Patient Education


 

Vulcan Pain Management would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Vulcan Pain Management provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Pain Medication

A number of different types of medications may be used to reduce pain in various parts of the body. Any of the medications described below may be helpful in relieving pain, depending on the medical condition of the patient and the severity of the pain being experienced.


Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications are frequently helpful in relieving symptomatic pain that is mild to moderate. Such medications may include analgesics such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. It is important for patients to consult with their physicians regarding appropriate dosages and to avoid possible interactions with prescribed medications or over-the-counter preparations they may be already taking. ...


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Erchonia Laser Treatment System

The Erchonia Laser is an advanced laser treatment can be safely and effectively used for a wide range of painful conditions, including those affecting the neck, back, knee, shoulder, wrist and elbow. The Laser system is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and has been used for many years in the treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions. It is designed to provide the body's cells with energy in order to repair and regenerate tissue. The system targets deep-tissue layers without damaging the skin and surface tissues, thereby providing significant results with few or no side effects.  ...


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SUBOXONE Sublingual Film

SUBOXONE sublingual film, which contains buprenorphine and naloxone, is a prescription drug used to treat opioid dependence in adults. It treats dependence on both opioid prescription painkillers and heroin. Its manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., instructs that it should only be used "as part of complete treatment program that also includes counseling and behavioral therapy." SUBOXONE film is designed to suppress opiate withdrawal symptoms and reduce opiate cravings. It comes in the form of rectangular orange film featuring a white printed logo. Each film is packaged individually, and in child-resistant packaging. The film is placed under the tongue, and the medication it contains is absorbed into the bloodstream through the blood vessels beneath the tongue. ...


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Facet-Joint Injections

Facet-joint injections are both a minimally invasive treatment for back pain caused by inflamed facet joints, and a diagnostic tool for determining whether facet-joint inflammation is a source of pain. Four facet joints connect each vertebra to the vertebra above and below it. A facet-joint injection, administered into either the joint capsule or its surrounding tissue, combines a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic. ...


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Comparison of Methadone to SUBOXONE® Sublingual Film

Methadone tablets and liquid and SUBOXONE┬« sublingual film are medications used for the treatment of opioid addiction; methadone is also used as an analgesic. Although once available as a tablet, SUBOXONE medication is now only manufactured in film form. Both medications can be used effectively for treating opioid addiction, but there are significant differences between them. ...


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Sacroiliac-Joint Steroid Injections

Sacroiliac-joint steroid injections help to diagnose and relieve lower-back pain caused by problems with one or both of the sacroiliac joints, which connect the spine's base (sacrum) to the pelvis's ilium bones. If one or both of the sacroiliac joints is inflamed (sacroiliac-joint dysfunction), a patient can experience pain in the buttocks and lower back that worsens when running or standing. Sacroiliac-joint dysfunction can be caused by osteoarthritis, traumatic injury, pregnancy, inflammatory joint disease, or underlying structural abnormalities. ...


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Cervicogenic Headache

 

A cervicogenic headache is a headache that develops from structural abnormalities of the head, neck or spine. A cervicogenic headache may develop as a result of restricted blood flow through the neck and irritation to nerves along the path from the spinal cord to the brain. These abnormalities may be caused by head or neck injuries, infections, tumors or rheumatoid arthritis of the upper cervical spine. Similar to a migraine, this condition can vary in severity and is more common in women than men. ...


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Massage Therapy

Massage therapy involves hands-on stimulation of the soft tissues of the body to increase blood flow and stimulate the healing process. During massage, skin, muscles, joints and connective tissue are manipulated as a means of reducing pain and stress. Massage therapists are trained professionals who use specific techniques to treat various medical problems. ...


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Pilates

 

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that improves a patient's mental and physical well-being through a series of controlled movement exercises. These exercises may be performed on a mat on the floor, or with machines, and focus on strengthening and controlling the muscles of the abdomen, which provide support to the spine and can control every movement made by the body. With long-term practice, Pilates can improve flexibility, strength, endurance and coordination without adding bulky muscles, making it an ideal exercise plan for many individuals....


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Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a form of therapy designed to relieve chronic and acute pain through special, targeted massage that aims to reduce tightness within the fascia, a sheet of connective tissue below the surface of the skin. Tightness within the fascia can restrict a patient's range of motion or cause the patient to favor one side of the body. The goal of myofascial release is to relieve pain and allow the patient to regain range of motion. ...


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Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition caused by damage within the nerve fibers, resulting in the delivery of incorrect signals to the brain. Neuropathic pain, a response to injury to the central nervous or peripheral nervous system, usually causes tissue damage. What makes neuropathic pain so difficult to treat is that it is not only chronic and severe, but unresponsive to simple analgesic relief. ...


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Trigger-Point Injections

Trigger-point injections treat pain in areas that have developed trigger points, which are knots of muscle that form when muscles contract and but cannot relax. Trigger points are caused by injury to or overuse of the affected muscle; they can also be caused by stress and anxiety. They can irritate the nerves around them, which causes pain in other areas of the body. The chronic pain brought on by trigger points can also decrease the affected muscle's range of motion. ...


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Back Pain Prevention

At some point in their lives, the great majority of adults will suffer from significant low back pain, usually from an injury at work, at home or at play. Orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, coaches and trainers all have helpful advice regarding back pain prevention. By following their directives, people can minimize the possibility of back injury, and keep themselves healthier in the process. ...


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Degenerated Discs

Degenerated discs are a common back problem. The spinal discs, which are soft, gelatinous cushions that separate the vertebrae, wear down during the aging process. Because the discs function as between-the-bones shock absorbers, allowing the spine to bend and twist, this deterioration can result in serious back pain. As discs are damaged or wear away, the amount of space between the vertebrae gets smaller. As the space narrows, joints are placed under greater stress, resulting in further degeneration. ...


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Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-laminectomy syndrome is a condition in which a patient continues to experience pain and disability after a laminectomy, a type of spinal surgery. During a laminectomy, a piece of the layer of bone covering the back of the spinal cord (the lamina) is removed to eliminate compression on the spinal nerves. This surgery may be performed in conjunction with other back surgery, such as a discectomy, and is most often performed to relieve stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. The development of post-laminectomy syndrome is a complication of the procedure. Post-laminectomy syndrome is a type of failed back surgery, a broader category which includes chronic pain following any spinal surgery, including spinal fusion. ...


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Fibromyalgia 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, as well as widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. People with fibromyalgia have specific tender points on their bodies that are particularly sensitive when pressure is applied. Fibromyalgia is also associated with sleep problems, headaches and trouble concentrating. Women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia, as are people between 40 and 60 years old. ...


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Epidural Steroid Injections

By reducing inflammation, epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are used to temporarily relieve lumbar (lower back), cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-spine) and sciatic-nerve pain. ESIs contain cortisone and an anesthetic, and are delivered directly to the epidural space, which is the area between the spinal cord and the outer membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord (the dura). As a result, they provide more effective and faster pain relief than oral medications. ...


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Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition in which trigger points (muscle knots) develop in certain muscles, usually ones that have been injured or overused. Jobs and recreational activities that involve repetitive motions, in which muscles repeatedly contract, are common causes. Trigger points can also be caused by stress and anxiety. Myofascial pain is most common in middle-aged adults, although people of any age may be affected. ...


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Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is the most common cause for a work-related disability and one of the main reasons for people staying home from work. The lower back is one of the most important parts of the body as it holds most of our body weight when we stand and is involved in movement when we bend or twist at the waist. Because of its pivotal role and frequent use, the lower back is susceptible to injury and chronic pain. Lower back pain is especially common in older adults who may have decreased bone strength and muscle elasticity. The spongy cartilage pads, called intervertebral discs, that allow for flexibility may wear away and weaken in an elderly person. ...


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Herniated Disc

A herniated disc (also called a ruptured or slipped disc) is a damaged "cushion" between two bones in the spine (vertebrae). Normally, the gelatinous discs between the vertebrae hold the bones in place and act as shock absorbers, permitting the spine to bend smoothly. When a disc protrudes beyond its normal parameters, and its tough outer layer of cartilage cracks, the disc is considered "herniated." ...


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Cervical Medial-Branch Block

A cervical medial-branch block is an injection administered to diagnose and treat neck, upper-back, shoulder and facial pain, and headaches. The procedure is designed to both relieve symptoms and diagnose their source. By deadening pain signals in the medial-branch nerves (which transmit pain signals from the facet joints to the brain), it is possible to determine whether a particular facet joint (which connects two vertebra) is the source of the pain. ...


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Nerve Conduction Study

Nerve conduction study (NCS), also known as a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, enables the diagnosis of possible nerve damage by measuring the speed with which an electrical impulse travels through a nerve. This test, often performed in conjunction with electromyography (EMG), allows the doctor to differentiate nervous system issues from musculoskeletal ones, and is invaluable in helping to establish the source of nerve damage, information that can be vital to effective treatment. Nerve conduction studies may be used to diagnose specific causes of nerve damages, including: substance abuse, nerve compression or various types of neuropathy. ...


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Sympathetic-Nerve Blocks

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, including blood flow, heart rate, digestion and perspiration. Sympathetic nerves spread outward from the spine, and, when compromised, can cause pain in various parts of the body. A sympathetic-nerve block is an injection of medication into whichever of these nerves is causing the pain. It works by numbing the nerve, which interrupts the pain signals the nerve is sending to the brain. It is used both to diagnose damage of and treat pain caused by the sympathetic nerves. ...


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Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy

Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) is a minimally invasive procedure for treating low back pain occurring as a result of worn spinal discs. IDET is usually performed after discography or other diagnostic testing has verified that the condition can be remedied by the procedure. ...


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Discogram

A discogram is a diagnostic test performed to determine whether a patient's back pain is the result of a spinal-disc abnormality, and, if so, to pinpoint the disc causing the problem. A discogram is performed by injecting a special dye into the patient's spinal disc(s), and using fluoroscopy to view the area in greater detail. The injection creates pressure on the disc and, if the disc is damaged, causes pain. ...


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