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

Employee Spotlight: Caitlin

Employee Spotlight: Caitlin

 Meet Caitlin, our TCPC Business Office Manager! Caitlin is always willing to take on additional tasks to learn and grow within her department. She has great attention to detail, and has established great working relationships with staff and patients!

 

 

 

 

 

 What is your position?

I am the Business Office Manger for TCPC. I strive to make sure my staff and I are sending accurate charges to the patient’s insurance company, so in turn patient are receiving accurate bills. I work daily with insurances on denied claims issues and with patients for their bill payments. 

How long have you been with TCPC? 

I have been with the Twin Cities Pain Clinic business office for 1 year and 5 months. I have been in the manager role for 4 months. 

 What are some of your hobbies

Outside of work I spend the majority of my time with my two daughters! It’s the most challenging and the most joyful thing I’ve ever been a part of. We enjoy being outside together! In my spare time I love being with friends, going to new restaurants, being downtown, reading and trying a new hairstyle every few months! In the future I want to add traveling to my hobby list!  

 What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC? 

My coworkers! But, as far as my work tasks, I enjoy reviewing patient accounts for accuracy and working on projects that make our department run more efficiently to process claims in a timely manner.

 

Thank you for all of your hard work! You are such a valuable part of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team!

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions for a Pain-Free 2018!

New Year’s Resolutions for a Pain-Free 2018!

1. Put Your Health First – Take good care of yourself. You are not able to care for your family, if you don’t properly take care of yourself first. Make it your goal to surround yourself with individuals who understand your situation and support you unconditionally. Allow yourself to rest, recover, and say no to things that may make your pain worse. Knowing that you are doing all you can to reduce your pain is a comforting feeling. See a specialist and take control of your pain, before pain takes control of your life. 

2. Find Little Ways to Incorporate Activity – Invest in a good pair of walking shoes & hit the pavement! The benefits are clear: regular low impact aerobic exercise may reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles, and provide healing by sending oxygen-rich blood to painful areas. Build walking into your daily schedule so you can’t easily skip it. For example, take your dog for a walk every morning or walk during your lunch break. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 3 or 4 times each week.

3. Set a tobacco quit date – It’s no secret that smoking and tobacco use can wreak havoc on your health, but studies have shown that smokers experience pain more frequently than non-smokers. Quitting smoking can be highly challenging but is definitely worth the effort. Don’t put off quitting. Set a date and stick to it. Share the date with family and friends, so you’re more committed to that date and they can help hold you accountable to your goal. If you associate other habits, such as drinking coffee, with smoking, replace those habits with new ones! Click here to learn how smoking affects your chronic pain. 

4. Get a “Resolution Buddy” – You’ll be far more likely to achieve your objectives if you have a friend by your side to encourage you to stay persistent. Invite a friend to come over to cook a healthy meal or join you as you work out in the gym. You can be each other’s “cheerleaders”, which will make the chore of getting healthy more social and fun.

5. Set Short-Term Goals – If your New Years Resolution is to eat healthy, instead of telling yourself “I’m not going to eat junk food for the next three months,” tell yourself “I’m not going to eat junk food for the next week”. Breaking up a large goal into smaller chunks will give you the sense of accomplishment you’ll need in order to stay motivated enough to see your goals through to completion. Don’t be discouraged by a set-back. The road to success has lots of curves and bends, if you stay on track after a set back it can fuel you forward!

 

From all of the staff at Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Surgery Center we wish you happiness and health in 2018!

Coming Soon! Check-in Kiosks!

Twin Cities Pain Clinics are excited to launch our new check-in kiosk technology!

We are committed to you and are working to make your healthcare experience easier and more efficient. Our new patient registration stations allow us to get you to your visit more quickly by:

1. Immediately alerting the front desk that you have arrived.

2. Reducing the amount of paperwork we will ask you to fill out while at the same time helping us abide by new government regulations (Red Flag and Meaningful Use.)

3. Shortens the time it takes for you to be seen. Simply confirm the data at the kiosk.

4. Identifies your accurate copay amount. You will be able to pay at check in rather than on your way out.

5. Ensures your information is accurately submitted to your insurance company, which will help your claim get processed quickly and correctly and will help eliminate calls from our office and your insurance company to you.

6. We are concerned about your privacy and the security of your information. This system keeps all your information completely secure and confidential, by fully complying with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) guidelines.

 

Winter Blues and Chronic Pain

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Chronic Pain

Many Minnesotans suffer from a case of the “winter blues”, but this seasonal depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder can be detrimental to someone suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain can make other conditions, like seasonal affective disorder, worse. Likewise, pain can be made worse by other conditions. Pain and seasonal depression become a vicious cycle, leaving many people with little hope. 

In many cases, Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring or summer. Other times, people may experience the opposite pattern of symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses. These are no true identified causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but many experts believe that it is related to hormonal changes in the brain that occur at certain times of the year. It is thought that the lack of daylight in the winter time ma also contribute, as the brain makes less serotonin, which is a chemical linked to regulation of mood. (1)

SAD usually begins in young adulthood and is more common in women than men. There are some individuals who experience SAD only have mild symptoms of irritability or feel not like themselves. Other symptoms of SAD vary, and may include symptoms of depression, less energy, fatigue, weight gain, and he inability to concentrate. If the patient already experiences a chronic pain condition, the symptoms of that condition can be worse than usual, or can make symptoms of SAD even more severe. (2)

Treatment for SAD and chronic pain conditions should begin with management of pain, which can be achieved by the pain management team at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Concurrently with chronic pain management, treatment for SAD should occur. This may include getting more sunlight when it is available and use of antidepressant medication.

If you suspect that you suffer from SAD along with your chronic pain, be sure ask your provider on how Twin Cities Pain Clinic can help. You don’t have to suffer alone, we can help! Call 952-841-2345 today!

 

references:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
  2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml