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.

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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.

Neck Pain | Whiplash Symptoms | Pain Management Tyler TX

Whiplash as a Cause of Neck Pain

Following an automobile accident, many individuals are diagnosed with whiplash. This common cause of neck pain and stiffness occurs when the head and neck are suddenly forced backward and then forward. This puts the cervical spine through extremely quick motions and stress. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, a pain management clinic in Tyler, Texas, specializes in numerous neck injuries, such as whiplash. The physicians are able to quickly diagnose the condition and treat whiplash symptoms to help return patients to a pain-free lifestyle.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash, medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) syndrome, is an injury to the neck (cervical spine). The condition is characterized by a collection of symptoms that are present following trauma to the neck area. Common areas of damage include discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, intervertebral joints and nerve roots.

Whiplash is most often caused during a car accident when a rear-end collision occurs. Other causes, which are rarer, include high-impact falls, a collision in sports, assault and rollercoasters.

What are Whiplash Symptoms?

Whiplash symptoms can become debilitating if not treated in a timely manner. The most common symptom is neck pain, ranging from a mild annoyance to a pins-and-needles sensation to extreme pain. Other whiplash symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Neck instability
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates into the arm

Whiplash symptoms are often difficult to diagnose since they are associated with many other spinal injuries and conditions. The symptoms are usually not present immediately following an abrupt jerking motion. They tend to develop after more than 24 hours.

Whiplash Diagnosis and Treatment

Whiplash is diagnosed after a thorough physical examination and diagnostic testing. In many cases, specialized imaging, such as MRIs and CT scans, are required to determine the extent of damage to the muscles, ligaments and/or discs.

The treatment of whiplash symptoms is focused on controlling pain and restoring any lost range of motion of the neck. The proper pain management plan varies from one patient to the next, depending on injury severity.

Common treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Activity modifications
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Medications (over-the-counter and prescription)
  • Injection therapy
  • Exercises and/or physical therapy
  • Foam cervical collars

If you are experiencing neck pain and believe it is a whiplash symptom, please contact the office of Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, a pain management leader in Tyler, Texas.

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.

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.