Chronic Pain Articles

Dermatomes Link to Pain

What are Dermatomes? A dermatome is an area of skin in which sensory nerves derive from a single nerve root. The body is divided into specific regions called dermatomes. A dermatome refers to the part of the embryonic somite. The spinal cord is broken up into 31 dermatome segments. Each segment has a pair (left and right) of ventral (frontal) and dorsal (posterior) nerve roots; which relays motor and sensory nerve sensations, including pain.  Combined on each side the anterior and posterior nerve roots form the spinal nerves as they exit the vertebral canal through the neuroforamina. The segments are composed of eight cervical, twelve thoracic, five lumbar, five sacral, and one coccygeal. Dermatomes exist for each of the nerve roots. Each specific dermatome transmits sensory information via the sensory…
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Neuropathy Awareness Week

Peripheral Neuropathy
May 5th thru the 12th is National Neuropathy Awareness Week. Neuropathy is a chronic condition that affects millions of people in America. While there is no cure for neuropathy, there are ways to manage the pain associated with it. Many groups including the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy and the American Health Council help patients dealing with pain find additional resources such as mental health guides for managing pain. As well as garnering support for research funding to learn more about peripheral neuropathy. So this Neuropathy Awareness week, take time to learn more about this condition and how it can affect the body. Dr. Castillo discusses neuropathy, some of its causes and possible treatments. Neuropathy is a chronic condition. It’s estimated that 7-10% of people have neuropathic pain. In many…
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Untraditional Approach to Sports Injuries

Platelet Rich Plasma, Regenerative medicine, Therapies & Treatments
If a sports injury does not respond to nonsurgical treatments Dr. Castillo may recommend regenerative medicine therapy Some sports injuries heal fairly quickly on their own with rest and mild activity; while others are like a torn ACL, are unlikely to heal with traditional treatments. Now regenerative medicine such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and others may be able to help heal sports injuries and get players back on the field. What is Regenerative Medicine? Regenerative medicine is the process of using cells to create newly functional tissues or repair tissue damaged from aging, disease, or trauma. The goal of regenerative medicine is to repair damaged tissue that most likely would not properly heal on its own. There are different types of regenerative medicine: cellular, tissue…
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Regenerative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Regenerative medicine, Therapies & Treatments
Reactions to new materials or objects is eliminated with stem cell therapies as the patient’s own cells. Joint pain has become a growing problem with the extended life expectancy in the US. There are about 1 million joint replacement surgeries performed in the US annually, with the number projecting to increase to nearly 4 million by 2030. Some people continue to live with arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other joint pain – some because of lack of treatment options or a fear of surgery as an option. Regenerative therapies for osteoarthritis While joint replacements have been an option for people suffering from joint pain, there are new breakthrough therapies that are not only effective but can reduce the need for surgery. Now instead of replacement, patients can opt for regenerative medicine therapies,…
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Stem Cells The Next Frontier

Regenerative medicine, Therapies & Treatments
From diabetes to spinal cord injuries, stem cells have the potential to diseases and ailments of all types. Stem cells have become a beneficial option for patients with back problems. Stem cells could be the next frontier in pain management Advances have enabled spinal surgeons to use stem cells to treat patients helping in the regeneration of degenerated discs, healing spinal cord injuries, and helping bone growth in spinal fusions – according to a study in the World Journal of Stem Cells. Stem cell injections are also a viable option for patients suffering with lower back and leg pain. How It Works There are multiple types of stem cell procedures: embryo, fat, and bone marrow. Dr. Castillo uses both exosomes and fat cells for his procedures. Exosomes are cell-derived vesicles…
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Nerve Pain Fighting Research

Chronic Pain News, Therapies & Treatments
Phantom limb pain is the perception of pain or feeling a missing limb after amputation, and it relatively common. Currently it is unknown by researchers if the effect initiates from the nervous system or is psychological. But research on regenerative targeted muscle reinnervation techniques could soon change how phantom limb pain is treated. Regenerative targeted muscle reinnervation is a new technique being used to treat phantom limb pain. A study from the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State and the College of Medicine focuses on improving patient care by stopping phantom limb pain before it begins. Dr. Ian Valerio, who is with the medical center, works with amputee patients to treat disorganized nerve receptors from cancer, trauma, and congenital amputees using regenerative targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) techniques. ‘”Right now, it’s…
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Piriformis Muscle Stretches

Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Pain, Therapies & Treatments
The piriformis muscle may not receive the same attention during workouts as glutes, abs, and biceps; but is one of the most important muscles for those with low back pain, including sciatica. stretching the piriformis muscle Its name means “pear shaped,” the piriformis is a band of muscle in the lower back, and the sciatic nerve runs all the way from the spine down through the legs and in some people runs through the piriformis. The piriformis has an important role in posture alignment. When it is tight or short, the piriformis can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve, which can cause sciatica. Sciatica can cause burning pain in the lower back, tingling or numbness sensations in the legs, and in some cases result in foot pain. Herniated discs, injury…
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Exercising with Arthritis

Chronic Pain Conditions, Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Pain, Therapies & Treatments
Exercising with arthritis can help reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility. High impact exercises can exacerbate the condition, so low impact gentle exercises Exercising with arthritis has been shown to help reduce pain symptoms. Arthritis can result in impaired coordination and poor posture, and it also affects balance. Exercising can help improve overall body functioning and can help improve reduce risk of falling. Exercising with arthritis has shown to be helpful in managing arthritis. Exercising with arthritis can help reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility. High impact exercises can exacerbate the condition, so low impact gentle exercises are best for reducing pain and inflammation. The American College of Rheumatology recommends exercise as a tactic for managing arthritis. Benefits of Exercise In addition to reducing joint pain, exercising with arthritis has…
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Degenerative Scoliosis Treatments

Chronic Pain Conditions, Exercises to Help Pain, Therapies & Treatments
Degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult onset scoliosis, describes a side-to-side curvature of the spine caused by degeneration of the facet joints and intervertebral discs which are the moving parts of the spine. The main goal of treating degenerative scoliosis once it becomes symptomatic, is to reduce pain as well as any accompanying neurologic symptoms. Most treatments tend not to focus on correcting the curve because typically it is not the cause of pain. Most cases of degenerative scoliosis can be treated without surgery using self-care or assistance from a physician. Strength and Mobility for Scoliosis Increasing strength and mobility can help with improving most back pain, including scoliosis. Strength and mobility exercises can also help reduce future pain risks. Treatments to help strengthen the back and improve flexibility include:…
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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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