215.741.4410 Two Convenient Locations in: Langhorne, PA

Oxford Valley Pain & Spine Center's Blog

Top Ten Workplace Injuries

Top 10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

  • Overexertion:  Many workers are    injured when they lift, push, carry, pull, hold or throw objects that are too heavy or bulky.
  • Slip and Falls: Falls can happen      because floors are wet, slippery, uneven, there are cracks, poor lighting or many other reasons. Fall to Lower Level – This type of fall happens from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, and stairways.
  • Bodily Reaction: Injuries where a worker doesn’t fall but does slip, trip or have some movement reaction.
  • Struck by an Object: Objects can fall and strike someone  from shelves,     machines, or anywhere without warning.  This includes merchandise and       equipment.
  • Worker Strikes an Object: This occurs when a worker runs into or collides with someone else or with an object such as furniture, equipment or a part of the  building such as a wall or door.
  • Roadway Accident: Many workers are hurt while on assignment away from the office in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Machinery Accidents: If a machine isn’t used properly (and even when it is used properly), the machine can cause a worker to lose a finger or arm or suffer some other serious injury.
  • Repetitive Motion  Injury: Repeat    usage of any tool can cause injury to muscles and tendons, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries.
  • Assaults: Some workplace disputes can escalate into violence and cause a   worker to be harmed.
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What Is a Discogram

 

Discogram. L4 is OK. L5 is not.

How a Discogram Can Help Manage Pain?

A discogram is a diagnostic test that is done prior to any surgery to help determine the source of you back pain. A dye is injected into the disc and pressure is put on the disc by the pain management physician. The location of the dye helps the doctor determine which disc is causing your pain.

How the procedure works

The procedure is done at our ambulatory surgery center.

Patients must fast 6 hours before the test is done and arrive at the center about an hour and a half before the procedure. A nurse preps you and an IV will be used to sedate you (though you’ll be conscious). A fluoroscopy machine will be used. The pain management physician numbs the target area with a local anesthetic and then injects the dye into the disc by using a needle. The test takes about 20 minutes.

The doctor will use several needles and inject the dye into different discs. During the procedure, you will be asked questions about your pain level (this is why you have to be conscious).

Once the procedure is finished, the doctor’s team will monitor you for about ½ hours.

The test should not be given if you are pregnant, diabetic, or on blood thinners. Your doctor will explain your options if you are not ready for the test.

Steps to take after the discogram

Patients will need someone to drive them home after the test. They shouldn’t driver for 24 hours. You may feel some pain in the injected areas for several weeks.The doctor will then order a CT can where he/she can examine where the dye traveled to. If dye stays in the center of the disc, that indicates the disc is normal. If the dye spreads to the exterior of the disc, that indicates wear and tear and a probable source of your pain.

So there are two ways the doctor is evaluating the source of your pain – your responses to the injections and the location of the dyes.After the CT scan, the doctor will then let you know what the next steps are.

Contact us

For help with any pain issues, please call our Langhorne, Pennsylvania office at 215.741.7031. We help patients throughout Bucks County, Mercer, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties. We see many patients from Langhorne, Newtown, Fairless Hills, Levittown, Bristol, Richboro, and Doylestown.

 

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What is Nerve Pain?

How nerve pain happens

The central nervous systems is made up of millions of nerves that are linked to each other. Nerves are somewhat likes electrical wires. When they work well, they tell you it’s hot or cold or let your know there’s a danger or a risk ahead. Ideally, you don’t think about the nerves. Sometimes, the nerves/wires  can go haywire or short  circuit. Injured nerves may not tell you that have pain when they should and they may also send false signals to the brain. False signals indicate there is pain when there’s no real  underlying cause for the pain.

Nerves can be damaged because of a spinal injury, a disease such as diabetes or shingles, a stroke, or cancer. They can also deteriorate with old age.

What does nerve pain feel like?

Symptoms of nerve pain include:

  • A tingling sensation
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Burning

If nerve pain is not resolved or managed, it can take over your life. Nerve pain can be agonizing. Simple tasks like walking or eating can be unbearable. Most people with nerve pain find it difficult to sleep or to work. Many despair that they will nerve be able to control their pain. Often, people with nerve pain withdraw from the world.

Steps to take to start managing nerve pain

Make an appointment with a pain management physician. The doctor will work to first locate which nerves aren’t working properly. He/she can then work to remedies which can include physical therapy, medicines, and interventional treatments such as nerve blocks to try to reduce or manage the pain.

Unlike muscle pain which often heals with time, nerve pain normally does require a more aggressive approach.

For help with any pain issues, please call our Langhorne, Pennsylvania office at 215.741.7031. We help patients throughout Bucks County, Mercer, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties. We see many patients from Langhorne, Newtown, Fairless Hills, Levittown, Bristol, Richboro, and Doylestown

 

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What Diagnostic Tests are Used to Analyze the Source of Your Pain

EMG Test

What Diagnostic Tests do Pain Management Doctors Use to Analyze Your Pain?

In every case, your pain doctors will begin by taking an oral history from you. This will include questions about where you are experiencing the pain, your history of symptoms, what prior surgeries you’ve had, and many other questions.

The doctor will conduct a physical examination to test your range of motion and to explore where your pain is and what might be causing it.

Sometimes, your doctor will prescribe medical tests to help pinpoint your pain. In addition to blood tests and X-Rays these are some of the more common diagnostic tests. Diagnosis means understanding the causes of your pain.

  • MRI. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test uses magnets, radio waves, and a computer to create pictures. The test takes about 15 minutes to an hour depending on how many pictures are needed. People with pacemakers will need to take different tests because pacemakers don’t interact well with magnets
  • CT scan. A computed tomography scan uses computers and X-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of your body. The patient lies on a table which moves through a scanning device. CT scans take about 15 minutes.
  • Nerve blocks. Here, the pain doctors injects an anesthetic or something to numb the pain into specific nerve locations. If the patient acknowledges that the block is working, that confirms the location of the pain.
  • Discography. In this test, a dye is injected into the patient’s disk. The dye outlines the damaged areas. It is used for deciding if surgery is needed or what treatments can manage the pain.
  • Myelogram. Here, a dye is injected into the spinal canal. This test can analyze nerve compression which may be caused by a fracture or by a herniated disk. It’s used for studying back pain.
  • EMG. An electromyogram checks muscle activity by inserting fine needles into the muscles and then measuring responses to electronic signals
  • Bone scans. The doctor injects radioactive materials in the bloodstream. The material, in turn, stores in the bones – mainly in areas that aren’t normal. A computer identifies the locations. Bone scans help diagnose fractures, infections, and other bone disorders.
  • Ultrasound imaging. This test, also called a sonography, uses sound-waves (high-frequency waves) to take pictures of your body. The echoes from the sound waves are recorded.

For help with any pain issues, please call our Langhorne, Pennsylvania office at 215.741.7031. We help patients throughout Bucks County, Mercer, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties. We see many patients from Langhorne, Newtown, Fairless Hills, Levittown, Bristol, Richboro, and

 

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What is Whiplash

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a common result of a car accident – especially a rear-end collision. It can also be caused by falls sports injuries and high-impact activities. The injury occurs when the head and neck are forced  backwards and forwards – putting quick and extreme stresses on the cervical spine. The formal name for a whiplash is Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration Syndrome.

Whiplash symptoms

The most typical symptom is neck pain which can be minor or quite  painful.  People who suffer whiplash may also have a stiff neck, loss of range of motion of the neck, headaches, upper back pain, and shoulder pain. Symptoms can also include tingling and numbness.There may be companion injuries such as a concussion, a pinched nerve that radiates into the arm, and injury to the shoulder.

Whiplash and Pain Management

The normal recovery time for whiplash is about three (3) months. Some patients, though, can have chronic pain which can last for years. Some of the reasons the recovery time can be longer for some people  are:

• Old age

•Post-traumatic stress

•Strong pain at the time of the initial impact

• Being female

Whiplash may appear at the time of the accident or may take a day to present symptoms.

Signs that the whiplash  is chronic or that a pain management doctor should be consulted

Anyone who has a car accident or any accident that triggers or might trigger  whiplash should see  a doctor immediately. Some of the signs that the whiplash is not resolving as it should and that a pain management doctor  should be seen are:

• Severe pain

• The neck is unstable

• Tingling and numbness that extends into the arm, hand, or should

• Loss of balance

• Emotional disorders including difficulty sleeping, depression, and an inability to concentrate

• Dizziness

• Problems with vision

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor will take your medical history, conduct a  physical examination, and order diagnostic tests if nerve damage or a fracture is suspected.

• The medical history will include questions about how the accident happened.

• The physical exam will  include range of motion tests, feeling for palpitations. The doctor may also test your reflexes and your muscle strength.

• Diagnostic tests, if more serious problems are suspected, will likely include an X-Ray, an MRI, and/or a CT Scan.

The doctor may categorize the seriousness of the whiplash according to the Quebec  Task Force Whiplash Associated Disorder Classification System Treatment for Whiplash Treatment normally includes:

• Rest

• Ice or heat

• Medications such as Tylenol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin.

• Physical therapy

• Injections such as a cervical epidural steroid injection

• Radiofrequency neurotomy

• Mental health counseling

• Acupuncture

Other remedies may include massages and chiropractic manipulations.

For help with any pain issues, please call our Langhorne, Pennsylvania office at 215.741.4410. We help patients throughout Bucks County, Mercer, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties. We see many patients from Langhorne, Newtown, Fairless Hills, Levittown, Bristol, Richboro, and Doylestown.

Disclaimer: This blog and all of our blogs do  not create a doctor/patient relationship. For medical advise, please make an appointment with our office.

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If You’re in Pain, You’re Not Alone. New Study Shows Pain in America Is Rising

A recent study by Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, a medical sociologist at the University of Buffalo, studied close to 20,000 adults 51 years of age and older. She followed the adults from the years 1998 to 2010. She asked the adults over this 12 year span to categorize their pain as severe, moderate, or mild.

Her study concluding that chronic pain (severe pain) is rising. People aged 60 and above in 2010 experienced more pain than people in their 60s in 1998.

Her study also found that people with less money and less education had more severe pain than others. 80% of those with less education were more likely to have chronic pain than those who were educated. People without a high school degree were almost four times as likely to have chronic pain as someone who had a graduate degree.

Similar observations were made across economic classes.

Severe or chronic pain was defined as the inability to do daily chores or perform normal work.

The study confirms the need for quality pain treatments.

 

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What is a Fluoroscopic-Guided Hip Injection?

A fluoroscopic-guided hip injection is a medical procedure that uses ultrasound images to inject an inflammation-reducing steroid into the part  of the hip that is causing chronic pain. It can be done several times during a year. It is used for people with moderate pain and severe pain.

Before the procedure

Before the hip-injection is done, pain management doctors conduct an examination to see if the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. The doctor will explain the procedure and advise what to expect and what the risks are. Patients should feel free to ask their doctors any questions they have about the procedure.

During the procedure

First, the doctor with sanitize the hip and inject numbing medicine to reduce discomfort. Then, a fluoroscope will be put over the hip which the pain doctor will use to inject a contrast dye. The contrast dye helps the doctor know where to inject the next medicine. The pain doctor then injects an anti-inflammatory pain relief medication into the targeted area.

After the procedure

Patients normally experience pain immediately after the pain. The pains should subside and the patient should hopefully feel  relief for a few weeks.

To discuss you pain management issues, please  call us at 215.741.7031

Our office is located in Langhorne, PA. We see patients from Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Richboro, Levittown, Trenton, Philadelphia,  Montgomery County, Bucks  County, and Mercer County.

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Stem Cell Therapy and Pain Management

 

 

Bone Marrow  Cells

Will Stem Cell Therapy be an Option for Back Pain?

Stem cell research is actively taking place to hopefully help people with many different diseases such as heart disease and Parkinson’s. The question then rises – will stem cells be able to help people with back pain?

Stem Cell Research

Stem cells have the ability to repair internal systems and also help other cells in the body. Ideally, they could be used to help repair bones, muscles, tissues, bloods, and all the internal body pieces that affect someone’s pain.

Stem cells can be taken from a person’s bone marrow such as the rear of the hip. The theory is to then inject these cells into the damaged tissue or anatomy with the hope and goal of regenerating the damaged tissue or anatomy.

There are concerns and dangers in using stem cells. One risk is that the cells may cause cell mutations which could lead to tumors. So far, the risk of cell mutation has not been a realized danger with bone marrow stem cells.’

Stem cells may, in time, be used to treat disc degeneration which often occurs due aging or injury. Disc degeneration can lead to degenerative disc disease and disc herniation, both of which can be quite painful.

Current interventional techniques such as injections do help but there are some limitations with injections. Injections don’t repair the underlying problem though they do help with pain relief. The use of stem cell therapy to treat pain is currently be explored

Disclaimer. This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

For questions about  pain management, please call our office at 215.741.7031. Our office is  in Langhorne, PA. We see patients from throughout Bucks County including Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Bensalem, and Doylestown. We also see patients from Philadelphia, Montgomery County, and Mercer County.

 

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Some Easy Steps to Improve Spinal Pain

Many people with spinal pain can benefit from the following three measures. If you have any questions or concerns about these steps, please call our office.

Walk

A daily walk helps to strengthen the main muscles the support the spine. A walk helps improve flexibility, gets essential nutrients and oxygen to the spine, and helps support your spine’s bone structure.Walkers should walk with their head held high and their shoulders straight. Walkers should build up slowly by taking short walks and then working towards one good long healthy walk. The weather is getting warm. So now is an ideal time to add a walk to your routine.

Eat a nutritious health diet

Eating healthy for spine improvement is, in many ways, similar eating healthy to improve your heart. The basics are plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Try to avoid processed foods and limit the amount of your sugar intake.Eating healthy not only directly improves your spine, it helps you lost weight. Excess weight puts more pressure on the back and the spine.

Consider using a standing desk

While most people know the benefits of exercise and nutrition, there is one newer strategy that can help your spine. Sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spinal discs. Standing can help reduce that pressure. Today, there are many office stores that offer standing desks that allow you to do your work while standing. These desks can be adjusted to allow you to work at a comfortable level while you’re standing. Many people who use standing desks start slowly and then build up the number of tasks they do and the amount of time they spend standing.

Disclaimer.

The information is for educational purposes only. Please make an appointment so we can formally review your medical condition.

For medical help, please phone us at 215.741.7031 to schedule a consultation. We see clients from Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Bensalem, Doylestown, and across Bucks County. We also see patients from appointment. We see clients in Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Mercer, and neighboring counties. Our office is in Langhorne, PA

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What is Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root (near thevertebrae in the neck) is compressed. Cervical is a medical word for neck. Harm to these cervical roots can cause pain in the neck and in the upper parts of the body.

What are the Causes?
Some of the causes of cervical radiculopathy are arthritis, degenerative disease to the bones, a disc that ruptures or other nerve root injuries.

Older patients tend to suffer from  degenerative diseases. Younger people suffer nerve root damage in  the neck through a rupture or some trauma such as injury. A car accident or lifting something heavy can cause cervical pain.

What are the Symptoms?
The principal symptom is pain or  inflammation in the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, shoulders and the upper part of the back.
Other symptoms include weakness of the muscles, numbness and even tingling. You may also notice a lack of coordination – especially in the hands.
Pain extends to the areas served by the nerve. This is why cervical radiculopathy can also affect the arms and upper body as well as the neck

What is the Diagnosis?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and take your medical history. The doctor may also take some medical images.

What is the Treatment?
Treatments typically include medications and therapy. In some cases surgery may be used to relieve the pain.
Medications include anti-inflammatory drugs (called corticosteroids) and non-steroidal pain medications like ibuprofen (Motrin or Aleve).
Steroids may be given either orally or through an epidural injection. Epidural injections are so-called because the injection is into the space above the “dura.” The dura is the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord.
Physical therapy techniques include  cervical traction (like that shown at right) and exercises to strengthen the affected area.
Surgery can be an option if the nerve compression is too severe.

Disclaimer

The information is for educational purposes only. Please make an appointment so we can formally review your medical condition. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

For medical help  please call our office at 215.741.7031 to schedule  an  appointment. We see clients in Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Mercer, and neighboring counties. Our office is in Langhorne, PA

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