Osteoarthritis | Joint Pain & Inflammation | Tyler Texas

Common Causes of Joint Pain and Inflammation

Many older adults suffer from arthritis, but many do not fully understand it is not a “single” disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis comes in more than 100 different forms, with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout being the three most common. No matter the cause of a Tyler, Texas resident’s joint discomfort, the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help with the most effective pain management treatments.

Arthritis Overview

People of all ages can become affected by the many forms of arthritis, but it is most common in senior adults because of continued wear and tear of the joints. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, with more than 50 million adults having some type.

Arthritis symptoms typically include joint pain and inflammation, as well as swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. These symptoms can come or go, or become chronic. They can also range from a mild inconvenience to discomfort that hinders movement at home and work.

An Overview of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common form. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage, the white substance covering the ends of each bone, begins to degenerate. When this happens, bone begins to rub against bone, and joint pain and inflammation is the outcome.

Osteoarthritis impacts both men and women, with seniors experiencing the highest rate. It is estimated by the age of 65 years, more than 50% of individuals have osteoarthritis in at least one joint. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but is typically found in joints that support the body’s weight, such as the knee and hip.

Treatment for this form of arthritis includes over-the-counter medications for joint pain and inflammation, regular exercise and proper joint care. When too much cartilage has worn away, surgery is usually the next treatment step.

An Overview of Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of arthritis is much different than osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is classified by inflammation of the joint’s lining, not by degeneration of the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system turns against itself and begins to “attack” joint lining. It not only impacts the joint, it can also affect other areas of the body such as the eyes and lungs, which is why some individuals suffering from this form of arthritis feel sick at times.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also much different than osteoarthritis because there is symmetry. For example, if one knee is impacted by rheumatoid arthritis, the other knee is often affected, compared to just one knee with osteoarthritis.

Common treatments for this type of arthritis includes prescribed medications designed to relieve joint pain and inflammation and exercise. Many pain doctors believe managing stress can help alleviate joint discomfort associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

An Overview of Gout

Gout is a unique health condition caused by the build-up of crystals of uric acid in a joint. Uric acid is found in all human tissue and foods. Gout most commonly causes joint pain and inflammation at night, and are referred to as gout attacks. Stress, an illness, alcohol or drugs can trigger the condition.

Gout usually impacts joints located in the lower body, such as knees, ankles, heels and the big toes, with more men than women reporting gout symptoms. The symptoms usually subside within 10 days, even without treatment, and the next attack may not occur for months or even years.

Gout treatment is not always necessary, many people are able to control their symptoms without treatment options. When treatment is necessary, high doses of corticosteroids are normally prescribed by a physician.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are experiencing joint pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of arthritis, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.  

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Physical Therapy & Older Adults | Elderly Physical Therapy | Tyler, Texas

The Importance of Elderly Physical Therapy

As individuals age, the body begins to become tired and worn down and injuries and chronic illnesses become more common. Every year, countless seniors in the Tyler, Texas area visit the emergency room or their physician’s office following an injury or from ongoing symptoms of a health condition. Senior safety and health is very important for both the elderly adult and their loved ones. One of the best ways older adults can keep their body mobile and healthy is with an elderly physical therapy program. The pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specialize in a wide number of prevention and treatment options for injuries, pain and disability, including physical therapy in older adults.

The Two Most Common Elderly Injuries

There are two injuries that plague older adults on an ongoing basis. These injuries include:

  • Fall-related injuries- It is reported that about 33% of adults over the age of 65 years experience a fall each year. Falls often cause sprains, hip fractures, lacerations and head injuries.
  • Fractures- After the age of 50 years, 50% of women and 25% of men will experience an age-related fracture caused by a loss of bone density and mass.

Physical Therapy and Older Adults

Physical therapy and older adults go hand-in-hand. PT can help seniors retain their independence, restore and improve body mobility and functionality and reduce pain and discomfort associated with an injury, illness or chronic condition.

Elderly physical therapy is often prescribed after a fall. A fall is usually caused by a loss of balance, strength and/or flexibility. Physical therapy is designed to improve all of these functions, as well as posture, while easing pain and restoring mobility following an injury.

Fractures are typically caused by a loss of bone density and mass. Physical therapy and a regular exercise program can help control the impacts of bone loss.

Physical therapy in older adults utilizes a variety of strength training, stretching, walking and range of motion (ROM) exercises. This combination can help alleviate the painful symptoms of arthritis, as well as ease chronic pain, back pain, neck pain and joint pain.

Elderly physical therapy has also been found to be beneficial in managing diabetes, vertigo, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral palsy.

Types of Elderly Physical Therapy

Physical therapists and pain management physicians often recommend a number of PT types, including manual therapy, hydrotherapy, cold therapy, heat therapy, electrical stimulation and ultrasounds.

Physical therapy in older adults can help improve balance, flexibility, posture and strength, as well as help the body recover from an injury. If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and would like to learn more about elderly physical therapy, please contact the pain management office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Osteoarthritis | Degenerative Joint Disease | Joint Health

An Overview of Osteoarthritis and Joint Health

Each May the United States recognizes the national impact arthritis has on the population during National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a common cause of diminished joint health and affects more than 50 million Americans. This staggering number makes it the number one cause of disability in the US. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and is caused when the bones’ protective layer of cartilage becomes worn down by wear and tear and aging. Thousands of East Texas residents struggle with osteoarthritis and require medical care to help ease the painful symptoms. If you are one of these individuals, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today for a thorough treatment plan.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Degenerative joint disease is marked by the gradual degeneration of a joint’s articular cartilage, the white, smooth substance that covers the ends of each bone. Cartilage plays a critical role in overall joint health by providing a smooth surface for two bones to glide over each other when the joint is in motion.

When osteoarthritis occurs, it causes a gradual decline in joint health. What begins as a small decrease in articular cartilage, progresses to a rough, frayed surface that causes bone to rub against bone while the joint is moving during everyday, sports and work activities.

Middle-aged and older adults are most commonly impacted by degenerative joint disease because of the body’s natural aging process and years of joint wear and tear. Other risk factors outside of age include genetics, obesity, joint overuse and a previous joint injury and/or surgery.

What are Common Osteoarthritis Symptoms?

Osteoarthritis is characterized by joint pain, loss of function, swelling and inflammation. The symptoms typically begin as a dull ache and annoyance that gradually develop into chronic pain and discomfort.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Degenerative Joint Disease

In order to diagnose degenerative joint disease, the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler must perform a medical review, detailed physical examination and diagnostic tests such as x-rays and/or MRIs. The combination of these items allows the physicians to gain more knowledge about factors that could potentially lead to declining joint health caused by osteoarthritis, as well as allow them to view the soft and bony structures in great detail to confirm the loss of articular cartilage.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease so it is important treatment begins as early as possible. If degenerative joint disease is diagnosed shortly after symptoms begin, treatment is usually non-surgical and involves anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), rest, activity modifications and physical therapy. If the condition has progressed past conservative measures, surgery by an orthopedic specialist may be required.

For additional information on joint health and osteoarthritis, or to determine if you are suffering from degenerative joint disease, please contact the East Texas pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Occupational Therapy | Pain Management | Tyler Texas

Occupational Therapy Plays an Important Role in Pain Management

As all patients struggling with chronic pain know, ongoing pain can hinder daily, work and family activities. An effective pain management treatment plan usually includes numerous approaches, including medications, injection therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, in order to alleviate pain and return function to patients. The pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler commonly call on the expertise of occupational therapy specialists in the Tyler, Texas area so a multidisciplinary approach to pain can be created and utilized.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Every April, the medical field celebrates Occupational Therapy Month in order to help bring awareness to this important rehabilitative work. Unfortunately, the fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy are often confused or combined into one term. Each role plays a critical part in many pain management cases, but each field of therapy involves a diverse approach to treatment.

The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that OT focuses on improving a patient’s ability to perform daily activities, while PT focuses on improving a patient’s range of motion and mobility of the body.

Occupational therapy specialists treat the entire patient. Their approach requires them to take a unique holistic approach to wellness, rehabilitation and environment. As part of a multidisciplinary approach with a pain management physician, occupational therapists:

  • Educate patients about the healing process
  • Educate patients on how to prevent injuries
  • Assist patients with improving daily activities through education and training

Occupational Therapy in Pain Management

Chronic pain continues to be a major health concern in the United States, as well as around the world. Constant pain causes a tremendous amount of suffering for not only the patient, but also for their loved ones.

Chronic pain often leads to a wide number of issues, including depression, anxiety, social isolation and sleep difficulties. Over an extended period of time, ongoing pain leads to many patients no longer engaging in daily activities.

With the help of a pain management physician and occupational therapy specialist, patients can gain pain relief while also learning how to participate in daily activities in adaptive ways. An occupational therapist will assess and identify problem areas and then utilize evidence-based therapeutic approaches to aid in overall function and wellness. Common approaches include heat and ice therapy, safe body mechanics, muscle relaxation exercises and pacing activities so patients do not push the body too hard while healing.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and would like to learn more about occupational therapy in pain management treatment plans, please contact the physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.

Recovering from Car Accident Injuries | Car Accident Recovery Time | Pain Management

What to Know About Recovering from Car Accident Injuries

Automobile accidents occur every day on the East Texas roads. Many of the incidents are minor and cause no bodily injuries, but some accidents cause a number of injuries including whiplash, strained muscles and broken bones. If you have been involved in an accident, you may be wondering about ‘normal’ car accident recovery time. The Tyler, Texas pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are here to share some tips on recovering from car accident injuries.

The Importance of Visiting a Pain Management Physician

The physical trauma of a car accident has the ability to cause moderate to severe injuries that hinder daily and work activities. When injuries are present, it can take weeks or even months for the body to heal. Without proper medical care, recovering from car accident injuries can become an even longer process.

Following any car accident, it is important you schedule an appointment with a physician trained in automobile accident injuries, such as a pain management physician. Pain management specialists are typically trained in the detection of hidden injuries associated with automobile accidents. Many symptoms of an injury, such as whiplash, can take a few days or weeks to become present. This is why it is so important to contact a physician immediately after an accident so they can assess injuries before they become worse.

Tips on how to Reduce Car Accident Recovery Time

The single most important tip (besides visiting a physician) that reduces car accident recovery time is rest. It is critical that you do not return to work and regular activities before the body has had time to begin healing. As we all know, the body heals more quickly if given the proper amount of rest. Many injuries can become worse if the body is pushed into daily, work or athletic activities too soon.

Recovering from car accident injuries can also be achieved more rapidly by following these simple tips:

  • Engage in physical therapy exercises prescribed and/or recommended by your physician. Performing light exercise and mobility exercises helps to improve muscle and joint function after trauma to the body.
  • Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids for at least one week after the incident. Extra fluids have the ability to help reduce painful inflammation.
  • Utilize ice and heat therapy to help control pain and inflammation.
  • Discontinue any strenuous exercise or athletic activities for at least one week following a car accident. As mentioned earlier, some injuries may take a few days to start showing symptoms.
  • Take a daily walk as soon as your body allows it. Much like physical therapy exercises, remaining mobile will help improve joint and muscle function.
  • Keep all appointments with your pain management physician and/or other specialists until you are released from their care.

Car accident recovery time can be reduced by following all of these simple tips. Do you need personal advice on recovering from car accident injuries? If so, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain management clinic of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for an appointment.

Pain Management | Pain Medicine | Tyler Texas

Pain Recovery Center of Tyler continues to be a Leader in Pain Management

Pain, both acute and chronic, has the ability to hinder everyday life and interfere with work, hobbies and family time. Pain is never the same for any two people living in the Tyler, Texas communities. Some patients report dull pain from time to time, while other patients report sharp, stabbing pain that lasts extended periods of time with no relief. The pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler understand that all levels of pain must be treated as soon as possible so individuals can return to the activities they love.

The Goal of Pain Medicine

The overall goal of any pain medicine treatment is to decrease the patient’s level of pain and discomfort. Once the pain is alleviated, patients are able to function better and enjoy life once again.

The physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specialize in pain medicine in order to provide the most modern and conservative treatments available today. With a multidisciplinary approach, the pain management physicians utilize the expertise of physical therapists, occupational medicine specialists and orthopedic specialists to customize a tailored approach. No two patients will receive the same exact treatment.

Common Pain Management Treatments

All patients visiting a physician at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler will begin treatment with a thorough medical review and physical examination. The majority of patients will also undergo diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and electrodiagnostic tests, in order to pinpoint the exact cause of pain. Once the chronic health condition or injury is diagnosed, the pain management physician will develop and recommend the ideal pain medicine treatment.

Many patients are candidates for non-invasive treatments such as pain management injection therapy, spinal decompression, physical therapy and medications. If surgery is required to alleviate pain, the Pain Recovery Center of Tyler team will recommend surgeons in the East Texas area to each individual.

Ailments Treated by Pain Medicine Physicians

The physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specialize in treating:

  • Arthritis pain
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Facet syndrome
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Leg pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve damage pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Post-surgery pain
  • Sciatic pain
  • Spinal disc injuries
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendonitis/bursitis
  • Whiplash
  • Work injuries

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and require a pain management treatment, please contact the pain medicine specialists at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today for an appointment.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy | Back & Neck Pain | Tyler TX

Radiofrequency Neurotomy Overview

When an individual living in the Tyler, Texas area struggles with chronic back or neck pain, an effective treatment that does not require a painful surgery is necessary. Radiofrequency neurotomy, available at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, is a procedure that utilizes heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves that are causing pain. The radio waves temporarily interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit pain signals. The result is reduced back and neck pain without a surgical procedure.

Back and Neck Pain Associated with Facet Joints and Sacroiliac Joints

The radiofrequency neurotomy procedure is a form of injection therapy designed to treat back and neck pain associated with the spine’s facet joints and sacroiliac joints. These specific types of pain are typically caused by spinal arthritis, other degenerative changes or an injury.

  • Facet joints- Pairs of small joints that are located at each vertebral level in the back of the spine. Each facet joint is connected to two medial branch nerves that carry signals from the spine to the brain
  • Sacroiliac joints- Joints located at the lowest portion of the spine (between the sacrum and ilium) that are connected to lateral branch nerves that carry pain and other signals to the brain

Why is a Radiofrequency Neurotomy Performed?

A radiofrequency neurotomy is used to reduce chronic pain in the back or neck when more traditional pain management options, such as physical therapy and medications, have failed. This form of treatment is usually recommended in whiplash cases involving the neck, as well as back cases that involve pain that occurs on one or both sides of the lower back, pain that extends into the buttocks and thighs and pain that worsens when twisting or lifting.

What to Expect During a Radiofrequency Neurotomy

There are two primary forms of radiofrequency neurotomy used by pain management physicians to treat back and neck pain. These forms include:

  • Medial branch neurotomy that targets nerves carrying pain signals from the facet joints
  • Lateral branch neurotomy that targets nerves carrying pain signals from the sacroiliac joints

A radiofrequency neurotomy takes approximately one hour to complete and is performed in-office at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. Needles are inserted through the skin above the spine with the help of imaging scans. These precisely placed needles allow heat generated by radio waves to be transmitted to the specific nerves causing pain. The radio waves safely and effectively interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit pain signals, reducing pain and discomfort.

Radiofrequency neurotomy procedures usually alleviate back and neck pain symptoms for about 6-9 months. At that time, patients will need to visit Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a follow-up procedure.

To learn more about radiofrequency neurotomy and how it alleviates chronic back and neck pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a consultation.

Epidural Lysis of Adhesions | Scar Tissue Pain | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Epidural Lysis of Adhesions for Scar Tissue Pain

After the human body has experienced an injury from a traumatic event, or following surgery, scar tissue may form. In many patients, scar tissue does not cause pain or discomfort, but certain individuals may experience scar tissue pain in the spinal area following a back injury or surgery. When this back pain begins to hinder everyday life, individuals in the Tyler, Texas area are encouraged to contact the pain management specialists at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler to learn more about the safe and effective treatment option known as epidural lysis of adhesions.

What is Scar Tissue?

The formation of scars is caused by skin trauma. Under this area of damage, fibroblasts (healing cells) cover the injured area and form collagen. This collagen is the building block to scar tissue, also known as adhesions in the medical field.

What Causes Spinal Scar Tissue Pain?

Following an injury impacting the spine, or after back surgery, scar tissue typically develops in the epidural space (the area between the spinal cord and the vertebral bones that surround it). The development of these adhesions is a natural part of the healing process. Unfortunately when an excess amount of scar tissue develops, it has the ability to compress the nerves and restrict nerve movement, often leading to pain and inflammation.

What is Epidural Lysis of Adhesions?

When scar tissue pain in the spinal area becomes chronic, many individuals search for a treatment option. Dr. Kenneth Fults and Dr. Janine Islam with Pain Recovery Center of Tyler provide a treatment known as epidural lysis of adhesions. This procedure utilizes a special catheter and a combination of medications to break up scar tissue and help ease pain.

Using x-ray guidance, a catheter is inserted into the troubling scar tissue area inside the epidural space. The catheter’s mechanical forces, as well as tissue-softening medications, help break up the area of scar tissue. With the scar tissue eliminated, the tension on the impacted nerves is reduced, thus relieving pain and discomfort.

Epidural lysis of adhesions is performed in-office with the patient under local anesthesia. The procedure usually takes approximately 30-60 minutes to perform followed by a short recovery period.

The majority of patients who undergo this specific treatment for scar tissue pain in the spine report significant improvements in mobility, physical health and overall pain level. Physical therapy is typically recommended following the treatment to help sustain symptom relief.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are suffering from scar tissue pain in the spinal area, please contact Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today for additional information on epidural lysis of adhesions.

Annular Tear | Back Pain | Tyler TX

Annular Tears as a Cause of Back Pain

Many adults in the Tyler, Texas area will experience back pain at one point or another. Many times simple aches and pains can be from overuse or the natural aging process, but in some cases, back pain is caused by something more serious such as an annular tear. An annular tear occurs when the spinal disc’s tough exterior, the annulus fibrosus, tears or rips from continued overuse or a traumatic accident. The pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help treat back pain caused by annular tears with conservative, modern treatments.

What is an Annular Tear?

Discs in the spine play a very important role in spinal health. They serve as cushions between the vertebrae, acting as a shock absorber and providing support to the back and neck’s bone structure.

An annular tear can occur if too much stress is placed on a disc from constant wear and tear or from sudden trauma. An annular tear is defined as a rip or tear in the disc’s annulus fibrosus, or the tough exterior.

Types of Annular Tears

The wall of each spinal disc is composed in several layers. It is important to note that each of these layers can experience a tear that leads to back pain and discomfort. The categories of tears include:

  • A radial tear- This form of annular tear is commonly caused by aging of the disc over time. The tear begins at the disc’s center and extends all the way through to the disc’s outer layer. Radial tears are often the cause of herniated discs.
  • A concentric tear- This form of tear is most often caused by a traumatic injury and occurs between the disc’s layers circumferentially.
  • A peripheral tear- This form of tear occurs after a traumatic injury or from contact with a bone spur. These tears occur in the outer fibers of the outer layer of the disc.

Diagnosing an Annular Tear and Treating the Cause of Back Pain

A pain management doctor commonly diagnoses an annular tear after a thorough medical review, physical examination and diagnostic tests. The diagnostic tests typically utilized include an MRI and a CT discography. An MRI can be used to better visualize the disc’s structure, while the CT discography uses dye to identify the annular tear.

Back pain caused by an annular tear can often be treated with conservative pain management treatments, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections.

To learn more about annular tears, or to determine if this type of tear is the cause of your back pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain management clinic of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Chronic Pain and Depression | Pain Management | Tyler Texas

Chronic Pain and Depression

As the holidays approach, many individuals feel excited and happy with minimal stress levels. Unfortunately for others, the holiday season is a time for extreme anxiety and stress that often leads to chronic pain and depression. With some practical tips, Tyler, Texas residents can minimize the stress levels that come with the holidays. If a person begins to struggle with chronic pain, they are encouraged to contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

How are Chronic Pain and Depression Connected?

Chronic pain is much different than acute pain. Ongoing pain lasts longer than three months and does not lessen when an injury or infection heals. It is important to note that the pain is often triggered by an acute injury or injection, but does not subside. Certain individuals also experience ongoing pain when there is no known cause.

Depression is known to play a substantial role in chronic pain. For too many individuals, the stress and depression caused by chronic pain can become disabling, and cause the pain to worsen in length and severity.

Often times, a pain management doctor will include a patient’s mental health when they refer to their level of “suffering.” This is because the number of people with chronic pain and depression in the United States is staggering.

When chronic pain and depression begin to impact individuals, it is critical they let their physician know they are experiencing symptoms of both conditions. This allows for proper treatment. Pain management doctors also encourage patients to determine stress triggers that increase chronic pain, such as work stress and/or relationship stress.

Our Pain Management Doctors Share Tips on Coping with Stress this Holiday Season

The approaching holiday season will bring unwanted guests, work events, family activities and hours of shopping, cleaning and cooking. With these simple tips, some individuals may be able to better control their stress levels, leading to decreased cases of chronic pain and depression.

  • If you feel lonely and isolated, reach out for help. Depression is a serious condition that causes a number of troublesome issues including chronic pain.
  • If you are experiencing pain, contact a pain management doctor immediately. Not addressing pain can cause individuals to become depressed.
  • If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe. Spending only 15 minutes alone can refresh the body and mind.
  • If you become busy, do not forget to eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise on a regular schedule and get adequate amounts of sleep. The link between loss of sleep, chronic pain and depression is significant.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas communities and would like additional information on chronic pain and depression, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.