Treat your pain and live a better life…

best-pain-doctor-nycWelcome to my blog about pain. Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic pain. As a board certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, my specialty is treating these people with both acute and chronic pain.

A majority of my practice is working with patients that are experiencing back and neck pain.

My goal with this blog is to help patients who are experiencing any type of back or neck pain to understand what is causing their pain and discuss options that are available to end their pain. I hope to be able to provide readers with a portal that they can can use to educate themselves and facilitate treatment.

My specialty is my Interventional Spine Skills including cervical and lumbar epidural steroid injections, facet injections, medial branch blocks, Radiofrequency ablation, sympathetic ganglion blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, sacroiliac joint injection, piriformis muscle block and musculoskeletal joint injection. I also perform many other procedures to alleviate acute and chronic pain.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and observing people from all over the world reading it.

– Matthew Grimm, M.D.

Sciatica: Definition, Causes & Treatments

Sciatica is an incredibly common, but mostly misunderstood, condition. Some estimates show that up to 40% of the population will deal with some kind of sciatic pain. That risk gets even higher the older we get. But what exactly is sciatica? What causes it? And what can be done to treat sciatica?

What Exactly is Sciatica?

sciatica-definition-causes-treatments-info-01Sciatica is the name for pain in the sciatic nerve. Due to the size, shape, and location of the sciatic nerve, it is prone to pinching and irritation. This causes pain that can radiate down the lower back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. However, sciatica is commonly used as a catch-all term for lower back pain. Not all low back pain is caused by the sciatic nerve.

A few telltale signs of sciatica are lower back pain or pain radiating to the to the ankle, knee, or hip. This pain is usually exacerbated by bending at the lower back, twisting, coughing, or lifting with the back. If this sounds like you, make an appointment with Dr. Grimm so that you can find out for sure.

What Causes Sciatica?

what-causes-sciatica-02Sciatica can be caused by any number of underlying problems. Common problems include bulging or herniated vertebral discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. Additionally, there are a number of systemic problems that can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve. A growth, such as a hematoma, can potentially put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatic pain radiating down through the lower back and leg.

After a traumatic event, such as a car accident, shifting structures in one’s body can add additional pressure and cause sciatica. It is also possible for sciatica to be caused by poor body mechanics and ergonomics. Sitting in a tight position for too long can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. One important concept to understand about sciatica is that pain can be referred. This means that pain will be felt in one location, but the actual site of the cons of the pain is another. It is essential to know the underlying cause of your sciatica in order to treat it effectively.

How Sciatica is Treated

treatment-options-for-sciatica-positive-prognosis-03Thankfully, sciatica is a very treatable condition. The exact treatment pursued will depend on the severity of the pain, the cause of the pain, and the exact location the pain originates from. For some people, sciatica can be treated simply through stretches and physical therapy treatments. For others, surgical intervention may be required.

As a general rule of thumb, we like to begin with the least invasive possible treatment and work our way through treatment alternatives. This will allow us to find the treatment for you that allows for a quick and painless recovery. Another commonly used treatment intervention is a prescribed painkiller. This medication will bring down the swelling that may be causing the nerve to be pinched and will help with current pain as well. In the meantime, many have found that using ice packs and regular physical exercise keeps sciatic pain to a minimum. In addition, any environmental causes of swelling or pinching of the nerve should be identified and eliminated.

It should be noted that the majority of people who deal with sciatica do not need to have surgery to eliminate their pain. The sooner treatments begin, the more effective they are and the more likely it is that a less invasive treatment will be effective.

Are you dealing with sciatica? Come make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to develop a treatment plan for you.

Matthew Grimm, M.D.
West Side:
343 West 58th Street
Suite 11
New York, NY 10019

East Side:
160 E 56th St
11th Floor
New York, NY 10022
646-862-5555

What is a Lumbar Epidural?

Lumbar-Region-epidural-injection-01The lumbar region of the spine can be one of the most aggravating places to experience chronic pain. People try many different treatments to find relief to pain in their lower back. One common treatment that many people find effective for them is the use of a lumbar epidural. How does a lumbar epidural work? In order to best understand how a lumbar epidural works, we first have to look at the anatomy and physiology of the lumbar spine.

What is the Lumbar Region?

Located just above the tailbone and below the ribs, the lumbar section is made up of five separate vertebrae. These individual bones are able to act as a unit thanks to the cartilaginous discs located between them. These discs serve as cushions, absorbing the pressure that is caused by any movement. Even the simple act of walking put some pressure on the lumbar spine and vertebral discs. Typically, these disks hold up very well under the pressure. However, there are certain occasions in which these cushions do not do their job as well as they should. when this happens, we typically see pain and swelling around a specific section of the lumbar region of the back.

Problems With the Lumbar Region

lumbar-epidural-info-relief-top-nyc-pain-doctor-02Many people feel at least some pain in their lower back every now and then. This makes sense, as we have already discussed how much the lumbar region is used. Real problems can begin to develop, though, when excessive strain is put on this region of the body. This can be something as simple as performing a heavyweight exercise with poor form, packing up a box and moving it by lifting it and twisting at the same time, or just having bad sitting posture for too long. As time goes by, these discs wear out. This leads to friction between the lumbar vertebrae, causing pain and swelling. Because the back is constantly being used, we typically do not give our back enough rest to heal properly from such an injury. This means that over time, this injury will only get worse and worse.

In other cases, lumbar pain is caused to buy an autoimmune disorder. In these cases, the body attacks itself as it would a virus. This can cause the same swelling, pain, and general inflammation that we see. Regardless of the exact cause of the swelling and pain, this inflammation makes it difficult to engage in simple, routine daily tasks.

How Epidurals can Help

pain-relief-lumbar-region-description-faq-info-03An epidural is a procedure in which we inject a small amount of localized pain reliever or steroids into a specifically targeted spot in the back. Before we perform a lumbar epidural, we first have to identify the exact location that you are feeling pain. Once the target is found, we can inject a small needle into the epidural area, or the space between the vertebrae just before the spinal cord. This injection can help to reduce swelling and pain in the region affected. for some people, a single lumbar epidural treatment is enough to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling for years. For other people, more regular treatments are needed to keep the pain and swelling away.

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Do you think a lumbar epidural would help you? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Grimm so that we can discuss how we can help manage your pain.

Matthew Grimm, MD
646-862-5555

How can a Doctor Help me Deal with Chronic Pain?

how-doctor-can-help-chronic-pain-01Pain seems to be an unavoidable factor in many of our lives. When we get up in the morning, getting out of bed may feel like an insurmountable obstacle. Going about our daily life can become a hassle, as just about every movement causes pain. Many people have given up things that they once loved to do because it causes them too much pain now. There is hope! Chronic pain can be dealt with. But what is chronic pain? How can we deal with chronic pain? And how will a doctor specifically help me?

What is Chronic Pain?

The simple definition of chronic pain is any pain that lasts more than about three months. That’s an awfully long time to be dealing with pain! Many people have been dealing with pain for much longer than that, and it seems that there is no end in sight. Chronic pain can vary greatly from one person to another.

For some people, their chronic pain is caused by arthritis. This condition causes inflammation of the joints and makes any movement feel incredibly painful. Other people deal with fibromyalgia or other pain syndromes. In these cases, it seems like there’s no reason for the pain to last as long as it has. Other people have dealt with a traumatic incident, like a car accident, and have never fully recovered. No matter what the cause of your chronic pain is, there are some distinct similarities in the treatments provided.

How Chronic Pain can be Dealt With

chronic-pain-treatment-shots-pharma-options-nyc-02Of course, the exact treatment to deal with your chronic pain will depend on the cause of your pain. Regardless of the actual underlying cause, there are some things that can help with pain management for everyone. Some of these things are very simple, like meditation or mindfulness. The simple act of thinking and focusing on something other than your pain can actually reduce the pain felt. Other things, like lifestyle modification and joint protection techniques, will help you to do your regular, daily routine with less pain. Using adapted tools, like a comfort grip jar opener or adaptive silverware, can I help you to do the things that you need to do with less pain. Ice packs, hot packs, and massage can help temporarily to deal with specific pain. But none of these solutions offer long-term help.

Dr. Grimm is able to provide more lasting help through the use of prescription medications that will help you, recommending specific procedures and treatments, and pointing you in the right direction to find resources that will help. We are also the experts in finding what works for you. For some people, one medication may help eradicate pain greatly, while for someone else that same medication does nothing. Open communication with your doctor is essential so that we can find you a solution that works.

How a Doctor Can Help With Chronic Pain

top-pain-doctor-nyc-dr-matthew-grimmWhen we have pain, we may tend to isolate ourselves, focusing on finding a solution that helps. Having a doctor to discuss your problems with will not only help you to find a more beneficial treatment but can help you emotionally as well.

A pain management clinic will be able to help. Dr. Grimm will be able to point you in the right direction and get you started with a treatment that will help you recover. But at the same time, having a listening ear and someone that genuinely cares about your case can be irreplaceable.

Are you ready to say goodbye to your chronic pain? Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Matthew Grimm so that we can discuss treatment solutions for you.

Fibromyalgia Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outlook

best-nyc-pain-doctor-for-fibromyalgia-02Fibromyalgia is a painful and largely misunderstood condition that affects millions of people around the world. With all of the misconceptions about fibromyalgia, it can be difficult to get an accurate diagnosis, find effective treatment, and have a realistic outlook for what the future may hold for those with fibromyalgia.

Diagnosis

Fibromyalgia is a difficult diagnosis to come by. With some medical conditions, such as a broken bone or inflammation, specific scans can be conducted that can provide visible confirmation of the condition. This is not the case with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder that we, honestly, do not fully comprehend. However, through the use of certain criteria, doctors are able to make an inappropriate diagnosis. in the majority of cases, a diagnosis is found through open discussion with the doctor.

People with fibromyalgia experience regular pain across the body that lasts for at least 3 months. Obviously, there are other potential causes of pain. Once these potential alternative diagnoses have been ruled out, a doctor can settle on a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Previous guidelines required the existence of “tender points” that are painful to the touch. This is no longer required, as many times the symptoms of fibromyalgia might not include these specific localized tender points.

Treatment

what-is-fibromyalgia-01Treatments for fibromyalgia can vary greatly. The first step in finding a treatment that will work for you is trying to identify an underlying cause, to the extent possible. This will also include trying to localize the pain to one area and finding what helps to relieve the pain. For some people, beneficial treatments would include stretching, physical exercise, massage, talking about underlying causes the pain, finding ergonomic solutions to daily problems or even something as simple does use an ice pack or a hot pack. For other people, though, we need a more dynamic approach. In cases like this, Dr. Grimm may recommend minimally-invasive surgical solutions, prescribed medicines, or make another clinical decision.

Regardless of the decision reached, the most important part of a treatment of fibromyalgia is open and clear communication. If you know something small that works, tell us! We may be able to use that to your advantage.

Outlook

The long-term outlook for those suffering from fibromyalgia can be hard to determine. Fibromyalgia is not a disease with a predictable course. Instead, it is a syndrome but can vary from person to person. All in all, fibromyalgia is not typically “cured” the way we might think. Instead, those with fibromyalgia are helped to find solutions to help them deal with pain and manage their lives so that pain can be avoided. This may include using adaptive equipment that will help them more easily do what they need to do, adapting the way they do things, or asking for help for specific tasks. It should be noted that some recent studies have shown a potential mortality risk associated with fibromyalgia.

Even though fibromyalgia itself does not lead to death, it can make it harder to deal with stress and problems in one’s daily life. This stress can affect the heart and lead to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or another traumatic incident that can be fatal. Therefore, it is urgent the fibromyalgia treatment is started as soon as possible and followed through as closely as you can.

Are you suffering from fibromyalgia? Call today to make an appointment with Dr. Grimm so that we can start finding a solution that works for you.

Do I Need to See a Doctor for my Chronic Back Pain?

doctor-for-chronic-back-pain-do-you-need-01Pain is one of the most common problems that face people today. According to some statistics, around 40 million Americans deal with chronic pain on a regular basis. When there’s something traumatic that causes pain, like breaking a bone, it is obvious that professional help is needed. The problem with pain is that it gradually builds over time.

If every day your pain only increases a little bit, you hardly notice until it’s too late. At what point should you go to the doctor for your chronic pain? To answer that question, we first need to identify what exactly chronic pain is and what we can do in the meantime.

Signs of chronic pain

Chronic pain can be a difficult diagnosis to receive. This is because everyone has aches and pains now and then. In order for pain to qualify as chronic pain, it has to last for an extended period of time. The exact amount of time may vary, but typically chronic pain is expected to have lasted for at least three months. Three months is an awfully long time to be dealing with pain, to begin with, so usually, our body has already begun a natural response in order to address this pain. For example, people dealing with chronic lower back pain may have developed a slouched posture. When sitting or standing and leaning forward, they may feel more comfortable. After a few months, they can be difficult to reverse this posture.

Another common problem associated with chronic pain is a decrease in the use of an affected extremity. What this means is that someone with a previous right-hand dominance now primarily uses their left hand to perform all needed tasks. Of course, the most predominant symptom is pain, but these signs can help you identify just how serious long-term chronic pain can be.

What You Can do Now

how-bad-is-back-pain-need-see-specialist-nyc-02In order to receive the diagnosis of chronic pain, that pain has to last for quite a long time. In the meantime, there are things that we can do. In order to determine the best treatment for your pain, we first have to figure out the cause of your pain. For example, is your pain a muscular ache? Ice packs or hot packs may be able to help. Other techniques, such as mindfulness and meditation, can take your mind off of the pain and lower the intensity you are feeling from the pain.

Of course, there are also over the counter pain relievers that can help to lessen the pain. It should be noted that these come with side effects. Make sure you carefully read any warning labels and instructions on medications. Admittedly, though, these are only short term solutions to a long term problem.

When to Call the Doctor

If you are dealing with pain, no doubt you want a quick fix that will take the pain away immediately. Unfortunately, the sad fact is that there is no miracle drug that would completely eradicate pain. That being said, there is a process that can lead to pain relief. If you have been dealing with pain for upwards of three months or have long-term pain and the above-mentioned suggestions just don’t seem to help, it may be time to call the doctor.

Have you been dealing with pain on a long-term basis? Call Dr. Grimm today to set up an appointment for a consultation to determine the best approach to deal with your pain.

How did I get Chronic Back Pain? Causes and Treatments

chronic-back-pain-causes-treatments-local-nyc-pain-dr-01Chronic back pain affects millions of people every day. For some people, the pain is so bad that they can’t do the things that they used to do. It may keep them from working, spending time with their family, or even just being able to sleep well. Clearly, those suffering from back pain are actively looking for relief. But before relief can be found for chronic back pain, you first have to identify the source of the pain. Since we have figured out the cause of chronic back pain, we can get started looking for a solution.

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a very intricately designed system, made especially for dealing with heavy loads and constant stress. Between the 33 vertebral bones lie cartilaginous discs designed to absorb the shock and stress from regular use. However, over time and through overuse, these cartilaginous cushions can wear down. Once they have been worn down enough, the discs between the bones are not able to do their job properly, resulting in chronic back pain.

causes-of-chronic-back-pain-03There are three specific motions of the spine and back; bending, leaning, and twisting. Any of these motions can be overworked, resulting in pain. For example, we’ve all heard the expression “lift with your legs, not with your back.” This simple phrase can truly save us from a lot of pain. When we lift by bending our back, we put a stream on the skeletal system that supports us vertically. Over time, these bones can wear down, revealing the nerves beneath. These nerves are then easily irritated, causing swelling and pain.

Alternatively, if we overexert ourselves leaning to the side or twisting, the structures in the vertebrae designed to limit these movements can be damaged, causing lasting pain in a very similar manner. Another potential cause of back pain is through autoimmune disorders. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cause all over pain, including me back. Other common elements include fibromyalgia and other pain syndromes. In these cases, there was not necessarily one specific event that triggered the pain.this can potentially be more difficult to treat, as the underlying cause is not as readily available.

Common Treatments for Back Pain

top-local-nyc-dr-for-back-pain-02The treatments available to help with back pain or just about as numerous as the potential causes for back pain. Some treatments are very mild, such as applying ice packs or hot packs to the affected area, meditating to take one’s mind off of pain, or a massage. some treatments are more involved, affecting one’s lifestyle.

Better implementation of ergonomic principles and job simplification can help reduce the risk of further pain. Dr. Grimm is able to provide more specific recommendations based on your case. Prescription medications, steroid injections, or other clinical approaches may be appropriate to help you find relief from your chronic back pain.

Before trying to figure out a plan of action, Dr. Grimm will make sure to talk with you and try to determine the original cause if your back pain. This will help us to treat the true, underlying cause of pain. When we do this, we can find more lasting effects.

Do you know where your back pain came from? Share your story of back pain with Dr. Grimm so that he can help you come up with an individualized treatment plan to get you feeling better.

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Chronic Pain & Treatment Solutions

chronic-pain-treatment-solutions-01For millions of people across the globe, chronic pain is simply a fact of life. For one reason or another, they wake up every morning to discomfort, aches, and pains. However, many forms of chronic pain are treatable. Below are listed a few examples of chronic pain that many people deal with and some treatment solutions that will help bring relief.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes pain, inflammation, and swelling of the joints. The severity of arthritis can vary greatly, with some people only lightly feeling the effects and other people feeling completely debilitated. Due to the location of the pain, people with arthritis typically find it easiest to just not move. arthritis tends to affect smaller joints more intensely, so the hands and fingers times to be painful and swollen. This can prevent people from doing even the simplest of tasks without pain.

Back Pain

Although we have all suffered from back pain at one point or another most likely, those who suffer from chronic back pain have dealt with this specific pain for a period of at least three months. Back pain can be caused by any number of triggers. Repetitive movements, poor body mechanics, or sudden trauma such as a car accident can cause pain that lingers for months. Because of the design of our body, just about every action requires back movement of some sort. People dealing with chronic back pain may find that they are frequently returning to bed, the only place they feel comfortable.

Pain Disorders

treatments-for-chronic-types-of-pain-doctor-nyc-02There are many disorders, such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or chronic pain syndrome that cause pain to the body. Although the exact mechanisms may differ from diagnosis to diagnosis, much of the pain feels the same. People with one of the above-mentioned conditions may experience “flare-ups” in which certain areas of the body become swollen, inflamed, or especially painful. During these times, just engaging in a real regular daily routine can be limited.

Treatment Solutions

top-nyc-doctor-for-chronic-pain-relief-03Thankfully, having chronic pain does not have to be a permanent thing. Many people who have suffered from chronic pain have recovered and lead full lives. There are many treatment options available. some treatments are very conservative and do not require much to begin. For example, some people have found benefit through the use of mindfulness or meditation. This can be an effective way to take your mind off of the pain. Focusing on something else, such as the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe, can help you to take your focus off of the pain.

Other treatments include therapy, stretching, and exercise to help support the areas that are painful. For example, people with back pain can strengthen the muscles around the areas that are painful and potentially help to support the body in a more ergonomic way. medications are available that can help relieve pain, reduce swelling, or promote healing of chronic conditions.

Clearly, there are plenty of possible treatment solutions. The problem we face is that we don’t know what would be best for our condition. Dr. Grimm is an expert in pain management and will be able to help guide you in your process to find relief.

Are you dealing with regular, chronic pain? Call us today at 646-862-5555 to make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to start your path to recovery and feeling good again!

Different types of Arthritis

different-types-of-arthritis-01From the root word Arthro, meaning joint, and the suffix -itis, meaning inflammation, arthritis refers to inflammation in any joint. This inflammation comes with swelling, redness, and pain. The exact joints affected may vary from person to person, but the overall symptoms are generally the same. However, there are a couple of different types of arthritis that present in different ways. The two most common are discussed below. There are also a few key treatment opportunities to help those suffering from arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

The more common of the two primary forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is a disorder that causes degeneration of the joint. Typically, this is due to wear and tear on the cartilage in the joint. Eventually, the cartilage is so worn down but it is unable to cushion the movement of the joint. At this point, it is simply bone moving against bone when the joint is used. This is incredibly painful, both when the joint is being moved and when the joint is still. Typically, osteoarthritis affects older people or those who have undergone repetitive high impact movements. Even something as simple as walking can, over time, have a serious effect on the joint. As the cartilage is worn down, more nerves are exposed and aggravated as the bones grind together making movement uncomfortable.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

xrays-scans-different-arthritis-top-pain-doctor-nyc-03As opposed to osteoarthritis, where the cartilage is worn down through youth and overtime, rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the body itself identifies the lining of the joint as a potential threat and works to attack it. This attack can cause pain, redness and swelling, and difficulty in moving the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis has a genetic component, meaning that a history of rheumatoid arthritis makes it more likely that you will suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age and can begin at any time.

Similarities and Differences in Types of Arthritis

These two forms of arthritis, while both causing inflammation of the joint, work in very different ways. Both forms of arthritis can also make it more difficult for people to get moving, especially in the morning. However, as rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, it tends to affect the body symmetrically. Osteoarthritis, being caused by repeated injury or fatigue, tends to have one side more affected than the other. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the smaller joints first. People with rheumatoid arthritis typically have swollen, painful joints in their fingers. People with art osteoarthritis tends to find the most affected joints are the larger joints, like the hips or the knees.

Treatments

areas-body-for-arthritis-02There are many treatment opportunities for arthritis, ranging from less intensive and invasive solutions to surgery. Some of the simplest things that you can do to treat both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis include making changes in one’s lifestyle. Cutting out fatty, greasy foods will help reduce inflammation in the entire body. Regular participation in exercise will increase the body’s response rate to inflammatory conditions. If these simple solutions don’t seem to help, over the counter pain relief medication may be able to help. In more severe cases, Dr. Grimm will be able to make a more specific recommendation with regard to specific medications, surgical procedures, or other treatments to help reduce the pain caused by arthritis.

Are you dealing with arthritis? Make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to go over treatment solutions that may help you. 

Spinal Injections for Back Pain

chronic-back-pain-medical-info-nyc-top-doctor-02Chronic back pain really is, well, a pain! Many people across the world deal with regular, chronic pain in their back. There are plenty of over-the-counter treatment solutions that may help. But in many cases, a spinal injection can be just the right thing to relieve your pain. but what are some of the causes for back pain? What can we do to remediate pain in the meantime? And how do spinal injections help?

Causes of Back Pain

Our back is one of the most frequently used parts of the body. Sitting, standing, leaning, twisting, bending, and lifting all require the key muscles in our back to activate and the specific spinal structures in our back to work properly. Over time, this constant use wears down the cartilaginous discs that cushion the space between our vertebrae. This leads to swelling, redness, and pain. Poor body mechanics and posture can also contribute to back pain. Completing the same tasks over and over, such as lifting boxes for moving or picking up objects off the floor, gradually wears down the structures in the back that are required for stability. Other conditions, including autoimmune disorders, can cause pain in the back in a similar fashion. In the unfortunate scenario of some kind of trauma, such as a car accident or other injury, the structures in the back can be severely affected, putting more pressure on the nervous system and causing pain.

What we can do About Back Pain

spinal-injections-for-back-pain-01Thankfully, there are things you can do right now to deal with your back pain. This includes simple, easy solutions like using ice packs or hot packs around the painful area. Good ergonomic techniques when used during strenuous activity can help prevent further degradation or trauma to the back. Stretching and strengthening the muscles in the back and associated areas can help support the parts of the back that are at risk for further damage. Over-the-counter pain relief medications may help to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas temporarily. However, it must be noted that anyone these solutions only offer temporary relief. In order to really affect a lasting change, the root cause of the problem must be addressed.

How Spinal Injections can Help

different-parts-spine-for-pain-injections-diagram-03Spinal injections are a proven, beneficial way to reduce pain and swelling in the spine and back. In a spinal injection, a small amount of medication, typically a steroid or pain reliever, is injected into the painful region in the spine. This medication helps both with reducing pain and lowering swelling. For some people, these spinal injections help to relieve pain for years at a time. For others, the effects of these injections only last for a few days. Even when this is the case, the momentary relief can give you a head start on recovering from whatever caused your pain in the first place. For example, if you have a bulging disc in your back and receive a spinal injection for treatment, the swelling may go down to allow for stretching and strengthening of the surrounding area that brings the inflammation to a manageable level. At this point, more conservative treatments can be pursued and a long-term solution can be found.

Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to find out if spinal injections may help you.

Chronic Pain: Medical Management Methods

When dealing with pain, there are a number of different possible treatment approaches. The exact treatment used will vary based on a number of factors. The underlying cause, the severity of the pain, and how intensive of a treatment someone wants are all aspects that have to be considered before determining the medical management method desired. Below are outlined a few different variations in treatment based on the factors mentioned above.

The Cause

chronic-pain-medical-management-nyc-specialist-01

The original cause of pain is something that must be taken into consideration before determining the treatment approach to remediate side pain. For example, if someone initially injured their back through a repetitive motion injury and the pain has not subsided, it’s important to look at that repetitive motion and make sure that it’s not being done anymore. This is not necessarily as simple as it sounds. As a group, humans tend to find an easy and easily repeatable way to do something that needs to get done over and over again. This is an excellent way to gain efficiency and productivity when repeating tasks. However, when this rote routine causes just a small amount of pain, the effects of the pain are multiplied many times over based on how often the task is done. In other cases, when a traumatic event causes pain, such as a car accident or an injury, that injury itself must be completely healed before pain relief can be expected to begin. Still, other people experience pain due to pain syndromes. Conditions such as fibromyalgia can cause regular and seemingly random pain. Obviously, the treatment approach for dealing with this pain must be different than dealing with other forms of pain.

Severity

different-types-of-pain-in-body-03Pain is a fairly subjective object. We all experience pain differently, and pain can be compounded. Therefore, simply rating ones pain on a scale of 1 to 10 is not usually enough the truly identify the type of pain that we are dealing with. Talking about pain can be difficult. Other descriptors essential to finding out the true nature of the pain. Cutting, burning, stabbing, aching, throbbing, tingling, and similar adjectives help us to narrow down what the true sensation that you are experiencing is. Unfortunately, doctors can’t read minds. That is why open communication with your doctor is going to be essential in dealing with chronic pain.

Intensity of Treatment

plan-for-pain-management-nyc-02Not all pain management treatments are created equal. Sometimes, simply taking a few breaths can help to lower pain to a manageable degree. Of course, that’s not always the case. The intensity of the treatment is largely decided on based on your personal preference as the patient. Less invasive treatments, including ice and heat, stretching, and exercise, will provide a less drastic result. More intensive treatments, like the use of prescribed medications, biofeedback systems, massage, and therapies, will be able to help manage higher levels of pain. In cases where these treatments are not effective enough, more invasive treatment opportunities exist. Surgeries, steroid injections, and other clinical options are usually recommended for those dealing with very intense, long-lasting pain. It is typically recommended that we start with the least invasive and most conservative treatments possible. If something as simple as stretching does not help, we can try something like a biofeedback system. If this biofeedback system doesn’t work, then we can look at medication. If medication doesn’t help, injections may be the answer.

Are you wondering what medical management method would work best for you? Schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Grimm about your individual case and how we can help.

Call today: 646-862-5555