Top trends in chronic pain management
Approximately 76.2 million, or 1-in-4 Americans, have suffered from chronic pain that lasts longer than 24 hours, while millions more suffer from acute pain, according to the American Center for Health Statistics.
With the recent opioid crisis in Arizona, the quest for safe, legitimate pain solutions are needed more than ever.
According to Drugabuse.gov, the national crisis is thought to have started in the late 1990s, when pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
While exposure to opioids is largely unavoidable after major surgery, many patients are heading home with prescriptions for 30 or more opioid painkillers which many believe can be enough to enough to trigger an addiction or dependence.
The good news is that the following cutting-edge techniques and treatment are giving chronic pain sufferers some long-awaited relief without the risk of surgery or addiction.
Amniotic allograft injection
A revolutionary treatment for chronic pain in joints and the back is amniotic allograft injection. This injection, which is derived from the amniotic fluid which cushions and supports the development of a growing baby within the amniotic sack, can also be used to repair tissue damage when injected at the site of an injury.
The natural proteins and growth factors from amniotic tissue and fluid that help to bring about rapid fetal development are preserved in a liquid form for injection into painful soft tissue or joints. The result is diminished inflammation, diminished pain and increased soft tissue repair and reconstruction.
Some of the more common injuries that can be helped with amniotic allograft injections include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Inflamed Nerves
- Muscle Tears
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Small, Medium and Large Joint Pain from Osteoarthritis
- Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis
- Shoulder Pain from Osteoarthritis
- Hip Pain from Osteoarthritis
- Neck or Back Pain from Facet Joint Osteoarthritis
- Post-Surgical Pain
Pain is often caused by damaged tissue or nerves that the body can’t heal itself, but it can also be caused by the body focusing too much attention on the site of an injury. Osteoarthritis is an example of a painful and common condition where the body’s responses to joint problems end up causing constant pain.
Arthritic joints and tissues attract enzymes that break down the damaged tissue for healing purposes and create inflammation that is necessary to kick-start the healing process. Alpha-2-Macroglubulin (A2M) is designed to shut down this enzymatic breakdown after a period of appropriate time, since prolonged enzymatic breakdown will lead to major inflammation, pain, and breakdown of healthy tissue.
Research has shown, however, that in areas of the body where there is little blood supply, such as joints with hyaline cartilage and spinal discs, our body cannot concentrate enough A2M to shut this process down. By injecting the A2M into the affected area, the body is able to use its own healing properties to restore painful joints and herniated discs.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)
Concentrated bone marrow aspirate is a biologic concentrate derived from a patient’s own bone marrow.
Obtaining BMAC from a patient is relatively straight forward and painless during the procedure and often times mixed with amniotic tissue to kick your body’s own repair mechanism into gear.
The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates more than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain. This makes back pain one of the most important frontiers for developing better chronic pain treatments.
Radiofrequency ablation is one such revolutionary treatment.
In this procedure, first, the doctor injects a numbing medication into the patient’s skin. Then, the doctor uses a fluoroscope, or special X-ray machine, to place radiofrequency needles over the damaged nerve tissue that is causing the back or neck pain.
The goal is to provide longer lasting pain relief for chronic neck or back pain that hasn’t been adequately relieved by steroid injections, medications or physical therapy.
The radiofrequency needles hit the nerves targeted, lessening many patients’ pain after a simple 30-minute appointment. Some people find their pain lessens or goes away entirely, while others need the procedure repeated in 6 to 18 months.
These are just a few ways people are finding relief with the latest medical technology and advancements. To find out more information on pain management therapies that may work for you, contact a trusted pain management professional that takes opioid addiction seriously. Talk to the experts at Novocur today.
Dr. Alex Bigham is the owner and CEO of Novocur Pain Management Clinics and has over 18 years of healthcare experience in private practice and Ambulatory Surgical Center settings. Novocur offers advanced treatment options in a concierge type practice without the concierge price tag. Dr. Bigham appears frequently on local TV and radio programs to discuss the latest in Pain Management or related health topics.
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