Chronic Pain Management | Pain Doctor | Tyler Texas

Chronic Pain Management Overview

Chronic pain can be a debilitating health condition for any Tyler, Texas area resident. Everyone feels pain from time to time when they pull a muscle, cut a finger or twist an ankle, but chronic pain is much different. In these cases, the body still experiences pain well after the injury has healed. The pain can last weeks, months or even years. Because ongoing pain has the ability to hinder everyday life, a proper chronic pain management program is critical. The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler have one goal – to help each and every patient overcome pain by utilizing the most modern and conservative pain management techniques available today.

An Overview of Chronic Pain

Pain doctors often define chronic pain as any form of pain that lasts more than 3 months with no injury present. Since the pain is consistent day to day, it can have serious effects on a patient’s life and mental health.

In some cases, chronic pain can begin without any obvious cause, but in many individuals, it begins after an injury or it is associated with a health condition. Some of the top causes include back issues, nerve damage, arthritis, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia and past injuries or surgeries. Besides the symptom of pain, individuals may also report soreness, stiffness, weakness, fatigue and difficulty sleeping to a pain doctor.

The Importance of Chronic Pain Management

There are a number of treatment options available to patients at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. As a multidisciplinary chronic pain management practice, the pain doctors develop a program focused on the entire person, not just the pain.

Multidisciplinary pain management programs allow patients the opportunity to become part of the treatment process. With this approach, the individual is able to take an active role in regaining control of their life in spite of the pain. This type of chronic pain management involves a team of medical professionals that utilize a variety of diagnostic tests and pain strategies to better control the pain so patients are able to enjoy daily life once again.

Common team members include pain doctors, nurses, physical therapists and psychologists, as well as the patient and their loved ones. The team is designed to provide a well-balanced approach to treatment.

The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler strive to alleviate pain in all patients, no matter the cause. The chronic pain management options available at the Tyler, Texas office include spinal decompression, physical therapy, injection therapy and in-depth diagnostic testing.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are struggling with ongoing pain, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today to discuss our chronic pain management treatment options.


Physical Therapy Month | Physical Rehabilitation | Tyler TX

National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month! Physical rehabilitation is one of the best healing methods following an injury, as well as an effective pain management tool. With the opioid epidemic at an all-time high, many healthcare providers are encouraging patients to find a safer alternative to treatment. Physical therapy is an ideal option. The physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help patients in the Tyler, Texas area alleviate pain and increase mobility by offering some of the best physical therapists in the area.

This Year’s Message – ‘Choose Physical Therapy’

National Physical Therapy Month occurs each October and is dedicated to raising awareness of this safe and effective pain management treatment. This year, many physicians are focusing on the option to ‘choose physical therapy’ over opioids and other potentially dangerous medications.

Since 1999, Americans have been prescribed opioids at an increasing rate. Painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin and methodone have created a health crisis in the United States with thousands of individuals dying each year from an overdose. Not all cases of prescription opioids are bad. When dosed appropriately, these medications are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, the risks associated with prescription medications include depression, addiction and withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using.

Because of this, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging physicians to reduce the prescription of opioids and offer safe, natural alternatives like physical rehabilitation.

The Many Benefits of Physical Rehabilitation

Professionally licensed physical therapists are trained to treat patients of all ages and abilities in order to improve motion and mobility while reducing the pain level.

Physical rehabilitation offers many benefits including:

  • Creates pain-free movement following an injury or chronic health condition
  • Helps avoid surgery and the long recovery process
  • Helps avoid opioid and other prescription medication dependence
  • Improves balance and helps prevent falls
  • Manages age-related issues such as arthritis and osteoporosis

A customized physical therapy program can help patients return to their prior level of functioning while reducing pain and other bothersome symptoms. Patients who often benefit from physical rehabilitation include victims of automobile accidents and work injuries, athletes with a sports injury and individuals affected by chronic pain, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, heart disease and head injuries.

To learn more about physical rehabilitation during National Physical Therapy Month, please contact the Tyler, Texas office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. Our physical therapy team is available to assist patients and help them return to an active, healthy and pain-free life.

Chronic Back Pain | Low Back Pain | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Chronic Back Pain

Even though the human body is very resilient and has the ability to heal on its own, countless people in the Tyler, Texas area experience chronic back pain. Low back pain is estimated to impact 80% of adults at some point, with ongoing pain being the most common cause of job-related disability and missed work days. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specializes in treating various causes of back pain with effective treatment options such as spinal decompression, pain management injections and physical therapy exercises.

What is Chronic Pain?

Pain fibers are a special form of nerves that are found throughout the body. These nerves carry pain signals to the brain to let the body know something is not right.

Pain has many benefits to the body. Pain helps the body release chemicals that promote healthy healing, as well as let the body know when it is pushed too far. When the body becomes injured, pain lets a person know where the injury is located and the type of pain helps a physician diagnose and treat the medical condition.

Acute pain occurs after an individual stubs a toe, breaks a bone or pulls a muscle. As the body heals, the pain subsides. Chronic pain is completely different. Chronic pain is characterized as pain that lasts longer than 3 months with no relief. Chronic pain is often found in patients with no injury present, which makes the health condition more difficult to control without medical assistance.

What to Know About Low Back Pain

Low back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and missed work days in the United States. In a large survey conducted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), more than 25% of adults reported low back pain within the past 3 months.

Low back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sharp, stinging sensation. Pain may be caused by lifting an object incorrectly, or from the spine gradually wearing down from age. In many cases, chronic back pain is associated with the spinal components degenerating. When the spine ages, the discs allow less shock absorption, which leads to disc ruptures and contact with surrounding nerves.

Top Causes of Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain has become a growing problem in recent years. The majority of low back pain cases are mechanical in nature. Some common causes of chronic back pain include:

  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Herniated or ruptured discs
  • Radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis

Treating Chronic Low Back Pain

The pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler understand that each case of low back pain is unique and requires a customized treatment approach. Our clinic offers innovative, conservative treatment options including physical therapy exercises, spinal decompression, pain management medications, epidural steroid injections and nerve block therapies.

To learn more about chronic back pain, or to diagnosis the cause of your low back pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.

Workers Compensation Doctors | Work Injuries | Tyler Texas

The Importance of Workers’ Compensation Doctors in East Texas

Work injuries are quite common in the Tyler, Texas area. Many workers are at risk of injury no matter what sector they are in, ranging from machinery injuries to carpal tunnel syndrome. When an injury occurs, residents of East Texas can depend on the workers’ compensation doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. The team works directly with employers, attorneys and insurance adjusters on a daily basis, so you can rest assured you are in good hands when it comes to a diagnosis, treatment plan and return to work.

The Most Common Work Injuries

Serious, and often debilitating, work injuries are common with a wide range of injuries that occur across all occupational sectors. In 2015 and 2016, 144 workers in the United States were killed and 621,000 estimated non-fatal injuries were reported in the workplace. These work injuries amounted to 4.5 million lost working days.

In order to keep employees working, employers must maintain a safe work area and allow break times, and employees must be extremely careful around machinery, when performing heavy lifting and other duties essential to their jobs.

Here are the most common work injuries:

  • Slips, trips and falls from spills, items not properly closed and put away, etc.
  • Muscle strains from heavy lifting and prolonged bending or squatting
  • Crashes and collisions in work vehicles, forklifts and other moving machinery
  • Repetitive strain injuries from poor posture, typing, filing, lifting and performing other work-related movements
  • Cuts and lacerations from improper protection and equipment usage
  • Walking into objects while not paying attention or items being unnecessarily moved

When to Contact Workers’ Compensation Doctors

When a worker becomes injured, navigating the medical process can cause stress and discomfort. The first step is to report any injury to an employer. If an injury is not reported at the time of incident, a claim may not be valid. The injured worker must then visit a workers’ compensation doctor for a diagnosis and thorough treatment plan.

The workers’ compensation doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler not only provide a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan, but they also perform a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) test to determine the injured workers ability to fully perform the physical demands of their jobs. The physicians also perform tests to determine the extent of bending, lifting and standing.

Any injured worker in the East Texas area can depend on Pain Recovery Center of Tyler to help them return to work in a timely manner. The workers’ compensation doctors are sensitive and understand the importance of communication between patient and employer.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and have experienced an injury at work, please contact the workers’ compensation doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. The physicians specialize in work injuries and strive to return workers to their jobs as quickly as possible.

Pain Awareness Month | Chronic Pain | Pain Management

September is Pain Awareness Month

Did you know nearly 100 million individuals in the United States suffer from chronic pain? That is more than those with cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. Living with pain can hinder everyday life and cause East Texas residents to no longer enjoy work, hobbies, sports or family time. Because of the large number of Americans that struggle with ongoing pain, September has been designated as Pain Awareness Month. The pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are here to share facts on chronic pain, common causes and the importance of pain management.

What is Chronic Pain?

Pain is defined as a warning sensation that indicates a problem within the human body that needs addressed. Pain begins in receptor nerve cells located beneath the skin and in organs throughout the entire body.

Chronic pain is typically characterized as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks (3 months). Acute pain is a normal sensation that occurs immediately after an injury and subsides as the injury heals, but chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain can last for months, or even years, without an injury present.

Common Causes of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the country. Common causes include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Headaches
  • Postsurgical pain
  • Post-trauma pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Nerve damage pain
  • Psychogenic pain (no injury, health condition or nerve damage present)

In certain individuals, chronic pain is present without any prior injury. This pain is often associated with fibromyalgia, endometriosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and TMJ.

The Importance of Pain Management

Pain management is an extremely important portion of the medical field. With millions of Americans struggling with chronic pain each day, pain physicians and their specialized training are critical for diagnosing and treating the pain.

There is no single test that can precisely locate and measure pain. Pain physicians often depend on various diagnostic tests and their patient’s own description of the type, location, severity and timing of chronic pain. When patients define pain as burning, tingling, dull, sharp, constant or off-and-on, pain physicians are better able to narrow down potential causes.

When it comes to chronic pain, the overall goal of treatment is to reduce pain while improving body function. The exact treatment plan is determined by the cause. Common treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications
  • Nerve blocks and other pain management injections
  • Spinal decompression
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Yoga
  • Psychotherapy

If you live in the East Texas area and are struggling with chronic pain, or would like to help a loved one during Pain Awareness Month, please contact the pain management office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.

Backpacks & Spine Health | Pain Management | East Texas

The Connection Between Backpacks & Spine Health

Back to school is here for East Texas students. Many students will be walking to and from school, as well as all around school, with heavy backpacks full of books and learning materials. All parents should be aware and monitor the weight of their child’s backpack throughout the year. Backpacks and spine health go hand-in-hand – too much weight carried on the back can lead to additional muscle stress and back pain. If you have questions about the weight of your child’s backpack, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Backpack Safety

One of the most exciting things about back to school is a child being able to pick out the latest style of backpacks. Backpacks have changed over the years and the majority of them now come with various compartments that help a child stay organized with school work, sports and after-school activities.

When worn correctly with the appropriate weight, the weight carried in the pack is evenly distributed across the body, reducing the risk of muscle and joint stress. It is important to note backpacks are commonly recommended by pain management doctors because they have the ability to be supported by the back and abdominal muscles, unlike messenger bags, shoulder bags and large totes.

Backpacks & Spine Health – What to Know as a Parent

Textbooks have gotten bigger and bigger over the years and more and more additional learning materials are necessary for each class. This combination leads to more weight being carried in backpacks each and every school day.

In a large study, it was found that over 33% of children between the ages of 11-14 years reported some level of back pain and discomfort. The students who carried heavier backpacks reported more back pain than the students who carried lighter backpacks. Many medical professionals agree that heavy backpacks can lead to spinal injuries including muscle fatigue, lumbar curvature and lumbar disc compression.

Backpacks and spine health are strongly connected in students of all ages. Heavy weight in backpacks can cause:

  • Rounding of the shoulders
  • Walking while leaning forward
  • Distortion of the back’s natural curve leading to muscle strain and joint irritation

The back pain and discomfort caused by a backpack too heavy can usually be alleviated with reduced activity and/or rest. Pain management doctors often recommend that backpack weight should be limited to 10-15% of the child’s body weight in order to reduce the risk of spinal injuries.

How to Avoid Back Pain Associated with a Backpack

This school year, follow these recommendations to help your child reduce the risk of back pain and spinal injuries:

  • Choose a backpack with:
    • Lightweight material and a padded back
    • Two padded, wide and adjustable shoulder straps
    • Individualized compartments

Teach your child how to properly wear and load their backpack:

  • Use both shoulder straps at all times
  • Pack heaviest items first so they are carried lower in the body
  • Fill compartments evenly
  • Do not lean forward when walking
  • Lift the backpack with leg muscles and not the back

If you live in the East Texas area and would like additional information on backpacks and spine health, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.

Back Pain Pregnancy | Lower Back Pain | Tyler Texas

Back Pain During Pregnancy Overview

Many women in the Tyler, Texas area experience back pain during pregnancy, commonly starting in the second half of pregnancy. Lower back pain is a very common complaint in moms-to-be and is typically caused by weight gain, hormonal changes and a growing uterus. The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help expecting mothers in the East Texas area who are experiencing back pain that is hindering their daily activities.

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Expecting mothers can blame their lower back pain on hormonal changes, a growing uterus and other fairly common causes. Back pain during pregnancy usually occurs at the sacroiliac joint, where the pelvis meets the spine.

There are several common causes of lower back pain during pregnancy. Some of the most likely causes include:

  • Hormone changes- The human body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy. Relaxin is responsible for allowing the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax, as well as the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. Relaxin is also responsible for causing the ligaments that support the spine to loosen, often causing lower back pain and instability.
  • Posture changes- As the baby grows, a woman’s center of gravity shifts. This gradual change causes many pregnant women to adjust their posture and movements without noticing.
  • Weight gain- A typical pregnancy causes a woman to gain between 25-35 pounds. The spine has to support this increased weight that occurs in a relatively short amount of time. The weight of the growing baby also puts additional pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the back and pelvis.
  • Growing uterus- As the uterus grows during pregnancy, it is also responsible for a shift in the center of gravity. It also stretches out and weakens the abdominal muscles, putting additional strain and pressure on the lower back. Muscle separation associated with a growing uterus is also quite common. Two parallel sheets of muscles (the rectal abdominis muscles), running from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam and cause lower back pain.

Lower Back Pain Treatments for Pregnant Women

It is reported more than 2/3 of women experience back pain during pregnancy, especially lower back pain. The good news is that the pain gradually diminishes in the majority of women following childbirth.

Here are simple ways to eliminate lower back pain during pregnancy:

  • Use proper posture when sitting, working and sleeping. Ask your healthcare provider the best ways to sleep, sit for an extended period of time and to perform work-related tasks.
  • Perform regular exercise to increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Exercise not only keeps weight under control, but it also eases stress placed on the spine.
  • Heat and cold treatment can be quite effective if utilized correctly. Ask your healthcare provider the most effective ways to use heat and ice compresses.

If a pregnant woman begins to experience severe lower back pain, rhythmic cramping pains or “pins and needles” type of pain, it is very important she contacts her regular healthcare provider or a pain doctor immediately.

For additional resources on lower back pain during pregnancy, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Facet Hypertrophy | Pain Management | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Facet Hypertrophy

Facet hypertrophy is the medical term used to describe an enlargement and degeneration of the facet joints. The facet joints connect the spinal vertebrae and are responsible for providing motion and flexibility to the spine. This back condition is generally found in adults over the age of 30 years. The physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to diagnose and treat facet hypertrophy symptoms with the latest pain management treatment options in Tyler, Texas.

What is Facet Hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy of the facet joints is characterized by an enlargement of one or more facet joints. Most commonly found in adults, the condition is caused by progressive deterioration of the facet joints from a traumatic injury or the natural aging process.

The enlargement of the affected facet joints is usually a result of the body’s own healing abilities. In an attempt to make degenerating joints stronger, the body creates bone tissue on the joints. The extra bone tissue causes unwanted symptoms to occur because the joints become larger and increase pressure on the surrounding spinal structures. In more severe cases of facet hypertrophy, the joint can become so large that it places pressure on the spinal nerves.

What are Facet Hypertrophy Symptoms?

In many cases, facet hypertrophy is found in the lumbar area of the back. Common symptoms include:

  • Adjusted posture to avoid pain and pressure
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of mobility
  • Overall discomfort when leaning backward
  • Hunched back

These symptoms, especially adjusted posture, can cause other spinal conditions to develop. Because of this, it is always best to contact a pain management physician at the onset of symptoms.

Pain Management Options for Facet Hypertrophy

Any individual in the East Texas area experiencing stiffness, pain, loss of mobility and overall back discomfort are encouraged to contact the office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. Our pain management physicians are able to diagnose the condition and provide various treatment options.

After a medical review, physical examination and diagnostic testing, a physician will be able to determine if facet hypertrophy is the cause of back pain and discomfort. Treatment options will be discussed in great detail after a diagnosis is reached.

Common treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Exercise and physical therapy
  • Posture changes
  • Osteopathic manipulations
  • Pain management injection therapy

To learn more about facet hypertrophy, or to discuss pain management options for this condition, please contact the Tyler, Texas office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Spinal Stenosis | Lower Back Pain | Pain Physician Tyler Texas

Spinal Stenosis – A Common Cause of Lower Back Pain

Spinal stenosis is a fairly common spine condition that affects numerous East Texas residents each and every year. This common cause of lower back pain can become a chronic condition if not diagnosed and treated by a pain physician in Tyler, Texas. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler is available to assist individuals who are suffering from the numerous symptoms associated with this condition.

An Overview of Spinal Stenosis

In order to fully understand the condition of spinal stenosis, it is important to understand the anatomy of the spine. The spine is composed of a series of connected bones, known as vertebrae, and shock-absorbing discs. The vertebrae and discs are responsible for protecting the spinal cord, a critical part of the central nervous system that connects the brain to the body. The spinal cord is found within the canal that is formed by the vertebrae.

Spinal stenosis is defined by the narrowing of the spaces within the spinal canal, which causes pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine.

Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and can lead to a number of unwanted and troublesome symptoms. There are a small percentage of individuals who have no symptoms, but the majority of people affected by spinal stenosis experience lower back pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In many cases, the symptoms can worsen over time and lead to a chronic health condition if left untreated.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Many spinal stenosis cases occur when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Common causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis that causes bone spurs to develop
  • Spinal injuries caused by a car accident or other traumatic event
  • Herniated discs
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Abnormal growths or tumors

How a Pain Physician Diagnoses and Treats Lower Back Pain Associated with Spinal Stenosis

In order to diagnose spinal stenosis as a cause of lower back pain, a pain physician must perform a thorough medical review, physical examination and diagnostic tests. Common diagnostic tests include X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.

Once a diagnosis of spinal stenosis has been reached, a pain management plan will be developed. Treatment options depend on severity of symptoms and exact stenosis location. Common treatment options include:

  • Medications
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Steroid injections
  • Spinal decompression

If conservative, non-surgical measures do not alleviate lower back pain and other associated symptoms, a pain physician may recommend a surgeon for a surgical intervention.

For additional details on lower back pain causes, or to determine if spinal stenosis is the cause of your pain, please contact the leading pain physicians in Tyler, Texas at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Chronic Sciatica | Pain Doctor | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Chronic Sciatica

Chronic sciatica can be a debilitating condition for many individuals in the East Texas area. Persistent sciatica is defined as sciatic pain that continues for longer than three months. Like many other chronic pain conditions, chronic sciatica requires sufferers to contact a pain doctor in order to receive the appropriate pain management treatment. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler is available to assist Tyler, Texas residents affected by this condition, and help them return to a normal, pain-free lifestyle.

What is Chronic Sciatica?

Sciatica is a set of symptoms caused by pressure and compression on the sciatic nerve. The symptoms can also be caused by compression and pressure on the spine’s nerve roots that are connected to the sciatic nerve. Chronic sciatica is described as sciatic pain that lasts an extended period of time, typically over three months with no relief.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the feet. Because of its long length, there are a number of opportunities for it to become compressed and lead to troublesome symptoms. However, in many patients, sciatica is most often caused by degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, bone spurs or herniated discs.

Symptoms of Chronic Sciatica

Sciatic pain does not affect as many individuals as general back pain since the condition is a specific subset of back pain. A pain doctor is trained to determine if a patient is experiencing general back pain or sciatica.

The most common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Pain, numbness and tingling that begin in the lower back area and radiates down to the buttocks, hips or legs.
  • Pain becomes worse when standing or sitting
  • Muscle weakness in the lower body

Chronic sciatica has the potential to hinder an individual’s normal activities if not treated. Even sitting at a desk during work hours can cause extreme pain and discomfort.

How Pain Doctors Diagnose and Treat Chronic Sciatica

In order to diagnose chronic sciatica and develop a pain management plan, a pain doctor must fully understand a patient’s symptoms, severity of symptoms and onset of symptoms.

Pain doctors prefer detailed descriptions of how a patient feels. Instead of “horrible” or “awful,” patients are encouraged to go more in-depth. Chronic sciatica is often described as:

  • “The sensation in my foot feels like it is asleep, combined with a sharp muscle cramp.”
  • “The discomfort in my buttock feels like pins and needles or an electric shock.”
  • “My leg feels like I am standing in freezing water.”

Once a diagnosis is reached, the patient and pain doctor will work as a team to keep the condition under control. Staying physically active and/or engaging in a prescribed physical therapy program is important. Keeping the body in motion often provides immediate pain relief. Many chronic sciatica sufferers are also prescribed medications and other pain management drug therapies, as well as hot and cold therapy, massage therapy and ultrasound.

For more resources on chronic sciatica, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.