News on Management and Chronic Pain Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Contact us with any questions you have about current or past blog posts from our pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL. We want to keep our patients better informed about treatments available to them

Tips for Walking when You Have Bad Knees – Pt. 2

couple walking a dogIn our last post, we provided some helpful tips on how to incorporate walking into your healthy lifestyle when you have bad knees. Here are some more tips you can use to manage and prevent knee pain while walking:

Softer Walking Surfaces – Walking on hard surfaces can harm your knees. Walk on softer surfaces like dirt, gravel, mulch, and grass. Visiting nature trails or public parks for your walks can help you avoid hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks.

Build Up to It – If you have bad knees, you most likely avoided walking for too long in the past, so it is best to ease into it. Take shorter walks at the start and build up to it. You can even break up your walking into shorter segments. For example, take three 10-minute walks per day instead of one 30-minute walk. Eventually, you should be able to take a brisk walk that gets your heart rate up.

Schedule Walks for Low-Pain Times – There are certain times during the day where your knee pain is the worst, so you should avoid exercise during those times. If you find that you wake up with pain and stiffness, try to move around for a minute or two each hour until the pain goes down, and then go on your walk. Choosing times of the day when you have less pain will help you enjoy your daily walks.

Use Cold Packs – After you return from your walks, it can help to apply a cold pack to your joints to reduce inflammation.

Walking Poles – Using walking poles can help reduce joint fatigue because they remove some of the pressure from your knees when walking. If you have very bad knees, using a walker or cane can be beneficial.

Keep Moving – Even when you are not exercising, taking time to move throughout the day can improve your knees. Every half hour to an hour, get up and stretch or move around for a minute or two. This can help keep your joints lubricated and prevent pain.

Find relief from chronic knee pain when you schedule an appointment with our pain doctor in Jacksonville, FL. Schedule your appointment online or call us at 904.449.7246.

Tips for Walking when You Have Bad Knees – Pt. 1

happy senior couple taking a walkWhen you are dealing with chronic knee pain, walking is probably pretty low on your list of favorite activities. However, walking regularly can help maintain joint function and can even reduce symptoms if done right.

Walking is part of a healthy lifestyle, and is beneficial for your knees. Your knee joint does not have a blood supply that continuously nourishes it, because it is comprised of bone and cartilage. Moving the knee joint regularly ensures that they get the nourishment they need. If you’ve ever had to sit for long periods, you may have noticed that your knees feel stiff and sore afterword, even the morning after. Daily walking, even if it’s just a short walk, can help relieve that stiffness.

Walking may not be easy for you if you have bad knees, but here are some ways to make it more comfortable:

Wear Proper Shoes – Having the proper shoes is the most important thing you can do for your knees. Choose shoes that are flat and flexible, because you want your foot to move as naturally as possible. You should also look for a wider toe box, and avoid heels, heavy shoes, and pointed toes.

Inserts – You should avoid high arch support inserts, or shoes with arch support because that will prevent your foot from moving naturally. Orthotic inserts can be used to provide extra cushioning in your shoes if that is the most helpful for you. Ask your doctor or podiatrist for advice.

Warm Up – When your joints are warm they will move more effectively and be less painful when you walk. Applying a heating pad to your joints or taking a warm back or shower before a walk can help. You should also start your walks slowly to get the joint fluid moving and pick up the pace when your muscles are warmed up properly.

These are just three tips that can help you incorporate walking into your healthy lifestyle, even if you have bad knees. If you are dealing with chronic knee pain, make an appointment at our pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Find relief from pain when you call us at 904.449.7246 or book online today.

Exercising Safely with Arthritis

senior couple lifting weightsExercise can be extremely beneficial for managing pain in people living with arthritis. Keeping the body in motion helps maintain range of motion and flexibility in the joints. However, it is important not to overdo it, or you could end up doing more harm to your body than good. Here are some ways that people with arthritis can exercise safely without causing further damage to their joints.

Get Your Exercise Plan Approved by Your Doctor or Physical Therapist

When you have a medical condition that hinders physical movement, it is essential to have your exercise plan reviewed by your doctor or physical therapist. The recommended exercise plan recommended for you will depend on which joints are affected, how much inflammation you have, how stable your joints are, and whether or not you have had a joint replacement. A physical therapist that is knowledgeable about this disease can help you design a plan that works for you.

Three Types of Exercise that Benefit People with Arthritis

Exercise provides many benefits for arthritis patients, from increased joint flexibility and range of motion to weight control and heart health. Three types of exercise work well for people living with arthritis:

  • Range-of-Motion Exercise – Activities like dancing or Zumba can help relieve joint stiffness and maintain healthy joint movement. It can also improve your flexibility.
  • Strength Exercises – Some light weight training helps support muscle strength. Your muscles do a lot to support your joints, and keeping them in good condition helps protect the joints affected by your arthritis. Be sure to see a doctor about how much weight and how much weight training is appropriate for you.
  • Aerobic and Endurance Exercises – Weight control is very important for people with arthritis, as extra weight puts added pressure on your joints. Walking or riding a bike can improve lung function, cardiovascular health, and help you control your weight.

If you are looking for relief from your arthritis symptoms, make an appointment at our pain clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Call our office at 904.449.7246 or book online today.

What are Cluster Headaches?

pain management clinic Jacksonville flCluster headaches are a very rare headache disorder that is extremely painful and can significantly impact the sufferer’s day to day life. They are called cluster headaches because you will get them in clusters that last weeks or even months at a time. It is possible for the condition to go into remission for quite a long time – months or years, before returning. The headaches start with severe pain centered over one eye, in five to ten minute the pain will peak and can last for a few hours before going away.

Symptoms of Cluster Headaches

Aside from the severe pain above your eye, you may also experience discomfort around your temple. Additionally, you may also feel swelling in your eyes, nasal congestion, and tearing red eyes. You may also have symptoms such as eyelid drooping, pupil constriction, and facial sweating.

Unclear Cause

There is a possibility that the headaches are related to abrupt releases of serotonin and histamine in your brain, or problems within the hypothalamus, but there is no clear cause for cluster headaches. Some triggers for cluster headaches can include smoking, drinking alcohol, high altitudes, heat, bright lights, physical exertion, and foods high in nitrites like bacon.

Treatment

While this disorder is incredibly rare, there are treatments available. Inhaled oxygen, triptans like Imitrex, and short-term steroids are sometimes used to treat cluster headaches. Pain medications do not typically work for this type of headache, even strong narcotics.

The doctors at Florida Coast Pain are dedicated to diagnosing and treating your chronic pain. Contact our pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL, today at 904.449.7246 or book your appointment online.

What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

chronic pain treatment Jacksonville flFibromyalgia is a syndrome related to arthritis that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles. Here are some facts you may not know about this chronic pain condition:

It Can be a Secondary Condition

Fibromyalgia is related to arthritis, but it does not cause any inflammation or damage to your joints or muscles. It can present as a primary condition characterized by muscle pain and tenderness throughout the whole body, or as a secondary condition to a rheumatic disease like arthritis, lupus, or ankylosing spondylitis. Patients with rheumatic conditions are at higher risk for developing fibromyalgia.

It is Hard to Diagnose

This disease is largely misunderstood. The fact that its symptoms so often mimic or overlap symptoms of other rheumatic diseases make it difficult to diagnose. The average patient will wait five years to get a diagnosis, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. No diagnostic test is available for Fibromyalgia, so doctors have to rely on the collection of symptoms present to diagnose.

Most Sufferers Deal with Fatigue and Sleep Disorders

As many as 90% of people with Fibromyalgia will experience poor sleep and the cognitive problems, memory lapses, and fatigue that come along with being sleep deprived.

It is More than Just Pain

Aside from pain, Fibromyalgia is associated with a host of other symptoms like headaches, IBS, memory problems, noise sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, temporomandibular joint disorder, restless leg syndrome, depression, and anxiety.

Fibromyalgia Can be Managed

If you are experiencing symptoms of Fibromyalgia or another chronic pain condition, seek treatment at Florida Coast Pain. Our doctors provide comprehensive chronic pain treatment in Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas. Reach out today at 904.449.7246.

Common Misconceptions about Arthritis

Arthritis is a widespread condition, but a lot of misinformation about this disease continues to circulate. Here are some common misconceptions that persist about arthritis.

Only old people get arthritis.

Arthritis can affect you at any age, and can even develop in children. There are over 100 types of arthritis and certain ones are more prevalent in different age and gender groups. However, overall arthritis is not specific to age or gender.

Arthritis consists of minor aches and pains.

OTC painkiller commercials like to make it seem like a couple of aspirin or ibuprofen tablets can relieve arthritis pain, but this disease is much more complicated than that. Joint damage, limited range of motion, joint deformity, fatigue, and inflammation are all part of arthritis. Arthritis requires a more multi-faceted and often more aggressive form of treatment.

Cold and wet conditions induce arthritis.

Many people believe that a cold, wet climate can worsen arthritis and that moving somewhere warm and dry is the cure. However, people in these warm, arid regions still develop arthritis. Arthritis causes the cartilage between your bones to wear away, which causes pain regardless of what the weather is outside.

Arthritis is not treatable.

While arthritis can impose severe limitations on your life, there are treatments available to slow down the progression of the disease and help you live more comfortably. Contact Florida Coast Pain today at 904.449.7246 for comprehensive arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL. Our physicians are dedicated to finding a solution for your chronic pain.

Diagnosing Chronic Back Pain

doctor examining patient with back pain

Don’t live with chronic back pain any longer. Make an appointment at the Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center today by calling 904.449.7246 or booking online.

Back pain can stem from a wide variety of issues, including injuries, conditions like scoliosis and sciatica, muscle strain, and more. It is the most common pain condition in the United States, and for many Americans, it can be considered chronic. Chronic back pain is defined as back pain lasting more than six months. When you visit Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center to receive treatment for back pain in Jacksonville, FL, we will work with you to diagnose the cause so that we can create an effective treatment plan for you.

Diagnosing Chronic Back Pain

To provide an effective treatment for your back pain, we need first to identify the cause. It can involve a lot of testing to determine what is going on. The first thing we need to do is examine the pain itself. We will need to learn:

  • When the pain started (Was it triggered by an injury or other issue?)
  • Your pain rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst
  • What type of pain you are experiencing (sharp, shooting, burning, etc.)
  • What affects your pain (keep a journal of what worsens your pain and what brings relief)

Once we have established the answers to these questions, we will do a physical exam, which may include feeling along your back for abnormalities and tenderness, as well as muscle sensation and strength training. We may also examine your mobility by asking you to perform certain actions like walking and bending.  Imaging tests may also be necessary depending on your symptoms.

Don’t live with chronic back pain any longer. Make an appointment at the Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center today by calling 904.449.7246 or booking online.

Find Relief from Migraines with Botox

botox for migraines Jacksonville flChronic migraine is a unique condition that can be difficult to treat because it presents differently in each individual. Because of the diversity of this condition, the available treatments are numerous. The problem with this is that you may try a large variety of different therapies with no success. If you do not respond well to traditional pharmacological treatments or behavioral interventions, you may want to consider alternative therapies, like Botox.

What is Botox?

Botox is a toxin called onabotulinumtoxinA, which is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. You may know it as a popular treatment for facial wrinkles due to its ability to decrease muscle activity in the face. It also blocks the release of nerve-signaling chemicals, which can decrease the activation of pain pathways in the brain. This is the reason that doctors administer Botox for migraines in Jacksonville, FL.

How the Botox Treatment Works

To treat migraines, Botox is injected into seven key muscles located around the eyebrows, the forehead, the side of the skull, the back of the skull, the top and back of the neck, and the upper back. You will receive these injections once every twelve weeks or so for up to six months. Each treatment only takes about 15 minutes, and discomfort is minimal.

If you suffer from chronic migraines and want to know if Botox is right for you, reach out to the Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center at 904.449.7246 today.

How to Manage Chronic Pain with a Healthy Diet

man chopping vegetablesEvery one of us has heard at some point that watching what we eat is important. We know that eating healthy reduces your risk of obesity, diabetes, strokes, heart disease, and much more. What you may not know, however, is that the way you eat can affect your chronic pain. Excess weight puts more pressure on your body, resulting in more pain, but it isn’t that simple. Even thin people who suffer from chronic pain can experience the negative impact of a poor diet.

Inflammation

Inflammation in the body is one of the biggest sources of chronic pain. If your diet is low in fruits and vegetables and high in sugar, fat, and salt, can exacerbate inflammation in the body. If you deal with joint or muscle pain, inflammation is bad news.

What Can You Do?

It can be challenging to cut unhealthy foods from your diet, but there are some small changes you can make. You don’t need to go on a strict diet, but adding fruits and vegetables and making other healthy swaps can go a long way towards managing your pain. It also helps to keep an eye on your sodium intake and drink lots of water.

If you are looking for a solution for your chronic pain, visit our pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Our physicians are ready to provide you with a personalized, multi-faceted solution to your pain when you book your appointment today.

Visceral vs. Somatic Pain

doctorChronic pain comes in many forms, affecting different areas of the body and originating from various sources. One common type is nociceptive pain, which is detected by nociceptors – a specialized type of sensory nerve. Conditions that cause nociceptive pain include headaches, pelvic pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Nociceptive pain can be further broken down into visceral and somatic pain. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between the two.

Visceral Pain

Visceral pain is picked up by nociceptors in your internal organs. The sensory nerves are not very widespread in your organs, which means you may feel pain further away from its origin, and it tends to be difficult to locate. Visceral pain can be caused by conditions like endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cystitis, and prostate pain.

Somatic Pain

Somatic pain is signaled by nociceptors in your soft tissues, muscles, and skin. Sensory nerves are very well distributed in these areas, so it usually easy to detect the source. Tension headaches, pain from joint instability, arthritis, and back pain not caused by nerves are all examples of somatic pain.

Visit Florida Coast Pain for chronic pain treatment in Jacksonville, FL, to receive personalized, compassionate treatment from our skilled physicians.