain. It does not change the condition of the discs or surrounding structures. Although rare, the risks may include allergic reaction to the medication, spinal headache, nerve damage, bleeding and prolonged increased pain. 

How should I prepare? You will need a driver. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled injection time. Notify your provider if you are taking blood thinners, you have an allergy to contrast dye, there is a change you may be pregnant, or if you are taking antibiotics. 

What should I expect during the procedure? The injection is done by a physician under fluoroscopy (x-ray). You will be brought into the procedure room and lay on your stomach on a special table. If you are receiving oral or IV sedation, this will be administered prior to the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned at the injection site and a local anesthetic will be used to numb your skin. The fluroscope (x-ray machine)will be used to help visualize the needle as it is guided to the appropriate site. Then contrast dye is injected to ensure correct placement, followed by the steroid medication. You may feel a sensation of pressure or discomfort during the injection. An anesthetic may also be injected into the affected area with the steroid to provide temporary relief. After the injection, you will be moved into the recovery area, where you will be monitored for 15-20 minutes by a nurse. If you received IV sedation, you will need to stay for at least 1 hour to be monitored. You may experience temporary numbness or weakness in the legs, which is why you must have a driver. This should subside in 30-40 minutes.  

What happens after the procedure? We recommend that you take it easy for the remainder of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day. You may experience tenderness or aggravated symptoms for several days after the injection. You may use ice packs to help with this pain. Patients usually feel relief after a few days; however, it may take 10-14 days to take effect. You should follow-up with your TCPC provider 2 weeks after the injection, so that they can assess the injection’s effectiveness and determine the next step in your care. 

If you would like to learn more about your pain relief options,

call our experts at 952-841-2345. 

 

Employee Spotlight: Alison

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Alison

 Meet Alison, a clinical assistant at our Edina location! As a clinical assistant, Alison assists the midlevel providers to ensure that your visit to TCPC is an efficient and enjoyable experience!

 

 

 

 

What is your position?

Clinical Assistant – This role serves dual purposes. Some days I am a medical scribe, which means that I help chart and document for the provider that I am working with. Other days, I am a medical assistant which means that I bring patients to their exam rooms, take their vitals, and count their medications. On occasion, we assist with lab work as well.  

How long have you been with TCPC? 

I’ve been with TCPC for 8 months!

 What are some of your hobbies

I am currently preparing for my MCAT, so when I am not busy studying I enjoy “happy houring” with friends, spending time with my family, traveling, being outside and attending concerts. Country music concerts are my favorite!!

 What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC? 

My favorite part about working at TCPC has been learning more about pain management and the available options out there as I pursue my own career in medicine. The providers at Twin Cities Pain Clinic are great educators as well! I have a lot of wonderful co-workers that make comin to work very fun!

 

Thank you for all of your hard work, Alison!

 

 

 

Spinal Cord Stimulation: Kevin’s Story

“There’s nothing small about small moments.”

Boston Scientific patient, Kevin, shares his story on how Spinal Cord Stimulation helped him regain his life. You don’t have to live in pain, Twin Cities Pain Clinic can help. Call 952-841-2345 to set up a consultation with our pain management experts. 

 

TCPC’s Providers Attend NAN’s Conference

Twin Cities Pain Clinic’s Providers Attend 2018 NANS Annual Meeting

Th North American Neuromodulation Society held it’s 21st annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NANS conference is the world’s largest meeting in the field of modulation! The 2018 meeting offered our providers the opportunity to network with other medical professionals in this specialty, state-of-the-art lectures, and to discover the newest upcoming advances in devices in the exhibit hall. According to neuromodulation.org, NANS has participants from more than 20 countries, making it the most premier meeting in the world to capture the latest advances in the science and practice of modulation. 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The start of the New Year is a great time to make healthy lifestyle changes. After the holiday season, it may seem like a difficult task to get back on track with healthy eating. Changing your diet can be as simple as identifying which healthy foods will help fight inflammation, block pain signals and help heal underlying disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables alone will not alleviate your pain. Committing to a healthy lifestyle with less processed food and more fresh foods will keep you on track for a healthy year.  

Inflammation is the body’s healthy immune response to an injury including bacteria, viruses, fungi, external damage, or possibly to the body itself from over use and age as in arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. Inflammation can be painful, but may also cause redness and swelling. Eating healthy by including and reducing certain foods can help decrease inflammation naturally.

 

Foods to Fight Inflammation:  

  • Omega 3 fatty acids: fish (including salmon, tuna, sardine, anchovies, and other cold-water fish), nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, and almonds), olives or olive oil, flax seed or flax seed oils, eggs, enriched dairy foods
  • Fiber: lentils (beans, chickpeas), vegetables – multiple colors per day, 2-3 cups per meal (bell peppers, hot peppers, carrots, onions, broccoli), brown rice, quinoa
  • Fruits: cherries, berries (blueberries, raspberries), multiple colors per day
  • Seasonings: garlic, tumeric, rosemary, cinnamon, sage, thyme, mint
  • Sweets: honey (good substitute for sugar), chocolate ( 70% cocoa)
  • Drink: tea (white, green, oolong), coffee (in moderation)

Foods That Cause Inflammation – you should avoid these in your diet: 

  • Refined carbohydrates: white bread, white pastas, cereal, white rice
  • Fried foods: chicken, hamburgers
  • Sugar: table sugar, sodas, other sweetened drinks
  • Omega-6 oils: sunflower, corn, soybean
  • Meats: red meat, processed meat (bacon, sausage, canned meats, hotdogs, salami, beef jerky
  • Sodium: check food labels, many canned/processed foods have sodium added, limit adding table salt to foods. 

Understanding Headaches & Migraines

Headaches & Migraines

No matter who you are, you’ve probably experienced a few headaches in your life. It’s one of the most common reasons that keep people from going to work. Chronic primary headaches however, are a disease all their own. They are often triggered in normally healthy people by stress, emotional factors, foods, fumes in the environment, or even a change in the weather. These types of headaches affect over 50 million people in the United States. 

Tension Headache – this is a very common type of headache. Odds are, you’ve probably had one of these headaches in the last year. You will feel a steady pain, usually in the back of the head and along the sides of the neck. 

Migraine Headache – the migraine headache affects around 25 million Americans each year. Migraine headaches can be inherited, so if a family member suffers from migraines, you might as well. Migraines can cause an extremely painful throbbing on the side of the head. It can also cause nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to noise and light. Sufferers of migraines often seek out a dark and quiet room during an attack. Just minutes before a migraine hits, your body often sends a warning whose symptoms vary – flashing lights, trouble speaking or an awareness that something is wrong. 

Cluster Headache – the cluster headache is more of a variant of a headache than a completely different type. They’re not nearly as common as the migraine and are usually found in men who smoke or drink heavily. They are called cluster headaches because, after the first one starts, they keep coming back for weeks and even months. Most of the attacks don’t last more than a few hours and are associated with severe pain in one eye which may water and become inflamed. The nose is also usually stuffy as well. During a cluster, each headache tends to strike at the same time of day as the last. More often than not, these headaches occur during nighttime hours.

 

Twin Cities Pain Clinic can recommend a variety of treatments for Chronic Headaches & Migraines. Contact your provider is the pain persists. 

1. Rest in a quiet, dark room.

2. Hot of cold compresses to your head or neck.

3. Massage and small amounts of caffeine.

4. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), and aspirin. 

 

Employee Spotlight: Tanner

Employee Spotlight: Tanner

 Meet Tanner, our Patient Experience Coordinator! Tanner was recognized for working hard during the snow days to keep the sidewalks cleared for our patients. Thank you for going above and beyond & showing that no task is too big or too small! 

 

 

 

 

 

 What is your position?

I am the Patient Experience Coordinator which is a new role at the clinic and therefore the responsibilities are continually evolving. The current responsibilities can be summarized as improving the communication between the patient and the clinic. Along with helping to ensure that patients make it through the clinic is a smooth and timely manner. Beyond that I tend to perform miscellaneous tasks around the clinic that need to be done!

How long have you been with TCPC? 

I’ve been at the clinic for about a month now! 

 What are some of your hobbies

Outside of the clinic, I like to run, play with my dog and watch Netflix. 

 What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC? 

My favorite thing about the clinic would have to be my coworkers. Working with a group of hardworking and fun people makes coming to work just that much easier. 

Thank you for all of your hard work! Welcome to the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team! 

 

 

 

TCPC Coming to Burnsville

Coming this Spring, Twin Cities Pain Clinic will be opening its doors in Burnsville! Located on the eastern side of Burnsville, the clinic will be the newest of 4 locations in the metro area. The clinic has been thoughtfully designed to promote the most excellent and convenient care for each of our patients.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is excited for the Burnsville expansion to help meet the growing need for comprehensive pain management. Twin Cities Pain Clinic understands that when you are in pain, convenience is key. We are happy to provide excellent care, closer to home. Our new clinic location will proudly serve Burnsville and the surrounding communities by offering the most advanced treatment options. 

For more location information please click here. 

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex pain condition that affects an estimated five million Americans. Fibromyalgia can be one of the most difficult conditions for patients, it negatively impacts their quality of life and often makes the simplest tasks seem difficult. 

Patients with fibromyalgia have widespread pain with additional symptoms that commonly include fatigue, sleep problems and memory problems. Some patients also have depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems and pelvic pain. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on a physician’s physical exam findings and the symptoms that the patient reports. (1)

Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because the symptoms often mimic those of other medical conditions. In addition, each patient with fibromyalgia is different and has a unique constellation of symptoms that can vary. While we might use lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia, all of these factors can make diagnosing this condition tricky for patients and physicians. (2)

For those with fibromyalgia, it is important to eat a healthy diet, exercise, get enough sleep and minimize stress. In addition, make sure to find a physician that you trust and that you can speak to openly and honestly. With fibromyalgia as with other medical conditions, teamwork is crucial and a healthy doctor-patient relationship is essential. Make sure you have a good support system, maintain a positive outlook and remember that it is possible to live a very full and productive life with fibromyalgia. 

Myth: Fibromyalgia is not real.

Reality: Fibromyalgia is recognized as a medical condition by well-known, expert groups like the national Institutes of health, American Medical Association, American College of Rheumatology, Food and Drug Administration, Social Security Administration and all major insurers. The American Pain Society has developed guidelines to help healthcare providers treat the condition. (2)

Myth: Fibromyalgia is caused by depression.

Reality: Fibromyalgia is not caused by depression. but fibromyalgia patients sometimes feel depressed. Talk to your provider about treatments that may help you. 

Myth: Fibromyalgia is a new and rare condition.

Reality: Fibromyalgia has been recognized by healthcare providers for a long time. Physicians wrote about “muscular rheumatism,” a condition involving fatigue, stiffness, aches, pains and sleep disturbances back in the 1800’s. The current term was coined in 1976. The American College of Rheumatology set out its diagnostic criteria in 1990. Fibromyalgia is one of this country’s most common types of chronic widespread pain. (1)

 

References:

  1. https://www.fmcpaware.org/aboutfibromyalgia.html
  2. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia
  3. http://www.fibrocenter.com/understanding-fibromyalgia
  4. https://www.healthcentral.com/article/understanding-fibromyalgia