At Nevada Pain, we take a holistic approach to pain management. Our philosophy is simple. We care for our patients as if they were family, offering cutting-edge treatments and therapies and guiding decision-making by asking ourselves: “Is this the care I would want for my mom or dad?”
Watch This Video About How Nevada Pain Treats Chronic Pain
This personalized philosophy imbues our Nevada Pain practice with a sense of responsibility to stay up to date on the latest treatment options. Because we take a whole-patient approach, we design treatment plans to be as minimally invasive as possible, balancing them with techniques that address the emotional and mental aspect of pain, and it works. Fully 58% of our patients at Nevada Pain take less medication within 30 days of treatment. Here are some of the innovative ways we treat pain.
What it is: Platelets in the blood contain a growth factor (GF) that aids in hemostasis (stopping blood loss) and also helps with regenerating healthy tissue. Platelets also help with wound healing. Because platelets do this naturally, platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy utilizes a high concentration of platelets that is extracted from plasma with a centrifuge.
Once the blood is drawn, the platelets are separated from the blood and then concentrated with a centrifuge. This super-concentrated mixture of platelets is then mixed back into the residual blood and injected into the injured area. If necessary, an anesthetic may be added to decrease patient discomfort during the procedure.
From start to finish, the procedure takes approximately two hours. Patients may feel a little uncomfortable at the site of the injection for a couple days after the procedure, but this can be minimized with analgesics. Patients are encouraged to rest for 24 hours after the procedure but then to follow their doctor’s treatment plan with regard to physical therapy and activity.
This procedure utilizes the patient’s own blood, so the risk of disease transferred through blood is very low. Patients should see improvements in mobility, decreased pain, and quicker recovery times after treatment.
Conditions it is used for: Platelet rich plasma injection is increasingly used for athletes who suffer from bone fractures and injuries to the connective tissue. This can also be beneficial to those suffering from arthritis and back pain. Platelet rich plasma can also speed recovery from surgery.
What it is: Regenerative medicine is the process of using the body’s own tissues to generate healthy tissue in a laboratory setting. This healthy tissue can then be used to encourage healing and tissue growth. This technique uses stem cells in the body, a less controversial harvesting method that seems to have many of the same benefits as other stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are responsible for repair and regrowth, and regenerative medicine focuses on these processes to help treat chronic pain.
Along with platelet rich plasma injections, there are two other types of regenerative medicine. These are:
- Stem cell therapy: Stem cells divide and are able to differentiate themselves into different types of tissue. Because of this, they can be extracted from a patient, purified, concentrated, and then injected into the injured area. The cells will then begin to grow into healthy cells to replace damaged tissue, helping to speed healing and repair injuries.
- Amniotic membrane: The epithelial and stromal cells of the amniotic membrane have the same characteristics of stem cells in that they are generalized and able to specialize into different tissues. The procedure for using cells from the amniotic membrane is the same as that for stem cells.
As with platelet rich plasma injections, there is a low risk of infection or contamination because the patient’s own cells are used in treatment. The most common side effect includes soreness at the site of injection and possibly bruising.
Conditions it is used for: Stem cell regenerative medicine is remarkably effective for a wide variety of pain conditions, such as pain caused by degeneration of the discs in the low back and the neck and osteoarthritis of the knees, hips, and shoulders. Treatment using cells from the amniotic membrane has proven to be especially effective in treating tendinitis.
What it is: Biofeedback addresses the mental and emotional aspects of pain in a process that can dramatically decrease a patient’s perception of their pain. This non-invasive technique is based on the belief that what we think affects what we feel. Our perception of our pain can increase or decrease the actual pain we feel. Stress and anxiety can increase levels of pain dramatically, so it stands to reason that our ability to control stress and anxiety could decrease pain as well. To that end, biofeedback training helps patients recognize and cope with increased stress which leads to increased pain.
There are many different types of biofeedback. Patients are attached to electrodes or sensors that monitor their physical responses on a screen. These sensors monitor and measure different types of responses, including:
- Electromyography (EMG): Measures muscle tension
- Electroencephalography (EEG): Measures brain activity
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): Measures heart rate and heart rate fluctuation
- Galvanic skin response (GSR): Measures moisture on the skin (sweating)
- Thermal feedback: Measures skin temperature
Trained biofeedback professionals then teach patients techniques to control these processes.
For example, a Nevada Pain patient who is experiencing high pain may at the same time experience muscle clenching, increased heart rate, and very shallow breathing. Attached to sensors, these levels would be displayed onscreen. Patients would then put into practice biofeedback techniques learned from biofeedback clinicians and watch their levels stabilize. Over time, patients are able to recognize physical stress cues early and control their body’s response, thereby lessening pain.
This technique is minimally invasive and has no side effects, as no medications or other substances are introduced into the body. Sensors are attached with a clear gel, but this has not been shown to be irritating or cause any side effects.
Pain treatment can be complex and involved, often requiring a multi-pronged approach. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment protocol, and at Nevada Pain we are committed to finding which treatments work best for each individual patient.
For more on these and other treatments we offer at Nevada Pain, please visit the Treatments section on our website!
Image by Joseph Elsbernd via Flickr