Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that can be traced back to at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is that specific patterns of energy flow through the body and are essential for health. The Chinese call this energy Qi (chi), and it is the balance of Qi that improves health. Acupuncture is most commonly known as small, sterile needles inserted into specific locations in the skin. Modern acupuncture also uses a variety of other treatment modalities, including acupressure, electro-acupuncture, herbs, laser, nutrition counseling, magnets, cupping, and moxibustion. Small amount of local anesthetics can be injected in the same points, achieving faster results.
South Lake Pain Institute is proud to treat professional, competitive, and recreational athletes. Proper training can help prevent injury, and in the instance you are injured, proper recovery measures can get you back in action more quickly and with better results.
A typical treatment will consist of an evaluation to determine possible imbalances, define injuries, deficits, habits, and diet. An individually tailored plan of therapy will then be suggested.
Options may include intravenous B12, B complex, magnesium, pyridoxine, thiamine, acupuncture, homeopathy, neural therapy, Ayurvedic herbs, Ayurvedic oils, exercise nutrition, massage, and laser therapy.
When injecting tender or injured anatomy, we use steroid alternatives. Joints, muscles, tendons, fasciae, and nerves can be injected without the fear of steroid-associated side effects. These options include Sarapin and Heel products. Heel is a German company well known for its product Traumeel, which is available exclusively at our clinic.
Braces are designed to help relieve pain in specific parts of the body, aid in recovery from injuries, and improve your overall comfort. Braces are used to address issues with the musculoskeletal system, which practically includes the entire body, from the hip to the hand, to your foot and ankle. The musculoskeletal system includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves – everything that needs to be in ideal shape for you to move about comfortably.
A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that lubricates and cushions your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints. They allow joints to move with ease. Bursitis occurs when these bursae become inflamed. You have more than 150 bursae in your body. When inflammation occurs, movement or pressure is painful. At our clinic we can deliver medication into the bursa without a needle. This delivery system is known as Iontophoretic therapy. A patch will be placed over the affected area and medication is delivered throughout. It’s easy, fast, and painless.
A celiac block is indicated in pain involving the pancreas, liver, and stomach. This injection is sometimes performed with a CT-scan, but is more commonly done with the help of x-rays. It is widely used in the treatment of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Initially, the procedure is performed with local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or marcaine. If it is successful, then a solution may be injected to stop the celiac nerves from causing pain. This procedure is also known as a lytic block.
Continuous epidural catheters are placed in the epidural space or intrathecally (where spinal fluid lies) connected to a device that delivers constant pain medications. They are used as a test before intrathecal pumps, to alleviate severe pain after surgery, and for severe cancer pain. The catheter is placed while the patient is admitted to the hospital, but available to take home, hospice, or a rehabilitation facility.
If conservative treatment for a headache fails, active treatment, such as an epidural blood patch, is required. The epidural blood patch is a surgical procedure where autologous blood is injected into the spine to repair holes in the spinal cord. Relief from the spinal headache is often felt very quickly, and sometimes immediately after the blood patch is complete. Normal activities may be resumed shortly after the blood patch has had time to congeal. In rare instances, the procedure may need to be repeated.
These injections are given for the treatment of several conditions that produce neck, thoracic, or low back pain. You may have heard of spinal stenosis, herniated discs, facet arthropathy, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica. We perform these injections with the help of fluoroscopy (x-rays). It is important to visualize the exact entry point and the spread of the medication injected. It also prevents us from accidentally injecting into the wrong target. Medications used for this include a local anesthetic (lidocaine or marcaine) and an anti-inflammatory compound (depomedrol or celestone). This combination is thought to provide quick and long lasting relief of pain. There are three possible approaches into the epidural space: at the center of the spine (most common), through the tailbone (caudal), and transforaminal (from the side of the spine). You may receive up to three injections, using the same approach or a combination of all. Epidural injections could be given in the neck or the upper and lower back.
Facet blocks, also known as medial branch nerve blocks or diagnostic blocks, consist of injections into the small joints (facets) of your spine thought to be responsible for back pain. Another approach is to inject the small nerves that supply these joints with local anesthetics, such as lidocaine or marcaine. If this is effective, you may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation of the nerve. Facet blocks are used to treat inflammation of the facet (zigo-apophyseal) joints of the spine.
The ganglion impar is the last set of sympathetic nerves, located around the coccyx. The ganglion impar block is used to relieve vaginal, rectal, and pelvic pain. It is performed with the help of x-rays.
Trochanteric bursitis is a common problem that causes pain in the area of the hip over the bump that forms the greater trochanter. Eventually the pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh. When the bursa sac becomes inflamed, pain results each time the tendon has to move over the bone. The pain may eventually be omnipresent and prevent restful sleep.
Trochanter injections are performed typically with the guidance of an x-ray machine, and involve the injection of local anesthetic and steroids to provide the patient with pain relief. The immediacy and length of pain relief vary by patient, with most experience short-term relief right away from the local anesthetic, and longer-term pain relief from the steroid within 48-72 hours.
Holistic healing is a gentle, long-term support to enable the body’s own innate powers to do the healing. It aims to restore balance by replacing or complementing traditional medications. South Lake Pain Institute devotes an entire branch of practice to holistic medicine. Visit our pages on holistic healing, therapies, athlete services, and nutrition.
Fiber from the hypogastric nerve goes to the pelvic region. Conditions amenable to be treated include cancer of the uterus, cervix, testicle, and anus. Pelvic, vaginal, and rectal pain can also be treated with this procedure. The hypogastric block is placed in the lower back and is performed using x-rays.
Intrathecal drug delivery, or “pain pump,” is a method of giving medication directly to your spinal cord. The system uses a small pump that is surgically placed under the skin of your abdomen and delivers medication through a catheter to the area around your spinal cord – similar to an epidural that women may have during childbirth. A pain pump may be a treatment option if all other traditional methods have failed to relieve your long-term symptoms.
Joint injections may decrease the accumulation of fluid and cells in the joint and may temporarily decrease pain and stiffness. They may be given to treat inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, tendonitis, bursitis and, occasionally, osteoarthritis.
Corticosteroids (such as methylprednisolone and triamcinolone formulated to stay primarily in the joint) frequently are used in the injection process. They are anti-inflammatory agents that slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation and pain within the joint space.
Commonly injected joints include the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow, wrist, base of the thumb and small joints of the hands and feet. Hip joint injection may require the aid of an ultrasound or X-ray.
For many patients with knee pain, knee injections are an options for pain treatment and relief. There are different types of knee injections.
Hyaluronic acid supplements – Although not technically medications, these substances are injected into knee joints to supplement naturally occurring hyaluronic acid.
Corticosteroid Injections – These anti-inflammatory agents slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation and pain within the joint space.
Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is thought to help accelerate the healing process. It can be used on patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions in order to help eliminate pain, swelling, reduce spasms and increase functionality.
When cells absorb this light energy from the laser, it initiates a series of events in the cell that are theorized to normalize tissue, reduce pain, inflammation, and reduce healing time.
A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection performed to treat and diagnose sympathetic pain. It is performed under x-rays (fluoroscopy), using a thin needle. Local anesthetics will “numb” this group of nerves, decreasing pain. Changes in sweat and temperature may be observed. This procedure is performed as an outpatient, but sedation is offered.
Often a group of nerves, called a plexus or ganglion, that causes pain to a specific organ or body region can be blocked with the injection of medication into a specific area of the body. The injection of this nerve-numbing substance is called a nerve block.
How Are Nerve Blocks Used?
Different kinds of nerve blocks are used for different purposes.
- Therapeutic nerve blocks are used to treat painful conditions. Such nerve blocks contain local anesthetic that can be used to control acute pain.
- Diagnostic nerve blocks are used to determine sources of pain. These blocks typically contain an anesthetic with a known duration of relief.
- Prognostic nerve blocks predict the outcomes of given treatments. For example, a nerve block may be performed to determine if more permanent treatments (such as surgery) would be successful in treating pain.
- Preemptive nerve blocks are meant to prevent subsequent pain from a procedure that can cause problems including phantom limb pain.
- Nerve blocks can be used, in some cases, to avoid surgery.
Neural therapy is a method of diagnosing and treating illness and pain caused by disturbances of the body’s electrophysiology. These electrical disturbances, called “interference fields,” are manifestations of cell membrane instability and typically trigger abnormal autonomic nervous system responses. Interference fields may be found in scars, autonomic ganglia, teeth, internal organs or other locations where local tissue irritation exists.
Occipital nerves travel from your neck to the back of the head and scalp. An injection of local anesthetic and sometimes steroid medication can temporarily reduce headaches caused by muscle spasm and tension. Your procedure may be performed under x-ray guidance.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, and appropriately, is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual. PRP has been used to treat injuries and also to improve healing after a surgery.
PRP can be carefully injected into the injured area. For example, in Achilles tendonitis, a condition commonly seen in runners and tennis players, the heel cord can become swollen, inflamed, and painful. A mixture of PRP and local anesthetic can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue. Afterwards, the pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.
PRP may also be used to improve healing after surgery for some injuries. To read more about the field of Regenerative Medicine, click here.
SARAPIN® is an injectable analgesic indicated for the management of muscular or neuropathic pain that may be treated by local infiltration or nerve block.
The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is a collection of nerves (sympathetic, parasympathetic and some sensory). It lies in a bony cavity called the pterygopalatine fossa, which is deep in the midface.
It supplies the lacrimal gland, paranasal sinuses, glands of the mucosa of the nasal cavity and pharynx, the gingiva, and the mucous membrane and glands of the hard palate. It is not involved in feeling or movement. Sometimes after a nerve is sensitized by trauma, infection or other causes, the sympathetic activity can cause pain. Blocking the sympathetic activity by anesthetizing the SPG may stop the pain.
A sphenopalatine ganglion block is done to:
- Diagnose the cause of pain in the face and head
- Manage the pain of certain types of chronic headaches
- Manage sympathetically maintained facial pain
Spinal cord stimulation uses low voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the feeling of pain. A small battery-powered generator implanted in the body transmits an electrical current to your spinal cord. The result is a tingling sensation instead of pain. By interrupting pain signals, the procedure has shown success in returning some people to a more active lifestyle.
A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic into the front of the neck that is typically ordered for pain located in the head, neck, chest or arm caused by sympathetically maintained pain (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), causalgia (nerve injury), herpes zoster (shingles), or intractable angina.
Scientists and doctors have made tremendous advances to make tissue regeneration a reality in treating many diseases. Through regenerative medicine, a person can take advantage of their body’s ability to heal itself by using the healthy adult stem cells that can be found throughout the body. Laboratory and clinical research has shown that it is possible to use adult stem cells to restore lost, damaged or aging cells and effectively regenerate tissue in the body thereby providing patients with an alternative to surgery for certain treatments.
Regenerative therapies involving autologous cell therapy are beginning to show promise in orthopedic medicine, burn treatment, nerve restoration, and treatment of heart conditions, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is predominately used for nerve related acute and chronic pain. TENS machines work by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the nerve strands. The stimulating pulses help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS Units also help stimulate your body to produce higher levels of its own natural painkillers, called “Endorphins.”
Traumeel® is a solution made for injection to treat symptoms associated with inflammatory, exudative, and degenerative processes due to acute trauma (such as contusions, lacerations, fractures, sprains, post-operative wounds, etc.), repetitive or overuse injuries (such as tendonitis, bursitis, epicondylitis, etc.) and for minor aches and pains associated with such conditions. Traumeel® Injection Solution is also indicated for the treatment of minor aches and the minor pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitits.
Vertebroplasty involves inserting a glue-like material into the center of the collapsed spinal vertebra to stabilize and strengthen the crushed bone. The material is inserted through a needle and syringe, entering the midportion of the vertebra under the guidance of X-ray equipment. Once inserted, the material hardens to form a cast-like structure within the broken bone. Relief of pain comes quickly from this casting effect, and the newly hardened vertebra is then protected from further collapse. In addition to prompt pain relief, another advantage of vertebroplasty is improved mobility.
If you have chronic headaches and experience a sudden exacerbation, come see us. We provide a quiet environment and treat your headache with gentle and proven techniques, including Intravenous traumeel, lidocaine and magnesium; muscle and ner injections; head and neck blocks and several other options. Faster than the E.R. – visit our walk-in headache clinic today.