On the Nevada Pain website, our goal has always been to share the most up-to-date news and research stories impacting pain patients in the area.
With hundreds of blog posts, dozens of pain condition and treatment articles, and a comprehensive suite of pain videos, we know there’s always something new you can learn about living with pain. Most of the time, we hope that it’s something that allows you to live a better and fuller life, even with pain.
Even though approximately 12 million people suffer from fibromyalgia in the U.S., it wasn’t until 2003 that doctors had a useful scale and system for diagnosing it. The Symptom Intensity Scale now provides clear guidance for what symptoms define the disease, how to check nine tender points and the intensity of pain felt at each to diagnose it, and how to uncover other illnesses that may also be present, such as depression.
2. Yes, you can travel with a spinal cord stimulator
Spinal cord stimulation involves the implanting of a medical device near the spine to deliver low-level electrical impulses to block the transmission of pain. It’s a fairly safe, minimally-invasive treatment option with few side effects. Even so, since it’s not as common as a treatment, there are still some concerns about its use and safety. In our Nevada Pain post, “Frequently Asked Questions About Spinal Cord Stimulators,” we attempted to answer many of the questions we hear from patients at our clinics.
Regenerative therapies, such as stem cell therapy, are some of the most exciting potential treatment options for pain patients. As we noted in our post on the topic:
“This branch of medicine involves encouraging the body to heal itself by, for example, repairing eroded cartilage and damaged spinal discs. Stem cells and their ability to turn into the very tissue needing repair hold the key to this transformative medicine. Although this treatment is still in its infancy and not yet used as a first-line therapy, stem cell research is rapidly advancing. This gives patients with chronic pain from osteoarthritis, compression fractures, degenerative disc disease, and any number of other difficult-to-treat conditions hope.”
We encourage you to continue learning more about these fascinating potential treatment options by following along at the Inside Pain blog.
Pain In Your Community
Those with chronic pain know that it doesn’t only affect your personal life: it affects your relationships, your circle of friends, and your work life. Our post on reasonable accommodations for chronic pain patients covers everything you need to know, from defining the term “disability” under the law to asking your boss about ways you can work in more pain-friendly ways.
5. Deaths from painkiller abuse is a deeply serious issue
As we reported on for 2013, the painkiller Oxycodone was the leading cause of drug-related deaths in Clark County. A recent article from the Las Vegas Sun confirms these grim statistics for 2014. As healthcare providers, it is our responsibility to always discuss the risks of painkiller use, help our patients reduce their usage of them as much as possible, if not entirely, and educate the public on responsible disposal techniques.
In our post, “The Future of Opioid Regulations,” we discussed the many ways that local, state, and federal government agencies are working to counteract the widespread misuse and abuse of opioid medications. This is a gravely serious issue, not only in Clark County, but in the entire country:
“According to the Trust for America’s Health, overdose deaths from prescription drugs have doubled in 29 states since 1999. Of these states, deaths have tripled in another ten and quadrupled in four. In Nevada, drug overdose deaths have increased 80% since 1999.”
Free Yourself From Pain
One of the most crucial means of counteracting pain is exercise. In our post on the topic, we covered many of the ways water exercises and therapies are some of the best options for chronic pain patients. From beating the heat to protecting your joints to managing stress, water exercises should be within every chronic pain patient’s treatment regime. In the same post, we noted some of the Vegas-area spots where you can get started.
8. Visualization is exercise for the mind
While physical exercise is important, research is finding that mental exercises are just as vital for the chronic pain patient. In our post, “Can Visualization Help Reduce Chronic Pain?“, we explored some of the profound effects of visualization for managing chronic pain.
As we’ve tried to stress in every article online, along with every interaction in our clinic, the pain patient doesn’t have to face their pain alone. Local and online support groups offer havens of understanding, compassion, and advice for those in pain. In our article on the topic, you’ll find a number of great resources for finding that support you need–whether online or in person.
At Nevada Pain, we firmly believe that the patient comes first and that our healthcare staff must perform their jobs with compassion. As we noted in our post:
“Every day we try to put this into practice with a smile. A kind word. More questions to better understand a patient’s feelings. If you ever have any questions about your care, you can always reach out to us in a number of ways. We’re available by phone and email, but we’re also listening on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. There’s also a full library of videos that attempt to explain many of the pain conditions we treat at Nevada Pain.”
In the meantime, we hope our Nevada Pain posts have inspired you to become an advocate for your health, while continually improving your own actions in order to avoid pain. If there’s a specific Nevada Pain post you’ve enjoyed, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
On Pain Doctor’s website, there’s even more content published about the most up-to-date discoveries about pain management. We encourage you to check out Inside Pain, subscribe to their newsletter, and follow their social media accounts.
Image by Anthony Quintano via Flickr