• How 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 …
  • All 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) …
  • Our 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 …
  • How 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, DPM, MPH, …
  • 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. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) was originally approved by the FDA in …
  • What is DRG stimulation?
    Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a new type of therapy that can help those who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Neuropathic pain is pain caused by damage to or malfunction of the nerves themselves. The peripheral nervous system includes all the …
  • 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 …
  • All About Sciatica
    40% of people will experience sciatica during their life, ranking it one of the most common causes of persistent pain. “People who suffer from acute or chronic back pain tend to be more susceptible to sciatica,” says Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard …
  • 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 …
  • How Vince Got His Life Back With Spinal Cord Stimulation
    “For many years I was getting by, but never truly able to live” states Vince, a patient at Twin Cities Pain Clinic, regarding the pain he has been experiencing for over a decade. In 2004 Vince underwent a microdiscectomy in his low back. A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to …
  • How to Have the Conversation With Your Doctor about Your Pain
    When it comes to back and neck pain, there are few, if any, definitive tests that can accurately measure and diagnose the experience. Using an objective testing method such as an MRI or CT scan is nearly impossible when it comes to back and neck pain. Pain levels fluctuate, in terms of timing, …
  • 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 …
  • The 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
    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 …
  • Know 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! …
  • 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 …
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
    Peripheral Nerve Stimulation StimRouter is a new type of stimulator that TCPC has adopted as a treatment option for patients suffering from chronic pain. For the first time our patients suffering from peripheral nerve pain can now be treated with a stimulator! Resulting in sufficient, long-term …
  • 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! …
  • NEW! 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 …
  • Improving 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
        Employee Spotlight: Alison  Meet Alison, a clinical assistant at our Edina location! As a clinical assistant, Alison assists the midlevel providers to ensure that your visit to TCPC is an efficient and enjoyable experience!         What is your position? Clinical Assistant …
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation: Kevin’s Story
    “There’s nothing small about small moments.” Boston Scientific patient, Kevin, shares his story on how Spinal Cord Stimulation helped him regain his life. You don’t have to live in pain, Twin Cities Pain Clinic can help. Call 952-841-2345 to set up a consultation with our …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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!            …
  • 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 …
  • 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
    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!       …
  • 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!
    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 …
  • 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
      Employee Spotlight: Nicole Nicole is one of the Administrative Assistants at the Edina clinic. Nicole works at the front desk and greets every patient with warmth and kindness. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help out her co-workers and puts a tremendous amount of care into her …
  • 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 …
  • What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
    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 treatment to your pain. Understanding pain starts by first defining the most basic aspect of pain: acute pain vs chronic pain.    …
  • Employee Spotlight: Heather and Tiffany
    Employee Spotlight: Heather & Tiffany Meet Heather & Tiffany, our dynamic Radiologic Technologists! Heather and Tiffany are highly trained medical personnel who help physicians while they perform many different therapeutic injections and procedures! They are a superb example of teamwork, …
  • Targeted Drug Delivery
    “Besides pain killers, I tried shots, nerve burnings, triggers, and multiple injections, but I was still in agony. I couldn’t vacuum or walk. I just sat in a chair. Now I can finally go shopping again and do the things I want to do.” – Tami Targeted drug delivery is an …
  • 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
    If you have chronic pain, you may be wondering how you will be able to manage the holidays. Getting together with family and friends is great, but all the events and obligations can make the season exhausting – and painful. Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers our top strategies for a less stressful, …
  • Employee Spotlight: Melissa
      Employee Spotlight: Melissa  Meet Melissa, one of our Eligibility and Referral Specialists! Melissa makes sure our patients are scheduled efficiently and at a time that is most convenient for them! She always takes the time to answer questions and is a true team player!         What is …
  • Joint Injections
    Joint Injections: Instant & Long-Term Pain Relief   Injection of pain-relieving medication is a commonly known treatment option for those suffering with back pain. Did you know that other sites such as, shoulder, hip and knee pain can also benefit from an injection? It’s true, knee pain, hip …
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic Welcomes Two New Providers
    Please join the Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Welcoming our Newest Providers!     Tiffany McIntyre, CNP Tiffany McIntyre will be joining the Woodbury clinic as a Certified Nurse Practitioner! Tiffany offers her patients a comprehensive and multidimensional approach to treating chronic pain. In …
  • 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
    Please join Twin Cities Surgery Center in welcoming our newest staff member! Christopher Turnbull, APRN, CRNA  Christopher is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. He is highly proficient in anesthesia techniques for outpatient surgeries and procedures aimed at rapid emergence from anesthesia …
  • Employee Spotlight: Hannah
        Employee Spotlight: Hannah  Meet Hannah, our Administrative Assistant Supervisor! Hannah is very innovative and always working hard to make Twin Cities Pain Clinic more efficient for patients and staff. She puts a tremendous amount of care into her work each day!       What is your …
  • 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!   …
  • 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, …
  • 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!   …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …

All About Sciatica

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

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

Symptoms

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

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

Treatments

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

Tips to Help Prevent Sciatica

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

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

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

 

To Find Out More

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

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 unnoticed. Thank you for all you do, Collin!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Clinical Assistant at both the Woodbury and Edina locations. My responsibilities include helping the provider document their visit and assisting with medical assistant functions as needed, such as rooming patients, collecting vitals and lab work.

How long have you been with TCPC?

Mid-February I reached 7 months with Twin Cities Pain Clinic.

What are some of your hobbies?

My favorite way to spend the day is hiking. I go camping whenever I can with my wonderful girlfriend, Anna. I also like to cook and go to the gym.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite thing about working at TCPC is how well everyone works as a team and creates such a positive environment.

 

 

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

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 with their provider. Thank you for all you do Iris!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Patient Service Representative at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. My responsibilities include checking patients in and out and also relaying any information to the providers before they see the patient.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been working at TCPC for about 3 months. I truly enjoy it!

What are some of your hobbies?

Some of my hobbies include cooking, taking my daughter out to play or planning trips back to California to see my family. I also love to travel and plan on going to Nassau this year.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite thing about working at TCPC is some of the conversations I have with the patients. It's so nice to learn new things about them. I also love how nice and welcoming the staff is. I know if I ever need any help, I do not have to hesitate to ask.

 

 

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

How Vince Got His Life Back With Spinal Cord Stimulation

“For many years I was getting by, but never truly able to live” states Vince, a patient at Twin Cities Pain Clinic, regarding the pain he has been experiencing for over a decade. In 2004 Vince underwent a microdiscectomy in his low back. A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to provide relief from pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc. He was still experiencing pain after his microdiscectomy to the point that he could not walk far, climb stairs, or do many activities with his kids.

It wasn’t until this past year that the pain had reached its worst. Vince also fell recently, which contributed to his pain. Since June, his pain had become so severe that he was missing work because of it. He was experiencing pain on the left side of his body at his low back, sciatica, and down his leg. On a bad day, he would describe his pain as an 8/10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst. Pain medication helped slightly, where the pain would hover at a consistent 6/10, but it was still limiting Vince from living his life to the fullest and even doing simple day-to-day tasks.

Vince was stuck in a whirlwind of treatment options without progress with his primary care doctor for about 6 months. He was visiting his doctor twice a month, trying epidural injections, and still having no significant pain relief. It was important for Vince to find pain relief without the heavy side effects of medication or the intense recovery of surgery. He longed to get back to his regular life, the life he enjoyed without debilitating pain. After a long, over-due conversation with his doctor, he was referred to Twin Cities Pain Clinic.

On November 27th, shortly after becoming a patient at Twin Cities Pain Clinic, Vince began the spinal cord stimulator trial. The first day of the trial his pain decreased significantly, where he had virtually no pain. He was experiencing slight pressure from the implant process, but the pressure was nothing compared to the relief he received. After two or three days the pressure went away, and his pain was still drastically reduced to nearly 100% relief.

Vince now chooses to take the stairs, something he couldn’t do before the trial. He is now able to walk up five flights of stairs at a time and walk a mile with no pain. For a man once limited to his bed for days on end, to being able to climb a few flights of stairs, Vince knew the spinal cord stimulator was right for him.

“One of the wonderful things about spinal cord stimulation, is that you can try the device first!” Vince expresses. Besides pain relief, that was a big factor in Vince’s decision to go ahead with the trial. A spinal cord stimulation trial typically lasts 3-7 days, during this time you can determine whether the implant is right for you. “I wish I would have known about this option years ago and I am so thankful my doctor referred me to Twin Cities Pain Clinic.” Since the trial Vince’s quality of life has immensely improved. He can’t wait to go through with the implant of the spinal cord stimulator and to be active with his family again!

 

To learn more about spinal cord stimulation click here.

How to Have the Conversation With Your Doctor about Your Pain

When it comes to back and neck pain, there are few, if any, definitive tests that can accurately measure and diagnose the experience. Using an objective testing method such as an MRI or CT scan is nearly impossible when it comes to back and neck pain. Pain levels fluctuate, in terms of timing, intensity, and quality, which makes an MRI or CT scan pretty useless to get a true picture of what someone experiences on a day to day basis.

Preparing for the important conversation with your doctor comes as a big responsibility for you then. You have to let your doctor know all about the pain you are experiencing. One thing that can help is keeping a pain journal for about a week or weeks leading up to the appointment. Below are some important bits of information your doctor is going to want to understand during the diagnostic process.

Describe the pain

The quality of your pain may mean something about what is causing it. Trying to be as descriptive as possible when it comes to the pain you are feeling. Make sure to share if it is aching, burning, stabbing, throbbing, sharp, dull, cramping, or electrical sensations. The more expansive you can be with your language while keeping it accurate, the better your communication with your doctor will likely be.

It is also important to point out or explain exactly where you are feeling the pain. Sometimes where you are feeling the pain may not be exactly where it is coming from. If a nerve root is damaged the pain may radiate down an arm or leg but the arm or leg may not be the problem. If you have trigger points you may experience referred pain or pain located in an area that seems unrelated to the site of the problem.

It is also important to clarify the time of your pain. Note if it comes on suddenly or slowly over time, and if it is constantly present or only sometimes. Note if the pain is worse in the morning or at night. Also note if it gets better or worse after doing a specific activity such as sitting, standing, laying down or walking.

It is also important to let your doctor know if there are certain things you cannot do anymore because of the pain. If now you can’t take the stairs or if sleep has become troublesome are things your doctor will want to know.

Keeping a chronic pain journal will help you describe your symptoms to your doctor so they can more easily come up with a treatment plan for you. There are a variety of interventional therapies for people who suffer from acute or persistent pain. Being able to narrow down what could have caused your pain can help your appointment go as smoothly as possible.

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 you for all you do Kristin!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am an Intake & Eligibility Representative here at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. My responsibilities include scheduling new patients and verifying their insurance.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been working at TCPC for about 5 months and am loving every minute of it!

What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time at my cabin with my family and friends. I love cruising around the lake and waterskiing.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite thing about working at TCPC is the staff. I love how supportive everyone is and there is always someone willing to help when I need it! I am so lucky to be part of such a great team and I look forward to my future here at TCPC!

 

 

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

The 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 disease.  Switching to a diet that is free of inflammation causing foods can help reverse some of these conditions and reduce pain and inflammation.

Inflammation is described as the body’s response to an injury or an infection. You may experience the symptoms of pain, heat, redness, and swelling, otherwise known as acute inflammation. Other times, inflammation becomes chronic (think of it as happening over and over again), it then begins to wreak havoc on the body.

Unfortunately, you can’t see chronic inflammation. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells and organs and cause constant pain in muscles, tissues, and joints.

Inflammation can be caused by a variety of different things. Genetics, stress, smoking, lack of exercise, and diet are all factors. Diet is a great starting point to focus on, especially since many believe a lot of diseases start in the “gut”.

It is a fact that when we are well nourished, we heal quicker. Unfortunately, many Americans consume inflammatory causing foods daily. Sugar, dairy, gluten, trans fat, and refined grains have become part of our every day meals, and all can cause inflammation. It is important to remember that inflammation is not caused by simply one or two foods, but an overall effect of a diet.

Switching your diet to one that consists of anti-inflammatory meals can be medicine for the body. Some basics of an anti-inflammatory diet are:

Try to eliminate:

  • Refined sugars and flours
  • Most omega-6 oils (such as corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils)
  • Saturated or trans fats and fried foods
  • Processed meats
  • Reduce the amount of carbohydrates, especially processed carbs

Try to focus your dietary intake on:

  • Green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, broccoli, bok choy)
  • Tree nuts (walnuts and almonds)
  • Wild caught fatty fish that are high in omega-3 (salmon, mackerel and sardines)
  • Highly pigmented fruit (berries, pomegranate and cherries)

Food doesn’t have to be boring. Try eating a wide variety of foods by eating colors of the rainbow to make your plates bright and nutritious. When choosing food items aim for quality. Ideally that would be grass-fed and pasture raised meats, as they support the highest nutrient levels. Aim for organic and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods when possible. And try to also consume dairy products and red meat in limited quantities.

Eating a nutritious diet may not completely eliminate your chronic pain, but it is a step in the right direction that you can control. Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet can help reverse or reduce some conditions such as developing heart disease, diabetes, and pain syndromes. There is no magical food that can make everything better, but, eating the right combination of foods can help produce remarkable results.

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 it! Thank you for all you do Annushka!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am the Intake & Eligibility Peer Trainer. The I & E department schedules all new patient appointments, verifies that new and existing patients' insurances are active for their appointments. We input all of the patient information into the system and serve as the first point of contact for new patients and referring clinics. I like to think that we are the gate keepers for TCPC :). As the Peer Trainer I train new employees on the processes of the I & E department.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been with Twin Cities Pain Clinic for two years. When I started the I & E department was called Referrals and it was part of the front desk rotation. I became the Peer Trainer four months ago!

What are some of your hobbies?

I love to travel!!! My husband is an awesome travel buddy to explore with. I also do a lot of mother/daughter trips. We recently went on a trip to the Caribbean! I like to cook and try new recipes/dishes from different cultures. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews being the "fun aunty." I get to sugar them up and send them back home.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My I & E team! They are the best group of people that I have worked with. Within the two years that I have been here the clinic has evolved so much and I like how the company strives to be the best for pain management.

 

 

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

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 down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen. Inflammation is a healthy, normal, and natural process, but it can also be painful. Icing is a mild way of dulling the pain or inflammation and taking the swelling down a bit. If an injury is brand new, using ice can help “calm down” the new injury and bring some relief to the area.

Heat is for muscles, chronic pain, and stress.

Heat takes the edge off symptoms like muscle aching and stiffness. Chronic pain, especially back pain, often involves lots of tension, tightness, anxiety, and sensitization. Comfortable heat can help soothe the nervous system and calm the mind.

As much as using ice and heat can help injuries, it can also harm some injuries if used in the wrong aspect. Heat can make inflammation significantly worse and ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness. Both can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted. Icing when you are already shivering or applying heat when you are already sweating can be mistaken by the body as a threat, which can actually make the pain worse. To most, ice seems to feel more threatening.

When using ice, you want to be careful when it comes to muscle pain. Sometimes you may think an area is injured, but it may just be muscle pain. You can occasionally have trigger points, painfully sensitive spots, which can be intense and easily mistaken for an injury or inflammation that can be iced. But, if you end up icing a trigger point, it can burn and ache even more. The most common areas people tend to make this mistake is with neck or low back pain.

Heat with inflammation is another area you have to be cautious of. If you add heat to a fresh injury, it is going to get worse. If you heat a freshly injured area that is already swollen and inflamed, it is only going to swell up more and become more painful.

Both heat and ice can be effective when used correctly and on the right type of injury. The most important thing to remember is to use whichever method feels best to you. If you are already warm and the thought of adding more heat to an area of the body doesn’t sound pleasing, don’t do it. Or if you are already chill and adding ice doesn’t sound ideal, you don’t have to do that either. You can always start using one method and if you don’t like it, switch to the other.

The main thing is to always listen to your body!

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 gives the body form and function. The spinal column holds and protects the spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that send signals to other parts of the body.

In between each vertebra is a soft, gel-like cushion called an intervertebral disc. The discs act as shock absorbers from everyday movements by helping to absorb pressure. Pressure on the body comes from anything such as sitting, walking, bending, and normal day-to-day activities. The discs also prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.

Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back and neck pain. Degenerative disc disease is not a disease, despite the name, but rather more of a condition in which natural, age-related wear and tear on a disc causes pain, instability, and other symptoms. It is normally the result of aging on your spine, however, younger people can have symptoms as well. Spinal injuries can also start the degenerative process of your discs at an earlier time.

Loss of fluid also contributes to the degenerative process of discs. In a healthy, young adult, the discs consist of up to 90 percent fluid. As a person ages, the fluid content decreases, making the discs thinner and they start to become stiff. Because the discs become thin and stiff, they become less effective as a shock absorber and this can create pain and problems.

Common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Pain that is worse when sitting. While seated, the discs of the lower back have three times more load on them than when standing.
  • Pain that gets worse when bending, lifting or twisting.
  • Feeling better while walking or even running than when sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Feeling better changing positions or lying down.
  • Periods of severe pain that come and go. These can last a few days to a few months before getting better. They can range from nagging pain to disabling pain. Pain can affect the low back, buttocks, thighs or the neck, depending on where the affected disc is, radiating to the arms and hands.
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities.
  • Weakness in the leg muscles or foot drop, a possible sign of damage to the nerve root.

Risk Factors:

  • An acute or sudden injury, such as a fall
  • Obesity
  • Strenuous physical work
  • Tobacco smoking

If you are experiencing any sort of back or neck pain it doesn’t hurt to reach out to a professional to get it checked out. Normal wear and tear is bound to happen, but, over time can get worse or lead to other issues if not treated correctly or if risk factors are not addressed.