Image depicting common pain points on the body

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) describes arthritis as inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. There are more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness.

According to the Arthritis Foundation the five most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout. All of these types of arthritis cause pain in different ways. Lupus is another form of arthritis that affects many individuals as well. Below are explanations about the six most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. With OA, the cartilage within the joints begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes with the joints usually develop slowly and get worse over time. OA can cause pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling. Decreased range of motion or flexibility can also be present.

Osteoarthritis affects over 30 million US adults. Because of the symptoms that come with OA, some people experience reduced function and disability. Some people are no longer able to do daily tasks or work because the pain and stiffness gets so bad.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation in the affected body parts. RA mainly attacks joints, and usually many joints at once.

RA commonly affects the joints of the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. The tissue damage from rheumatoid arthritis can cause chronic pain, unsteadiness, and deformity. RA can also end up affecting other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes.

There are many signs and symptoms of RA and there are times when symptoms “flare” up or get worse, and times when they get better. The common signs and symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, tenderness, weight loss, fever, fatigue, and weakness. With some of the symptoms, like pain and stiffness, they can occur in more than one joint at a time.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain. PsA affects the joints, the connective tissue where tendons or ligaments attach to bones, causing enthesitis, and affects the skin, which causes psoriasis.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and emotional and mental distress. Often times, doctors who examine people with Fibromyalgia cannot find anything specifically wrong, even after a number of tests. Normally people with Fibromyalgia experience pain and tenderness all over their body and feeling consistently exhausted.

Gout

Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful. Usually it affects one joint at a time (often times the big toe joint). People with Gout tend to experience flare ups and times when there are no symptoms. There is no cure for Gout, but it can be affectively managed. Symptoms in the affected joint may include pain, swelling, redness, and heat.

Lupus

Lupus is another major for arthritis that is an autoimmune disease that can affect many different parts of the body including, heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, skin, and joints. The main feature of Lupus is inflammation, characterized by redness, heat, swelling, loss of function and pain outside or inside the body. Fatigue, hair loss, sensitivity to light, fever, rash and kidney problems are also some more severe symptoms in Lupus. There is no cure for Lupus, but there are treatments to help control its symptoms.

There are many more forms of arthritis that are paired with other symptoms than inflammation and swelling of the joints. One form of arthritis is not worse than others and can affect everyone differently. There are many ways to help relieve some of the pain and inflammation that is associated with arthritis. At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we are happy to offer a wide array of procedures to manage pain and tailor each patient based on their own symptoms. 

 

Resources

https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/understanding/types-of-pain.php

https://www.disabled-world.com/health/autoimmunediseases/arthritis/arthritis-types.php

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/types.html

Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Woodbury, MN

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 serve Woodbury and the surrounding communities by continuing to offer the most advanced treatment options.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic first expanded to Woodbury in 2014 with a clinic location on Commerce Dr. To better serve our patients, we have moved from our old office on Commerce Dr to 683 Bielenberg Dr. #103. The new office opened to patients on March 4th, 2019.

 

Click here to see a map.

Feet and athletic shoes-one shoe causing foot pain

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, director of the Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery, “The foot is the foundation of the body. If the foundation is not sound, it could have a deleterious effect on the joints above the foot and ankle, namely the knee and the hip.” If you feel unbalanced, your shoes will likely be uneven. If your shoes are uneven, this can eventually cause weakness in your ankles, knees, and hips, making them vulnerable to injury.

Where you feel your pain is almost always never where your pain originates from. A lot of the times, pain will travel up the body. Indeed, the stabbing, throbbing, aching in your low back, hip, or knee could be a symptom, not the cause, of your discomfort. Many people don’t realize it, but how you stand and walk can play a key role in your pain.

Any problem with the foot or ankle can result in a compromised posture or gait which can lead to knee or hip pain.

Examples of foot problems that can lead to poor posture and irregular walking patterns

  • Plantar fasciitis, which can lead to chronic heel pain and/or arch pain
  • Nerve pain or numbness in the foot, (neuromas and tarsal tunnel syndrome)
  • Bunions and bunionettes (big-toe versus little-toe side, respectively)
  • Excessive foot pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out)

Some people's feet automatically go into a V shape when standing or walking. In this instance, the whole structure of your body is somewhat off balance, or “out of alignment.” Focus on standing and walking with proper alignment. This can help ease some of the back, knee, or hip pain you're feeling.

Changing how you walk may feel strange at first, but over time it will feel more normal. Make an effort to “square” your feet with your knees and walk with your toes pointing straight ahead. This is how to keep your body aligned, reducing your chances of injury to the low back and other parts of your body. The foot is the foundation of the body, and the way you walk can affect just about everything.

Resources

https://www.ipfh.org/media-press/features/low-back-pain-your-feet-could-be-the-culprit

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170919181533.htm

https://www.orthofeet.com/blogs/news/how-your-feet-impact-knee-and-hip-pain

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 always treats her patients with the utmost care and respect. Your hard work and compassion does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do, Crystal!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Medical Assistant at Twin Cities Pain Clinic. My responsibilities include rooming the patients, taking their vitals, collecting specimens and a variety of other medical tasks.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been with TCPC for about 8 months and truly enjoy it.

What are some of your hobbies?

Some of my hobbies include playing outside with my kids, reading new books with them and baking. I love water parks and the beach when it's warm outside.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

My favorite thing about working at TCPC is the patient care. I love getting to know my patients and enjoy seeing them improve. The environment is great as well. I absolutely love my co-workers and how well we all work together. 

 

 

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 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 the FDA in 1989 to treat muscle contractions caused by cervical dystonia. Doctors knew that Botox could help relax muscles before it exploded into a cosmetic procedure. Botox does that by blocking the neurotransmitters that tell muscles to contract. No signal from the neurotransmitters, no contraction, no tension – no pain.

The pain types, which are suitable for this treatment, include those where muscle spasm and tenderness are clearly definable, in the regions of the head, neck, and back. Botox has been used for the past 40 years in the treatment of excessive muscle stiffness, spasticity, and dystonia. Recently, it has been used to treat various types of neuropathic pain.

How does Botox work?

Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine from the junction between a nerve and muscle. Normally acetylcholine binds to its receptor at this junction and causes a muscle contraction. When Botox is injected to an area of chronic muscle spasm, acetylcholine is blocked, allowing the muscle to relax.

Botox is administered by an injection directly into the desired site. The onset of relief occurs in about a week and typically lasts 3 months. The intent of Botox in this case, is to serve as a temporary relief from pain, not as a fix or cure. After three months, the muscles may become overactive again, so four injections per year may be needed.

Botox injections are typically used to treat:

  • Muscle pain arising from chronic muscle spasm
  • Neck pain in cervical dystonia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Nerve disorders resulting in blepharospasm
  • Myofascial pain

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above and are curious if Botox could help you, get in touch with us.

Call: 952-841-2345

Click: twincitiespainclinic.com

Close up illustration of DRG stimulator placement in the human body

What is DRG stimulation?

Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a type of therapy that provides relief from chronic neuropathic pain or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Neuropathic pain results from damage to or malfunction of nerves, which send pain signals to the brain. The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves that lead to and from the spinal cord. If the nerves are injured, neuropathic pain may develop. Chronic neuropathic pain can be challenging to treat because it is often difficult to pinpoint the location and source of nerve damage.

Click here to learn more about neuropathic pain.

What is the dorsal root ganglion?

The dorsal root ganglion is a bundle of nerve cell bodies in the posterior region of various vertebrae along the spinal column. The primary function of the dorsal root ganglion is to transmit information regarding your senses. As such, the dorsal root ganglion carries sensory signals from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system, which includes your spinal cord and brain.

DRG Stimulation

DRG stimulation consists of electrical leads and an implantable pulse generator. A physician threads the electrical leads into the epidural space, where the DRG lies. Each lead contains electrode surfaces that are placed over the DRG. A pulse generator is implanted in either the upper buttock/low back, or into the abdominal wall. In the period after surgery the leads can be programmed to give stimulation based on the pain pattern. Patients go home with a small hand-held controller that switches between stimulation settings.

DRG stimulation is similar to traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS), with one very important difference. Rather than placing leads in a general region of the spinal cord, DRG stimulation targets the specific regions of the spinal cord that are transmitting the pain and shuts down those painful signals directly by placing the leads over the DRG’s.

To learn more about DRG stimulation click here.

 

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 my family or at work, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing volleyball, shopping. I was fortunate to play volleyball at highest level of the sport – 2004 Athens summer Olympic games."

Education

Associate in Practical Nursing degree in 2007 at Dickinson State University

Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 2009 at Dickinson State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Family Practice in 2013 at North Dakota State University

Hobbies

Powerwalking, running short distance races (5K, 10K), Spending time with husband and kids, and playing league volleyball.

"I am delighted to be part of the Twin Cities Pain Clinic team!"

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 not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do, Ieasha!

What is your position / What are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Patient Service Representative at the front desk of the Edina clinic. I help patients check-in and check-out.

How long have you been with TCPC?

I have been with TCPC for 3 months and I enjoy working with patients and the TCPC team.

What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time relaxing at home reading or watching movies and I also love spending time with my family.

What is your favorite thing about working at TCPC?

The staff are amazing! The atmosphere is positive and I can always find help if I need it. I enjoy being a team player. I believe that in order to be effective and deliver the best care possible we have to be equipped with the support to do our jobs efficiently. Here at TCPC the support and leadership is amazing and I am proud to be part of the team.

 

 

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.

Pain-patient-holding-lower-back

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.