Pain & Spine Specialists
Welcome to Pain and Spine Specialists of Idaho! We focus on treatments for all types of pain. Our Board Certified physicians are at the forefront of cutting edge treatments and procedures. We offer therapies not offered anywhere else in Idaho. Proper diagnosis is key to appropriate treatment, and we offer both in a professional atmosphere. Don’t let aches and pains keep you from living your best life! Call Pain and Spine Specialists of Idaho today!
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Back Pain – Overview
About 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor. It is the most common cause of job-related disability, and a leading contributor to missed work days. There are many causes of low back pain. Axial back pain—which is related to normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine— occurs most commonly. It presents as pain, generally in the low back around the belt line. It can also cause aching pain down the thighs.
Another common cause of back pain is the compression of nerves in the spinal canal and as they exit. This is called spinal stenosis. Pain due to stenosis “narrowing” generally presents as back pain and leg pain. The leg pain is often referred to as sciatica and often travels down a pathway that is determined by which nerve is being compressed (dermatome). This pain is generally caused by herniated discs, or narrowing of the spinal canal due to arthritis.
Another common cause of back pain is sacro-ilitis, which is inflammation of the SI joint. This pain presents very similar to axial back pain, and for that reason is often misdiagnosed. There are several physical exam findings that help us differentiate where the pain comes from, but often diagnostic blocks with local anesthetics are required to help us properly diagnose the cause of your back pain.
While these are the more common causes of back pain, there are several others that can cause significant pain and impairment. These include infection, tumors, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, sprains, endometriosis, and pain after back surgery.
If your back pain is debilitating, has been present for greater than four weeks, or is demonstrating symptoms of sciatica, it may be in your best interests to call for an appointment so we can help prevent your back pain from being chronic.
Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture, whether it’s leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck or turning the head. Neck pain can also be associated with headache, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or tingling (upper extremity paresthesias).
When Symptoms travel down the arm it is often indicative of pinched nerves in the neck. Over time, weakness may be develop due to nerve compression. If you are experiencing weakness in your arm, you should be evaluated by healthcare professional. Prolonged nerve compression will lead to irreversible injury.
While most causes of neck pain are related to arthritis of the neck, spinal stenosis (narrowing), or muscle spasm, other causes of neck pain include: infection, meningitis, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatic, trauma, or inflamed lymph nodes.
Neuropathy is a general term that means “nerve damage.” Every nerve in your peripheral system has a specific function, so symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected. Nerves are classified into three categories:
- Sensory nerves that receive sensation (such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch) from the skin.
- Motor nerves that control muscle movement.
- Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder.
Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy might include: gradual onset of numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands; sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing or burning pain; sensitivity to touch; lack of coordination and falling; or muscle weakness or paralysis, if motor nerves are affected.
One form of painful neuropathy that can be severely debilitating is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a chronic pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury, trauma, or surgery. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS is divided into two types: CRPS-I and CRPS-II. Individuals without a confirmed nerve injury are classified as having CRPS-I (previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome). CRPS-II (previously known as Causalgia) is when there is an associated, confirmed nerve injury.
At Pain and Spine Specialist of Idaho we are able to offer treatments for neuropathy that are not available anywhere else in south-eastern Idaho. These treatments include: sympathetic nerve blocks, IV infusion therapy, spinal cord stimulation, DRG stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and medication management.
“Joint pain” can be discomfort, pain or inflammation arising from any part of a joint including cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons or muscles. Most commonly, however, joint pain refers to arthritis within the joint itself. From the individual joints in our spine to our large joints in our upper and lower extremity, degeneration and pain can occur. Proper diagnosis is key to proper treatment of joint pain.
Common joints that lead to chronic pain include the knee, hip, sacroliliac, and shoulder. Pain in these areas can be very debilitating and can affect your ability to work and perform activities of daily living, and can affect your quality of life. The majority of pain in these areas is due to osteoarthritis. Many times there are surgical options that can help alleviate the pain. However often there is no surgical correction and managing the symptoms is only option available. At Pain and Spine, we have multiple options to help you manage your symptoms so you can return to having a high quality of life and improved functionality.
Roughly 36 million people, or 12% of the population, suffer from migraine headaches. Women are affected three times more than men. The presentation of headaches varies from person to person.
The most important aspect of treatment is making the right diagnosis and then developing and following the correct treatment program. When there is pressure or pain in your head, it can be difficult to tell whether you are experiencing a typical headache or a migraine. Differentiating a migraine headache from a traditional headache, and vice versa, is important. It can mean faster relief through better treatments.
Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. The pain can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for this headache type include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.
Migraine headaches are intense or severe and often have other symptoms in addition to head pain. Symptoms associated with a migraine headache include: nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, pain in the temples, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light and/or sound, temporary vision loss, and vomiting.
At Pain and Spine Specialist, we can help diagnose and tailor the correct treatment plan, from medication management to injections including nerve blocks and Botox® injections.
Chronic pain significantly affects the life and function roughly 10% of the population of the United States. For this reason, the treatment of chronic pain is ever evolving as new and innovative technology and treatment are being discovered. At Pain and Spine Specialist we embrace the new technologies. We are in constant pursuit of the new treatments that will help our patients have an improved quality of life. Some of the technologies that are new and evolving include spinal cord stimulation, Dorsal Root Ganglion stimulation, Intrathecal pump management, kyphloplasty/ vertebroplasty, Vertiflex™ “Indirect Spinal Decompression”, radiofrequency ablation, and regenerative medicine. Click on the link to see more on these individual therapies.