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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on August 20, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:”

  • Roughly 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives, according to Mayo Clinic.
  • Back pain can range from a dull, mild ache to severe, debilitating pain depending on its cause.
  • The pain management physicians at Southwest Spine and Pain Center share common causes of low back pain.

Chronic low back pain can occur for any number of reasons, and unfortunately, when it occurs it may cause incapacitating discomfort. If your back pain has evolved to the point it requires frequent doctors visits or an absence from work, it may be time to see a pain management specialist. The physicians at Southwest Spine and Pain can suggest a...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on August 17, 2015

Patients who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia face a lot of criticism. They might often hear harsh phrases from their peers along the lines of, “But you don’t look sick!” But do the critics have a point? Is a patient who looks healthy and feels pain for no reason really just imagining it in his or her head? At Southwest Spine and Pain, we answer with no. Even though it has many misconceptions, fibromyalgia is a real condition that many patients suffer from. 

So where does this misconception that fibromyalgia is made up come from? One of the reasons is that fibromyalgia is a complex disease that stands out compared to other pain-...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on August 14, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:”

  • Conservative therapies, such as hot or cold packs, exercising, and over-the-counter pain relievers may help mitigate pain in between interventional pain treatments.
  • Patients hoping to relieve low back pain with a heat or ice pack may be confused about which one to use for their pain.
  • At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, Utah’s leading pain management group, physicians explain the difference between ice and heat packs for back pain.

Although ice and heat can be beneficial at relieving certain musculoskeletal pains, there are instances where one should be used over the other. A great rule of thumb to follow may be this: ice is for injuries; heat is for muscle pain. We’ll...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on August 13, 2015

Lumbago is a general term used to describe pain in the lower back. It affects millions of Americans per year and can be caused by abnormalities in the spine, joints, muscles, or nerves of the lower back. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, lumbago affects 80% of adults (typically job-related) and can be acute or chronic causing either a dull, aching pain or sudden, sharp pain. 


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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on August 7, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:”

  • Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that is difficult for many physicians to diagnose.
  • Although tough, there are certain tender points, or fibromyalgia pain points, along the body that help doctors diagnose the condition.
  • The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center explain what fibromyalgia pain points are and how they help identify this disabling disease.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread chronic muscle pain and tenderness. This condition is often accompanied by other debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, memory problems and mood swings. Although there is no cure, fibromyalgia is medically manageable through a combination of pain...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on August 5, 2015

Southwest Spine and Pain Center’s passion for advancement in pain management was brought to the public’s attention on Tuesday with an article from St. George News. The piece featured members of the SWSP team and discussed three clinical trials being held at the St. George location.

The three founding physicians Dr. Jon Obray, Dr. Rick Obray and Dr. Derek Frieden were also featured in the article for their accomplishments and prestigious fellowships at Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harvard University.

“They have such a great background, we even have patients come from out of state after...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on July 30, 2015

If you had chickenpox as a child, you may be at risk of developing shingles as an adult, as both conditions are produced by the same virus: varicella-zoster. Even after the condition has improved and symptoms have disappeared, people never truly recover from the disease. The virus lies dormant in the body and has the potential to resurface later in life. Research suggests that the virus comes back as an individual gets older and their immune system becomes weaker. The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are able to help patients understand what shingles pain is and how to prevent it from becoming chronic. 

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on July 24, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:”

  • According to a recent study by Kaiser Permanente, many chronic pain patients don’t inform their physicians of alternative therapies used to manage their pain.
  • Although patients are not required to disclose this information to their provider, its important patients do so in order to prevent mismanaged care.
  • The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center explain why patients should talk to their SWSP physician about seeking alternative pain treatments.

A study by Kaiser Permanente found more than 50 percent of chronic pain patients’ use either acupuncture or chiropractic treatment to manage pain. It’s perfectly normal for patients to consider alternative...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on July 22, 2015

Yoga is a complementary medical practice that can be used as a possible pain treatment. During a yoga session, the yoga instructor walks his or her students through a series of poses and breathing exercises. Yoga has been known to help patients with osteoarthritis, back pain, and other musculoskeletal problems by strengthening muscles and improving flexibility for better mobility and less pain. In addition, several studies have linked exercise to a better emotional state due to the neurotransmitters released at the time. So not only could yoga reduce stress, but also it could have lasting effects on pain reduction when paired with other treatments received at Southwest Spine and Pain. While yoga focuses on the mind and whole body, there are certain poses that specifically strengthen...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on July 17, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:” 

  • The temporomandibular joint works like a hinge by helping your jaw open and close; it connects your jawbone to your skull.
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a condition that causes pain and discomfort to the joint itself, or to the surrounding muscles that control movement.
  • The pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center explain treatment options for those suffering from TMJ disorders.

Some forms of TMJ, also called lockjaw, may benefit from nonsurgical or surgical treatment; especially if the patient in question is suffering from TMJ caused by arthritis. If you are experiencing...

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