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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 14, 2014

It’s Thanksgiving, and guess who’s hosting this year? Why, you of course! On one hand, seeing family and friends will be the cherry on top of a perfect year! On the other, your chronic pain symptoms are undoubtedly going to get in the way of hosting this event.

You may have mixed feelings about hosting this year’s Thanksgiving festivities (completely understandable), but do not panic! The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are here to help. Consider these tips for hosting your Thanksgiving meal or party this year, without pain.

1. Plan Ahead

Rushing at the very last minute to finish holiday preparations will, more than likely, exacerbate your chronic pain symptoms. Avoid this completely by setting...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 12, 2014

Opioids have been helping individuals manage pain symptoms from injuries, chronic conditions and illnesses for centuries. Unfortunately, drug dependency is an issue not only for American civilians, but for the brave men and women who serve in our military too.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse is higher among service members than civilians and it is currently on the rise; the number of service members reporting misuse from prescription drugs increased from 9 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2008.

The specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center care deeply about providing patients (service members and civilians alike) with the help they need, whether it is through a highly controlled prescription medication, injection or...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 7, 2014

Could genes play a role in chronic pain? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this from time to time and have wondered why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others. More importantly, why do you have to suffer from these torturous symptoms?

We understand your frustration, and according to a recent study published in Medical News Today, there could be an answer to this question. Researchers at Proove Biosciences have identified genetic similarities among patients with similar pain intensities. Meaning, the research team found gene variants that played a significant role in various levels of pain.

The future of pain management could change drastically if treatment options are produced as a result of this finding. The specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on November 5, 2014

Living with serious muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome? The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center may have a solution for you. Trigger point injections are used to treat painful areas that contain trigger points. Meaning, if you have knots of muscle that cannot and will not relax, you’re probably experiencing a considerable amount of pain and tightness from trigger points in the muscle.

Remedying these tricky trigger points can come in the form of an injection that contains a local anesthetic or saline, with a possible corticosteroid. When injected, the trigger point is made “inactive” and the pain is quickly alleviated.

Sometimes, a needle with no medication is inserted into the trigger point. This is referred to...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on October 31, 2014

Pain caused by sickle cell disease can be mild or severe— symptoms vary, but at it’s most severe, sickle cell disease can lead to strokes, severe infections and permanent damage to vital organs (i.e. brain, heart, lungs, liver). The double-board certified pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center understand managing chronic pain from sickle cell disease can feel daunting, but they want to assure patients there are treatment options available.

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that result in atypical hemoglobin molecules “sickling” healthy red blood cells, making them break down prematurely. The disease can be detected in children as early as 4 months old and usually induces extreme pain, shortness of breath and anemia.

If you have acute or...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on October 29, 2014

Attempting to eat well this Halloween season may not be entirely realistic; especially if you have a serious sweet tooth and love to indulge in a piece of candy now and again. Unfortunately, if you’re living with chronic pain, you might not have much of a choice in the matter. The simple sugars in cookies, candy and soft drinks trigger your body’s inflammatory response and cause pain.

The medical team at Southwest Spine and Pain Center don’t want you to be in pain during Halloween, but they also don’t want you to miss out on all of the spook-tacular fun. Our solution? Consume Halloween candy alternatives that won’t irritate your chronic pain symptoms.

It is possible to enjoy tasty treats without pain. Check out these nutritious Halloween substitutes to satiate...

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Submitted by Rachel Meyer on October 24, 2014

As we move into the colder winter months, many chronic pain sufferers with a variety of conditions may find their pain worsening. At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, our pain management specialists encourage chronic pain patients to be aware of the affects weather can have on their condition and to schedule an appointment at any Southwest Spine and Pain Center location for help with management of your chronic pain.

Joint pain is one of the most common chronic pain conditions that worsens with changes in weather. Studies suggest that a change in barometric pressure is the culprit for pain increases associated with weather changes. Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us, and a change in that pressure will cause either more or less weight to push...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on October 24, 2014

Training for a marathon is tough-- more so if you’re living with chronic pain. The specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center know firsthand how debilitating chronic pain can be, but it’s important to do things you love. Don’t let pain define your body’s limitations; if you’re considering running a marathon, go for it! Just be cognizant of your abilities and avoid these common marathon-training mistakes:

Do Not Increase Running Intensity Too Quickly!

Researchers at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine consider running 15 to 25 miles per week a solid indicator of being marathon-running ready. If you’re huffing and puffing after one mile, that’s okay, just don’t increase your workout intensity/mileage too quickly to try and meet those...

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Submitted by Rachel Meyer on October 17, 2014

One of the greatest advantages of visiting a pain management specialist at Southwest Spine and Pain Center is their ability to perform onsite minimally invasive procedures that allow you to return home the same day while effectively managing your pain. A vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed for spinal compression fractures and has shown great success in decreasing pain.

 A spinal compression fracture can occur from a trauma, or can be due to osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones. Depending on the severity of osteoporosis, every day activities like lifting something can cause a spinal compression fracture – and in the most severe cases, a sneeze could cause a fracture.

Most fractures occur in the front of the vertebra, which causes...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on October 15, 2014

With the 2014 Major League Baseball World Series beginning next week, the specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center would like to discuss an all-too-common injury that frequents these athletes: chronic shoulder pain.

Chronic shoulder pain can develop for those involved in “overhead throwing” sports like volleyball, tennis and swimming. The constant overhead motion, however, seems to have the greatest impact on baseball pitchers and throwers. Because each throw puts a significant amount of stress on rotator cuff muscles, baseball players can experience immobility and discomfort much quicker than other athletes.

So, when can this injury occur? In baseball, there are five phases associated with pitching or throwing: wind-up, early cocking, late cocking, acceleration,...

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