Chelsey Ballarte's blog

Is Fibromyalgia Real?

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. 

What is Lumbago?

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. 

Southwest Spine and Pain Center Featured In St. George News

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.

Understanding Chronic Shingles Pain

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. 

Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

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.

4 Body Mechanics That May Prevent Sciatica

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. 

Raising Young Children in Chronic Pain

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. 

How to Help a Friend Deal with Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is the second most common reason for people to visit their primary care physician (the first being the common cold), according to the American Chiropractic Association. That being said, you may know someone suffering from chronic back pain. If your friend or loved one has been diagnosed with chronic back pain, there are many ways you can help them cope with their discomfort. 

Traveling with Pain

Thinking of traveling outside of Utah this summer? Vacations are supposed to be refreshing and relaxing, but unfortunately, chronic pain conditions combined with a change in routine can get in the way of enjoying your vacation.  

To enjoy your time away to the fullest, there may be some questions you should consider.