Pain is a part of life. We all know that. However, some conditions that cause chronic pain require medical intervention and treatment. In this post, we’ll be discussing some common problems that our Pocatello pain doctors can treat.
Fibromyalgia is something that many people suffer with, however, the condition itself is still something of a mystery for healthcare providers. It seems the result of atypical nervous system responses. Simply put, the body overreacts to stimulus that most wouldn’t interpret as painful.
Causes & Symptoms
- Tenderness in various areas of the body
- Musculoskeletal pain (pain in the bones and muscles)
- Problems with sleep (specifically excessive sleeping that does not make you feel rested)
- Anxiety and depression
- Cognitive problems (difficulty focusing and paying attention, often called “fibro fog”)
- Interstitial cystitis
The pain from fibromyalgia causes what many refer to as “regions of pain”, usually a feeling of “achiness” (ranging from mild to severe) that is felt in various muscles and soft tissue. These pain regions have been mapped. There are currently 5 pain regions related to fibromyalgia and some Pocatello pain doctors often give a diagnosis if the patient is experiencing pain in 4 out of these 5 areas.
The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still unknown, however, doctors and healthcare providers theorize that it’s a combination of genetics and an environmental trigger (or perhaps a variety of triggers).
People genetically predisposed to fibromyalgia may develop it due to:
- Infections – Illnesses like pneumonia, the flu, GI infections, and the Epstein-Barr virus are associated with fibromyalgia.
- Trauma – This could be either physical or emotional. In fact, PTSD has been linked to fibromyalgia.
- Stress This is related to PTSD, as stress can negatively affect the body.
Treatments may include:
- Physical therapy
- Relaxation techniques
- Lifestyle changes
Our Pocatello pain doctors can help treat fibromyalgia through one or many different methods.
Herniated Disc Syndrome
Commonly referred to as a “slipped disc”, “bulged disc”, or “ruptured disc”, this is a problem that can be caused by a variety of factors.
The spinal discs work as shock absorbers for the bony vertebrae, the small bones that form the backbone of the spine. They’re made of a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a soft inner center called the nucleus pulposus. HDS results from damage to these structures.
Causes & Symptoms
When a fragment of the soft inner nucleus gets forced out via a tear in the bony outer layer and into the spinal canal, you officially have a herniated disc. The pain results from the inner nucleus material pressing up against a nerve.
Our Pocatello pain doctors are familiar with this condition and can provide various treatments.
Herniated discs can be caused by disc degeneration. They are more common later in life because disc degeneration is sometimes an inevitable part of aging. They can also be caused by overstrain – lifting objects that are too heavy or doing so improperly. Needless to say, older people engaging in heavy lifting are at high risk for suffering a herniated disc.
There are various symptoms that can result from this condition. The pain can range from a minor ache to debilitating pain. Common symptoms include:
- Back and neck pain that gets worse when you move or lie down in a certain way
- Numbness and/or tingling sensations extending to the arms or legs
- Weakness in the muscles
- Bowel and/or bladder problems (this usually only occurs in severe circumstances)
Herniated discs generally heal on their own provided the sufferer doesn’t do things to aggravate the condition. Physical activity should be limited (though light walking can also help). Extra time in bed is not recommended as certain positions can cause too much pressure on the herniated disc. Someone suffering from a mild to moderate herniated disc may also find relief with certain chiropractic treatments.
If the herniated disc is severe enough, there are ways in which our Pocatello pain doctors can help. Severe herniated discs can be treated with an epidural steroid injection. Physical therapy may also be recommended.
As stated above, most herniated discs heal over time with proper care, so it can be difficult to know when you should seek treatment.
Simply put: if the pain lasts for a long enough time, and is intense enough to significantly lower your quality of life and get in the way of normal daily activities, you should seek medical intervention from our Pocatello pain doctors.
Neuropathy refers to a condition in which nerves are malfunctioning. There are various neuropathic classifications that depend on the type or location of the affected nerves. It may also be classified based on the disease that is causing it.
There are many common symptoms involved with neuropathy. Our Pocatello pain doctors can provide accurate diagnostics and treatment.
Types of Neuropathy
- Peripheral Neuropathy: This is when the problem affects nerves in the peripheral nervous system – the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. This condition affects the extremities – feet, legs, hands, and arms.
- Autonomic neuropathy: This involves damage to the nerves in the involuntary nervous system, the system which controls heartbeat and blood circulation, stomach and intestinal function, bladder function, sexual response, and perspiration.
- Cranial Neuropathy: There are 12 nerves that directly exit from the brain, and when these nerves are damaged, the classification is cranial neuropathy. This condition is further broken down into two types: optical neuropathy and auditory neuropathy. The former involves damage to the nerve where signals from the eye to the brain are delivered, while the latter involves damage to the nerve carrying signals from the inner ear to the brain.
- Focal Neuropathy: This is a condition of a single nerve or group of nerves, or one area of the body.
Causes & Symptoms
Neuropathy can be caused by:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Toxins and poisons
- Certain drugs and medication
- Physical trauma
- Postherpetic neuraliga
- Alcohol neuropathy
- Hypoglycemia unawareness
- Pain, tingling and numbness often beginning in the feet and then moving towards the center of the body
- Clumsiness and falling due to the inability to determine joint position
- Intense sensitivity to touch
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating after meals
- Urinary problems (either incontinence or difficulty urinating)
- Sexual dysfunction (impotence for men, difficulty lubricating for women)
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Intolerance to heat or an inability to sweat
Our Pocatello pain doctors are familiar with all forms of neuropathy and can provide the appropriate treatment, including: