• Image depicting common pain points on the bodyLiving with Fibromyalgia
    What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia (pronounced: fi-bro-my-al-gee-uh) is a disorder that causes pain in your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. The pain is especially intense when pressure is applied to areas called “tender points.” Common tender points are the back of the head, the elbows, the …
  • Twin Cities Transportation Van-Twin Cities Pain Clinic2019 in Review – Part 4: A Bit of Everything
    Today we’re highlighting several big 2019 upgrades. They include the launch of our own transportation service, improving access to care with our mobile check in feature, and completing the first of several remodeling projects! Twin Cities Transportation We bought a van! In July, Twin Cities …
  • Feed My Starving Children-Group Photo-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach2019 In Review – Part 3: Outreach
    TCPC Gives Back – 2019 Charity and Community Outreach Initiatives The Twin Cities Pain Clinic team is a generous bunch, and that generosity was on full display in 2019. From food drives to fundraisers, and even making gifts from scratch to donate, there was no shortage of joy and good will to …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic-logo image2019 in Review – Part 2: PACT
    In July of 2019, we made a commitment to further improving the health and well-being of our patients. Twin Cities Pain Clinic partnered with the Personalized Activated Care and Training program, known as PACT for short. We understand the impact of pain does not always end within the walls of our …
  • Ice pack on knee to relieve acute painWhat is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
    How is pain defined? Understanding the answer to this simple question can help you and your doctor find the best way to treat your pain. The first step is defining the common types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute Pain Acute pain is pretty much any pain that lasts less than three months. …
  • 2019 Year in Review-Banner Image2019 In Review – Part 1: Provider Growth
    2020 – it’s the start of a new year and a new decade. Everyone is settled back in after the holidays and ready to hit the ground running. We’re all looking ahead to the coming year and planning for how we’re going to improve over the year before. It turns out this is going to be quite the challenge …
  • Blankets and Bags 2019-Twin Cities Pain Clinic OutreachHoliday Blankets, Cards and Bags
    A bunch of super cool members of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team showed their charitable side last week. With the holidays just around the bend, these gallant givers made the season a bit warmer and more cheerful for those in need. The team made some very comfy tie blankets, beautiful gift bags …
  • Boxes of Food Donations-November 2019 Food Drive-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach2019 TCPC Fall Food Drive
    This November, Twin Cities Pain Clinic hosted a food drive in support of Second Harvest Heartland. Non perishable food items and monetary gifts were collected and donated to help people in need. Our team really stepped up and showed their generosity! 238 pounds of food donated $200 in monetary …
  • Vivian Ngongang-DNP-Twin Cities Pain Clinic-ProvidersTwin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes A New Provider
    Twin Cities Pain Clinic is pleased to welcome Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP! Vivian is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and will see patients at our clinic in Edina. Get to know Vivian! Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP Clinical Interests Patient education Interventional techniques Board Certifications …
  • Sciatica Word Cloud ImageSciatica in a Nutshell
    Sciatica is one of the most common causes of pain, with as many as 40% of people experiencing it at some point. It can range from a short-lived annoyance to a severe, debilitating disruption of everyday life. The good news is that there are care and treatment options that can relieve and sometimes …
  • Twin-Cities-Pain-Clinic-Doctor-Anne-Kokayeff-MDDr. Anne Kokayeff is DRG Certified!
    Twin Cities Pain Clinic is proud to announce that Dr. Anne Kokayeff is now certified to perform Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulator implant surgeries. To illustrate why this is a huge deal, here’s a quick crash course: The DRG is a bundle of nerves located in between the vertebrae that extend …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic Provider-Kjerstin Durie, PA-CTwin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes Two New Providers
    Twin Cities Pain Clinic is pleased to welcome its two newest providers to the team! Kjerstin Durie is a Certified Physician Assistant and will be seeing patients at our clinic in Woodbury. Mattew K. Gannott is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and will travel to all four of our clinic locations to …
  • Sheila & Kevin O'Leary-Becker's ASC Annual Meeting 2019Twin Cities Pain Clinic at Becker’s ASC 26th Annual Meeting
    Our Practice Administrator, Sheila Thompson, proudly represented Twin Cities Pain Clinic at the Becker’s ASC 26th Annual Meeting in Chicago from October 24-26. Becker’s Healthcare publishes resource materials for leaders in several medical fields. Among them is Becker’s ASC …
  • Abstract cloud of migraine related imagesThe Migraine Headache Guide
    FACT: Migraines headaches are painful, irritating, inconvenient and really just no fun at all. Aside from that, how much do you really know about migraines? What are they? Where do they come from? Why do we get them? How does one make them go away? Get ready to have all your questions answered, …
  • Cartoon image of a rake shovel and falling leavesTips for Pain-Free Raking this Fall
    What does Fall mean to you? Gorgeous colors, the crisp, cool air, football, pumpkin spice everything? Whatever the case, there is one thing that pretty much everyone thinks about when Autumn arrives – raking leaves. Whatever your opinion on raking, one thing is certain: It is not a quick and …
  • 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 …
  • StimWave system-product images-peripheral nerve stimulationPeripheral Nerve Stimulation
    Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is a treatment Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers to patients suffering from chronic pain. The benefit of peripheral nerve stimulation is that it can target nerves all over the body, instead of just those located in the spinal cord region. Stimulation can result in …
  • Spinal-Cord-Stimulation-Patient-and-DoctorHow Vince Got His Life Back With Spinal Cord Stimulation
    “For many years I was getting by, but never truly able to live.” The words of Vince, a patient at Twin Cities Pain Clinic, regarding the pain he had been experiencing for over a decade. In 2004 Vince underwent a microdiscectomy in his low back. A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to …
  • All About Osteoperosis
    Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. They can become so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over, or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” When you look …
  • Map spread out on car dashboardHow to Survive a Road Trip with Persistent Pain
    If you have persistent back or neck pain, riding in a car for any period of time can be difficult. Riding in a car for an hour or more can be even more challenging. If you have a road trip or long car ride coming up, consider some of the following tips to make the trip as best as it can be. Take …
  • Employee Spotlight: Stacy
    Meet Stacy, Medical Biller at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Stacy was nominated by her fellow staff members for her continued hard work to always get to the root issue on commercial payer claim denials. Stacy is always determined to have claims paid correctly and the A/R be accurate. Thank you for your …
  • Image depicting common pain points on the bodyAll About Arthritis
    There are many different diseases that contribute to the 50 million American’s that experience chronic pain. One of those diseases is arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Woodbury, MNOur Woodbury Clinic Has Moved!
    Twin Cities Pain Clinic is excited to help meet the growing need for comprehensive pain management. We understand that when you are in pain, convenience is key. In pursuit of our mission, we are happy to provide excellent care, in a new comfortable location. Our new office location will proudly …
  • Feet and athletic shoes-one shoe causing foot painHow Your Feet Can Contribute to Your Persistent Pain
    Your feet get you from point A to point B, but as you walk I’m sure most of you don’t even notice how you walk. What you might not be aware of, is that your feet can play a significant role in your pain. The way you walk and stand can impact your whole body. According to Dr. Positano, director of …
  • 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 …
  • 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. What is Botox? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) was originally approved by …
  • What is DRG stimulation?
    Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a type of therapy that provides relief from chronic neuropathic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Neuropathic pain results from damage to or malfunction of nerves, which send pain signals to the brain. The peripheral nervous system includes all …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • Pain-patient-holding-lower-backAll 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 …
  • Employee Spotlight: Collin
    Meet Collin, Clinical Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic! Collin was nominated by his fellow staff members for always providing the highest quality of patient care and customer service. Collin is great with the patients and always has a great attitude at work. Your hard work does not go …
  • Employee Spotlight: Iris
    Meet Iris, Patient Services Representative at Twin Cities Pain Clinic! Iris was nominated by her fellow staff members for going above and beyond with the patients she helps. She takes the time to get to know patients and makes sure they have everything they need and are ready for their appointment …
  • Image of elderly woman with pain doctorHow to Have the Conversation With Your Doctor about Your Pain
    When it comes to back and neck pain, there are few definitive tests that can accurately measure and diagnose it. Using an objective testing method such as an MRI or CT scan is not very helpful. Pain levels fluctuate, in terms of timing, intensity, and quality. Objective methods make it difficult to …
  • Employee Spotlight: Kristin
    Meet Kristin, Intake & Eligibility Representative at Twin Cities Pain Clinic! Kristin was nominated by her fellow staff members for her dedication to her job. Kristin came in with such a positive attitude and willingness to learn. Her great personality is a wonderful addition to the team! Thank …
  • Collection of fruits and vegetables that help relieve painThe Best and Worst Foods for Persistent Pain
    Certain types of food can cause inflammation in the body. When consuming these inflammatory causing foods for a long period of time, one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and pain syndromes increase. Chronic inflammation can even raise your risk of certain cancers and Alzheimer’s …
  • Employee Spotlight: Annushka
    Meet Annushka, Intake & Eligibility Peer Trainer at Twin Cities Pain Clinic! Annushka was nominated by her fellow staff members for her continued dedication to her job and helping new employees learn in the best way for them. She is a great team player and helps out anyone whenever they need …
  • When to Use Ice or Heat on an Injury
    Ice or heat? There is a lot of confusion around the topic of when to use ice on an injury or heat.  Using ice or heat is a cheap, easy, and safe treatment option to help with many common issues. The question is, when do you use heat and when do you use ice. Ice is for injuries. Using ice helps calm …
  • What Exactly is Degenerative Disc Disease?
    First, let’s understand your spine. Your spine is made up of 24 bones, called vertebrae. Muscles and ligaments connect these bones to the spinal column. The many muscles that connect to the spinal column help support the upright posture of the spine and move the spine. The spinal column is what …
  • Employee Spotlight: Pa Ta
    Meet Pa Ta, Medical Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Pa Ta was nominated by her fellow staff members for her continued willingness to help and always having a great attitude. Pa Ta is always willing to help others to make sure the day runs smoothly. Thank you for all you do Pa Ta! What is your …
  • Tech Neck: How to Avoid Neck Pain
    With all that our smartphones and tablets have to offer, we end up spending a lot of time on our devices, whether it's texting, emailing, or researching. Tech neck can begin to take place. Tech neck is a term coined to describe the position of the head and neck when the device is held at the chest …
  • Employee Spotlight: Carly
    Meet Carly, Administrative Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Carly was nominated by her fellow staff members for her continued effort in helping others and always going above and beyond her expected job duties. Carly always has a smile on her face and is always willing to help others out, it …
  • The Importance of Stretching
    Almost everybody knows that physical activity and exercise are very important. But, what a lot of people don’t know is how important stretching is. There are five components of physical fitness, and flexibility is one of them, with the other four being cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, …
  • Why Persistent Pain Patients Need Quality Sleep
    Does pain make the sleep worse or does poor quality sleep make the pain feel worse? It’s actually both. The subjected intensity of pain decreases when a person is well rested. It is estimated that 50-80% of chronic pain patients report sleep disturbances. The worst is when pain and sleep form a …
  • Get To Know our Radiology Technologists
    Radiologic technologists (rad techs) are the health care professionals who perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-ray examinations, magnetic resonance (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans. Some of them specialize in specific techniques such as cardiovascular-interventional …
  • Employee Spotlight: Bre
    Meet Bre, Administrative Assistant at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Bre was nominated by her fellow staff members for her consistent dedication and hard work. Bre is an instrumental piece for operations at the surgery center. With her able to get preop physicals several days in advance, she gives the …
  • How your Sweet Tooth is Affecting your Persistent Pain
    It is widely known that eating too much sugar causes obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but did you know that it could be contributing to your muscle and joint pain as well? We all know that sugar is a main ingredient in foods such as candy, cakes, ice cream, and other deserts, but there is also …
  • Employee Spotlight: Pamela-2.0
    Meet Pamela, Medical Assistant, and Medical Assistant Trainer mainly at Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Maple Grove. Pamela was nominated by her fellow employees for always being so flexible with jumping in to help whenever she can to try and keep things on track as well as keeping on top of all her …
  • Sonya’s Story: Great Relief With NEW Mild Treatment
    There are so many simple things in life that we all take for granted when we are not living with persistent pain. For one woman, the sheer act of standing and walking, made her day-to-day life very difficult. Too many Americans live in constant pain every day, where it is taking over their lives. …
  • TCPC Welcomes Peg Maude-Griffin, Ph.D., L.P.
    Please join Twin Cities Pain Clinic in welcoming our new clinical psychologist. Peg Maude-Griffin, Ph.D., L.P. “I am committed to helping patients create a self-care plan that will give them confidence in their ability to decrease their pain, restore functioning, and improve their quality of life. …
  • Persistent Pain and Anxiety
    Does anxiety cause pain, or is the pain causing anxiety? (It’s actually both.) Pain can be a common symptom and sometimes a good indicator of an anxiety disorder, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. GAD occurs when that feeling …
  • Image of common pain points around the bodyKnow Your Pain: The Different Types of Persistent Pain
    Neuropathic Pain 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 …
  • Employee Spotlight: Laila
    Meet Laila, a Registered Nurse at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Laila was nominated by her fellow nursing staff for consistently displaying the ability to learn new things quickly and adapt/overcome challenges. Laila is always willing to learn and help out when she can. Thank you for all you do! What …
  • Interview with Twin Cities Pain Clinic’s Physical Therapist: Maureen Henderson
    In November, Maureen will be celebrating her 12th year with Twin Cities Pain Clinic. She has been a practicing physical therapist for the past 41 years. Maureen attended college at the University of Colorado. She is a very avid outdoor person. Some of her favorite activities are hiking, swimming …
  • What Physical Therapy Can Do For You
    Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed health care professionals who can help you reduce pain and improve or restore mobility. PTs can teach you how to prevent or manage your condition so that you will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using …
  • Employee Spotlight: Sarah
    Meet Sarah, Project Coordinator at Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Surgery Center. Sarah was nominated by her fellow employees for always being so helpful and quick to respond when there is any IT issue or questions in general. Sarah always has a positive attitude and is patient and thorough whenever …
  • Opioid Epidemic: A Public Health Crisis
    In October 2017, the President of the United States declared the opioid epidemic a public health crisis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there were over 60,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016. That is more than 100 fatal overdoses every day. This …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic Announces Clinical Research Team
    September 26, 2018 – Edina, Minnesota, USA – Twin Cities Pain Clinic recently announced the addition of their Clinical Research Team. Twin Cities Pain Clinic is a center of excellence for comprehensive pain management in Minnesota. The company serves patients from across Minnesota with 4 clinic …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic: 5K
    TWIN CITIES PAIN CLINIC & SURGERY CENTER HOST FIRST ANNUAL PAIN AWARENESS 5K September 22, 2018 – Edina, Minnesota, USA – To celebrate September as Pain Awareness Month, Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Surgery Center held their first annual Pain Awareness 5k. Staff members, along with their family …
  • Employee Spotlight: Karen
    Meet Karen, a Registered Nurse at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Karen was nominated by her fellow nursing staff for being humble, kind, and providing an extremely high level of care for her patients. Karen is always willing to help her teammates and provides great energy to the team. Thank you for …
  • Exercise to Ease Pain
    Exercise may be the last thing you want to do if you experience persistent pain, but it can be one of the best things you can do to help manage your symptoms. Remember, exercise is medicine! Inactivity causes muscles and joints to weaken over time, but exercise can help those with persistent pain …
  • CBS: Medtronic Implantable Device Provides Alternative To Opiates
    Click here to read the full story from CBS. …
  • Employee Spotlight: Kristen
    Meet Kristen, a Registered Nurse at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Kristen was nominated by her fellow nursing staff for always going above and beyond to help both her fellow staff members and her patients. Kristen always has a positive attitude and continues to improve her excellent nursing skills. …
  • Employee Spotlight: Abbie
    Meet Abbie, a Registered Nurse at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Abbie was nominated by her fellow nursing staff for always going above and beyond the task at hand. Abbie is a great patient advocate and dedicates her days to providing the highest level of care to her patients. Thank you for all you do! …
  • Employee Spotlight: Weston
    Meet Weston, an Authorization Specialist for Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Weston was nominated for the employee spotlight for his phenomenal customer service skills. Weston makes sure that every patient receives excellent and convenient service. Thank you for your hard work, Weston!   What is your role …
  • Understanding Radiofrequency Ablation
    What is Radiofrequency Ablation?  Radiofrequency ablation (neurotomy) is a procedure to help relieve pain that originates from the facet joints or your  neck or back. Each bone in your spine is connected by two facet joints on each side. The facet joints allow your spine to bend and rotate. …
  • Employee Spotlight: Jessica
    Meet Jessica, the Spinal Cord Stimulator Coordinator for Twin Cities Pain Clinic & Surgery Center. Jessica was nominated for her close attention to detail. Jessica's work days are devoted to helping our patients through the process of Spinal Cord Stimulator trial and implant. Thank you for …
  • Whiplash: What Other’s May Not Understand
      “You felt fine after the accident. Why are you experiencing pain now?” “My friend recovered from whiplash within a few days. I’m sure it’s all in your head.”   Despite what others may think, whiplash symptoms can indeed be mysterious and evolve over …
  • Employee Spotlight: Shannon
    Meet Shannon, a certified medical biller and coder for Twin Cities Surgery Center and our Employee Spotlight this week! Shannon was nominated  by her supervisor for always going above and beyond to make sure claims are billed properly. Thank you for all of your hard work, Shannon! What is your role …
  • TCPC Welcomes Two New Providers
    Please join Twin Cities Pain Clinic in welcoming our newest providers!     Britta Carlson, PA-C  Britta Carlson will be joining the Woodbury clinic as a Certified Physician Assistant. Britta offers her patients wellness and preventative medicine and management of chronic pain. In her spare time she …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes Dr. Travis O’Brien
    Please join us in welcoming our newest physician! Travis O'Brien, MD "Individuals with chronic pain require a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to achieve the best outcomes. This may include therapies, injections, medications, psychologic interventions, and implantable devices. As a …
  • Employee Spotlight: Laura
      Thank you for your hard work, Laura! …
  • Disorders That Affect the Spinal Cord & Nerves
    Disorders That Affect the Spinal Cord & Nerves The spinal cord is the main pathway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. It is a long, fragile, tube-like structure that extends downward from the base of the brain. The cord is protected by the back bones of the spine. Any …
  • Counting Steps to Joint Health
        Counting Steps to Joint Health It is a well-known fact that exercising can help ease the pain associated with arthritis. Walking 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly equivalent to walking 5 miles, is now widely recommended by exercise experts as a target number for improving the average …
  • Employee Spotlight: Linnea
    Thank you for your hard work! …
  • TCPC named a Top Workplace
    TCPC named a Top Workplace by Star Tribune! Twin Cities Pain Clinic has been named a National Standard Top Workplace by the Star Tribune! The evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based upon feedback from an internal employee survey. Over 2,000 organizations were invited to participate in …
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation Explained
  • Employee Spotlight: Kaitlyn
  • TCPC Welcomes Dr. Gordon Beardwood
    Please join Twin Cities Pain Clinic & Surgery Center in welcoming our newest physician! Gordon Beardwood, MD “My philosophy to pain management is that each patient should be treated like an individual. Patients will get the greatest benefit and best outcomes from a multidisciplinary …
  • The Impact of Hot Weather & Persistent Pain
    Summer is just around the corner, and we’ve already experienced some high temperatures in Minnesota. If you suffer from joint pain or other persistent pain conditions, you’ve likely already noticed the impact of hot temperatures and high humidity levels on your body.  Heat and humidity …
  • Employee Spotlight: Latifah
    Thank you for all of your hard work, Latifah! …
  • Prevent Back Pain on the Golf Course
    Summer is approaching and the golf season is already underway! Unfortunately, too often players have thrown out their clubs due to their persistent pain. Back and wrist pain are among some of the most common complaints from avid golfers. Rotational forces, impact stress, overuse, inadequate …
  • Employee Spotlight: Hailey
    Thank you for all of your hard work, Hailey! …
  • Doctor helping elderly woman with physical therapy.How Does Physical Therapy Treat Pain?
    Physical therapists are experts in identifying the source and treating pain. These specialists look for areas of weakness or stiffness that may be adding unnecessary pain to the affected areas. Physical therapists are able to compile a unique regimen to ease your pain and help you move better.   …
  • Chronic Pain & Your Loved Ones
    Chronic pain affects a person emotionally, physically, financially and socially. This additional stress can affect our physical and emotional well-being. Chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated and hopeless. Learning how to educate your loved ones is a critical step in taking control of your …
  • Employee Spotlight: Aubrey
      Thank you for all of your hard work, Aubrey! …
  • Is Text Neck Real?
    Text Neck Cell phones and tablets are a modern-day convenience that make many things in our day-to-day routine easier for us. Despite the convenience factor, many people would agree that they can be a real pain in the neck, literally. Virtually unheard of 5 years ago, text neck is a term used to …
  • Employee Spotlight: Samantha
    Thank you for all of your hard work, Samantha! …
  • Benefits of Water Exercise
    Benefits of Water Exercise 1.Strengthens Muscles and Builds Stamina – Aerobics, in general, focuses on large muscles such as those in your limbs. Combine it with water resistance and you’re left with stronger muscles! The force of water from all directions on your body’s surface …
  • Moving From Patient to Person
    *This is a repost from the American Chronic Pain Association* Making the journey from patient to person takes time. The isolation and fear that can overwhelm a person with chronic pain grows over time. And the return to a fuller, more rewarding life also takes time. It’s a journey with many …
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Success Story!
  • Employee Spotlight: Pamela
      Thank you for all of your hard work, Pamela! …
  • Illustration of X-ray of Human Body with An Intrathecal Pain Pump ImplantedNEW! Micro-Dosing Intrathecal Pain Pump Therapy
    Twin Cities Pain Clinic Offers New Pain Pump Micro-Dosing Treatment    Twin Cities Pain Clinics have been experts in Intrathecal Therapy for years, but Micro-Dosing is a new option for this pain treatment. Micro-Dosing follows FDA guidelines and requires specific preparation prior to the …
  • When To Seek Pain Management
    When should I seek help for pain management?  Patients suffering from chronic pain should not wait until their pain is so severe that it has begun to affect their lifestyle. Often patients who suffer from a post-surgical or traumatic injury are referred by their surgeon. When the pain persists for …
  • Health coach treating senior female chronic pain patientImproving Quality of Life with Fibromyalgia
    People with fibromyalgia can improve how they feel. “This may seem out of reach when you’re feeling hopeless and depressed, but it’s true,” said Twin Cities Pain Clinic Nurse Practitioner and fibromyalgia specialist, Nancy Cleveland. “The first step is to rule out …
  • Employee Spotlight: Kirsten
    Employee Spotlight: Kirsten  Meet Kirsten, a Patient Service Representative at the Twin Cities Surgery Center. Kirsten was nominated for the Employee Spotlight for working hard every day to make sure that every patient is taken care of regardless of how many hoops she needs to jump through to get …
  • Depression and Chronic Pain
    Unlearning Helplessness: Fighting Depression and Staying Optimistic When Dealing With Chronic Pain In the medical and psychological communities, the idea that a sick person’s mental status and stress-coping mechanisms affect their body is hardly new. Years of studies have demonstrated the …
  • Eating Your Way to Reduced Pain
    Food Tips for Chronic Pain Patients With treatment from a pain specialist, physical therapy, and some other lifestyle alterations, chronic pain patients can help keep their pain under control. Research is showing that what we eat can also have an effect on the body’s pain levels – …
  • Preventing Knee Pain
    Keeping your knees agile and pain-free! Minnesotans are known for pushing themselves to the limit in order to make the most of our long summer days – golfing, tennis, water skiing, biking, and running can all take a toll on the knees, especially if you’re middle-aged. Almost one in …
  • Employee Spotlight: Kaylee
    Employee Spotlight: Kaylee  Meet Kaylee, a triage nurse for Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Kaylee was nominated for the Employee Spotlight for always being willing to help staff and patients alike! Kaylee treats every patient with the respect and patience, and puts a tremendous amount of care into her …
  • Botox Injections for the Treatment of Migraine Headaches
    We’ve all heard of Botox, responsible for generations of smooth foreheads in Hollywood. But Botox has also brought relief to many people who suffer from chronic medical conditions. In 2018 Botox was approved for use with chronic migraine, and many patients are reporting success. What do you …
  • Measuring Your Pain: How Doctors Standardize the Subjective
    Measuring Your Pain: How Doctors Standardize the Subjective Pain is – in its nature – a personal experience. Though it has a definite physical cause, your pain is as subjective as your emotions and identifying its root cause can be difficult without a concrete method of defining it. For …
  • Patient Satisfaction
    Take a look at patient reviews of the doctors and staff at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. We welcome feedback about our team, pain care clinics & surgery center so we can continuously improve processes and the overall experience.    Location: Woodbury Clinic  “I am truly grateful for the …
  • Employee Spotlight: Sallie
    Employee Spotlight: Sallie  Meet Sallie, the Lead Patient Service Representative at Twin Cities Pain Clinic’s Woodbury location. Sallie was nominated for the Employee Spotlight for being a great leader in the Woodbury office. She is hard working, reliable, and very helpful! Sally greets …
  • Raymond’s Story
    Raymond Ramirez received a Spinal Cord Stimulator at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Before the procedure, Raymond was extremely limited by his chronic pain.   Raymond Ramierz has some salient advice for other pain patients: Don’t give up the first time you hear a doctor say …
  • Pain Diaries for Chronic Pain
    Why Pain Diaries Work Your doctor needs detailed data to plot out the causes and triggers of your chronic pain and build a treatment plan. When he/she asks how you have been in the past month or two, you need to be ready to provide specifics.  “My back is bothering me worse than ever” …
  • Dr. Will & Dr. Haas Implant New Spectra WaveWriter by Boston Scientific
    On February 6th at Twin Cities Surgery Center, Dr. Andrew Will and Dr. Sherri Haas implanted the first Spectra WaveWriter Neurostimulator system in Minnesota. Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Twin Cities Surgery Center is the first facility in Minnesota to offer the Spectra WaveWriter Spinal Cord …
  • Employee Spotlight: Megan
      Employee Spotlight: Megan  Meet Megan, the Neuromodulation Nurse for the Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Megan is a Registered Nurse who’s days are devoted to Spinal Cord Stimulation. Megan was nominated for the Employee Spotlight for always showing empathy to others. She is always kind to …
  • Road-Map to a Better Night’s Sleep
    Road-map to a Better Night’s Sleep More than 60 million Americans suffer from poor sleep quality. Good quality sleep is an important piece of managing your pain. If managing your pain is important to you, it’s time to start looking at your sleep hygiene and methods to improve it. …
  • Intrathecal Pump Refills Offered At All Clinic Locations
    First Pump Refill Performed in our Woodbury Clinic February 1st, 2018 – TCPC Woodbury One of the treatment options that Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers is an Intrathecal Drug Delivery system, or “pain pump.” It is a method of giving medication directly to your spinal cord. The …
  • 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 …
  • Employee Spotlight: Alison
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  • TCPC’s Providers Attend NAN’s Conference
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  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet
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  • TCPC Coming to Burnsville
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  • 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 …
  • Employee Spotlight: Caitlin
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  • 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 …
  • Coming Soon! Check-in Kiosks!
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  • 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 …
  • Employee Spotlight: Nicole
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  • Spinal Cord Stimulation in the News
    CBS covered a touching story of a mother’s journey after she was sidelined with crippling pain from minor leg surgery. The video below is an excellent example of how Spinal Cord Stimulation can change the lives of many patients suffering from chronic pain.   Click here to read the full …
  • Managing Flares in Your Chronic Pain
    Managing Flares in Your Chronic Pain Chronic Pain is pain that persists for more than a few months. Temporary increases or flares in chronic pain are expected. A chronic pain flare is not a new pain – it is more severe occurrence of the already existing pain. This does not mean you have a new …
  • Employee Spotlight: Heather and Tiffany
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  • Targeted Drug Delivery
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  • Components of a Spinal Cord Stimulator
    Do you have chronic, debilitating pain that has lasted longer than 3 months? Have you tried and failed conservative therapies? Don’t want to pursue surgery due to risks and long recovery?   Spinal Cord Stimulation might be an effective treatment for you! Let’s break down the different parts of a …
  • Keep Pain Away This Thanksgiving
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  • How Smoking Affects Your Chronic Pain
    Short-term relief from nicotine brings long-term problems. It is no secret that smoking can wreak havoc on your health, but did you know that this bad habit may have a surprising connection with your back pain? In many recent studies, smokers seem to be more likely than nonsmokers to suffer with …
  • Twin Cities Surgery Center Welcomes New Nurse Anesthetist
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  • 8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Back Healthy and Strong
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  • Dr. Will Implants the New Proclaim DRG Neurostimulator
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Living with Fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (pronounced: fi-bro-my-al-gee-uh) is a disorder that causes pain in your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. The pain is especially intense when pressure is applied to areas called “tender points.” Common tender points are the back of the head, the elbows, the shoulders, the knees, the hip joints and around the neck.

Image depicting common pain points on the bodyFibromyalgia affects around 2% of the population of the United States. This disorder can be hereditary (which means it runs in families), so if you have family members with the condition, it may increase your likelihood of developing it. Fibromyalgia is also more common in women than in men.

 

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Increased sensitivity to pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia.

You may have some degree of constant pain, but the pain may get worse in response to activity, stress, weather changes and other factors. The pain may be a deep ache or a burning sensation. You may have muscle tightening or spasms. Many people have migratory pain (pain that moves around the body).

Most people with fibromyalgia feel tired or fatigued. This fatigue may be mild or very severe. You may also have trouble sleeping, which may add to the fatigue.

Depression or anxiety may also occur as a result of your constant pain and fatigue, or the frustrations you feel with the condition.

The good news is that fibromyalgia does not cause any permanent damage to the muscles and organs. It is not a life-threatening disease, but it is chronic (ongoing).

Although there is no cure, there are many things you can do to feel better.

 

What can I do to relieve my symptoms?

Find an exercise that gets all your body parts moving and do it consistently. Yoga classes, warm water therapy, swimming and low-impact aerobic exercise are among the best things you can do. Many people find that establishing a consistent routine of eating, sleeping and exercising helps to ease symptoms.

Woman doing yoga on a cliff overlooking the oceanYou may need to begin at a very low level of exercise (five minutes every day is helpful at first). Continue to increase the length and frequency of exercise until you are exercising for at least 30 to 60 minutes, three to four times a week. Once you reach this point, you can consider switching to higher-impact exercises, like walking, jogging and tennis. A physical therapist experienced in treating fibromyalgia can help you develop an exercise regime to follow at home.

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are made worse by stress and poor sleep, it is important to cut stress out of your life whenever possible and to get as much sleep as you need. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed to get a good night’s rest.

 

Is there any medicine I can take to help my symptoms?

Several medicines can help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Many of these medicines are taken before bedtime to help reduce pain and improve sleep.

Your doctor may recommend treating your symptoms with acetaminophen (like Tylenol) first, with additional medications being prescribed as needed. Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin are not usually effective in treating fibromyalgia when taken alone.

They say laughter is the best medicine and that certainly applies in this case. A positive attitude can go a long way in helping you feel better. Be sure to smile, laugh and appreciate the good things in life.

 

Eating Tips for Chronic Pain Patients

Research shows that what we eat can also have an effect on the body’s pain levels – especially in fibromyalgia patients.

Many experts blame fibromyalgia pain on oversensitive nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and certain foods may stimulate the release of neurotransmitters that heighten this pain. Experts have compiled a list of healthy and helpful eating tips for patients with back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and other types of chronic pain.

Collection of fruits and vegetables that help relieve pain

  • Eat whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and omega-3 fatty acids. These foods are rich in vitamins and can help control weight, which is essential to controlling chronic pain. Fresh whole foods also contain antioxidants, which may provide additional pain relief.
  • Eat less refined, processed “junk food.” Heavily refined, sugary and chemically processed foods are known to irritate muscles, disrupt sleep and interfere with immune function – three things that can enhance chronic pain. Aspartame, a chemical sweetener used in diet soft drinks, has also been found to heighten pain sensitivity in some fibromyalgia patients.
  • Avoid nightshade vegetables. While vegetables are a nutritious and important part of a pain patient’s diet, vegetables in the nightshade family – such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants – can increase joint pain and arthritis symptoms in some individuals due to neurotoxins in the plants. While many will experience no difference, some sensitive patients will improve remarkably by avoiding these vegetables.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with. But with some discipline and smart decision-making, there are a variety of ways to reduce its effects and continue to have a happy and fulfilling life.

 

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2019 in Review – Part 4: A Bit of Everything

Today we’re highlighting several big 2019 upgrades. They include the launch of our own transportation service, improving access to care with our mobile check in feature, and completing the first of several remodeling projects!

Twin Cities Transportation

We bought a van! In July, Twin Cities Transportation was launched, and it started with this beauty here:

Twin Cities Transportation Van-Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin Cities Transportation (TCT) is a service for patients undergoing procedures at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Many of our surgery patients require a ride home after their procedures, and TCT now allows us to give a lift to any patients who run into difficulties securing their own rides.

TCT is another great example of our dedication to breaking down barriers and offering our patients consistent and convenient access to the best possible pain care.

Mobile Pre-Check

January saw the roll out our new mobile pre-check feature! As the name suggests, mobile pre-check allows our patients to complete the appointment check-in process remotely from their smart phone or tablet prior to coming into the clinic.

This affords our patients additional flexibility in their daily schedules. They no longer have to come to the clinic as early to complete the onsite check in process.

Our front desk staff has been able to maximize their efficiency. Now they spend less time checking patients in and more time on other essential tasks.

It’s a win-win service, and just one more way we are making the experience better and more convenient for every patient.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Headquarters Remodel

During fall of 2019, our administrative office building underwent an extensive remodel project. Now we have brand new carpet and tile, repainted walls, and a shiny new bathroom.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic-Remodeled Bathroom

The results speak for themselves, and we all love our new and improved office!

2019 In Review – Part 3: Outreach

TCPC Gives Back – 2019 Charity and Community Outreach Initiatives

The Twin Cities Pain Clinic team is a generous bunch, and that generosity was on full display in 2019. From food drives to fundraisers, and even making gifts from scratch to donate, there was no shortage of joy and good will to spread around, and we’re proud of our employees for caring so much!

 

Valentines Candy Grams

February 11 – 13, 2019

Employees bought candy grams and sent them to fellow employees.

$426 raised and donated to the American Heart Association

 

Feed My Starving Children #1

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The TCPC team packed meals that would feed hungry children in need across the globe.

4,485 meals packed, which fed 12 children for a whole year.

 

Second Harvest Heartland

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

We joined a team to pack “rescued” food items to feed those in need.

5,762 pounds of food packed

 

Feed My Starving Children #2

Feed My Starving Children-Group Photo-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Our team participated in the Pack at the Park event at Target Field.

442 boxes packed, which is a total of 88,992 meals.

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Week

Breast Cancer Awareness Week-Group Photo-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

October 14 – 18, 2019

Employees could pay $5 to wear jeans for the week, with the company matching every dollar.

$300 donated, totaling $600 with the match.

 

Fall Food Drive

Boxes of Food Donations-November 2019 Food Drive-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Month of November 2019

Food and monetary donations were collected and given to Second Harvest Heartland.

$200 gifted and 238 pounds of food collected.

 

Holiday Blankets

Stack of Handmade Blankets-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Staff members made tie blankets, gift bags and holiday cards for the Little Brothers of MN.

10 fleece blankets were made along with dozens of cards and bags.

 

Learn more about the charities we support:

https://www.heart.org

https://www.fmsc.org

https://www.2harvest.org

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

https://www.littlebrothersmn.org

 

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2019 in Review – Part 2: PACT

Twin Cities Pain Clinic-logo imagePACT logo image

In July of 2019, we made a commitment to further improving the health and well-being of our patients. Twin Cities Pain Clinic partnered with the Personalized Activated Care and Training program, known as PACT for short.

We understand the impact of pain does not always end within the walls of our clinics. The effects often go beyond the physical and can be long-lasting. Successful pain treatment must provide patients with the maximum amount of relief, comfort and contentment at all times.

This is where PACT steps in to help. In a nutshell, the PACT program provides our patients with health coaching and self-care strategies to keep away the pain.

Health coach treating senior female chronic pain patientPACT allows our organization to extend the pain relief patients receive at our clinics. Along with receiving expert care from our pain professionals, our patients can now receive additional health coaching to identify their  personal risk factors and establish a plan take better care of themselves in their daily lives. The result is long-term pain relief, a healthy attitude and overall well-being.

This added layer of pain management care helps our patients achieve the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life, both now and into the future.

 

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What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

How is pain defined? Understanding the answer to this simple question can help you and your doctor find the best way to treat your pain. The first step is defining the common types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute Pain

Ice pack on knee to relieve acute pain

Acute pain is pretty much any pain that lasts less than three months. Pain that is directly related to soft tissue damage such as a sprained ankle or a paper cut is also considered acute. We usually think of acute pain as sharp and severe. Acute pain does not last long and gradually resolves as the injured tissue heals. Most causes of acute pain can be remedied with basic self-care. But some issues and injuries can be more severe and may require medical treatment. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing acute pain that is causing you concern.

Chronic Pain

X ray image of human body hunched over with chronic pain

Chronic Pain refers to pain that lasts longer than three months. The pain will often grow worse and reoccur over time, outlasting the usual healing process. Most pain is generally expected to stop once the underlying condition is treated and the injured tissue heals. However, chronic pain can persist long after injuries for no apparent cause. It can cause significant psychological and emotional trauma and often limits an individual’s ability to fully function. Chronic pain will usually require medical treatment.

Pain Treatment at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Treating pain is what we do. It’s right there in our name, and we’re pretty good at it. Whether you’re suffering from acute or chronic pain, we can help you find relief. Our friendly providers are highly trained and specialize in treating pain from head to toe. Schedule an appointment today and return to the quality of life you deserve.

 

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References:

(1.) https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/chronic-pain

(2.) https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/acute-pain

2019 In Review – Part 1: Provider Growth

2019 Year in Review-Banner Image

2020 – it’s the start of a new year and a new decade. Everyone is settled back in after the holidays and ready to hit the ground running. We’re all looking ahead to the coming year and planning for how we’re going to improve over the year before.

It turns out this is going to be quite the challenge for Twin Cities Pain Clinic. If we take a step back and gaze into the recent past, 2019 was truly a banner year! Our organization launched a ridiculous number of initiatives to improve the patient experience, welcomed a ton of new team members to the TCPC family, and gave back to our community in a way that would make Bono himself weep with joy. Altogether, it’s worth one more look back.

So, without further ado, here is part one in our series highlighting all the amazing things our team accomplished together in 2019.

Provider Growth

In 2019, we offered our pain management services to more patients than ever before. More patients require more treatment options and more experts to provide them, and we were very proud to welcome FIVE new providers to our team last year. While they all come from different backgrounds, they all share a passion for providing amazing care to those suffering from pain. Let’s take a second to introduce them all one more time:

Nancy Nyongesa, DNP, FNP

Nancy-Nyongesa-DNP-FNP-Provider-Twin-Cities-Pain-Clinic

Clinical Interests

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Patient Education
  • Mental Health

Education

  • Associate Degree in Practical Nursing – Dickinson State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Dickinson State University
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Family Practice – North Dakota State University

Hobbies

Power walking, running short distance races (5K, 10K), spending time with husband and kids and playing league volleyball.

Katherine Le-Banh, MS, APRN, FNP-C

Kat-Le-Bahn-APRN-Provider-Twin-Cities-Pain-Clinic

Clinical Interests

  • Comprehensive pain management
  • Holistic wellness
  • Patient education
  • Board Certifications

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Master of Science, Nursing – The Ohio State University

Hobbies

Traveling, hiking, rock-climbing, weightlifting, and cuddling with my two kitties

Kjerstin Durie, PA-C

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Provider-Kjerstin Durie, PA-C

Clinical Interests

  • Holistic care
  • Individualized treatment plans

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – Bethel University
  • Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies – Bethel University

Hobbies

Spending time with family, traveling and hiking

Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP

Vivian Ngongang-Twin Cities Pain Clinic-Providers

Clinical Interests

  • Patient education
  • Interventional techniques

Education

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Metropolitan State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – North Dakota State University

Hobbies

I am a relationship coach, and I enjoy cooking, running, traveling, and spending time with family

Matt Klein Gannott, DPT

Matt Gannott, DPT-Physical Therapist-Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Clinical Interests

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Spine Care
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Manual Physical Therapy

Education

  • B.A. in Biology and Psychology – Minnesota State University, Moorhead
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy – Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons

Hobbies

Spending time with family, traveling, woodworking and home improvement projects

Provider Education

Our providers did not just grow in quantity, however. Our physicians also grew their skill sets and hit some impressive milestones in 2019. First, all four of our physicians earned their certification to perform the MILD surgical procedure, allowing us to add another service to our expanding repertoire.

Second, Dr. Travis O’Brien and Dr. Anne Kokayeff both became certified to perform DRG stimulator implant surgeries. This earned both of them a spot in a very exclusive group and gave TCPC the distinction of having ALL our providers certified to perform DRG implants.

 

Additional Resources

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Blankets and Bags 2019-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Holiday Blankets, Cards and Bags

A bunch of super cool members of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team showed their charitable side last week. With the holidays just around the bend, these gallant givers made the season a bit warmer and more cheerful for those in need.

The team made some very comfy tie blankets, beautiful gift bags and thoughtful cards. Everything was then donated (with love) to the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly organization.

Stack of Handmade Blankets-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach  Team making cards-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Charitable Giving Team making blankets-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Charitable Giving

2019 TCPC Fall Food Drive

This November, Twin Cities Pain Clinic hosted a food drive in support of Second Harvest Heartland. Non perishable food items and monetary gifts were collected and donated to help people in need.

TCPC Outreach-November 2019 Food Drive-Boxes of DonationsOur team really stepped up and showed their generosity!

238 pounds of food donated

$200 in monetary gifts given

For every $1 donated, Second Harvest Heartland can provide $7 worth of food products. Altogether, Twin Cities Pain Clinic’s contributions resulted in:

1,638 pounds of food

Awesome work, team! We’re proud to have such a charitable group representing our organization.

#TCPCgivesback

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes A New Provider

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is pleased to welcome Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP! Vivian is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and will see patients at our clinic in Edina.

Get to know Vivian!

Vivian Ngongang-DNP-Twin Cities Pain Clinic-Providers

Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP

Clinical Interests

  • Patient education
  • Interventional techniques

Board Certifications

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

Education

  • Metropolitan State University – Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • North Dakota State University – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Hobbies

  • I am a relationship coach, and I enjoy cooking, running, traveling, and spending time with family

 

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Meet Our Team

Locations

Sciatica in a Nutshell

Sciatica Word Cloud Image

Sciatica is one of the most common causes of pain, with as many as 40% of people experiencing it at some point. It can range from a short-lived annoyance to a severe, debilitating disruption of everyday life.

The good news is that there are care and treatment options that can relieve and sometimes even prevent sciatica from becoming an issue.

Before we get to all that, let’s take a moment to learn a little bit more about sciatica. After all, knowledge is the first step to prevention!

What is Sciatica?

Sciatic Nerve X Ray ImageThe term “sciatica” has its roots in ancient Greece, where it was first used to describe pain in the hips or thighs. Since then, we have learned that this condition can in fact cause pain throughout most of the lower half of the body.

Specifically, sciatica refers to pain that affects the sciatic nerves, which run from the lower back, through the buttocks, down the back of the legs and to the feet.

FACT: The sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the body, about the width of a pinkie finger.

The pain is caused by the sciatic nerve becoming pinched, usually by a herniated disc, bones spurs, or on rare occasion, by the formation of tumors.

What are Symptoms of Sciatica?

When sciatica crashes the party, it can announce itself with a variety of painful symptoms. You may experience just one symptom or several at a time:

  • Throbbing pain in the lower back, hip or buttocks
  • Leg or buttock pain made worse by long periods of sitting down
  • Burning or tingling sensation in the leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the affected leg or foot
  • Shooting pain in the lower body, like an electric shock

Almost all symptoms of sciatica occur on or near the path of the sciatic nerves, and usually only effect one side of the body.

The severity of pain differs from person to person, but even mild cases run the risk of becoming worse, so it is a good idea to check with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of sciatica.

Sciatica Risk Factors

When it comes to how and why sciatica occurs, let’s just say, “it’s complicated.” Due to the large size of the sciatic nerve and the many ways the condition presents itself, a lot of factors are thought to increase the risk of developing sciatica.

Age

The primary causes of sciatica – herniated discs and bone spurs – become more common with increasing age. As a result, the likelihood of developing sciatica increases as well.

Obesity

Added pressure on the spine from excess weight commonly causes herniated discs and can result in the onset of sciatica.

Excessive Sitting

Regularly sitting for long periods of time puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve, increasing the risk of pinching it and causing sciatica. This risk is increased if your body is off balance due to poor posture or carrying items like a wallet in your back pocket.

Injury or Trauma

Severe injuries that result in slipped or ruptured discs can compress the sciatic nerve and lead to sciatica.

Smoking

This is one of the less understood risk factors. Research has suggested that smoking may contribute to developing sciatica, while quitting smoking was shown to reduce the risk.

Treating Sciatica

Luckily, for as many risk factors as there are for sciatica, there are also plenty of ways to treat it.

Many are simple, nonsurgical options designed to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

  • A few days of bed rest and relaxation can do the trick
  • Physical Therapy
  • Stretches that focus on the lower back
  • Mild exercise
  • Applying a cold compress for a few days, then switching to hot
  • Over-the-counter pain meds like aspirin or ibuprofen

Sometimes, surgery may be required to treat sciatica when more conservative options fail. They can include:

  • Diskectomy – The removal of discs or bone spurs pinching the sciatic nerve.
  • Laminectomy – The removal of spinal tissue that may be compressing the sciatic nerve.
  • Foraminotomy – Enlarging the opening where the sciatic nerve exits the spinal column to relieve pressure.
  • Facetectomy – Trimming or removing facet joints that are pinching the sciatic nerve.
  • Radiofrequency Neurotomy – Destroying the nerve endings with heat, stopping the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.

Tips to Help Prevent Sciatica

There is no magic formula or miracle cure that guarantees you won’t get sciatica. But there are several strategies that can help you keep it at arm’s length.

  • Regular Exercise – Focus particularly on strengthening your core.
  • Lift with your legs – Keep your back straight and hold whatever you’re lifting close to your body.
  • Maintain good sitting posture – Sit up straight while keeping your knees and hips level.
  • Don’t sit for too long – Get up and move around throughout the day.
  • Avoid or quit smoking – Smoking can accelerate disc degeneration.

Sciatica is a persistent nuisance, but don’t let it get the better of you. Know the facts, make the right moves, and leave sciatica in the dust!

Get Sciatica Relief at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

If you are experiencing any of the sciatica symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment with the experts at Twin Cities Pain Clinic today.

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Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/taming-pain-sciatica-people-time-heals-less-2017071212048

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/sciatica-of-all-the-nerve

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377441

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/treatment-for-sciatica

https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/99/4/461/305514

https://www.innerbody.com/image_nervov/nerv23-new.html

https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/nutrition-diet-weight-loss/weight-loss-back-pain-relief

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/sciatica-surgery

https://www.spine-health.com/blog/10-quick-facts-about-sciatica

https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(15)00905-5/pdf

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/sciatica/article_em.htm