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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 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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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on July 16, 2015

Sciatica typically occurs from a herniated disc or narrowing of the spinal canal. These actions can cause sciatic pain that begins in the lower back and travels down the legs. Although preventing sciatica generally goes hand-in-hand with preventing spine disorders or condition, there are some health factors, like age or a history of poor spine health, that could increase a person’s risk. Nevertheless, patients should start paying attention to their body mechanics. Studies over the years have indicated body movements and certain positions could increase your risk of sciatica. 

Four things patients should keep in-check throughout their day includes: posture, sitting position, lifting technique and sleeping....

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on July 10, 2015

 30-Second Blog “Snapshot:” 

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that delivers low-voltage electrical currents to areas causing chronic pain.
  • This procedure is generally recommended for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions such as back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, bursitis or osteoarthritis.
  • Utah’s leading pain management practice discusses the benefits of TENS units for chronic pain.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a unique, highly effective treatment option for individuals suffering from a chronic musculoskeletal pain condition. Individuals with muscle,...

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Submitted by Chelsey Ballarte on July 8, 2015

Living in chronic pain may force you to modify your life a little. If you love hiking, you may need to pass up hiking Mt. Everest and settle for a flat, even-path overlooking Utah’s gorgeous mountain views. If you used to be a gym buff, you may need to exercise at a slower pace and opt for a yoga class over something as strenuous as CrossFit. Although these modifications can make living with chronic pain a little more tolerable, there really isn’t a way to “modify” how you parent. 

Our team recently reviewed an article in Slate Magazine titled, “Parenting With Chronic Pain.” This article described the struggle we often hear from patients. It was a heartbreaking story about a...

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Submitted by Rachel Cohen on July 3, 2015

30-Second Blog “Snapshot:”

  • Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered one in four seniors who’ve been in a car crash are at an increased risk of developing chronic pain afterward.
  • The new study also suggests individuals who suffer head, neck, jaw, lower back or leg injuries are more likely to have persistent pain.
  • The leaders in Utah pain management at Southwest Spine and Pain Center discuss the results of the study, and what can be done for seniors suffering from chronic pain after a car accident or injury.

According to Annals of Emergency Medicine, car...

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