Sacroiliac Injections By Pain Management Doctors in San Diego

What are sacroiliac injections?

Sacroiliac injections are injections of steroids or other medications directly into the sacroiliac joint by a pain management doctor in San Diego. These joints can be found on either side of the tailbone, and they connect your tailbone to your pelvis.

What is the purpose of the sacroiliac injections?

These injections are designed to reduce inflammation or swelling in or around the sacroiliac joint space. This can help to reduce pain or any residual symptoms that inflammation may cause to your joint or any surrounding structures.

How long does this process take?

The actual injections take between five and ten minutes at a San Diego pain management clinic.

What is injected?

With the sacroiliac injections a mixture of local anesthetic and steroids are injected to reduce pain and to prolong the positive effects.

Is the process painful?

The sacroiliac injections is an injection performed by a pain management doctor in San Diego through the skin and the deeper tissue which causes some pain. Before the injection takes place the skin and the deeper tissue are numbed using a local anesthetic. This helps to alleviate the discomfort felt during the procedure. Some patients will receive sedation in addition to this to make the process easier. The procedure is conducted under a local anesthetic not a general anesthetic which means that you are not “out” during the process. Some patients opt for additional sedation, as mentioned above, and the amount provided is often contingent upon the tolerance levels of the patient.

How is the process performed?

The sacroiliac injections are conducted with the patient lying on their stomach at a San Diego pain management clinic. There is often an x-ray used to determine the correct placement for the needle but thinner patients may not need this. Patients who have IV sedation will be monitored using a blood pressure cuff, EKG, and blood oxygen monitoring device. The skin where the injection will take place is cleaned using an antiseptic and then numbed using an anesthetic. The injection needle will be placed appropriately and the injection carried out. After the process is complete the needle is removed and a covering applied to the area of injection.

What can be expected after the procedure?

After the sacroiliac injections you will feel no pain or little pain, but this is due to the anesthetic. This feeling will go away after a few hours. You may feel sore at the site of the injection for a day or two. This is because of the mechanical process used to place the needle. After the third day you will begin to notice pain relief.

You should have someone else drive you home following the procedure as the injection can cause temporary leg weakness. Any patient undergoing sedation for the sacroiliac injections is required to have a ride home. Patients are advised to have a day or two to relax after the procedure and ice can be applied to the injection site.
Unless you faced complications you can return to work the following day. The most common complication felt is soreness at the injection site. The medication should bring with it lasting effects for several days to several months. If the first injection is not effective, you may return for another in two weeks.

Occipital Nerve Block Injection by Pain Doctors San Diego

What is an occipital nerve block?

An occipital nerve block is a type of injection by pain doctors San Diego using steroids or other medications around the occipital nerves which are located on the back part of the head, right above the neck.
Occipital Nerve Block San Diego

What does the occipital nerve block do?

The occipital nerve block is a type of steroid injection used to reduce swelling or inflammation of tissue around your occipital nerves. This can help to reduce pain and any other symptoms which might be caused by inflammation or irritation in your nerves or surrounding structures. In many cases, headaches in the back part of the head, including tension headaches and regular migraines can be alleviated with the use of occipital nerve block

How long does the process take?

This process takes a few minutes at a pain clinic in San Diego for the actual injection.

What is injected?

With an occipital nerve block, the injection contains a local anesthetic used to numb the pain and a steroid medication intended to allow the anesthetic to work for a longer period of time.

Does this process hurt?

Occipital nerve stimulator San DiegoThe occipital nerve block involves a large needle which is inserted by a pain doctor in San Diego into your deeper tissue. It is this which causes the most amount of pain for patients. The skin and the deeper tissue through which the occipital nerve block will be inserted are numbed though, before the procedure, using a local anesthetic. This will help to alleviate any discomfort felt during the procedure. In this case, patients do not require general anesthesia, but rather, they use the local anesthetic.

How is the process performed?

This process is performed at a pain clinic in San Diego with the patient either lying down or in the sitting position. The skin and any hair on the back of the head will be cleaned using antiseptic after which the injection itself will be performed.

What is to be expected after the occipital nerve block?

Immediately after the occipital nerve block you will feel as though your pain is entirely gone, but this is likely due to the anesthetic. This will wear off after a few hours. Once that is done, you may feel sore for a day or two, the result of the mechanical process used to insert the needle. One the third day you will begin to feel pain relief.

What can I do after the procedure?

After the occipital nerve block you should rest. Many patients are able to drive themselves home from the pain clinic San Diego but it is advised that patients remains in the resting area for several hours directly after the procedure before doing this. You might benefit from applying ice to the affected area. You are able to perform whatever activity thereafter that you can tolerate. Unless you had complications during the procedure you should be able to go back to work the day after the occipital nerve block. The most common problem immediately after is a sore feeling at the incision site.

How long will the medication last?

The medication in the occipital nerve block will begin to work after three days and the effects can last up to a few months.

Hip Pain Treatment With Pain Management San Diego

What is Hip Pain?

Hip pain involves any pain that occurs in or around the hip joint. The pain can either be felt around the hip area or in your groin, thigh or knee. Hip pain experienced on the outside of your hip, outer buttock or upper thigh may be caused by problems with ligaments, muscles, tendons as well as other soft tissues surrounding your hip joint.

What are the Causes of Hip Pain?

Pain may occur in areas within the hip joint or from structures surrounding the hip. The major cause being problems in the bones or cartilage of the hip.

The common cause of hip pain include;

  • Hip fractures. They can be a major cause of hip pain. Hip fractures are more common as pain management San Diego people age since they are more vulnerable to falls and the bones become weaker.
  • Osteonecrosis of the hip
  • Infection mostly in the bones or joints
  • Arthritis that is felt in the front part of your thigh
  • Labral tear of the hip

Pain experienced around the hip may be caused by factors such as;

  • Hamstring
  • Bursitis
  • Hip flexor strain
  • Groin strain
  • Snapping hip syndrome

What are the Symptoms of Hip Pain?

Based on the condition that causes your hip pain, you might feel discomfort in areas such as

  • Groin
  • Inside the hip joint
  • Thigh
  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks

You will discover that the pain gets worse with activities especially if you suffer from arthritis. Apart from pain, you may have reduced the range of motion.

Diagnosis of Hip Pain

Diagnosis of hip pain begins with a healthcare provider who performs a history check accompanied by physical examination and some tests. By considering the past medical history of the patient, the health care provider can suggest differential diagnosis or a list of potential causes. A physical examination helps refine the tests may be carried out to come up with a specific diagnosis.

The physical examination will focus on the hip, leg and back. The health care provider will look at the results of the findings that may help explain the complaints of the patient. The health care provider may further recommend imaging procedures such as plain X-rays, a CT scan or MRI scan of the hip and pelvis to get a clear view of the bones and joint spaces.

If your pain clinic San Diego doctor suspects that a systemic illness is the cause of hip pain, blood tests may be recommended to confirm the case.

What are the Treatment Options for Hip Pain?

Treatment of hip pain depends on the diagnosis and underlying illness that may be present. Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen [Tylenol], naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin], may be taken for pain control. But remember that over-the-counter medications may have some side effects therefore it is wise to ask a health provider for advice and direction.

Crutches, a walker or a cane may be quite useful in the short term once fitted to the patient’s height. Usually, the pain will go away over a few days but if pain persists, medical evaluation may be helpful.
Avoid aggressive walking or running, and strenuous activities. Resting after every activity may be helpful. Also, look for a non-weight bearing activity such as cycling or swimming to allow you maintain aerobic fitness as well as hip range motion. However, if pain persists, seek the help of your health care provider.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Treatment With Pain Doctor San Diego

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Treatment With Pain Doctor San Diego

What is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a condition that is characterized by a group of typical symptoms, including pain, tenderness, as well as a swelling associated with varying degrees of warmth and coolness, shiny skin, sweating, flushing, and discoloration. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is also referred to as, the shoulder-hand syndrome or complex regional pain syndrome. It is a term used to describe a form of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). There are two types of CRPS, Type I and II. Both of these conditions result in chronic pain; however, the main cause of pain is much different. Type I CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), is initiated by an injury in the tissue where there is no nerve injury, while Type II CRPS refers to the incidences where a high-velocity impact such as that from a bullet wound is associated with nerve injury.

What are the Causes of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)/CPRS?

Pain Clinics San DiegoThe major cause of RSD is not known, but the condition is known to occur as a result of malfunctioning of the sympathetic nervous system. The theories behind this include irritation and abnormal excitation of the nervous tissue, resulting to abnormal impulses alongside the nerves that affects the blood vessels and the skin. In most cases, RSD comes after a trauma attack, therefore, some of the conditions that may trigger RSD include; fractures, sprain, damage to the blood vessels or nerves, surgery and certain brain injuries.

What are the Symptoms of RSD/CPRS?

The onset of RSD symptoms may range from rapid to gradual as the condition does not display all the features. There are three stages of RSD together with their symptoms. These are;
Acute Stage: This occurs from three to six months. The patients will experience symptoms such as flushing, sweating, pain, burning sensation, swelling, blanching, and tenderness.
Dystrophic stage occurs from three to six months. The patients experience early skin changes of shiny and contracture with persistent pain.

Atrophic: may be long-lasting. The patient experience loss of motion and function of the part involved (hand or foot) and thinning of the fatty layers under your skin.

How is RSD Diagnosed?

Pain Medication Management San DeigoRSD is diagnosed as per the clinical features seen previously. Sometimes studying images (x-ray, MRI) or nerve conduction tests may be useful. The diagnosis process will be carried out by a San Diego pain clinic. Blood tests may be recommended by a pain doctor San Diego according to the signs and symptoms. Nuclear bone scanning may be used in this process. It will help show characteristic uptake patterns. Overall, diagnosis is thought to help prevent progression of the syndrome.

Is there Treatment for RSD?

Well, there may be no cure for this condition but there is a treatment for such. The objective of the treatment by a pain doctor in San Diego is to help relieve painful symptoms so that the patient can resume their normal activities. Response to treatment of RSD is successful in the earlier stages as compared to the later stages.
The most appropriate treatment include;
• Use of cool and moist applications to the affected areas
• Physical therapy that includes gradual exercises helps relieve contractures
• Medication for pain and inflammation
• Other treatments options include amitriptyline, pregabalin, and clonidine.
• For persistent symptoms, prednisone (cortisone) may be used but in high dosage.
• Treatments such as surgically interrupting the nerves of the nervous system may be used to ease pain.

Remember to keep your pain doctor in San Diego informed of any new symptoms and progress so that they can establish a proper treatment program for you. To learn more about RSD, schedule an appointment with your San Diego pain clinic today.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosed By Pain Management Doctors In San Diego

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic pain condition or inflammation of the trigeminal nerve that causes facial pain. This condition is referred to as tic douloureux since the intense pain can cause patients to contort their face into a grimace causing the head to move away from the pain, a condition called a tic.
Trigeminal nerve sends impulses of pain, touch, pressure and temperature directly to the brain from areas such as the face, gums, jaw, forehead and around the eyes. The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia is quite intense and may occur in few hours, minutes or seconds. The outcome can be months or years of attack but in some patients it can be fully controlled.

Trigeminal Neuralgia have been known to affect people of any age, but it is more common in people older than 60 years old. The effects are seen in the right side of the face five times more than the left side.

What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Headache treatment San DiegoIn the vast majority of the common cases, trigeminal neuralgia is caused by compression of the main nerve to the brain, trigeminal nerve. This nerve is the largest in the skull. This compression is caused by a nearby blood vessel pressing on the main nerve inside the skull.

What are the Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is characterized by a sudden, sharp, electric-like, or stabbing pain that may last for several seconds. The pain mostly occurs on the face and around the eyes, lips, nose, scalp and forehead. These symptoms can be transferred from one person to another by brushing the teeth, touching the face, putting on make-up, swallowing or even feeling just a slight breeze.

Being one of the most painful disorders, the pain is felt on one side of the jaw or cheek though different people experience pain at different times on both sides. The attack result to a sharp pain that may be repeated one after the other. This pain may come and go throughout the day lasting for days, weeks or months. The disorder may be seen to disappear for months or years. It is more frequent in women than men and in rare cases does it affect younger than 50 years of age.

How is Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosed?

In diagnosing this condition, your pain management doctor in San Diego will first take a history of the situation and perform a physical examination which should be normal. The main area of test is muscle weakness and presence of corneal reflex controlled by V1. V3 is in control of chewing, and there should be no existence of muscle weakness. When the cornea is touched, the eye should blink in response. The two discoveries must be normal if not, the treatment for trigeminal nerve should begin.

Some pain management doctors in San Diego may order for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to help in the diagnosis of other conditions that may cause trigeminal neuralgia. This disorder is diagnosed based on the description of the patient’s symptoms.

How can Trigeminal Neuralgia Be Treated?

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a long term condition. It can be managed through treatment to some degree. The first treatment to be administered by a pain clinic San Diego should be with an anticonvulsant medication (mostly used to treat epilepsy) called carbamazepine. This medication should be taken several times in a day, with an increase of the dose over the course of few days or weeks so that the medication can build up in your bloodstream.

Migraine Treatment San DiegoTrigeminal neuralgia can also be treated with antiseizure drugs including Neurontin (gabapentin) or Tegretol (carbamazepine). Other medication like Depakote and Klonopin may also be quite effective when used in combination with other drugs to achieve pain relief.

If the treatments turn out to be ineffective, neurosurgical procedures are available to relieve pressure on the nerves and also reduce the amount of sensitivity on the nerves. Some patients have shown successive or reduced pain with the help of medical therapies such as chiropractic treatment, acupuncture adjustments as well self-hypnosis.
Well, these treatment options will help you achieve the very best when relieving pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia. To learn more about them, contact a pain clinic San Diego today.

Top Knee Arthritis Treatment at San Diego Pain Clinic

Top Knee Arthritis Treatment In San Diego Pain Clinic

Arthritis is a known cause of knee pain. Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of one or more joints. The most common symptoms related to arthritis are pain, stiffness and swelling. There are various types of arthritis that can affect the knee joint; however, treatment may vary depending on the condition that causes these symptoms.
The most common is Osteoarthritis also known as wear and tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease. It is involves continuous wearing away of the cartilage in the joint. Once the cartilage is completely worn away, the bone become exposed, and the knee become very swollen and quite painful. This condition affects people as they age. The most common one being those who are overweight. Also, knee arthritis is said to be genetic meaning that it can be passed down the family tree.
Some other factors that may lead to knee arthritis include; torn cartilage, injuries to the knee as well as fractures to the bone around the joint.

What are the Symptoms of Knee Arthritis?

Symptoms of arthritis to progress gradually as the condition worsens but the conditions may become even worse due to minor injury or overuse. Some patients may experience prolonged episodes of mild systems, accompanied by sudden changes that may increase the severity of their symptoms. Generally, the pain develops gradually over time. Other common symptoms of knee arthritis are;
• Joints become stiff and swollen and the person experiences difficulty bending and straightening the knees.
• Vigorous activity may cause severe pain
• Severe pain may cause a feeling of weakness in the knee.
• Loose cartilage fragments and other tissues can interfere with the smooth motion of the joints.
• People with arthritis may experience increased joint pain with a rainy weather.

What are the Causes of Knee Arthritis?

There is no proven cause of knee arthritis specially Osteoarthritis. Though, studies have shown that aging and women are prone to being diagnosed with arthritis. The risk factors associated with knee arthritis include;
• Genetic where arthritis runs in the family
• Obesity
• Severe trauma which involves fractures and removal of the supporting cartilages of the knee.

What Tests show you have Knee Arthritis?

Pain Doctors San DiegoKnee arthritis can be diagnosed by a San Diego pain clinic by use of X-ray which can be taken with the patient standing up where it diagnoses the condition with great accuracy. The pain doctors San Diego will also need to take a thorough history when performing a physical examination.

What are the Treatment Options for Arthritis?

Treatment of arthritis should start with the basic steps at a San Diego pain clinic and proceed to the more severe and invasive state even to an extent of surgery. For those patients with mild arthritis, the arthritis can be managed with simple things like an ice rest-activity or joint injections.
When it comes to surgery cases, there are two kinds of joint replacement surgeries:
• Partial knee replacement
• Total knee replacement surgery can be done using a minimally invasive quadriceps sparing approach that helps to shorten the recovery and decrease the pain after surgery.
Other treatment that works well with knee arthritis include;
Weight Loss, physical therapy, walking aids, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication as well as cortisone injections.
To learn more about treating knee arthritis, contact a pain doctors San Diego today.