• Silhouette of woman with outstretched arms facing rising summer sunDo Heat and Humidity Affect Chronic Pain?
    Summer has not quite arrived, and already we are experiencing 90+ degree days and high humidity. These conditions are hard to handle for just about anyone, but if you suffer from chronic pain, it can be an especially challenging time. Why Does Weather Affect Pain? You may have heard someone warn of …
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation implant placement illustrationSpinal Cord Stimulation – A Review
    At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we continually strive to pursue the most advanced treatments for patients with chronic pain.  Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) has been an increasingly popular and effective drug-free alternative for pain management. But have you ever wondered what a spinal cord stimulator …
  • Page Banner-Shelter in Place-Pain Relief TipsPain Relief Tips While Sheltering in Place
    The current COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for all of us. New terms like “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” have suddenly entered our social consciousness and become the new norm. While these behaviors are critically important to prevent the spread of the virus …
  • Telemedicine Cartoon Banner ImageThe Rise of Telemedicine
    As the world changes and technology continues to advance, the delivery of healthcare services has also changed rapidly in an effort to keep up. Along with pursuing the best quality care, the focus of many healthcare providers has progressed toward delivering that quality care in the most …
  • Twin-Cities-Pain-Clinic-Physician-Dr-Andrew-WillA Message from Twin Cities Pain Clinic Medical Director, Dr. Andrew Will Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Providing our patients with a truly exceptional experience is a commitment we live by each and every day. Our top priority is providing the best possible pain care in an environment that is compassionate, clean and safe. We hold true to this promise, both in good times, and more importantly, in …
  • Frank Kallstrom-Twin Cities Pain Clinic patient-Pain pump recipientPaying it Forward to Save Lives
    An intrathecal pain pump helped save Frank Kallstrom’s life. But what he did next is is nothing short of incredible. Some people pay it forward by buying coffee or paying tolls for strangers. Frank Kallstrom pays it forward by offering strangers another chance at life. Our friend Frank can be …
  • Medtronic DTM Spinal Cord Stimulator-First Trial in MNMinnesota’s First Medtronic DTM™ SCS Trial
    On February 18, 2020, Dr. Andrew Will, Medical Director of Twin Cities Pain Clinic, along with our super talented surgical team, performed a trial procedure of the new Medtronic DTM™ spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system. This was the first DTM™ trial performed in the state of …
  • Spinal-cord-stimulator-device-for-back-painSpinal Cord Stimulation – Drug-Free Pain Relief
    What is spinal cord stimulation? Spinal cord stimulation therapy is an advanced technique for treating chronic pain. The therapy relies on a device named a spinal cord stimulator. The device emits mild electrical pulses to stimulate nerves and interrupt pain signals from reaching the brain. Spinal …
  • Burnsville Surgery Center Exterior2019 In Review – Part 5: Burnsville Surgery Center
    Back in 2016, we opened the doors of our first ambulatory surgery center in Edina, MN. Since then, Twin Cities Surgery Center has become a huge part of our organization, allowing us to provide our patients with convenient access to a much wider range of pain treatment options, all under one roof. …
  • 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. Unlike pain cause by injuries or illness, fibromyalgia can cause pain for little or  no reason. Fibromyalgia is thought to result from an imbalance …
  • 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 …
  • Close up illustration of DRG stimulator placement in the human bodyWhat 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
  • 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 Tech Neck Real?
    Tech 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, tech neck is a term used to …
  • 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!
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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, …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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, …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …

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, muscular endurance, and a healthy body.

A stretching program can help bring alignment to the joints of your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. When the body is properly aligned mobility is increased and inflammation of the joints is reduced. Stretching consistently can improve range of motion, help relieve stiffness and muscle aches, help prevent injuries, and help improve structural problems.

A stretching routine has many benefits to it. Besides increased flexibility, stretching helps improves circulation and blood flow, align the body, relaxes and relieves stress, increases oxygen flow, enhances coordination, and helps relieve pain.

When stretching or starting a stretching routine its always good to consult with an expect first. But, some general tips to keep in mind while stretching would be:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that won’t constrict movements
  • Don’t force your body info difficult or painful positions – stretching should be pain free
  • Move into a stretch slowly and avoid bouncing
  • Hold stretches between 15 to 30 seconds to adequately lengthen and improve range of motion
  • Stretch on a clean, flat surface that is large enough to move freely
  • Repeat a stretch between 2 and 5 times

Another thing to remember is to get into a routine of stretching after you exercise. Stretching after a workout will assist in your body releasing lactic acid from muscle cells faster. Stretching increases blood flow and improves circulation which helps the muscles heal quicker as well. Stretching after exercise helps with soreness too, as you are less likely to get sore if you stretch.

The most important thing to remember when stretching or doing any form of exercise is to listen to your body. What works for one person may not be the right avenue for the next person. Stretching, like any exercise also takes time to see a difference. Keep working towards your goal one day at a time and seek help when necessary.

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 downward spiral, leading to quality of life going down as well. Pain makes it hard to sleep, and poor sleep makes the pain subjectively worse.

During a normal night’s sleep, we cycle from light sleep to deep sleep to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep up to five times. When you feel tired in the morning, it’s normally because you didn’t get enough deep sleep and REM sleep.

Sudden severe pain can wake you up from a deep sleep, but milder pain can negatively impact sleep quality as well. Milder pain can cause microarousals. Microarousals are periods of time when you are shifted back into light sleep. Though you’re not likely to be aware of these microarousals happening or remember them the next day, you will probably wake up feeling like you didn’t sleep much at all.

Poor sleep can cause migraines. Getting enough sleep helps protect against migraine attacks.

Poor sleep can make you vulnerable to infections. Sleep helps heal and repair the body, especially your heart and blood vessels. If you don’t give your body time to heal and repair, your immunity system can lower, making you susceptible to other infections.

Poor sleep can make you sick in the long run. Sleep disturbance is associated with a wide array of distress and symptoms spanning from obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease risk.

Poor sleep can negatively affect various aspects of brain function. This can include cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Getting good sleep then, can actually help improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory performance.

Poor sleep can wreck your mood. 40% of psychiatric mood disorders are preceded by insomnia, and insomnia sets in at the same time as another 20% of mood disorders.

Lifestyle changes that can help improve sleep

  • Don’t watch TV in the bedroom.
  • Don’t eat a big meal before bed, as digestion can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Put away your cell phone, tablet, or laptop, and anything else that has a lit screen at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Don’t consume caffeine in the evening.
  • Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to reduce stress.
  • Keep your room dark, cool, and quiet.

Finding a nightly routine can help with getting better sleep. Find what works for you, whether it’s reading before bed, or preparing for the next day. Better sleep is not always going to happen instantaneously, but with practice and consistency, sleep can improve over time.

 

 

How Does Pain Affect Sleep? (2017). Retrieved from https://www.tuck.com/pain-and-sleep/

Leech, J. (2018). 10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#section3

Chronic Pain and Sleep. Retrieved from https://creakyjoints.org/support/pain-management/sleep/

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 radiography, mammography or sonography.

Radiologic technologists are responsible for accurately positioning patients and ensuring that a quality diagnostic image is produced. They work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images to either diagnose or rule out disease or injury. For the images to be interpreted correctly, the imaging examination must be performed properly by a radiologic technologist. Twin Cities Surgery Center has 3 full time rad techs; Liz, Tiffany, and Heather.

Liz

I graduated from St. Kate’s and passed by boards in December of 2016 and have been working as a radiology technologist (rad tech) since. I have been with Twin Cities Surgery Center (TCSC) since August 2018. I started in a casual position and at the beginning of October 2018, I moved into a full-time position.

My favorite part about working at TCSC is the staff here are amazing and great to work with. The pace is busy, but manageable, and it’s a great balance to make the day flow well. One thing that is different about TCSC compared to other places I’ve worked is that we only use C-arm for procedures here. The machine can be very challenging at times to get the correct angle of a picture, but it is very helpful in assisting the doctors during procedures.

  • What is one thing you wish people knew about rad techs?
    We’re not just glorified photographers that push a button. There is a lot of anatomy and physics behind what we do and even the slightest change in positioning can make a huge difference in an image.
  • What is the best career advice you have ever received?
    One patient at a time. Focus on the patient in front of you, not the prior or the next. Also, communication is the key to a successful healthcare employee… communicate with your patients, but, also with your coworkers.
  • What is the most important trait someone needs to be a rad tech?
    Attention to detail.
  • What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
    Take care of yourself above all others… you can’t be a help to anyone else if you’re not in the right place physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Tiffany

I have been a rad tech for about four and a half years. I graduated from Argosy University and immediately took my boards and started working as a tech. I started out working for a mobile x-ray company and then for Fairview Health before I made the transition to TCSC in May 2017.

One thing that is different about TCSC is that we use imaging as guidance in procedures, where other facilities can use x-rays for diagnostic purposes. I love working in the pain world and being part of the procedures that we do here. It’s rewarding to help the doctors and support staff as well as the patients. Seeing a patient get pain relief never gets old and I always like to hear their stories and outcomes.

During school and my clinical training, my two least favorite things were c-arm and spine. Now, here I am four years in, strictly working with c-arm and spine, and I wouldn’t 

want to do anything else! I am beyond lucky to be a part of the rad tech team here at TCSC. Liz is new to our team but is a very quick learner and stepped in right away. Heather (our lead) is a fantastic tech and a great role model!

  • What is one thing you wish people knew about rad techs?
    Radiological technologists and x-ray technicians are two very different things. Technicians do not get a degree and in a lot of cases are not able to perform the same type of exams that technologists are able to.
  • What is the most important trait someone needs to be a rad tech?
    Knowledge of anatomy and ALARA.
  • What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
    Invest in yourself.

Heather

I graduated from Duluth as a rad tech, where I have been in this field for 9 years. I have been working at TCPC/TCSC for over 3 years now. My favorite part about working at TCSC are my amazing co-workers I get to work with every day. The occasional potlucks we have are a nice perk too.

  • How is being a rad tech at TCPC/TCSC different than other places?
    At other places such as hospitals and clinics the radiology department is more confined. Here we are mixed in with nurses and doctors, which I prefer more. It feels more like a team rather than some random phone call/order that beckons you to a department.
  • What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
    Don’t go to the grocery store hungry.

 

 

Click here to learn more about radiologic technologists

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 nursing staff plenty of time to review and prepare for the upcoming surgeries and procedures. Bre is always working hard to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Thank you for all you do!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am an administrative assistant for Twin Cities Surgery Center. I am responsible for checking patients in, scheduling injections, and other daily administrative work.

How long have you been with TCPC/TCSC?

I have been with Twin Cities Pain Clinic & Surgery Center for two years now and I really enjoy my work.

What are some of your hobbies?

When I am not at TCSC you will find me spending time with my husband and our two sons; ages 8 and 11. We enjoy going to the park, watching movies, and playing board games. We also have two dogs; a dachshund and a great dane, so there is never a dull moment in our house.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCSC?

My favorite thing about working at TCSC are my coworkers. We truly have a fantastic team! Everyone works so well together, which makes life at TCSC enjoyable and a great place to work.

 

 

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 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 a lot of sugar hidden in most processed foods as well. Processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during the preparation of it. That can include things such as freezing and canning, or even some “healthy” items such as granola bars, yogurt, bread, and sports drinks.

When we consume too much sugar our body releases insulin and stress hormones. Those, in turn, trigger the inflammation process. Inflammation can lead to persistent pain. The places where we have the least amount of blood circulation are at greatest risk of inflammation – that is why our joints and back can be so dramatically impacted by sugar consumption.

Naturally occurring sugars, the sweet stuff found in fruits and vegetables, pose minimal harm. Most of the research points to refined sugars as being troublesome. Refined sugar is included in baked goods, candy, and ice cream.

Here are a few simple tips you can try to follow to help regulate blood sugar and keep inflammation down.

  • Choose good carbs and avoid bad carbs. Good carbs contain lots of fiber and are absorbed slowly into our systems. Good carbs are found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. Bad carbs tend to spike blood sugar levels. Bad carbs are found in foods such as white bread, white rice, sugary beverages, and sweets.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar.
  • Stay active. Maintaining a healthy weight helps to ensure that your body can process insulin effectively. Staying active can also help reduce stress and help avoid caving in to cravings.
  • Manage your stress. Stress can actually stimulate the release of hormones that cause blood sugar levels to rise.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can also impact your hormones which play an important role in controlling blood sugar.

Americans on average consume around 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar every day, which comes out to 66 pounds every year. The recommended daily allowance is about 6 teaspoons per day for women and about 9 teaspoons for men.

Limiting sugar in the diet can help reduce inflammation in the body and sometimes can help ease or limit pain you are feeling. Eliminating all sugar from your diet can be very tough. Instead, try taking small steps. Make sure to read nutrition labels to seek out hidden sugar in some of your favorite foods, choose natural and fresh foods when you can, and limit the amount of sweets you have.

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 regular tasks. Pamela always has a positive attitude and is always ambitious to help out her team! Thank you for all you do Pamela!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I work as a Medical Assistant and Medical Assistant trainer and am generally at the Maple Grove office. Training is a relatively new position for me, one that I really enjoy. I find it so rewarding to watch as new hires go from their first day of training to fully trained. It also helps that the people I have trained are eager, intelligent, and positive.

How long have you been with TCPC?

My first day was January 8, 2015, almost four years.

What are some of your hobbies?

I spend a majority of my time studying. I am now a doctoral candidate for a Ph.D. in Clinical and Forensic Psychology. I enjoy painting, I have recently taken up Diamond Dotz “painting,” (Google it, it’s very interesting). I also enjoy researching true crime topics, listening to true crime podcasts, and reading. I live with my husband Tom and our three cats, Niles, Sammy, and Wally, in Long Lake, Minnesota. I have two stepsons, Trevor and Travis, and as of July, daughter-in-law, Madeline. Long Lake is just outside of Wayzata so anytime I can, I enjoy doing homework or relaxing at Lake Minnetonka.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite aspect of working at TCPC is the comradery among teammates. We really have an incredible group with remarkable leadership. I am regularly thanked for doing my job; this is one of the many perks that motivates me to provide quality work to our patients and staff.

 

 

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!

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. At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we want to help give you your life back. For Sonya, we did just that.

Sonya has been living with persistent pain since December 2017. It hurt for her to stand and walk for long periods of time. Sonya has been a patient at Twin Cities Pain Clinic for a couple of years now. She has been seeing Nancy Cleveland, CNP about a different area of pain. When asked how that was going, Sonya stated that she could barely notice (that area of pain), because the pain in her low back and right hip was so bad, that is all she noticed. That is when Nancy recommended a procedure called mild.

The mild procedure is a safe procedure that can help patients diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) stand longer and walk farther with less pain. It is a short, outpatient procedure, performed through a very small incision that requires no general anesthesia, no implants, and no stitches. The procedure is typically performed in less than 1 hour and you should be able to resume light activities within just days.

In the past Sonya had tried chiropractic care, acupuncture, exercising, and massage therapy, but nothing seemed to help alleviate the pain she had. The pain

Pictured is Sonya, enjoying her Halloween party on Oct. 31st 2018

would lessen when she would sit or lay down. Heat also helped take away some of the pain. But, once she would stand or walk for a longer period of time, the pain would be back.

Sonya was nervous at first when Nancy recommended the procedure because Sonya had surgeries in the past and really didn’t want another one. But, after talking with Nancy more about the mild procedure and doing her own reading, she began to feel better about the procedure. Sonya, despite having persistent pain, was very pleasant to talk with and was looking forward to the procedure being done.

A couple hours later, Sonya was dressed and ready to go back home. There was a new twinkle about Sonya that everyone could see. When asked about her pain, she said it was at a 0/10, with 10 being the worst. That was remarkable considering when she walked in she was at an 8/10. She said the procedure went smooth and fast. It also helped that she wasn’t awake for the procedure.

When Sonya was asked what she was most looking forward to after the mild procedure, she responded with, "I'm simply looking forward to being able to walk to the local library, just one block from my house. I love to read and get new books, so that is first on my list!"

 

Sonya would describe Nancy as a very compassionate and caring provider and that all of the care she has received at Twin Cities Pain Clinic and Surgery Center has been wonderful. She would definitely recommend the mild procedure to others, as it is a great alternative to surgery. Sonya is just one of many patients at Twin Cities Pain Clinic that we help to live a better life with less pain.

 

 

Click Here to learn more about the mild procedure from Vertos Medical.

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. My practice focuses on increasing patient’s understanding of centralized pain, teaching evidence-based coping skills to regulate central nervous system arousal and reducing fear of movement and pain”.

Peg is returning to TCPC to conduct preoperative psychological evaluations and provide consultation to the staff on behavioral health concerns.

In her free time Peg enjoys spending time with her husband and adult children. She also enjoys crocheting, binge watching Netflix, and taking her three dogs for long walks.

Education:

Bachelor of Psychology degree at St. Olaf College
Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at Purdue University
Internship at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where she later served on the faculty of the Psychiatry department.

Welcome to the team!

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 gets chronic, excessive, uncontrollable, irrational, and associated with surprisingly diverse symptoms. GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms.

Excessive and persistent anxiety is a strong root cause for back pain, possibly neck pain, as well as virtually any other kid of persistent pain, and even an array of other physical symptoms. Anxiety almost certainly amplifies pain perception and suffering across the board, but it gets worse: it may actually cause pain we wouldn’t otherwise have, by actually making us more prone to inflammation.

Persistent pain is very common, and, can be a cause and a consequence of anxiety, sometimes equally, sometimes leaning more one way than the other, but to some degree each always influencing the other. For many people with anxiety and persistent pain, solving the pain is the best possible treatment for the anxiety. Other people may have to solve both at once. And a few will find that pain is just one symptom that they are experiencing from their anxiety.

Anxiety from persistent pain

People with persistent pain are three times more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety. Researchers have found that experiencing a chronic illness puts a person at increased risk for developing anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Roughly 40% of people with cancer report experiencing psychological distress that often takes the shape of excessive worry or panic attacks.

 

Even long after a diagnosis, the daily demands of living with a chronic illness can continue to present challenges and generate anxiety. Loss of mobility or other abilities can lead to worry about safety, employment, or financial stability. Others may feel overwhelmed with anxiety and struggle to cope.

Persistent pain from anxiety

Anxiety and the stress it causes is a common source of persistent pain. There are several reasons why anxiety can cause persistent pain. Here are some of the most common reasons.

  • Stress can cause the body to experience pain. Research has found that stress, including psychological and emotional stress, can cause issues with pain anywhere on or in the body. Acute stress can have a reduction in pain sensitivity effect on the body, where persistent stress can heighten sensitivity to pain.
  • Pain stresses the body. Pain is stressful. As the degree of pain increases, the level of stress also increases.
  • Stress causes muscles to tighten. Overly taught muscles can cause pain and tenderness. Persistently tight muscles can become very painful and sore. Muscle tension problems can also affect the body’s joints, which can cause joint problems and pain, tenderness, soreness, and achiness.
  • Stress adversely affects the body’s nervous system, including its nerves and how they function. The body’s nervous system is responsible for receiving and sending sensory information to the brain. This system of communication works efficiently when the body and nervous system are healthy. Problems can occur, however, when the nervous system becomes stress-response hyper-stimulated.

Persistently elevated stress can negatively affect any part of the body, including the skin, muscles, nerves and nerve endings, joints, and bones. As a result, body pains can occur anywhere on the body including externally and internally. For some, the pain and tenderness is also accompanied by general fatigue and muscle weakness.

Persistent pain and anxiety have a strong tie to each other. Persistent anxiety can eventually cause persistent pain for some people. For others, pain can be a common symptom or indicator of an anxiety disorder. Working to overcome persistent pain may sometimes need a variety of approaches.

Image of common pain points around the body

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 – pain caused by injury to the nerves themselves. Persistent neuropathic pain can be challenging to treat because it can be difficult to pinpoint where and how the nerves are damaged.

Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain is caused by an injury or disease to a part of the body and is usually described as sharp, aching, or throbbing pain. It is called nociceptive pain because the injury or disease stimulates the nociceptors, which are the receptors on the nerves responsible for transmitting pain messages from the affected area. In persistent pain, the nociceptors may still be sending pain messages long after the original injury has healed.

Persistent pain is generally associated with one of the following areas:

Persistent back or leg pain

Persistent back or leg pain can be the result of spinal diseases such as arachnoiditis, degenerative disc disease, epidural fibrosis, failed back surgery syndrome, lumbar disc herniation, osteoporosis and spinal stenosis. Back pain is normally in the low back, but it can extend down into the legs or even the feet. Sometimes the areas affected by pain can be sore to the touch and can increase with movement. This type of pain can be felt as a sharp pain, a burning sensation, or a dull muscle ache – and can range from mildly uncomfortable to completely disabling.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS usually affects an arm or a leg after surgery, injury such as a broken bone, the result of nerve damage, a stroke or a heart attack. CRPS is uncommon and its cause isn’t clearly understood. Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person, but usually includes pain, swelling and redness at first.

There are two types of CRPS. Type 1, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90% of people with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1. Type 2, once referred to as causalgia, has similar symptoms to type 1. But, type 2 complex regional pain syndrome follows a distinct nerve injury.

Painful neuropathies

This term covers a variety of neurological disorders resulting from damage to the nerves. The common symptoms include pain, burning, weakness and numbness. These most often appear in the hands or feet. Painful neuropathies may originally be caused by nutritional imbalances, alcoholism, toxins, infections, or autoimmunity, or may be the result of illnesses such as kidney failure or cancer. Treatment will usually focus on the underlying disease or condition if it is known.

Persistent pain isn’t a simple fix, if it was it wouldn’t be persistent. Treating persistent pain takes a team and takes patience. There are many types of treatments out there to help treat many types of persistent pain. The question normally is, what is the right type of treatment for you?