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.

Plantar Fasciitis | Heel Pain | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Plantar Fasciitis

If an individual experiences heel pain when they step out of bed each morning or after exercise, they may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This common overuse injury occurs when the strong band of tissue responsible for supporting the foot’s arch becomes irritated and inflamed. The Tyler, Texas pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help patients of all ages treat this condition so they can return to daily and sports activities pain-free.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

In order to better understand this cause of heel pain, it is best to understand what the plantar fascia is and where it is located. The plantar fascia is a thin, long ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of the foot. This particular ligament is responsible for connecting the heel to the front of the foot, as well as for supporting the foot’s arch. The plantar fascia is designed to withstand a great amount of stress daily, but it can become torn or damaged from overuse.

When too much pressure is placed on the plantar fascia, the ligament can experience damage. The human body’s natural response to any injury is inflammation. This inflammation causes the heel pain and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis.

Several factors are associated with plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Obesity
  • Repetitive sports activities, especially running
  • New or increased athletic activity
  • A very high foot arch
  • Tight calf muscles

Diagnosing and Treating this Cause of Heel Pain

Even though plantar fasciitis may begin with only mild heel pain found at the heel bone, this condition often develops into a chronic ailment that has the ability to change how an individual walks.

A pain management doctor will first examine the affected foot to diagnose the exact cause of heel pain. The examination will look for a high arch, limited “up” motion of the ankle, an area of tenderness just in front of the heel bone and pain that worsens when the patient flexes their foot and the physician pushes on the plantar fascia.

A physician may also perform x-ray images in order to get a clear view of the bones in the foot. Bone spurs, fractures and arthritis will need to be eliminated to reach a final diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.

It is reported that 90% of patients respond favorably to simple treatment options within 10 months. The most common treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Ice therapy
  • NSAIDs
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Specific exercises designed to target a tight calf and the plantar fascia

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and believe plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel pain, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a diagnosis and detailed treatment plan.

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.

Types of Headaches | Migraine Treatment | Tyler Texas

What to Know about Headaches and Migraines

Almost every individual will experience a headache at one time or another. Headaches can range from a simple annoyance that suddenly develops and alleviates to a migraine that causes debilitating pain for several days. There are various types of headaches, including secondary headaches, cluster headaches and migraines, all with different causes and treatment options. A tension headache is often cured with over-the-counter pain relievers, while migraine treatment is more complex and may require a unique pain management approach. The Tyler, Texas pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to assist patients suffering from the most common headache types.

Common Types of Headaches

A headache is classified as pain in any region of the head. Headaches have the ability to occur on one or both sides of the head, radiate from one point to another or be isolated in location. Headaches vary in pain intensity and sensation. Certain headaches cause a dull, achy feel while other headaches cause a sharp, stabbing sensation. The description of pain may even be determined by the form of headache.

Headaches are generally classified by the cause. A primary headache is caused by over-activity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head, while a secondary headache is a symptom of a health condition.

The most common types of headaches caused by over-activity or pain-sensitive structures (primary) include cluster headaches, tension headaches and migraines. Many primary headaches are associated with alcohol, certain foods, sleep changes, stress and skipped meals.

The most common types of headaches caused by a health condition (secondary) include dehydration, concussion, acute sinusitis, influenza, head pressure, stroke and overuse of pain medications.

Migraines are one of the most discussed headaches because the pain is so severe that it can cause individuals to lose productivity at home and on the job. Migraine attacks cause significant pain for hours or days, typically on just one side of the head, and can become disabling if a proper migraine treatment is not in place.

Headache and Migraine Treatment Options

Many types of headaches can be alleviated with simple over-the-counter pain medications, rest and a balanced meal. In cases of a secondary headache, treating the initial health condition often results in fewer headaches. Common examples include drinking water to treat dehydration, taking allergy medication to relieve head pressure and changing dosages of pain medications.

Migraine treatment is different. Migraines are usually treated with a complex and unique pain management plan that involves preventing the attack from occurring by utilizing medications, daily exercise and stress-coping techniques, as well as treating the pain intensity and symptoms with medications when an attack does occur.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and would like more information on the various types of headaches, or would like resources on migraine treatment options, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.

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.

Back Pain Causes | Neck Pain Causes | Tyler Texas

What You Need to Know about Common Back Pain Causes and Neck Pain Causes

The spine is an extremely complex structure that is prone to injury during normal activities, while engaging in athletics and from the body’s natural aging process. When Tyler, Texas area patients visit with a pain management doctor at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, they often want more information on the most common back pain causes and neck pain causes. There is never one specific response. This is because there are a wide number of conditions that affect the spine, and they all depend on a patient’s age, activity level and overall health.

The Most Common Back Pain Causes

Did you know back pain is one of the most common complaints in the medical field? According to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at least once in their lives. Although back pain is very common, it is usually not a serious concern. In many cases, back pain resolves with traditional pain management options within three months.

Adults between the ages of 35-55 years are more susceptible to back pain. Many experts believe this is because individuals in this age range are still quite active but the spine is beginning to show signs of age.

The back is composed of a sophisticated structure that includes bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs and nerves. A problem with one or more of these structures can lead to back pain.

The most common back pain causes include:

  • Strained muscles and ligaments from abnormal lifting
  • Muscle spasms from an abrupt and awkward movement
  • Everyday items such as repetitive motions and poor posture
  • Structural problems such as osteoarthritis that causes spinal stenosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis), sciatica, a bulging disc or a ruptured disc
  • Sleep problems caused by a chronic health condition and/or a bad mattress

The Most Common Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain is less prevalent than back pain, but yet millions of Americans still struggle with this common health complaint. The majority of neck pain causes can be treated with non-surgical measures that alleviate the pain level well before it becomes a chronic pain condition.

Much like the back, the neck is prone to injury because of the spine’s complex structure and the many components involved. Any problem with one or more structures can cause an individual to experience troublesome neck pain.

The most common neck pain causes include:

  • A soft tissue injury caused by sleeping in the wrong position, whiplash or straining while lifting a heavy object
  • Daily items such as leaning the neck forward while working on a computer and repetitive movements
  • Structural problems such as cervical osteoarthritis, facet joint damage and herniated discs

If you live in the Greater Tyler, Texas area and would like to learn more about common back pain causes and neck pain causes, please contact the pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Spine Anatomy | Back & Neck Pain | Tyler Texas

The Connection between Spine Anatomy and Back & Neck Pain

The spine is a very complex structure composed of 33 individual bones that are stacked one on top of the other. This column provides support to the human body and allows movement that is crucial to everyday life, all while protecting the spinal cord from injury. When one or more of the bones and/or supporting spinal components become injured, individuals in the Tyler, Texas area often report back pain or neck pain. The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specialize in spine anatomy and the many causes of back and neck pain.

An Overview of Spine Anatomy

The spinal column is one of the most important parts of the human body. This structure supports the center of the body (the trunk) and allows movements ranging from standing upright to twisting to bending.

Spine anatomy includes 33 vertebrae (the individual bones), muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is responsible for providing communication to the brain.

The three spinal regions include:

  • Cervical spine (neck) that is composed of the top 7 vertebrae
  • Thoracic spine (upper back) that is composed of 12 vertebrae
  • Lumbar spine (lower back) that is composed of 5 vertebrae
  • The sacrum and tailbone are composed of 9 vertebrae that are fused together to form a solid bone unit

The various spinal elements include:

  • Vertebrae that support the majority of the weight placed on the spine
  • Intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers between each vertebrae
  • Facet joints that connect the bony arches of the vertebral bodies
  • Spinal cord and associated nerves that carry electrical signals to the brain
  • Spinal muscles that maintain posture and move the trunk and limbs

Any of these structures can be impacted by an acute injury or a chronic health condition, leading to pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and loss of mobility.

Common Causes of Back and Neck Pain

Neck and back pain affects millions of Americans, many in the Greater Tyler, Texas area. Fortunately, many cases of pain heal with time and do not become a chronic health condition. It is estimated approximately 50% of people feel relief within two weeks and approximately 90% of people feel alleviated pain within three months.

Low back pain caused by lumbar spine conditions often include a disc herniation, degenerative disc disease (DDD), isthmic spondylolisthesis, degenerative spondylolisthesis and facet joint osteoarthritis.

Neck pain is not as common as back pain, but there are several prevalent issues that can lead to discomfort, including cervical osteoarthritis, cervical degenerative disc disease, stenosis with myelopathy and foraminal stenosis.

If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are experiencing back and neck pain associated with abnormal spine anatomy, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today for an appointment.

Medical Second Opinion | East Texas

Pain Recovery Center of Tyler Offers Medical Second Opinions in East Texas

Are you starting to question your injury diagnosis and treatment plan under another physician? Have you been told your only treatment option is surgery? Pain Recovery Center of Tyler can help with our medical second opinions. As a pain management clinic offering the most modern and conservative treatment options in the East Texas area, our physicians are available to help individuals gain another perspective on their injury and treatment plan.

Why Should You Consider a Medical Second Opinion?

When an individual suffers from an acute injury or a chronic pain condition, the diagnosis and various treatment options may become confusing. A person may also feel the information they are receiving from their physician is not correct.

The pain management doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are able to perform a thorough medical review and physical examination, as well as review past and current x-rays, MRIs and other diagnostic tests, in order to provide a medical second opinion. Our team can help a person better understand if:

  • Their current injury diagnosis and treatment plan is correct
  • They are getting the best treatments available
  • They have other pain management options before surgery is required

A medical second opinion also allows individuals to compare diagnosis and treatment plans between two physicians in the East Texas area. After the second opinion is reached, our physicians may validate the existing treatment plan or may offer alternative options they feel are best.

How to Schedule a Pain Management Second Opinion with Pain Recovery Center of Tyler

In order to schedule a second opinion with one of our pain management doctors, you will need to collect a copy of your medical records, MRIs, x-rays and other diagnostic test results. It is important that all individuals do not feel concerned about asking their current physician for these records. All patients should be honest with the original physician, and he/she should not be offended since medical information is vital to all patients.

Once your medical records are gathered, please contact Pain Recovery Center of Tyler’s office directly at (903) 526-5000 for an appointment.

Please take a moment to visit Pain Recovery Center of Tyler’s website here in order to learn more about our physicians and services. Thank you in advance.

Chronic Pain at Night | Pain Physicians Tyler Texas

An Overview of Chronic Pain at Night

Chronic pain at night can become a nightmare for many individuals in East Texas. Unfortunately, poor sleep can make chronic pain worse, leading to the endless cycle of increased pain, less sleep and less sleep, more pain. Because of this, individuals experiencing chronic pain at bedtime must find relief. The Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help patients with numerous diagnostic and treatment options.

The Connection between Sleep and Chronic Pain

The negative impacts of pain-related sleep loss in the United States is staggering. Acute and chronic pain is often associated with stress and poor health. Sleep plays a critical role in both health and stress levels. When individuals are not able to achieve a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, the body begins to shut down, pain increases and stress levels rise.

It has been estimated that only 37% of chronic pain sufferers achieve a good night’s sleep, while 45% of individuals with acute pain have good sleep quality.

Tips to Alleviate Chronic Pain at Night

Pain physicians in Tyler, Texas understand the importance of positive sleep quality in order to alleviate a person’s chronic pain level. Here are tips patients are encouraged to follow:

  • Only go to sleep when you are beginning to feel tired. A person is not able to will themselves to sleep at night. In fact, trying to force yourself to sleep actually makes matters worse.
  • Cool down your bedroom. Try various temperatures between 60-75 degrees to determine the ideal sleeping temperature.
  • Ensure your bed, pillows and blankets promote good sleep quality, such as lumbar support from a mattress and neck support from a pillow.
  • Increase physical activity each day. Many chronic pain sufferers believe movement will intensify the pain, but in many cases, regular physical activity is linked to less pain and better sleep.
  • Start a journal. Write down all of your thoughts before bed. Many individuals lose sleep on a regular basis because they worry about items at bedtime. Write your worries and thoughts down, close the journal and begin to relax.
  • Drink herbal tea and other evening beverages. Avoid coffee and other sugary/caffeinated beverages after dinner. If a person is more sensitive to caffeine, they may begin drinking mainly water and tea after lunch.

Tyler, Texas Pain Physicians are Available to Help Chronic Pain Sufferers

The Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to assist individuals suffering from chronic pain at night that negatively impacts sleep. The physicians overall goal and mission is to help patients overcome pain using the most modern and conservative treatments available today, including:

  • Spinal decompression
  • Physical therapy
  • Injection therapy
  • Medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed

If you live in the East Texas area and are experiencing troublesome chronic pain at night, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today.