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: Pain Management

Pain in Men vs. Women

In recent years there has been much research regarding differences experiencing pain in men vs. women. The expansive literature in this area signifies that men and women have different responses to pain. Higher pain sensitivity and risk for clinical pain is more common in women. Although there is no specific etiological basis that underlies the sex difference in pain. However, certain biological and psychosocial factors may contribute to different responses to pain.

Possible Factors for Sex Difference Regarding Pain

Studies also suggest that men and women differ in responsiveness to pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain intervention. The genes have an important role in pain sensitivity. Structural changes in genotype among men and women could be a possible factor. Endogenous opioid-functioning could be another factor. It regulates the receptors in your body that are responsible for pain. It is important to realize here that response to pain, however, can be a subjective matter as well.

Psychosocial factors such as early-life exposure to stress and suffering pain might elucidate the sex difference in pain. Moreover, the gender-stereotyping notion has also contributed to the difference in expressing and responding to pain. Much of this stereotyping is quite common in different countries and cultures of the world.

One must not ignore factors like behavioral responses to children when they complain about pain and their after effects on a person’s life. A child might stop complaining about pain altogether if a common response to his/her complain is scolding and shouting. A similar response to pain in children can be a result of parents telling them to face the pain toughly.

Sex hormones can also have an impact on pain. Testosterone is believed to have an analgesic effect and that’s why men’s response to certain pains is calmer than women’s. As a result of hormonal differences, women experience more chronic pain than men when they have back problems. Decreased levels of progesterone and estrogen after menopause can make a woman’s body vulnerable to inflammation and pain.

Regardless of the medical condition, women seem to report feeling more pain than men. Studies have suggested the same elevated sensitivity to pain in women when it comes to serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, etc.

The difference in Backache and Spine Related Problems

Epidemiological stats tell us that women have complained more about acute and chronic pain.  Several factors make women a little more susceptible to backache and vertebral problems than men.

Pregnancy and childbirth increase the chances of a herniated disk. Lifting a heavy child for a long time can further elevate the risk of backache and vertebral disk problems.

Calcium deficiencies and bone-related diseases are twice as common as in men.  About one in every three women has a calcium deficiency. Change in diet and lifestyle has more contributed to calcium deficiencies resulting in weaker bones in women these days.

With weaker bones, risks of bone disparities, and pain becomes high. Osteomyelitis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis have become women-associated diseases. Women also get more knee replacement surgeries than men.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Backache problems and spinal conditions are serious for both men and women. If you have backache or pain in arms and legs that is causing you discomfort, then you must not ignore.  

Contact Dr. Matthew Grimm at 646-862-5555 to book a consultation. Spine New York City specializes in general pain and spinal conditions.

Methods to Manage Chronic Pain

If you are living with a physical discomfort arising from your back or spine for longer than three months, you have developed chronic back pain. While many people neglect the pain, it can lead to severe ailments. Therefore, it is necessary to visit a pain doctor to prevent severity. Discuss the symptoms with your doctor to identify the source of the condition. This way, your doctor will give you a comprehensive treatment plan. While over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help manage the pain, you may also need to undergo multiple treatments, which include:

  • Psychological counseling
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy

No doubt, managing chronic pain is complex because what can work best for one patient may not be effective for another. However, besides these medical treatment options, your doctor may recommend you to practice at-home caring methods to manage the chronic pain.

Mediation and Deep Breathing

Meditation and deep breathing are one of the effective techniques that help your body relax, which further alleviates your chronic pain. While doing meditation, ensure to choose the techniques that are specifically useful for helping with aches.  Other than this, ignoring thoughts while focusing on breath will relax your body.

Reduce Stress

While having chronic back pain, you are like to be vulnerable to complexities. At this point, it is imperative for you to manage stress, anxiety, and depression with certain techniques. Not to mention, these negative feelings can make your body more susceptible and sensitive to pain, intensifying the ache. The techniques that help reduce anxiety and depression include listening to calming and soothing music. It will help improve your mood, making a living with chronic pain tolerable.

Exercise

You can boost the endorphins with exercising, a chemical in your body that may help reduce the pain. It is important to mention here that endorphins improve your mood while disrupting the pain signals. Therefore, performing physical exercise can have a positive effect; it will strengthen your muscles and prevent further severity.

Besides other exercises, you may practice yoga poses; it may help reduce the pain. Some medical professionals believe that doing yoga can provide patients with long-lasting benefits.

Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

While pain already interferes with your sleep, drinking alcohol will make the problem worse. So, if you have been experiencing chronic pain, make sure to cut down alcohol from your life to prevent the pain creating more discomfort to you. Other than this, keep in mind that smoking can increase the risks associated with the condition; it will worsen your back pain and may result in severe illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease.

In Conclusion

If you have been experiencing chronic back pain that doesn’t get better in several days with home care, then you must seek out an experienced doctor immediately to help with your condition. In other words, if your pain does not go away in 3-months, it could indicate a sign that your condition has become complex. As a result, you need a professional’s consultation.

If you leave the chronic pain without treating it, you can develop serious medical conditions, including permanent physical disability. If you are having chronic back pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Grimm. He will help diagnose and treat your chronic pain.

Call today: 646-862-5555

Doctor for Pain Management: What to Look For

What do you look for in a doctor for pain management? Every pain has a different story. Pain is real and makes its presence felt. The intensity and frequency of pain vary from person to person, depending on the root cause. Some pains are temporary and get better with time while others can stay for a lifetime.  Pain has different forms; it may be acute, chronic, cancerous, or a combination of all.

Sometimes an injury, a surgical treatment, or a damaged-nerve, may trigger excruciating pain. You will be surprised to know that nearly 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic pain. One hundred million affectees live in America only.

Pain Management

Living with chronic pains is tough. It may not completely vanish, but you can manage your pain. Physical, psychological, and behavioral therapies work well to manage the pain.

While home remedies can help with acute pain, you will need special assistance in dealing with chronic pains. Note that you can’t treat pain unless you diagnose the trigger. Physiology of pain is a vast field. The increasing pain complications have given rise to the need for specialized pain managing doctors.

Pain Management Specialists

A pain management specialist has expertise in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating pains of all kinds. They can identify the pain condition and prescribe the right treatment. A specialist in pain management has the skills to perform medical procedures to relieve the pain.

For treating complex pains, there are several new drugs and techniques. A pain management specialist knows how to use the knowledge for helping his patient. A physician with proper pain management training adopts a multidisciplinary approach combining different therapies with primary care.

An Ideal Pain Management Specialist

Sometimes the experience with a pain management specialist itself becomes “painful.” Finding the right specialist for managing your pain is tricky and emotionally challenging. Here are some qualities to look for in your pain management physician.

·       Training and Certification

Make sure that your doctor has the specific training for managing the pain you are facing. After graduation in pain management, a physician has to complete a one-year fellowship program. Once a doctor receives certification in a primary field of his choice, he/she may apply for board certification in pain management.

Based on the fellowship training, he/she has to pass the exam from either of these boards; The American Board of Anesthesiology, The American Board of Psychiatry and The American Board of Neurology, or the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

·       Experienced in Pain Management

It is important to know if your doctor has chronic pain management experience –especially the ailment you are facing. An experienced doctor can understand your condition better. Go through the websites and read reviews of the patients your doctor has treated.

·       Good Listener

When you are going through excruciating pain, you look for someone who can address your concerns. You want your doctor to diagnose the pain and suggest suitable treatment carefully. If he does not have good listening skills, a pain management doctor may miss out some important details. Hence, he won’t be able to help you effectively.

·       Empathetic

Efficiency and empathy is an ideal combination, but it is difficult to find.  Your doctor may be efficient but may lack empathy. Admit it that you feel comfortable with a doctor you have a good rapport. The friendly manner of the doctor relieves half of the stress and pain. An indifferent doctor may excavate your pain instead of relieving it.

·       Abreast with Medical Advancements

Pain management has completely transformed over the years with technological advancement. Who could have thought a spinal cord stimulator would ease the chronic pain? Find a physician having a keen interest in all these advanced treatment options. They will have a better solution for your pain issues.

So, if you are going through any pain and can’t handle on your own, it’s time to get the expert’s help.  Book an appointment today with Spine New York City for a pain-free, healthy life.

646-862-5555

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

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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

What Should You Look for in a Pain Specialist?

pain specialistYou have pain. You’ve taken medication for it and it doesn’t seem to go away. You may need to see a pain specialist. You may know the underlying cause of the pain, or you may not. In many cases, individuals will seek out multiple types of pain treatments and talk to various doctors to find a solution. If you haven’t seen improvement, you may need to turn to a pain specialist. These professionals have the information and resources to offer you a wider range of treatment options for pain care. Keep in mind that pain management is far more than just taking medications. When you see our pain specialist in New York, you’ll learn about all of your options.

Who Should You See?

While a wide range of professionals are available to help you with the pain you feel, most people benefit from seeing a pain specialist that offers some key characteristics. Among those are the following:

pain specialist• Turn to a professional who has specific experience in pain management. Their in-depth understanding of the pain systems and care as well as how the nervous system works can really benefit you. You want a pain specialist, not just your average doctor providing you with care.

• Look for a professional that offers multiple options for pain care. Many times, patients only believe medications are a solution to their pain. That’s not the case. You need to have multiple options available to help you to get the care you need.

• You need someone that is going to listen to you and really wants to help you. Often, patients feel as though they cannot trust their doctor to really want to help resolve their pain. They believe the doctor doesn’t understand or doesn’t care how bad it is. Compassionate professionals are important.

pain specialistLook for a pain specialist that uses alternative care as well. This may include either offering or recommending acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care. For some people, this really is effective.

• Select a pain specialist that you like. It is important to have a good relationship with the professional who is going to help control the pain you feel.

It takes a unique doctor to work as a pain specialist. When you come in to see our top-notch pain doctor in New York City, you’ll get the level of care you need to provide you with the best range of options for pain control and treatment.

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.

Seeking Out Psychological Support for Pain Management

pain managementPain management is not just about resolving the physical aspects of this condition. There is also a strong psychological component to pain management. That is not to say that the pain you feel isn’t real or isn’t very bad. Yet, there is a component of your mental health that can be impacted by chronic or severe pain especially when it lasts for a long time. This is why many times, when you see a pain doctor in New York City, you’ll need to also see a psychologist to talk about what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done about it.

How Can Psychological Treatment Help You?

Individuals who are facing pain, especially long term pain, need help. They struggle with many aspects of this condition including physical limitations. But they also struggle with the way they feel. You may be experiencing:

  • Hopelessnesspain management
  • Despair
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Frustration

And, when you have these feelings, and they last a long time, that impacts your overall wellbeing. It can also impact the way you sleep, your relationships personally and professionally, as well as your stress levels. In fact, for many people, ongoing pain that’s not treated can create depression and anxiety that actually worsens the way they feel. Psychological treatment aims to reduce this type of outcome.

What can it offer?

  • It is a safe and nonmedication method for reducing pain.pain management
  • It reduces high stress levels that worsen pain.
  • It offers an opportunity to give you a place to vent and to let go.
  • It teaches you how to cope in high stress and high pain instances.
  • It also helps you to learn how to manage a very difficult situation.

It is important to know that psychological treatment for pain isn’t often an option. It is often one of the most important components of a well-designed management program. That means that most pain doctors will encourage individuals to seek out this type of care. It not only can help you to feel better, but it also assures your doctor that you truly are experiencing pain that is impacting your quality of life. And, it can provide an avenue to improving your overall ability to manage your life as it is.

With the help of our pain doctor in New York City, we can offer you the right combination of care to improve your pain.

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.