Click on a topic below:
- Non Surgical Overview
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Chiropractic Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Psychological and Behavioral Therapy
- Nutritional Therapy
- Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
The most important principle that we follow at Hill Country Pain is to make the correct diagnosis and identify any areas that might be generating pain in our patients. At that point, we have many arrows in our quiver to use, to try and help the patient manage their pain or get rid of their pain. Non-surgical options include medications that might be non-opioid or opioid medications, and at times over-the-counter medications, which do not require a prescription. Other modalities might include the addition of physical therapy and/or chiropractic management to decrease myofascial spasm and to maintain proper alignment for painless body movement. Additionally, it is important to include behavioral and/or psychological treatment to help deal with sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and associated feelings of frustration that occurs when one is dealing with chronic pain. Let’s not forget how important nutritional health is in the management of chronic pain and advancing a patient to the point that they have less pain, and they are able to exercise and increase their activity level. With the expertise of the pain management physician and the staff at Hill Country Pain, we are able to find the appropriate mix of interventions and apply them appropriately to each patient.
This outpatient diagnostic test is used to evaluate the health of muscles and the nerves, called motor neurons, which control the muscles. EMG is a valuable diagnostic device for determining the cause of muscle weakness and for identifying neurologic disorders. In preparation for the exam, the patient may be asked to wear a hospital gown and is positioned comfortably on an examination table. Electrodes are then placed on the surface of the skin, and thin needle electrodes are carefully inserted through the skin and into the muscles that need to be tested. A topical anesthesia may be used to reduce discomfort. Needles may be placed in a variety of muscles in the body, depending on the patient’s symptoms and the type of testing needed. The electrodes record the electrical activity within the muscles while they are at rest and during contraction. The patient will also be asked to contract and rest the muscles at various intervals. The physician can interpret this data to diagnose nerve or muscle dysfunction. When the exam is complete, the electrodes are removed and the patient is allowed to go home. The patient may experience minor bruising at the sites where the needles were inserted, but the bruising will fade within a few days. (www.viewmedica.com)
Chiropractic is a health care approach that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – mainly the spine and nervous system – and the body’s ability to function. People seek chiropractic care for conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headache, sports injuries, and general well-being. A chiropractic adjustment begins with a consultation and thorough examination. The chiropractor discusses the patient’s history to learn about the type of problems the patient is experiencing. The chiropractor then examines the patient’s spine, hips, and legs and posture to identify the cause of the problem and decide the most effective plan of care. (www.viewmedica.com)
The human body is dependent on function and movement to remain healthy. Therefore, the longer an injured body part is immobile, the more difficult the return to normal health. The re-education of the nervous system is dependent on restoring normal movement, normal range of motion and strength, and the correction of functional abnormalities. Early and aggressive functional restoration is vital to controlling pain, and restoring function. Moving the patient, as quickly as possible, from dependent, or passive physical therapy modalities, to movement-based therapy is one of the goals in this modality. However, the patient’s pain must be controlled in order to allow functional improvement. Pain control without pressing forward and without functional physical therapy, is incomplete treatment. However, physical therapy without adequate pain control is usually impossible because of the discomfort. Our policy is the early use of aquatic therapeutic exercise, to increase the chance of greater movement with less pain.
Psychological and Behavioral Therapy
The diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain must also include the emotional and psychogenic components of the problem.
It is impossible for a human being to experience chronic pain, and not have this impact the individual’s perceptions, mood, temperament, hopes, and abilities to deal with other people. Most chronic pain sufferers have a degree of depression and frustration. This is a normal reaction and the opposite reaction would be considered abnormal.
The control of pain must include tools to help control and focus the power of the mind toward the problem. Our psychological professionals use individual and group therapy, biofeedback techniques, hypnotherapy, visualization, and relaxation training to control symptoms. Our staff have decades of experience working with chronic pain patients whose lives have been impacted with these conditions.
All of us must eat and drink to survive. However, some pain syndromes can be affected by certain types of food. Chronic headache is particularly associated with chemicals, which are naturally found in some foods. Obesity and malnutrition also affect a patient’s quality of life. Obesity, for example, can adversely affect a back pain patient; while malnutrition may cause bone and joint pain.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Platelet rich plasma (abbreviated PRP) is a new treatment used for some common orthopedic conditions. PRP is a concentration of platelet cells taken from your blood, and these platelets have growth factors that may help in the healing process of chronic injuries. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a healing response. By injecting PRP into areas of an injury, the hope is to stimulate and optimize your body’s ability to heal the chronic conditions.