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.

Category Archives: Chronic Pain

What is Fibromyalgia?

Chronic pain can be extremely difficult for anyone to deal with and fibromyalgia affects millions of people all across the country. While most people have heard of this condition before, few people actually know what it really is. Considering that 10 million people in the U.S. alone have this condition, it’s important that you take the time to learn about it.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

fibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic pain that is typically felt throughout the entire body. Those who have this condition can experience pain in one area and then another over time. The symptoms can increase and decrease in severity over a period of years. Approximately 2-4% of the entire U.S. population has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that someone with fibromyalgia can experience. Some of the more common symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • painMuscle pain (burning, aching, twitching)
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Severe fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating on simple tasks
  • Trouble getting to sleep
  • General nervous or anxious feeling
  • Depression

The symptoms of fibromyalgia vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience very mild symptoms for a long time followed by intense bursts of pain. It can be difficult to diagnose this condition, but doctors typically look for the symptoms listed above. Most people who have fibromyalgia feel tired and weak almost all the time.

Treatment

While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are various treatments that have proven to be quite effective at managing the symptoms it causes.

Many people with this condition use over-the-counter pain medications to help with the inflammation and muscle aches that are associated with fibromyalgia. Since depression is also a common symptom of fibromyalgia, antidepressants are often prescribed by a doctor.fibromyalgia

Some anticonvulsant medications have also proven effective when it comes to managing the dizziness, weight gain, swelling, and dry mouth that many of these people experience.

The three main pain medications that are prescribed to many fibromyalgia patients include Duloxetine, Milnacipran, and Pregabalin. It’s important to keep in mind that while there are effective medications for managing this type of pain, opioids are typically not a viable long-term solution.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and need help with managing your symptoms, make an appointment with us right away. We have one of the best NYC pain doctors in the country to help relieve your symptoms effectively.

If you are experiencing any type of pain at all, we highly encourage you to call us today at 646-862-5555 to schedule an appointment with the best pain doctor in all of New York City.

Living with Chronic Pain: How to Cope

There is no question that living with chronic pain can be extremely difficult, but there are numerous ways that you can cope with it. It is absolutely essential that anyone with this type of problem learns how to deal with in a healthy way, as soon as possible.

Practice Deep Breathing

 

One of the best things that you can do when it comes to coping with chronic pain is to practice deep breathing. Certain breathing exercises can help you relax your body physically and mentally, allowing the pain to melt away, at least for a little while. While this is just a short-term solution, it can help a lot if you are trying to find a way to cope with chronic pain.

Find Ways to Cut Down on Stress

chronic pain

The better you become at managing your stress levels, the easier it will be to cope with your pain. Mental or emotional stress can quickly translate to real physical pain, so it is imperative that you learn how to do this. There are many ways to reduce the amount of stress you experience on a daily basis, such meditating or listening to soothing music when you feel yourself getting worked up.

Stay Physically Active

It is a fact that exercising can release endorphins in the brain, which in turn can produce a euphoric state of mind. If you want a quick way to feel good in every possible way, you will definitely want to try hitting the gym. While you may be somewhat limited in the things you can do because of your condition, you should be able to find numerous ways to stay physically active.

Join a Support Group

Sometimes it really helps to be around other people who are going through the same thing as you. A lot of people with chronic pain feel as though nobody understands them, so joining a group specifically for people who have chronic pain issues can definitely be beneficial.

Try Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can be very effective at temporarily relieving even the worst chronic pain, so it’s definitely something you should at least look into. The right professional will have you feeling relaxed in no time at all.

While it’s certainly not easy to cope with chronic pain, there are quite a few options available. Make an appointment with our office today to see the best pain doctor in NYC, so you can get help with your chronic pain issues.

The Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Depression

There is a well-established connection between chronic pain and depression. This connection is physical and very real. Numerous scientific studies have revealed that chronic pain sufferers are four times more likely to develop some sort of mood disorder, including depression. It has also been established that people who are depressed are also more likely to have issues with chronic pain. The more pain a person is in, the more likely they are to struggle with depression.

The Structure of the Brain

Imaging studies have revealed that there are numerous parts of the brain that relate to both pain and the development of various mood disorders like depression. This conclusively proves a connection between chronic pain and depression at a scientific level. There are also certain neurotransmitters that receive signals telling us that we are in pain that also regulate our moods.

Managing Your Pain and Depression

chronic painIt can be very difficult to manage chronic pain by itself, but it becomes even more challenging when depression is an issue as well. A combination of medication and therapy can be extremely effective for treating chronic pain sufferers who also struggle with a mood disorder. There are many natural treatments that should be explored as well. Relief can seem impossible to some people with these problems, but there are lots of effective treatments that exist.

Techniques for Reducing Stress

chronic painSometimes, reducing one’s stress level can be enough to get a significant amount of relief from both physical and mental pain. There is a multitude of ways that you can reduce your stress level, including meditation, exercise, listening to relaxing music, and many others. Studies have proven that when a person’s overall stress level decreases, they also get relief from the pain they are in.

Symptoms of Depression

There are a number of telltale signs that a person with chronic pain is depressed, and it’s important that you are aware of them.

  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Feeling tired all the time (fatigue)
  • Irritability/mood changes
  • Feelings of guilt and/or despair

If you find that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you seek out help immediately. Let us help you with the pain you are experiencing, whatever kind it may be. The best pain doctor in NYC is in our office, and he will help you to feel better overall.

What Are Nerve Blocks?

What Are Nerve Blocks?If you suffer from pain, you may be looking for any type of pain solution. You cannot think about anything you are doing because the pain is intense. Nothing you take seems to help. The pain continues and puts you at a constant level of discomfort. This is when you may need more advanced treatment options for your pain. Nerve blocks may be something your pain doctor in New York City offers to you. What is it? How can it work to reduce the amount of pain you feel even if there are other treatment options that have not worked for you?

Understanding Nerves

The nerves in the body are a complex network that links every component, organ, and area of your body to the brain. They send messages from that area to the brain to tell it when something is not right. These nerves are what tell your brain there’s pain  and to do something to resolve it. However, sometimes these nerves become damaged. They may over communicate with the brain. And, in some cases, there just is no treatment for the pain. When this happens, your doctor may encourage you to use a nerve block, which, in essence, helps stop the communication between the brain and the nerves.

What Are Nerve Blocks?How Can They Help You?

Nerve blocks can help to turn off the pain signals that are causing you the discomfort your feel. There are various types of nerve blocks available and each works in its own way. Some of the ways that nerve blocks can work include the following:

    • They can treat painful conditions using a local anesthetic. This is a therapeutic function.
    • Diagnostic nerve blocks can help doctors to determine what the underlying cause of the pain is.
    • Doctors can also use nerve blocks called prognostic nerve blocks to produce the outcome of a specific type of treatment they are using or considering, such as whether or not surgery would help.
    • Preemptive nerve blocks work as they seem, to prevent pain from occurring as it relates to a procedure that is approaching.
    • They can also be used as a treatment. This may help a patient to avoid the use of surgery for care.

What Are Nerve Blocks?Nerve blocks are one source of pain management available to doctors. It is important to consider that this is not always the best solution for each person. When you meet with your NYC pain doctor, you’ll learn more about your options.

Contact our New York pain doctor today at 646-862-5555 to discuss your needs and to find out what treatment options may be exactly what you need.

What Is Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Pain Management?

cbt_partsCognitive behavior therapy is one of the options your doctor may recommend for the treatment of pain. Pain management is the goal of finding a way to reduce the amount of pain felt by a person. What we know about pain is that it occurs for many reasons and for some people, it is more severe than for others. In some situations, there is an emotional or mental connection to pain. In some of these situations, the use of cognitive behavior therapy can be helpful in overcoming those intense, painful moments.

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy. It is a type of therapy in which the thoughts and behaviors of an individual are believed to be contributing to the negative way a person feels. The negative feelings experienced in these individuals leads to more sensitivity to pain. That is not to say he pain isn’t real. In this type of treatment, the goal is to reduce pain by reducing negative feelings.

There are many strategies that can be utilized as a part of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of pain. Generally, it takes time for doctors to determine the best possible treatment option for the patient, since some methods may not work as well. The goal of this therapy is to:

  • man-gestures-as-he-speaks-to-therapistImprove coping skills of the individual in dealing with pain
  • Increase the individual’s level of confidence
  • Improve self efficiency in the management of pain
  • Aid in changing how you behave and respond when pain occurs

Is this type of treatment right for everyone? Most people can benefit from a pain management program that does address some level of cognitive therapy. However, the type and amount of help it offers will differ from one person to the next. Keep in mind that this should be just one-step in your treatment, not the only step.

To find out if cognitive behavior therapy for pain management is right for you, come in to our offices to discuss your condition. When your doctor talks to you, you’ll learn more about how this and other pain management methods can help to improve the way you go through your life and aid in reducing the amount of pain that you feel. For many people, it is quite life changing. Let us help you. Call our New York offices today to learn more.

What Medications Are Being Used to Improve Chronic Pain?

chronic painChronic pain can be one of the most difficult of all types of disease and illness to live with. If you are struggling with pain, you don’t have to. More advanced treatment options are becoming available, including the use of a new type of medication.

Take a closer look at some of the medications being used to improve chronic pain in many people today.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

One of the most common medications used as a first line of treatment for chronic pain is NSAIDs. These are over-the-counter medications, prescription strength products are also available. Generally, this type of medication is ideal for acute types of muscle and bone pain. However, taking them chronically can lead to negative effects o the kidneys, the body’s ability to clot blood, and other concerns.

Antidepressants

One of the latest types of medications used to treat chronic pain is a line of antidepressants. Older antidepressants are often very helpful in controlling pain. They are beneficial because patients can often get pain relief at lower doses with the use of tricyclic antidepressants. They are often taken on an as-needed basis. They treat most types of pain, depending on the severity of the condition.

Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants, also known as anti-seizure medications, can work for some types of pain, specifically nerve pain such as shooting pain or a burning feeling. These products can help with minimal side effects in many people, though some can develop weight gain and glaucoma if they are overused. There is the need to carefully monitor liver and kidney health when taking these medications.

Muscle Relaxants

In some situations, the use of muscle relaxants can be beneficial, especially in those who have the same type of pain but not consistently. These products can make people drowsy, but most are safe to use on an as-needed basis.

Which Type of Medication Is Right for You?

Those experiencing chronic pain and discomfort want a solution. That solution may come from one of these types of medications. In some situations, over-the-counter products are effective. In other cases, doctors need to increase the amount and type of medication being taken to improve your day to day pain level.

chronic painEvery situation is very different. For pain medication and treatment, come in to see the best pain doctor in New York. Schedule an appointment with our team today to discuss your needs.

Call us at 646-862-5555 to schedule a consultation.

How Do Anti-Seizure Medications Treat Pain?

treat painThe use of anti-seizure medications as a treatment option for pain is not a new concept. In fact, it is one of the oldest methods used to treat chronic pain conditions especially in those that have experienced long-term pain or are unable to see relief from other types of pain medications.

The first medications of this type were designed to provide relief from epilepsy. They work to calm the nerves and aid in reducing the symptoms of burning and tingling common with pain. Often times, pain that feels as though it is shooting through the arm, leg, back or other area is also due to nerve damage.

How Does Anti-Seizure Drug Treatment Work?

The use of anti-seizure medications are highly effective in treating pain. However, doctors do not understand fully why this is. The exact mechanism of why this type of medication works is not fully understood, but what it seems to do is to turn off some of the transmissions of pain signals to the brain. When a person experiences pain, such as a burn on the fingertip, nerves transfer this pain signal through the nerve system to the brain. This type of medication tends to calm those sensations, therefore limiting the number, frequency, or intensity of these types of signals moving to the brain.

For some people who have chronic pain, these signals fire too often and sometimes without the need to do so. Overactive transmission of pain signals like this sometimes happen because nerves are damaged. This can happen in many situations including from chemotherapy treatment, herniated disks, fibromyalgia, and shingles.

How Medications Work

treat painAnti-seizure medication works to calm these signals. It works particularly well for some types of conditions including for trigeminal neuralgia, a type of condition that causes painful, searing facial discomfort that feels much like an electric shock.

The treatment with carbamazepine, a type of anti-seizure medication, is highly effective in this type of situation.

What we don’t know is when anti-seizure medication is going to be effective. If you have chronic pain, and have yet to try anti-seizure medications, it may be a helpful treatment to you depending on the cause of your pain and the current condition you are in. There are risks to taking these medications, which is why it is important to work with a trusted pain medication doctor in New York when seeking treatment. Call us to schedule an appointment at 646-862-5555.

Recognizing Chronic Pain’s Mental Impact

chronic painChronic pain is debilitating. It limits your ability to move. You may find that every step hurts. In other cases, you may find it difficult to move your fingers, sit for a long time, or accomplish other types of daily tasks. It is debilitating because you cannot achieve the simple things you used to be able to do.

For many people, chronic pain is not about an injury or disease, but rather a damaged nerve or neuropathy that is otherwise unexplained. In all cases, the physical damage is only one element of the problem.

You Are Suffering Mentally, Too

In every situation, no matter if you have mild to severe chronic pain, one thing becomes clear. Your pain takes a mental toll on you as well. How limiting chronic pain can be to your mental health depends on a number of different factors.

  • Sleepiness and exhaustion: Many people begin to feel the mental limitations when they become severely fatigued. While this can be brought on by physical ailments, it can also be caused by the mental wear and tear. When you are tired, you are less capable of responding in a healthy manner.
  • Anxiety: The development of anxiety in some people is also debilitating. Anxiety occurs when a person knows an outcome is unlikely but is apprehensive and worried about it occurring at an uncontrollable level. Over time, this can limit the individual’s ability to do things he or she once enjoyed and even stops the individual from focusing.
  • Depression: Mental health can also worsen into depression especially for those who are genetically predisposed for it. Depression is life threatening and it can lead to a low quality of life.

chronic painIf you are feeling any of these mental concerns the first step is to seek out treatment from a doctor for your pain. Getting your pain under control through specialized methods can help in most cases.

 

However, most people also need mental health treatment. Mental health care aids in improving the thought patterns and emotions you are feeling by bringing you back to a more logical level. For some, medications are necessary while others benefit from cognitive or talk therapy.

 

Finding a solution for the way you feel is not something you should put off. Turn to a pain specialist like our doctor in New York, to get the answers and treatments you need to finally start feeling better.

Call us at 646.862.5555 to schedule a consultation.

Can Visual Imagery Be Effective for Pain Management?

Many people struggle with pain for reasons simply not easy to control. Often times, pain doesn’t work the way it should. Pain is supposed to be a warning moving from the nerves to the brain signaling a problem for the brain to handle. Sometimes, nerves become damaged and pain signals trigger at the wrong time, when there is no real physical risk, or continuously by not shutting off. In all cases, finding a treatment for this troubled nerve signals isn’t always easy. Pain medications and therapy can help, but for some, imagery can be even more powerful.

What Is Imagery as a Treatment?

Imagery is just what it sounds like. It is a type of pain management technique in which an individual uses sound, visual stimulation, or other pictures that help them to move away from the pain and to focus on something else. The goal is to create a visual “thought” in the mind that is relaxing and pleasant to the individual.

pain managementBy focusing on this good thought, it may be possible to move the brain’s focus away from the pain they are feeling and instead allows them to focus on something else, something good and positive. Imagery is often an effective tool for those suffering from chronic pain that is untreated or does not minimize enough even with medication or other pain management techniques. Does it work for you?

Can It Help You?

Visual imagery can help many people, but it does not always work for all patients. It is a good idea to first focus on getting into a relaxing state. Then, focus on an image as clearly as possible in your mind’s eye that is positive and happy. The longer you focus on it, the more your brain moves away from the pain. The longer you do this, the longer the pain may subside. Whether or not it works depends on the individual’s ability to maintain that positive presence as well as how intense the pain is.

pain managementIn many situations, it is possible to see significant improvement by using visual imagery. This treatment option does not require the use of a doctor, however, it can be taught by a specialist to create a more significant improvement. And, it compliments other pain management techniques that may also help you. If you suffer from chronic pain, call our New York doctor for help at 646-862-5555 .

Doctor for Chronic Pain Management

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that continues past a month beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness. It can also include pain that goes on for months (or years) chronicdue to a chronic condition. The pain is not always constant but can interfere with the quality of life for an individual.

 

Chronic pain can affect every part of a person’s daily life. Individuals complaining from chronic pain may have health issues such as neck pain, lower and upper back pain, headache and sciatica. Other serious conditions that are associated with chronic pain also include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer.

Early intervention of chronic pain also lets patients become more active. It also helps avoid worsening health and the emotional complications of ongoing pain.

Chronic Pain Management Goals

The first goal of chronic pain management is to help bring pain under control and manage the side effects of treatment. The second goal is to improve quality of life. Managing chronic pain is essential to work and being able to perform daily tasks. Chronic pain management helps increase physical function, decreased reliance on medication and a faster return to work and daily activities.

Doctors for chronic pain have techniques to reduce painful symptoms while avoiding surgery whenever possible. When surgery is the best option, chronic pain doctors try to use minimally invasive techniques that are very safe and effective.

Better Methods for Chronic Pain Management

chronicIt’s estimated that almost one in four people in the United States suffer some form of joint pain regularly, but only half of them have visited pain doctors for chronic pain relief. Some of the reasons are that people get accustomed to the pain or feel it’s part of getting older. But with a consultation with a chronic pain doctor, patients get a better understanding of what pain management is and how it works.

Chronic pain doctors use a combination of method that includes physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture and counseling. Many doctors opt to include other forms of treatment to eliminate or minimize the use of narcotics. This approach helps avoid some side effects from addictive drugs or chemicals that make it difficult for each patient to enjoy a normal life.

Palliative Medicine

Palliative medicine is the ongoing, total care of individuals with incurable illness. It involves compassionate therapies with the main goal to maximize comfort for patients.

Active programs include the treatment of pain, related to fatigue cancer pain, anorexia syndrome and cancer treatment. Some community-based hospice programs have already been implemented as has a home visit program.

With all the treatment options available for various forms of chronic pain, there is no need to suffer needlessly. Contact us today at 646-862-5555  to schedule an appointment with the best chronic pain doctor in NYC.