8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Back Healthy and Strong

Did you know that 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives? Both women and men are prone to posture and back problems. Whether you’re in the midst of fighting the ache or just want to prevent it, here are some quick-and-easy ways to keep your back healthy and strong!

 

Keep Moving: An exercise routine that combines stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity will keep your body and mind healthy! 

Eat Your Veggies: Proper nutrition is key to a healthy and active lifestyle! Try to choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.

Say no to Smoking: It is no secret that smoking has negative effects on your overall health, but did you know that smokers experience more spine pain and heal more slowly than nonsmokers?

Catch some ZZZ’s:  Getting proper rest is vital to your overall health. Choose a mattress and pillow that are comfortable and keep your head and spine aligned during your beauty rest.  

Stand up Straight: By practicing good posture you are promoting a strong and healthy spine! When you slouch or stoop, your muscles and ligaments strain to keep you balanced – which can lead to back pain.

Bottoms Up: Drinking more water throughout your day is a simple preventative step to protect against developing back pain and can even help reduce existing back pain.

Lighten Your Load: If your backpack or purse tips the scales at more than 10% of your weight, it’s too heavy! When choosing a bag try to find one with a long strap that is positioned across your chest, like a messenger bag!

Strengthen That Core: Having strong abdominal muscles can help protect your back from injury.

Dr. Will Implants the New Proclaim DRG Neurostimulator

Dr. Will is the first in Minnesota to implant the new Proclaim DRG Neurostimulator system by Abbott!

On October 18th at Twin Cities Surgery Center, Dr. Andrew Will implanted the first Proclaim DRG Neurostimulator system in Minnesota! Dr. Will continues to be at the forefront of his specialty, offering the most advanced treatment options.

 

According to Abbott, the new Proclaim platform is the only system that is FDA-approved to stimulate the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), an effective therapy that provides precise relief for patients suffering from focal chronic pain of the lower limbs due to CRPS. The Proclaim DRG Neurostimulator is the most advanced technology for patients’ convenience and comfort.  

 

At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we have made it our mission to help patients get back to living their life with less pain. Dr. Will and his team of trained professionals combine compassion with extensive medical knowledge and the most recent technology to give their patients the best treatment in pain management possible. 

Click here to read more about DRG Stimulation.

 

Spinal Cord Sitmulation – Frequently Asked Questions

At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we continually strive to pursue the most advanced treatments for patients with chronic pain. Spinal Cord Stimulation has been an increasingly popular and effective drug-free alternative. Today we are going to answer some of our most frequently asked SCS questions!

 

 

How will I know if spinal cord stimulation will work for me?

Talk to your TCPC provider to determine the kinds of pain treatments that may work for you. The choice of treatment depends on the type of pain, its severity, and your response to your pain treatment. If your doctor thinks you are a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, you can complete a trial to see if it will provide adequate pain relief.

What does spinal cord stimulation feel like?

Your stimulation level can be adjusted to deliver your preferred sensation and pain relief. With some device brands and settings, you may feel a tingling or a paresthesia, with others you will not feel anything!

Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?

Typically, people who find the treatment helpful experience significant and sustained reduction in chronic pain. However, spinal cord stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain, so the amount of pain reduction varies from person to person. Spinal cord stimulation therapy is not a cure for chronic pain, but rather a therapy to help you manage your pain.

Will spinal cord stimulation eliminate other sources of pain?

Your spinal cord stimulation system will not provide relief from other types of pain such as headaches, stomachaches, fractures, etc.

Is spinal cord stimulation a new therapy?

No. Spinal cord stimulation was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984.

Is spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain covered by my insurance?

Insurance – Spinal cord stimulators are approved by most insurance carriers. As with most pain treatments, you will need an approval from your insurance company before you can receive a SCS for your chronic pain. Insurance carriers usually require you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Medicare – Spinal cord stimulators are approved for coverage by Medicare, as long as the procedure is determined to be medically necessary. Medicare usually requires you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Workers’ Compensation – Most workers’ compensation carriers cover SCS with an approval before treatment.

Still have questions? Call our Spinal Cord Stimulator help line at 952-204-3585.

Dr. Will Presents at the Pain Management Roundtable

Dr. Will remains at the forefront of his specialty of Pain Management. On October 2nd, he had the opportunity to speak at the Pain Management Roundtable at the Capitol in St. Paul. Dr. Will provides his professional insight on pain management therapies and the increasing amount of technology available to combat the opioid crisis.


Local medical device companies joined forces with local lawmakers to tackle the opioid addiction crisis. The focus of the roundtable, hosted by Medical Alley Association, was to bring up new alternatives that do not involve using prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic pain. Dr. Will and the medical community wanted to shine the spotlight on other treatment options to curb the opioid addiction.

“Opioids are not cheap even though they may look like it at first glance,” said Dr. Andrew Will, medical director of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic. “Some of them honestly are expensive right at first glance, Sometimes they’re over $1,000 a month just for the medication. Some of the other procedures we’re talking about, even though they have a bigger upfront cost, pay for themselves in two years.”

Intrathecal Pain Pumps, Injections, Spinal Cord Stimulators and physical therapy are some of the alternatives. It is important to note that there is no one therapy that will work for everyone. Chronic pain is unique to every individual, and treatment plans need to be individualized to each patient.

The summit on October 2nd is the first of a series of roundtable meetings hosted by Medical Alley Association.

 

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes a New Provider

Please join Twin Cities Pain Clinic in welcoming our newest provider to the Maple Grove Clinic

Nick Rasmussen, PA-C

 

We are very excited to welcome Nick Rasmussen, Physician Assistant, to the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team! Nick will be joining the Maple Grove Clinic In early November! Nick is a board-certified physician assistant with a strong clinical interest in spine pain. He completed his undergraduate degree at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and went on to complete the Physician Assistant Program at Augsburg College. In his spare time Nick enjoys soccer, running and spending time with his daughter, family and friends.

 

Welcome to the team!

 

 

New Hope for Minnesota Residents with Chronic Pain

Given the national crisis involving opioid abuse, it’s more important than ever for the millions of patients suffering from chronic pain to have access to new non-opioid treatment options. Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Twin Cities Surgery Center is the first facility in Minnesota and the Midwest to offer the Intellis™ platform including the world’s smallest implantable spinal cord stimulator (SCS) for the management of certain types of chronic intractable pain.

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that can negatively impact all aspects of a person’s life – relationships, work productivity and activities of daily living, yet it remains under-recognized and undertreated.1 Chronic pain is challenging to manage and neurostimulation has been proven to provide effective long-term pain relief and improve quality of life, in addition to being a treatment option for patients interested in trying a non-drug alternative.2-6

Access to a new cutting-edge treatment option should offer new hope to Minnesota residents struggling with debilitating pain, like William “Bill” Kuehl. Bill was one of the first in Minnesota to receive the new Intellis™ SCS device. Bill’s pain started as a result from meningitis and a hip replacement. Since then he has struggled with severe pain in his back and lower limbs. When asked about how his new SCS has affected his quality of life and overall health he responded with, “When the SCS is turned on, life is great! I cannot imagine living without it.”

Bill enjoys nature and considers himself to be a true outdoorsman. He is a wonderful photographer, and with the help of his Spinal Cord Stimulator his is able to continue his passion by catching unique perspectives of wildlife and landscapes. He enjoys spending time with his family, and traveling with his wife, Marilyn. Bill is truly excited for his new Intellis Spinal Cord Stimulator and all of the user-friendly adaptions it has to offer. When asked if he would recommend the treatment option of spinal cord stimulation to others he responded with, “All I can say is, WOW!”

William Kuehl is willing to share his motivating, first-hand experience to help others and Dr. Will also welcomes the opportunity to further discuss chronic pain and treatment options. If you have a question regarding Spinal Cord Stimulation or our treatment options, do not hesitate to call our clinic at 952-841-2345.

Chronic pain has a significant personal impact and the fact that Spinal Cord Stimulation may provide pain relief is extremely important as Minnesota and the nation prepares to combat the opioid crisis. Spinal Cord Stimulation fights pain with technology and is a revolutionary non-opioid therapy.

 

References:

1 Mekhail N, Wentzel DL, Freeman R, Quadri H. Counting the costs: case management implications of spinal cord stimulation treatment for failed back surgery syndrome. Prof Case Manag. 2011;16(1):27-36.

2 North RB., Kidd DH., Farrokhi F, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus repeated lumbosacral spine surgery for chronic pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Neurosurg; 56: 98–106 (2005).

3 Kumar K., Taylor RS., Jacques L, et al., Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicenter randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain; 132: 179–188. (2007).

4 Kemler MA., De Vet HCW., Barendse GAM et al., The effect of spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic reflex sympathetic dystrophy: two years’ follow-up of the randomized controlled trial. Ann Neurol; 55: 13–18 (2004).

5 Taylor RS, Spinal cord stimulation in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Refractory Neuropathic Back and Leg Pain/Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain Symptom Manage; 31: S13–S19 (2006).

6 Cameron T, Safety and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic pain – a 20 year literature review. J Neurosurg Spine; 100: 254–267 (2004).