Employee Spotlight: Crystal

Meet Crystal, Medical Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Crystal was nominated by her fellow staff members for always going out of her way to help patients in any way she can. This winter she has helped brush snow off of patients cars and is always so kind to the patients she helps. Crystal always treats her patients with the utmost care and respect. Your hard work and compassion does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do, Crystal!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Medical Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. My responsibilities include rooming the patients, taking their vitals, collecting specimens and a variety of other medical tasks.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been with TCPC for about 8 months and truly enjoy it.

What are some of your hobbies?

Some of my hobbies include playing outside with my kids, reading new books with them and baking. I love water parks and the beach when it's warm outside.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite thing about working at TCPC is the patient care. I love getting to know my patients and enjoy seeing them improve. The environment is great as well. I absolutely love my co-workers and how well we all work together. 

 

 

Twin Cities Pain Clinic has been named a Top Workplace by the Star Tribune. This great award wouldn't be possible without our amazing staff members. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

How Botox Can Help In Pain Management

What is used to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles can also help with chronic pain control, including back and nerve pain. Pain management and other alternative uses for Botox have shown how versatile and effective the treatment is.

Botulinum Toxin (Botox) was originally approved by the FDA in 1989 to treat muscle contractions caused by cervical dystonia. Doctors knew that Botox could help relax muscles before it exploded into a cosmetic procedure. Botox does that by blocking the neurotransmitters that tell muscles to contract. No signal from the neurotransmitters, no contraction, no tension – no pain.

The pain types, which are suitable for this treatment, include those where muscle spasm and tenderness are clearly definable, in the regions of the head, neck, and back. Botox has been used for approximately the past 40 years in the treatment of excessive muscle stiffness, spasticity, and dystonia. Recently, it has been used to treat various types of neuropathic pain.

Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine from the junction between a nerve and muscle. Normally acetylcholine binds to its receptor at this junction and causes a muscle contraction. When Botox is injected to an area of chronic muscle spasm, acetylcholine is blocked, allowing the muscle to relax.

Botox is administered by an injection directly into the desired site. The onset of relief occurs in about a week and typically lasts 3 months. The intent of Botox in this case, is to serve as a temporary relief from pain, not as a fix or cure. After three months, the muscles may become overactive again, so four injections per year may be needed.

Botox injections are typically indicated for:

  • Muscle pain arising from chronic muscle spasm
  • Neck pain in cervical dystonia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Nerve disorders resulting in blepharospasm
  • Myofascial pain

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above and are curious if Botox could help you, please call 952-841-2345 to talk to a member of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team.

What is DRG stimulation?

Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a new type of therapy that can help those who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Neuropathic pain is pain caused by damage to or malfunction of the nerves themselves. The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves that lead to and from the spinal cord. The nerves transmit pain signals to the brain. If the nerves are injured, neuropathic pain may develop. Chronic neuropathic pain can be challenging to treat because it can be difficult to pinpoint where and how the nerves are damaged.

Click here to learn more about neuropathic pain.

What is the dorsal root ganglion?

The dorsal root ganglion is a bundle of nerve cell bodies located within the posterior region of various vertebrae along the spinal column. It is adjacent to the dorsal nerve root. The primary function of the dorsal root ganglion is to transmit information regarding your senses. As such, the dorsal root ganglion carries sensory neural signals from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system, which includes your spinal cord and brain.

DRG Stimulation

DRG stimulation consists of electrical leads, an optional extension, and an implantable pulse generator. The electrical leads are threaded into the epidural space and from there, into the intervertebral foraman, in which the DRG lies. Each lead is tipped by four electrode contacts that are placed over the DRG. A non-rechargeable pulse generator is implanted in a pocket either in the upper buttock/low back, or, with an extension, into the abdominal wall. In the period after surgery the leads can be programmed to give stimulation based on the pain pattern. Patients go home with a small hand-held controller that switches between stimulation settings.

DRG stimulation is pretty identical to traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS), with one very important difference. Rather than placing leads in a general region of the spinal cord, DRG stimulation targets the specific regions of the spinal cord that are transmitting the pain and shuts down those painful signals directly by placing the leads directly over the DRG’s.

To learn more about DRG stimulation click here.

 

TCPC Welcomes Nancy Nyongesa, DNP, FNP

Please join Twin Cities Pain Clinic in welcoming our newest Burnsville provider!

"I have 5 years of experience in pain management as a nurse practitioner. I strongly believe in positive patient-provider relationship and shared decision-making."

"I am mother to two handsome boys. When I am not with my family or at work, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing volleyball, shopping. I was fortunate to play volleyball at highest level of the sport – 2004 Athens summer Olympic games."

Education

Associate in Practical Nursing degree in 2007 at Dickinson State University

Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 2009 at Dickinson State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Family Practice in 2013 at North Dakota State University

Hobbies

Powerwalking, running short distance races (5K, 10K), Spending time with husband and kids, and playing league volleyball.

"I am delighted to be part of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team!"

Employee Spotlight: Ieasha

Meet Ieasha, Patient Service Representative at Twin Cities Pain Clinic! Ieasha was nominated by her fellow staff members for always going above and beyond with the patients she encounters. Ieasha continues to demonstrate exceptional customer service to the patients she helps. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do, Ieasha!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Patient Service Representative at the front desk of the Edina clinic. I help patients check-in and check-out.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been with TCPC for 3 months and I enjoy working with patients and the TCPC team.

What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time relaxing at home reading or watching movies and I also love spending time with my family.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

The staff are amazing! The atmosphere is positive and I can always find help if I need it. I enjoy being a team player. I believe that in order to be effective and deliver the best care possible we have to be equipped with the support to do our jobs efficiently. Here at TCPC the support and leadership is amazing and I am proud to be part of the team.

 

 

Twin Cities Pain Clinic has been named a Top Workplace by the Star Tribune. This great award wouldn't be possible without our amazing staff members. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

All About Sciatica

40% of people will experience sciatica during their life, ranking it one of the most common causes of persistent pain. “People who suffer from acute or chronic back pain tend to be more susceptible to sciatica,” says Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Your risk also rises if you’re obese, if you smoke, or if you’re sedentary.”

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches from your low back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica affects millions of Americans, and it can range from a minor nuisance to a debilitating problem.

Symptoms

Sciatica describes a set of symptoms of an underlying medical condition. The term describes the pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that starts in the lower back and moves to the large sciatic nerve located in either leg. Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve, acting like a kink in a garden hose. This can happen because of an injury or trauma, but, is often the result of years of bending and sitting for long stretches.

Some symptoms that can occur are inflammation, pain and some numbness. Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf. Numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness can also be present in the affected leg or even foot.

Treatments

There are various treatments for sciatica, depending on the severity of the diagnosis. Treatments of sciatica range from rest and stretching exercises to various injections, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), medications, physical therapy, and spinal decompression. Not one treatment is right for everyone, as the underlying reason of sciatica varies from person to person.

Tips to Help Prevent Sciatica

Sciatica is not totally preventable, but there are a few things you can do to help strengthen and protect your back. Regular exercise is key. To keep your back strong focus on your core muscles, the muscles in your abdomen and lower back. These muscles are essential for proper posture and alignment, which, will help to prevent sciatica pain.

Maintaining proper posture when you sit is also important. Choosing a good seat is the first step. Find a seat with good lower back support, armrests, and a swivel base. Keep your knees and hips level. And sometimes keeping a pillow or towel at the small of your back will help maintain its normal curve. Also, be sure to use proper body mechanics. Sitting and standing upright and not slouching. Making sure if you are reading or working it is in front of you, preferably at eye level and avoiding excessive twisting and bending at the hips.

If you stand for long periods, resting one foot on a stool or small box from time to time can help ease the weight of standing. When you lift something heavy it is important to lift with your legs and not your back. That means bending down at the knees while keeping your back in a straight line, not bending forward at the hips. Hold the load close to you. And avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. If the object is heavy or awkward, find a lifting partner.

 

To Find Out More

If you are experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling as mentioned above, severe pain in your low back or leg, or pain following an accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to Twin Cities Pain Clinic at 952-841-2345 or twincitiespainclinic.com to talk to a professional today.