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How to Stand Up to Inflammatory Arthritis

There are many different types of inflammatory arthritis with varying effects on sufferers ranging from pain and swelling to warmth and stiffness. This condition can strike at any time, but it often hits individuals in the prime of life.

 

The most common forms of inflammatory arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Other forms can strike without impacting joints, and there are types that impact multiple joints. Whichever type you find yourself facing, arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL, is available, and it can be very effective in helping deal with the symptoms.

 

There are many different types of inflammatory arthritis with varying effects on sufferers ranging from pain and swelling to warmth and stiffness. This condition can strike at any time, but it often hits individuals in the prime of life.

The most common forms of inflammatory arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Other forms can strike without impacting joints, and there are types that impact multiple joints. Whichever type you find yourself facing, arthritis treatment in Jacksonville, FL, is available, and it can be very effective in helping deal with the symptoms.

The team at Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center has assembled some helpful tips for dealing with this condition.

At the top of any list that purports to provide advice for dealing with a health issue are always three common factors: rest, exercise, and diet. We will echo those here because they provide a solid foundation of health for everyone of any age. Get plenty of rest and sleep. Exercise regularly for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, and finally eat a nutritious and balanced diet.

Take prescribed medications and follow the recommendations exactly.

Protect your joints during daily activities to lessen the strain on your joints and decrease the risk of injury.

Lower your stress level. This goes a long way toward easing some symptoms and helping you feel better overall.

Recognize when you reach your physical limitations and ask for help. There’s no shame in this. Instead, it shows intelligence and common sense.

woman holding head over blurred background

What is a Vestibular Migraine?

When most people think of a migraine, headaches are the first symptom to come to mind. For many people, though, pain isn’t the telltale sign to look for. Instead, vertigo that comes and goes might signal the need for vestibular migraine treatment in Jacksonville, FL. Though not always associated with extreme pain, this condition can nonetheless interrupt your life with the sudden onset of:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Balance Problems
  • Extreme Motion Sensitivity
  • Disorientation and Confusion
  • Feeling Unsteady
  • Sound Sensitivity

So, how does this differ from a traditional migraine? The word “vestibular” refers to the inner ear, which controls your hearing and balance. Symptoms you experience with a vestibular migraine are often more concentrated on vertigo than the traditional headache. In fact, you might not get a headache at all.

Similarly, there is some variation in when vertigo symptoms start. Some patients have migraines for many years before experiencing dizziness. While it’s hard to tell exactly how many people get these kinds of migraines, a safe estimate is around 1% of the overall population. While vertigo symptoms usually strike around age 40, they can appear in both adults and children at any point. If you have a history of migraines and experience any vertigo-like sensations, your doctor may be able to help you seek relief.

doctor with female patient

Medical Cannabis for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common condition that affects 1 in 10 women. The side-effects can be painful and chronic, but not everyone is comfortable resorting to pain medication or surgery to find relief. The good news is that more and more people are successfully managing their pain with medical marijuana in Jacksonville, FL.

In Jacksonville, FL, you can learn whether your endometriosis pain is treatable with cannabis by visiting Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center. Our center works with many local patients experiencing persistent pain, along with endometriosis-related pain, and we’ve found medical marijuana to be a viable treatment option.

If surgery is a treatment option you’d like to avoid for now, or if you’ve already undergone surgery without success, you may want to explore medical cannabis. Its effect on pain is still being studied, but we’re happy to report that several of our patients report relief from migraines, endometriosis, and other conditions after using it.

It’s important to note that endometriosis cannot be cured with any amount of medical marijuana use. In fact, for now, endometriosis cannot be cured at all. However, many people have been able to manage the pain associated with it successfully using medical marijuana and other treatments. We can help you find the one that’s right for you.

doctor with senior patient

Spinal Cord Stimulation – When Spine Surgery Fails

Chronic pain centered in your spine can seem unmanageable, especially when surgery fails. Surgery is often a last resort for people experiencing persistent back pain. However, thanks to advances in pain management, alternative treatments are available at your local spine center in Jacksonville, FL. Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, may be a viable alternative that resolves your ongoing pain.

The phrase “spinal cord stimulation” describes the process of delivering low-voltage electrical currents to the spine by way of an implanted device. It may help to compare SCS devices to pacemakers, which continuously generate electrical impulses to help control the heartbeat; SCS devices continuously deliver currents that block pain and help patients go about their daily routines. The procedure is not heavily invasive, though general anesthesia may be necessary for some approaches.

If you’re interested in learning whether SCS is a viable treatment option for you, the first step is finding out whether you’re a good candidate. The specialists at your local spine center can help you understand your pain and explore all treatments available for patients with your specific history. In general, people who have not experienced improved symptoms following spine surgery are eligible candidates for SCS.

Make an appointment at Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center to learn more about your back pain treatment options.

patient talking to doctor about joint pain

When You Think You Have Arthritis

Does pain in your joints have you wondering if it could mean something more for your health? As we grow older, we start to notice aches and cramps where there were none before. However, there are times when it’s best to err on the side of caution and see a pain doctor in Jacksonville, FL, about your concerns. Here are some early warning signs that may indicate arthritis:

Pain/stiffness interfering with your daily routine. As a general rule of thumb, any difference in your body’s condition or function that stops you from pursuing everyday activities calls for a doctor visit. If you’re unable to get around or use your hands as easily as you once did, you should schedule a doctor visit.

Persistent joint swelling. Swollen joints are common signs of arthritis, but they can also mean other things for your health. Many people overexert themselves without realizing and feel the results of that exertion the next day. If your joints are frequently swollen and stiff, though, you may need to see a specialist.

Family history of arthritis. Many health problems can be prevented or at least delayed with help from a specialist. Preventative measures, such as regular exercise, a healthier diet, and even certain medications can help mitigate the effects of arthritis if you have a family history.

For comprehensive arthritis treatment, call Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center at 904.449.7246.

medical marijuana jacksonville fl

Treating Fibromyalgia with Medical Cannabis

Fibromyalgia is a relatively modern condition that has only recently become better known in the medical community. However, despite increased awareness, many professionals are at a loss when it comes to treatment options. Because fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain, many physicians are inclined to prescribe pain medication. They’re also understandably hesitant; pain medication can cause a host of unwanted side-effects, including dependence.

But thanks to new legislature, many states are allowing clinics to offer medical cannabis as a chronic pain treatment alternative. Medical marijuana in Jacksonville, FL, is now a viable treatment option for several people that struggle with the everyday effects of fibromyalgia, including aches, stiffness, and swelling. Research is ongoing, but the results are promising.

Of the fibromyalgia treatments available today, medical marijuana is one of the safest and most benign. In the past, doctors generally prescribed fibromyalgia patients opioids and antidepressants. While many patients experienced benefits, a significant number experienced unpleasant or dangerous side-effects. More and more people began to search for treatments that didn’t come with risks of withdrawal and addiction.

If medical marijuana sounds like a treatment option that could work for your chronic pain, we encourage you to do your research. Meet with a pain doctor that can provide more information about cannabis’s role in pain relief. Medical marijuana may be the answer to your daily struggles.

Call Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center at 904.449.7246 to learn if medical marijuana is a viable treatment for your fibromyalgia pain.

two cigarettes on a pile of tobacco

How Smoking Can Worsen Chronic Pain

You are suffering from chronic pain and would go to great lengths to reduce the misery. There is something you can do to decrease the pain level: Stop smoking. Of course, this is easier said than done, but looking into the links between smoking and chronic pain help you understand the cause and effect.

The side effects of smoking combine to increase chronic pain. First of all, the drug nicotine contributes to increases in blood pressure and heart rate. It also makes it harder for your organs to supply oxygen to your body and slows healing.

Another concern is your options for pain management. Devices implanted in your body can offer relief to pain sufferers. However, smokers have more significant challenges when it comes to healing from surgery.

One recent study shows that those who smoke are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain. The reason? Smokers are more susceptible because the act of smoking causes interference to a brain circuit that is associated with pain. In fact, smokers have a much better chance of suffering from chronic back pain than non-smokers by a ratio of 3:1.

Look to the doctors at our pain clinic in Jacksonville, FL, for answers. These medical professionals are dedicated to helping you find solutions for your chronic pain. Call Florida Coast Pain and Spine Center at (904) 449-7246 or schedule an appointment online today.

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.