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Submitted by Rachel Meyer on December 24, 2014

At Southwest Spine and Pain Center in Utah, our pain management doctors understand that chronic pain can make other conditions worse, or can be made worse by other conditions. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD can be related to chronic pain conditions, just as depression can.

There are no true identified causes of SAD, but many experts believe that it is related to hormonal changes in the brain that occur at certain times of the year. It is thought that the lack of daylight in the winter time may also contribute, as the brain makes less serotonin, which is a chemical linked to regulation of mood.

SAD usually begins in young adulthood and is more common in women than men. There are some individuals who experience SAD that only have mild symptoms of irritability or feel...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on December 19, 2014

Changes in the weather can be major triggers for those enduring chronic migraines. Bright sunlight, high humidity, dry air, extreme wind and drastic changes in temperature can all cause imbalances in brain chemicals, causing migraines.

The double-board certified pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center provide comprehensive pain care. They know that whether you’re suffering from acute or chronic pain, living your life to the fullest is what’s important. Therefore, if you suffer from migraines that are triggered by weather, there are a few things you can do to lessen their effects.

Some researchers suggest people with frequent headaches, including migraines, may have a lower pain threshold (i.e. light-induced discomfort, noise intolerance and...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on December 12, 2014

Before the development of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, physicians generally used cortisone injections to relieve moderate to severe muscle/joint inflammation and (some) pain. However, with the creation of PRP injections, physicians can now alleviate inflammation and pain as well as aid the damaged tissue’s healing process.

Despite a few minor differences, both therapies provide patients with some level of pain relief. Regardless, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are covering the differences between the two therapies and which one may be best for reducing your pain.

Corticosteroids, the substances inside cortisone injections, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are often recommended for patients...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on December 10, 2014

Before we begin discussing pillow options for back pain, it’s important patients understandthere is no one “best” pillow that can/will alleviate all of your back pain problems and/or symptoms. Finding a pillow to minimize or reduce back pain symptoms, however, is achievable, but also varies from person-to-person.

Not every person suffers from the same kind of back pain, so taking a friend or family member’s suggestions on his or her “favorite pillows” should be done with a grain of salt. That being said, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center want to help you find a pillow that is right for you, and you alone. After discussing your concerns with one of the physicians, you should have a better idea of what pillow could relieve some of your back pain....

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on December 5, 2014

We’ve written about platelet-rich injections in previous blogs, but have never discussed why this particular therapy could be a great alternative to others when it comes to treating chronic low-back pain. Of course, the effectiveness of PRP injections depends on the source and/cause of your back pain. Some of the most common back and spinal conditions involve damaged discs and/or compression of nerve roots, i.e. herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. These conditions, however, do not really benefit from PRP injections—muscle strains, damaged ligaments and tendons, and muscle fibrosis in the back, do.  

The pain management...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on December 3, 2014

Be honest, you’re probably pretty set on ugly sweaters, Christmas-themed socks and/or cheap gift cards to pricey stores as gifts this year. Of course the theory “it’s the thought that counts” still applies to gifts like those, but wouldn’t it be great to give or receive a gift that truly had thought behind it? The kind of gift that tells whomever is receiving it that you care about their wellbeing and that you searched high and low for the absolute perfect gift.

Well, ‘tis the season for giving, and the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center want to provide you with a few gift ideas if you or someone you know lives with chronic pain! See below for gifts that will help ease the pain of those suffering from fibromyalgia/chronic pain.


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Submitted by Rachel Meyer on November 28, 2014

For those who are experiencing chronic back pain, movement may seem like it will cause more pain, and rest should make it better. At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, our pain management specialists will often recommend movement to help relieve chronic back pain, and will advise against immobilizing and rest.

One of the best pieces of advice to try to stick to if you work at a computer is to get up at least twice an hour to move around, stretch, and walk a bit. The average American sits six or more hours per day, and in addition to other chronic health conditions, this can lead to chronic back pain.

Depending on your chronic back pain condition, different types of movement may be more beneficial than others. Yoga has shown to be extremely beneficial for those with chronic...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 25, 2014

Did you know that consuming one gram of ginger before undergoing surgery may help reduce your risk of nausea and vomiting post-surgery? Although ginger is most commonly known for it’s anti-nausea benefits, it also has a plethora of other health benefits. For example, studies have proven that ginger can reduce inflammation, improve digestion and alleviate pain.

The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are always looking into various treatment options for patients living with chronic pain, especially simple dietary changes or nutritional supplementations that can compliment Southwest Spine and Pain Center therapies. Regardless, the physicians always caution patients of potential allergic reactions, so talk to your physician before introducing any...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 21, 2014

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive pain management procedure that helps reduce symptoms associated with facet joint pain. Facet joint pain can occur anywhere in the spine, but is most common in the lower back and neck. Southwest Spine and Pain Center provides this treatment option to those suffering from chronic neck and back pain, and if eligible, highly recommends it for patients.

With the help of electrical currents and heat waves, this procedure can decrease pain signals from damaged nerve tissue and provide long-lasting relief. In some cases, lumbar radiofrequency can provide patients with several years of pain relief.

If you’re interested in radiofrequency ablation, consult your Southwest Spine and Pain Center physician. Most patients are...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 19, 2014

Eating the wrong foods at any point in time can cause serious inflammation, swelling and pain for chronic pain patients. Add holiday meals and we’ve got ourselves a game-over situation, people!

Time-out! The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are not going to let you accept defeat that easily, because holiday foods like turkey, stuffing, ham, pie and other side dishes can be enjoyed this year with a few minor adjustments.

Because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, let’s start with the most coveted food: turkey. Purchasing and consuming a turkey that’s grass-fed, organic and locally raised allows your...

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