215.741.4410 Two Convenient Locations in: Langhorne, PA

Oxford Valley Pain & Spine Center's Blog

Glossary of Pain Management Terms (A-F)

  • Acute: Pain that can be intense but usually lasts for a short period of time, usually shorter than six months. It usually relates to a bodily injury and ends  when the injury heals.
  • Acupuncture – medical technique that uses  tiny needles inserted in the skin at certain points along the body to help manage pain, produce anesthesia or promote therapy
  • Analgesic: A medication or treatment that  manages or relieves pain.
  • Arthritis: A generic term that describes over 100 different conditions; a disorder of a joint where two bones meet, creating swelling,  redness, warmth or tenderness. Includes loss of joint space and formation of spurs,  erosions or cysts in the bone.
  • Cancer Pain: May be acute, chronic or intermittent pain – often related to tumor recurrence or treatment
  • Central nervous system: The brain and spinal cord.
  • Chronic: Pain that lasts months or years. It may get worse with time.
  • Complementary Medicine: Treatment that falls outside the standard medical approaches. Complementary medicine techniques for pain may include acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs and yoga.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: Diagnostic procedure that uses computers and X-ray technology.
  • Cryotherapy: Therapeutic use of cold to  decrease discomfort, reduce swelling or break a muscle spasm.
  • Conservative management: An approach to treating pain that uses physical therapy, medication and injections instead of surgery
  • Fibromyalgia: Chronic disorder that causes pain and stiffness throughout the body including muscle pain, fatigue, and often depression

We’ll have definitions soon.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this blog 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. If you’re experiencing pain, please phone our Langhorne, PA office at 215.741.7031.

Contact us

Our pain management doctors and team help patients in Langhorne, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

Posted in Pain Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pain Management Acronyms and Abbreviations

Here are a few common acronyms that are used by pain management professionals

AE. Adverse effect

BDS- Bone density scan

CAM. Complementary and alternative medicine

CPM. Chronic pain management

CT. Computer Aided Tomography

DC. Doctor of Chiropractic

EMG.  Electromyography

ESI. Epidural Steroid Injection

FI. Facet Injection

FJ. Facet Joint

HRQOL. Health-related quality of life

IM. Intramuscular

IV. Intravenous

mg. Milligrams

MRI.Magnetic Resonance Imaging

NB. Nerve block

NS. Neurostimulation

NSAIDS. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

nRCT. Nonrandomized controlled trial

OT. Occupational Therapy

PM. Pain management

PT. Physical Therapy

PRP. Platelet Rich Plasma.

RFA. Radio Frequency Ablation

RSD. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

RX. Prescription Only

TENS. Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation

US. ultrasound

Disclaimer

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

Contact us

Please call our office if you are having any back, neck, or spinal pain or discomfort.Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

Posted in Pain Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Advantages of Exercise for Back Pain

Spine Health recently wrote about some of the ways exercise can help with back pain. According to Spine Health, some of the advantages of exercise include:

  • By make the muscles that support one’s spine stronger, that removes “pressure from the spinal discs and facet joints.”
  • Exercise helps improve a person’s ability to move
  • Exercise can reduce stiffness
  • Better circulation (a byproduct of exercise) helps essential nutrients get to your spinal discs
  • Exercise releases the chemicals, called endorphins, which help with pain relief. If enough endorphins are releases, there’s less need for medications. Endorphins also help with some of the emotional downsides of chronic pain – such as mood swings and depression.
  • Exercise helps make the pain feel less severe

Before starting any exercises routine, the patient should first consult with his/her pain management physician. Some of the issues the physician will review are:

  • Explaining your current diagnosis and assessing how severe your pain level is
  • Reviewing ways to relive the pain
  • Reviewing how much exercise you should strive for and the quality of that exercise

Patients should understand that an exercise program requires an ability and desire to stick to the program over time. Patients should stop and consult with their doctor if the pain worsens. If exercise is improving the pain, than an exercise routine should continue.

Generally, patients are more likely to stick to an exercise program if they like the program. Many patients find walking pleasurable because the prettiness of the surroundings distracts them from the work of exercise.

 

Posted in Exercise | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Regenerative Medicine for Knee Pain – Part Two

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is another regenerative medicine therapy that is being used to manage pain. There are two types of stem cells – embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic cells are taken from human embryos. Adult stem cells have restorative abilities. Unlike embryonic stem cells which can be used to treat many times of medical problems, adult stem cells are used for more specific problems such as damage to the brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscles and a few other parts of the human anatomy.

The use of embryonic cells is relatively controversial. The use of adult stem cells, which use your own cells (not someone else’s) is generally not controversial.

Stem cell therapy essentially uses a concentrated amount of stem cells to tissue that is damaged. This increases the likely ability of the stem cells to repair or regenerate health tissue. It is being used in different medical fields including orthopedics and neuromuscular disorders.

Orthopedics and stem cell therapy

A particular type of stem cells (called stroma cells) can help regenerate fat, bone, and cartilage. These cells are currently being used to treat muscle, ligament, and tendon damage. Stroma cells are also being used to help treat arthritis of the knee and hip.Stem cell therapy is a non-surgical procedure. A doctor extracts the stroma cells from  bone marrow located around your hip. A centrifuge is then used to concentrate the cells. The cells are then injected not the area of the body that is in pain – sometimes with the help of an ultrasound machine.

The procedure can be done in an ambulatory setting. It normally takes about one hour.Patients can normally return to work within one day though they will be advised to avoid physical labor for about two weeks.

Patients normally are told Not to take NSAIDS for a while because these medications can hinder the healing process.While the procedure doesn’t require surgery and uses your own cells, there are no guarantees. The use of stem cell therapy is still be researched for its effectiveness. Patients should review the risks of complications with their physician. Patients should also review whether insurance will or will not cover the procedure.

Disclaimer

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

Contact Us

Please call our office if you are having any back, neck, or spinal pain or discomfort.
Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

Posted in Pain Management | Leave a comment

Regenerative Medicine for Knee Pain – Part One

Regenerative Medicine for Knee Pain – Part One

PRP Therapy

There are several new approaches to treating a wide variety of pain issues including pain in the knee. Two of the most promising approaches are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy.

Some famous athletes like tennis player Rafael Nadal have used PRP for their injured knees. As with many pain treatments, a comprehensive approach with includes physical therapy, diet, and other treatments is important.An array of treatment options are available for our patients, depending upon the condition, which includes:

PRP therapy

Your blood contains sever ingredients. The red liquid part is the plasma. The other key ingredients are red cells, white cells, and platelets. The platelets, in addition to helping your blood to clot, also have proteins which help injuries heal. These proteins are also known as “growth factors.”The PRP process essentially enriches the plasma with higher concentrations of these growth factors. A specific proves is used to achieve this enriched state. The good news is that the enrichment process uses your own blood. It doesn’t’ rely on someone else’s blood.The key steps are:

  • Blood is drawn from the patient
  • The platelets are separated out and their concentration is increased. The process used to increase the platelet level is called centrifugation.
  • The site where you are experiencing pain is treated with the increased platelet/platelet combination.
  • Injection. The solution is injected, usually with a local anesthetic, into the part of the body this is hurting. It may time a month or so before the patient feels better
  • Surgery, If surgery is needed to treat a patient’s pain, then the PRP solution may be used to  help improve the healing process.

PRP therapy is being used for a variety of acute and chronic pain problems. It does seem to help with tendon, muscle, and ligament damage injuries. Research is still being done to determine the effectiveness of PRP treatments. The evidence for the effectiveness in PRP for fractures is limited compared to the promise it may help with tendon, muscle, and ligament damage.

Disclaimer

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

Call us

Please call our office if you are having any back, neck, or spinal pain or discomfort.
Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

PRP does appear to have minimal risks. The likelihood of problems due to infections and tissue damage appear to be similar to the risks associated with cortisone injections.

Posted in Pain Management, PRP, Stem Cell Therapy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is Vertebroplasty

What is Vertebroplasty?

According to John Hopkins University, “vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a special cement is injected into a fractured vertebra — with the goal of relieving your spinal pain and restoring your mobility.” It may be considered if more conservative methods such as bed rest, physical therapy, back braces and other approaches don’t work.  Your doctor may recommend the procedure if you have a fractured vertebra that has led to respiratory problems, deep vein thrombosis, worsening osteoporosis, and other physical and emotional problems.
As with all procedures there are benefits and risks. The medical school states that the risks are minor.

Known risks include

  • Loss of Blood
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Irritation of the nerve root
  • Fractures
  • Leakage of the Cement
  • Increased pain while the cement cures – a rare occurrence.

How the procedure works

Your pain doctor will usually order an X-Ray and conduct an physical and oral exam. He/she may order an MRI, or a CT scan. The doctors will ask you to say all the medications you’re taking including any herbal supplements and over the counter medications. The doctor will want to know if you are taking anything that might make it hard for your blood to clot.

During the vertebroplasty procedure, the physician:

  • Will give you medicine to sedate your or a general anesthesia
  • “Uses a continuous X-ray to guide the needle into the fractured vertebra, with your body protected from the radiation”
  • Injects cement into the vertebra

After the medical procedure, you’ll lie on your back for an hour so the cement can harden. You’ll be observed for another hour or two. Pain relief may be immediate or may take up to three days. The doctor will follow up with you to assess how well the procedure worked.

Disclaimer

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

Contact Us

Please call our office if you are having any back, neck, or spinal pain or discomfort.

Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

 

Posted in Pain Management, Treatments and Procedures | Tagged | Leave a comment

Two prestigious medical hospitals explain the causes of back and neck pain

Common Causes of Neck and Back Pain

According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, these are some of the more common causes of neck and back pain. For many patients, there are multiple causes.

  • Trauma due to an accident or other event
  • Infection
  • Excess weight
  • Poor muscle tone quality
  • Sprains and strains
  • Repetitive stress
  • Overuse or strenuous use of the back and neck
  • A tumor, bone spur, or other abnormal growth
  • Vertebrae degeneration
  • Muscle spasm or tension
  • Tears of the ligaments or muscles
  • Smoking
  • A herniated or protruding disc
  • A pinched nerve
  • Osteoporosis
  • Congenital abnormalities of the bones or spine
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Joint disorders

According to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Three of the leading physical causes are:

  • Disc disorders. Discs the “gel-like cushions that rest between the vertebrae (bones in the spine). They help maintain the natural curvature of your spine, and allow your back to flex or bend. And most importantly, discs absorb shock as you walk or run.”A ruptured or herniated disc causes the jelly-like center to leak. This irritates nearby nerves. Many young people develop herniated discs – as well as older people. Older people often have disc problems because their discs dry out. This makes them more rigid and less pliable – creating an increased risk of a herniated disc.
  • Osteoarthritis. This a kind of arthritis that occurs to the wear and tear of old age. Essentially, the cartilage which connect the vertebrae starts to wear away. The discs lose water and narrow – which puts pressure on the joints and causes inflammation. Osteoarthritis often causes back pain.Spine of the neck is often due to condition called spondylosis which occurs when the bones and cartilage of the neck suffer abnormal wear,
  • Spinal stenosis. This is a narrowing of the spine which “puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, causing pain, numbness, or cramping.” Aging is a major cause of spinal stenosis. Other causes include arthritis, herniated discs, bone disease, injuries, and tumors.

Disclaimer

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

Please call our office if you are having any back, neck, or spinal pain or discomfort.

Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

Posted in Back pain, Pain Management | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn Gardening Tips to Reduce Pain

Gardening is a wonderful way to feel good about the world. As the colder weather approaches, many people try get in their gardening chores before the winter frosts come in. Autumn is a great time for planting.

Here are a few pain precaution tips during this gardening season:

  • Wear warm clothes that keep you warm but that don’t constrict your movements.
  • Start slowly  and warm-up to heavier tasks. Gradual steps help muscles ease into the workload. Doing heavy work  first increases  the odds of straining your muscles.
  • Avoid overreaching and overstretching. Get as close as possible to the things you want to  prune or  work on even if it means getting a little  dirtier. The rights  tools can hep you reach vegetation, flowers, and bushes that you can’t easily reach.
  • Use a utility belt to keep your tools near you. This helps reduce movements to reach for spades and  other equipment
  • When using a rake, keep your torso in line with the rake. When you’re done raking, bend both knees with a straight back to pick up the leaves or other gardening items.
  • Get up once  in a while. It’s not good for joints or muscles to stay in one position for long  stretches of time. Try to move or stretch every 20 minuets or so.
  • Stay hydrated. Even in cooler weather, it helps to drink plenty of liquids.
  • Consider buying the right items to make gardening easier. For example, a gardening trolley can help you move heavier items. Get the kids  to  help move heavy bags.

Disclaimer

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

Our doctors and team help patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031For those of you who deal with chronic pain, does cold weather worsen your pain?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spinal Pain

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, rheumatoid arthritis is a possible contributor to spinal pain and pain in the joints and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis contributes to pain, in part, because it inflames the joints.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include neck and back pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Back stiffness
  • Inability or difficulty moving joints
  • Pain near the base of the skull

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and pain

Home treatments

  • Ice packs that are used  within the first two  days of experiencing pain may help. After two days, applying heat to the muscles may be the better option.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications. Over the counter NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may help. It’s best to check with your doctor before starting any new medications.
  • Stretching. Gentle stretches and trying to stay mobile can help. Many people find water-based stretching and exercise beneficial.
  • Reducing stress. Some ways to reduce stress include meditation, listening to quite music, writing in a journal, and spending time with friends.
  • Lifestyle changes. People with RA and most people generally are healthier if they – quite smoking, lose weight, and eat a healthy diet
  • Massages and physical therapy may also  help

Medical treatments

When home treatments don’t work, anyone with RA pain issues  should see a pain management doctor or other appropriate doctors. The doctors may recommend imaging tests to held determine where the pain is and what may be causing the pain. In some cases, surgical procedures may be an option.

Disclaimer

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

Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

Posted in Back pain, Pain relief, Rheumatoid arthritis | Tagged | Leave a comment

Back Pain at Work

According to OSHA  (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the federal agency that tracks workplace safety, back pain is the second leading cause of workplace injury after hand injuries.

Back injury can include spinal cord damage, pinched nerves, disc damage, fractures, and other serious medical problems. Back pain is usually due to lifting, pulling, carrying, twisting, and other motions. Sometimes one incident can cause the back pain. Other times, back pain accumulates over a period of time.

The spine is made of 24 vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are discs that help the vertebrae move and function properly. When discs are damaged, the vertebrae rub against each other causing pain.

Pain can also be due to muscle damage, pinched nerves, stretched ligaments, and other physical problems.

There are many types of treatment for back pain. The most mild is hot or cold compresses. The most extreme treatment is surgery. Inbetween, your pain management doctors may recommend steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, and other treatments.

Disclaimer

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

Workers who suffer back pain should consult with a worker’s compensation attorney for advice on their legal remedies.

Injured workers should feel free to contact our pain management office. We have extensive experience helping injured workers. Our husband and wife medical team helps patients in Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Bensalem, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.4410

 

Posted in Back pain, Workplace | Tagged , , | Leave a comment