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

How Some Diseases Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis – Pt. 2

In a previous post, we shared with you four diseases with similar symptoms to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there are more of which you need to be aware because knowledge is power when it comes to your health. Before a diagnosis is confirmed, consideration of other conditions is essential, as well as testing. Other conditions that copy RA include:

Gout — Gout is a form of arthritis, but is different from RA. Like RA, gout can destroy the joints, but unlike RA, gout does not result in a narrowing of the space between joints or in periarticular osteopenia.

Pseudogout — Also known as Crystal Deposition Disease (CPPD), Pseudogout can manifest symptoms that resemble gouty arthritis or even rheumatoid arthritis. To determine if your condition is Pseudogout, your doctor aspirates joint fluid to send to a lab for testing.

Sjogren’s Syndrome — In its primary form, Sjogren’s syndrome may look like RA. This autoimmune, inflammatory disease in its primary condition also causes the pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with RA. Specialized testing is the only way to confirm this diagnosis.

To determine exactly what is causing your pain, seek help from a pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Call Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center at (904) 449-7246 or schedule an appointment online today.

pain management clinic jacksonville fl

How Some Diseases Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis – Pt. 1

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be challenging to diagnose. Not only is there no definitive test to prove that someone has the disease, but there are also other conditions that present with the same symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you have rheumatoid arthritis, they must first rule out other diseases that mimic it.

Post-Viral Arthritis – Chronic or acute viral infections can cause polyarthritis – a temporary condition that looks a lot like rheumatoid arthritis from a clinical perspective. Infections like parvovirus B19, hepatitis, and HIV can all lead to this condition.

Seronegative Spondyloarthritis – This is a group of rheumatic conditions that cause inflammation in the spine. Psoriatic arthritis is one of these diseases, and if it presents without a rash, it can be difficult to distinguish between this and rheumatoid arthritis. Ankylosing spondylitis and IBS can also mimic the disease.

Lupus – Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect your joints. Deformities can develop that mimic the joint damage present in rheumatoid arthritis. With lupus, the deformity comes from the tendons and ligaments rather than the joints, which is the distinguishing factor in determining which of the two conditions you have.

Scleroderma – This condition includes joint pain, tightening of the skin, heartburn, and Raynaud’s disease (exaggerated response to cold temperatures. Scleroderma can be ruled out with a comprehensive chemistry panel, complete blood count, and serologic studies.

These are just four of the diseases that present with similar symptoms to rheumatoid arthritis. In future blog posts, we will look at the rest of the conditions that have to be ruled out before a diagnosis of RA is given. Our pain management clinic in Jacksonville, FL, can provide you with relief from your RA symptoms when you call our office at 904.449.7246 or book an appointment online.

bearded man with glasses

Understanding Migraine Symptoms

Migraines are more than just a headache. They are a collection of symptoms that differ from person to person but maintain some shared characteristics. While a headache is the most common symptom, migraine sufferers can also experience ringing in the ears, shoulder or neck pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, irritability, and more. Additionally, some migraines don’t include headaches at all. Here are the common phases of migraine symptoms:

Prodrome – This migraine phase can begin as early as three days before the migraine reaches peak intensity. The prodrome consists of symptoms that alert you to the oncoming migraine, like food cravings, mood changes, muscle stiffness, fatigue, digestion issues, bloating, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, vivid dreams, or other symptoms. These can vary widely from person to person.

Aura – Next comes the aura, which typically lasts less than an hour and is comprised of neurological symptoms. These symptoms can include changes in vision, vertigo, tingling, numbness, difficulty speaking, confusion, partial paralysis, olfactory and auditory hallucinations, and changes in hearing.

Headache – The headache phase can last from one to 72 hours, and can include head pain along with light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, digestive issues. You can also experience symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion, sadness or anxiety, hot flashes, chills, dizziness, and dehydration during this phase as well

Postdrome – Once the most intense phase of the migraine is over, some migraine suffers also experience the postdrome phase where they can experience fatigue, changes in mood, muscle aches, dizziness, difficulty focusing, scalp tenderness, and a stiff neck.

Not all people who get migraines will go through all four phases, and sometimes two stages can happen concurrently. Your symptoms are unique. Get personalized treatment at Florida Coast Pain, which can include BOTOX for migraines in Jacksonville, FL. Make an appointment with our compassionate pain doctors today at 904.449.7246 or book your appointment online.

man writing in journal

How to Create a Pain Journal to Manage Chronic Pain

Keeping a journal can be beneficial to your life, especially if you suffer from a chronic pain condition. The information you gather about your day-to-day life can help you and your doctor identify patterns in your pain. The patterns can show your doctor what triggers your pain, what lessens it, and more. Maintaining a chronic pain journal can help you make more sound decisions throughout the day so that you can manage your pain better.

Setting Up Your Pain Journal

For your pain journal to be effective, you want to gather as many details as you possibly can. Here are some ideas of information to include in your journal:

  • Pain Rating – Use a 0-10 point scale to rate the severity of your pain.
  • Descriptions – Use adjectives like burning, tingling, shooting, sharp, pulsating, and dull to describe the pain.
  • Time of Day – Write down the times of day that your pain occurs. At what times of day does the pain occur most often?
  • Activities – Jot down the activity you were doing when the pain started. Write down how you feel before and after exercise and other activities.
  • Food and Beverages – Keep track of what you eat and drink each day. It doesn’t have to be overly specific or complicated, but sometimes your diet can affect your symptoms.
  • External Factors – Think about external factors that may be contributing to your pain. For example, do you feel more pain when it rains?
  • Thoughts and Feelings – What is your mental state today? How did you feel when experiencing the pain?

If you are having difficulty managing your chronic pain, make an appointment at Florida Coast Pain online, or by calling 904.449.7246. Our skilled and compassionate doctors can provide effective pain management in Jacksonville, FL, to patients throughout the area.

man with arthritis pain in wrist

Recognizing the Early Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis symptoms can be vague, and many people mistake them for the signs of an injury. Many arthritis patients attempt to self-treat with over-the-counter medications, without realizing the dangers of medicated with consulting a doctor. When it comes to arthritis, it is important to recognize the symptoms early so that you can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

While there are many different forms of arthritis, many of them have similar symptoms at the onset of the disease. These symptoms include:

  • Joint Pain and Stiffness
  • Tenderness in and around the Joint
  • Limited Range of Motion
  • Warmth or Redness around the Joints
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nodules (Lumps and Bumps in Affected Areas)

If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor will need to do additional investigating to determine what type of arthritis you have. They will consider your medical history; perform a physical examination, and run diagnostics tests like blood tests and imaging studies.

Arthritis Treatment

Find relief from your joint pain when you visit Florida Coast Pain. We will diagnose your pain condition and provide effective arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL. Contact us today at 904.449.7246 or schedule your appointment online today.

 

 

man with broken leg

What you Should Know about Nociceptive Pain

Pain can take many different forms, affecting different parts of the body. The six main types of pain are nociceptive, visceral, neuropathic, psychogenic, and idiopathic. You feel nociceptive pain in your soft tissues through sensory nerves called nociceptors. Examples of this type of pain include arthritis, fibromyalgia, and headaches.

The Two Types of Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain encompasses two other types of pain: somatic and visceral.

  • Somatic Pain – This type of pain is felt in the skin, muscles, and soft tissues. Tension headaches, arthritis, and back pain not caused by nerve damage are all examples of somatic pain. Somatic pain is easy to locate because there are many sensory nerves found in these tissues. You will feel pain the place it originated.
  • Visceral Pain – This type of pain involves your internal organs. Endometriosis and IBS are both conditions involving visceral There are fewer sensory nerves located in your organs, so it can be hard to pinpoint the origin or visceral pain. You may feel this type of pain outside of where it started.

Causes of Nociceptive Pain

This type of pain is caused by inflammation, physical pressure, or injury. Nociceptive pain can become chronic as the result of a prolonged or slow-healing injury, which can make nerves more sensitive. Prolonged inflammation-related nociceptive pain is seen in conditions like fibromyalgia, headaches, and arthritis.

Treatment

Depending on the cause of your nociceptive pain, your treatment will be different. When you make an appointment with the experienced doctors at Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center, they can diagnose the cause of your pain and create a multi-faceted treatment plan for you. For effective chronic pain treatment in Jacksonville, FL, call our office at 904.449.7246 or schedule an appointment online.

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.