Chronic Pain Articles

Fix Pain After Back Surgery

Therapies & Treatments
by: Dr. Michael A. Castillo Dr. Castillo's thoughts about intrathecal pain pump management for treating back pain after surgeries. Intrathecal pain pump management is a proven safe and effective therapy for managing chronic pain. I send a lot of patients for surgery (We are working to heal the spine with our regenerative medicine practice. That is a different topic for a different Sunday.) There are patients in danger of hurting a nerve in their spine which allows them to function. The purpose of surgery is to fix a problem with the spine and stabilize the spine. Some people have no back pain after surgery, and we don’t talk about these outcomes. A lot of people are not so lucky. I tell all my patients, “Surgery is to fix pathology. Surgery…
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Healthy Eating for Pain Management

Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Pain
Sticking to foods at the perimeter of the store like fruits and vegetables can help with healthy eating. What we eat is a huge part of our health. If all we consume is junk, we won’t be very healthy. Healthy eating is about variety and moderation. And in the case of chronic pain patients, what you eat can affect pain symptoms; processed foods, non-healthy fats, and greasy food can actually exacerbate pain symptoms. Some food sensitivities can also cause inflammation and increase pain, so it’s important to know what may cause a flare-up. One of our goals this year is to help patients eat healthier to help ease pain symptoms. Eating healthy can be a challenge, but here are some tips for making healthy eating easier and budget friendly. There…
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Pain: Let’s Talk

Chronic Pain Conditions, Nerve Pain
by: Dr. Michael A. Castillo I was told September is “Pain Awareness Month.” Pain is strictly an individual concept. Medicine uses a blank line 10cm long, 0-10/10 scale, smiley faces to crying faces, and other methods. None are really appropriate for all patients, or have been shown to cross reference to another person’s pain. There is no consistent way to deal with an individual’s pain. Pain can break up a family or a family can endure. Friends can remain friends or can be completely lost. Successful lives can be completely lost or never started. Simple activities can become impossible to accomplish. People in pain can be thought to be lying to get out of life. Pain can lead to depression. At its worst pain can lead to a rapid dwindling…
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Recreation Therapy Into Pain Management

Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Pain, Therapies & Treatments
Improving strength and flexibility does not have to be all work and no play. Learn how to get patients to pick up fun sports and hobbies that also strengthen their core, lighten their mood, and reduce their pain. Deconditioning and immobility are 2 major affects of chronic pain. Therefore, it is important for physicians to encourage patients to participate in a sport or hobby and learn to have fun again. According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, recreation therapy is a treatment service designed to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities.1 The goals are to promote health and wellness and to reduce, or eliminate, activity limitations caused by a disabling condition that restrict participation in life situations.1 Recreation therapy can be conceptualized…
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Pain: Acute vs. Chronic

Chronic Pain Conditions
Broken bones are an example of acute pain Acute and chronic pain have important differences that can give physicians important clues for diagnosing and treating pain. And the types of pain are different, in some cases acute pain can develop into chronic pain. Acute Pain By definition it is temporary, and it may occur suddenly usually associated with an injury or illness. Acute pain serves as the body’s alarm system to prevent further trauma. Like a strained muscle, resting the muscle prevents further injury, giving the muscle time to heal. Generally the source of pain is clear, and if the injury heals usually the pain ceases. Examples of acute pain: Car accidentBroken bonesBurnsFallsSurgerySports injuries Usually there is a pattern occurrence of injury or illness followed by a period of healing…
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Are Regenerative Therapies Affective?

Platelet Rich Plasma, Regenerative medicine, Therapies & Treatments
by: Dr. Michael A. Castillo It’s an age-old question in medicine, is this safe? Is it effective? With the rise of regenerative medicine or stem cell therapies, people wonder if therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cells are safe and effective for conditions such as arthritis. Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell therapies can be an effective treatment for arthritis and other conditions. Regenerative medicine is considered to be safe because most regenerative therapies use cells collected from the patient (platelet rich plasma, or stem cells from bone marrow or fat tissue), which minimizes adverse reactions. Some of the most common reactions following procedures are temporary pain and swelling. The effectiveness of regenerative medicine is debated; research into Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell therapies is ongoing. Some…
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Platelet Rich Plasma How Does it Work?

Platelet Rich Plasma, Regenerative medicine
PRP Therapy How Does it Work? Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a growing area in pain management. It is a regenerative medicine that uses a patient’s own blood cells to treat pain. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, PRP shows promise for treating ailments such as osteoarthritis in joints, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis, ACL injuries, and much more. Platelet Rich Plasma is a minimally invasive procedure, that can be performed in office. Platelet rich plasma can help many conditions, including knee pain. How PRP Works The process of platelet rich plasma therapy begins with Dr. Castillo drawing a blood and placing it in a centrifuge to be spun down to separate platelets from red blood cells. Dr. Castillo then takes the platelet concentrate and injects it…
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Talking Pain to your Doctor

Chronic Pain Conditions, Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Pain, Therapies & Treatments
How to talk to your doctor about pain On a scale of 0 to 10 what is your pain? Patients who are asked to describe the level of their pain using a numerical scale or smiley faces. Pain scales are used from diagnosis to recovery and often help guide treatment. While the pain scale helps evaluate the pain a patient feels, it’s not the whole story. Here are a few ways of talking to your doctor about pain, to help assess the best treatment options for you. Be Creative Descriptive words can often be helpful when describing your pain to a doctor. Certain conditions or injuries can have specific sensations, such as neuropathy with numbness and tingling sensations can signify nerve damage. Next time you need to describe pain, here…
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The Physical Exam

Chronic Pain Conditions, Sunday Thoughts for Monday Morning, Therapies & Treatments
by: Dr. Michael A. Castillo I have a medical pet peeve lately, physicians relying on MRIs and EMG to make diagnoses, without performing a physical exam. Medicine is an honor to have a career in because you get to touch people physically and emotionally. It comes with a great deal of responsibility. I am getting more referrals where a patient hasn’t been physically examined. The patient tells me what is wrong in the history because the MRI says so. The proper order is History, Physical Examination, and then Tests (MRI, X-rays, Nerve Tests, et al) to create a diagnosis. A mentor once said, “Don’t order a test if it is not going to change what you are going to do, and know what you are going to do with the…
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Knee Pain

Chronic Pain Conditions, Platelet Rich Plasma, Therapies & Treatments
by: Dr. Michael A. Castillo We use our legs every day and knee pain is common. The first thing we need to understand is what is wrong with the knee. There is need for a physical exam and an MRI. There can be injury to the internal knee and the external knee. There can be three approaches to the knee: internal injections with hyaluronic acid (roster comb), external injections with steroid or natural anti-inflammatory injections, regenerative medicine, and surgery (endoscopic and total knee arthroplasty). I do not suggest injection of steroid as we now know it increases degeneration of the joint. It may be used as a bridge to a total knee replacement. Knee pain from sports injury, or aging. There are many approaches to treating knee injuries. The internal…
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