Fibromyalgia and Neck Pain

Fibromyalgia is many things to many people.  I’ve always found it to be really interesting when a new patient comes to me with their history and tells me that one of their Drs. (or maybe all of them) have told them that they “must have fibromyalgia”.

They will describe to me how they were tested and have all of the pressure points that go into the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and also how their pain is varied and randomized.

They will then describe all of the medications that they have tried.  Continue reading “Fibromyalgia and Neck Pain”

What is Facet Joint Syndrome?

 

I’ve read thousands of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reports.  An MRI is imaging that is different than x-rays or CT scans. MRI’s show soft tissue problems such as bulging discs, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, osteophytes (bone spurts), and a condition called facet joint hypertrophy.

Most of the MRI reports that come across my desk are lumbar and cervical MRI’s.  Occasionally, I’ll read a thoracic MRI report but most of my patients have severe and chronic low back pain with accompanied hip or leg pain.

I’ve also treated many severe neck pain patients with upper extremity radiculopathy which is pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the upper back, shoulders, arms and hands.  Continue reading “What is Facet Joint Syndrome?”

Can Deep Breathing Reduce Low Back or Neck Pain?

Chronic low back and neck pain can be debilitating for so many who suffer with these conditions.  In fact, my entire professional career has been centered around treating the worst of the worst.

I don’t get your garden variety neck and low back pain patients.  The most common scenario I see in my clinic are patients who have been in pain for years.  Most have tried injections, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, stem cell injections, steroid injections, etc…

Over half of my patients come to me after having failed neck or low back surgery.  I know the neck and back pain world very well.  I’ve heard thousands of sad stories of lost quality of life, lost relationships, lost time with family and loved ones. Continue reading “Can Deep Breathing Reduce Low Back or Neck Pain?”

Pain Changes Things

I have dedicated my professional career to working with patients who are in chronic pain.  It has become my life’s calling.  I get so much joy and happiness helping people who say that nothing else had worked for them before they came to me.

Some people may think I’m a nerd, but I still get goosebumps when someone tells me how much better they are.  I’ve been in healthcare for a long time but I feel like I hit the game winning 3 point shot in the NBA Finals every time a patient shares with me a great success story with all of the things that they couldn’t do before and all of the things they can do now.

I don’t believe in, recommend, or do pain management.  To me, “pain management” is for the birds  It’s sad, because it is a multi-trillion dollar industry but I don’t have a time and place for pain management. Continue reading “Pain Changes Things”

Trigeminal Neuralgia and Facial Pain

Occasionally, I will have someone come to me with symptoms of classical trigeminal neuralgia.  I’ve been in practice for a long time so through the years, it has been enough people that I thought I would write an article about this painful condition called “trigeminal neuralgia”.

In fact, I currently have a patient who has suffered with trigeminal neuralgia for years.  This patient has traveled a great distance to see me because he felt that I could help him when no one else has been able to do so. Continue reading “Trigeminal Neuralgia and Facial Pain”

Why Are My Thumb and First Finger Going Numb?

I used to race motorcycles back in the early 1990’s.  It was a sport called motocross.  I loved it.  It was some of the most fun that I’ve ever had.

It was pure adrenaline.  Imagine jumping 25 feet in the air and having to time the landing just right to pull it off.  Imagine 20 guys racing towards the first turn knowing how important it is to get a quick lead at the beginning of the race.

It was like a stampede of mad cows but instead of 4 legs and a tail, we all had 250 cc engines on 2 wheels.  Those 2 stroke motorcycles were like raging bulls with power that is hard to explain for someone who has never been on one.  It was really something else.

During that part of my life, I was stationed on Guam while in the United States Air Force.  It was my dream to get out of the Air Force and become a professional motorcycle racer. Continue reading “Why Are My Thumb and First Finger Going Numb?”