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5 Reasons Urine Drug Testing Protects both Patient and Doctor

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The United States is currently experiencing drug abuse at levels never before seen. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) drug abuse has increased over 100% in the last half-decade. In particular, prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and so are overdose fatalities.

Having stated that, there are definite legitimate reasons to provide narcotics for chronic pain. In order to provide narcotics safely, most pain clinics are now utilizing urine drug testing to make for a safer pain management Orlandotreatment.

Below we discuss the top 5 reasons urine drug testing protects both the patient and the Florida pain doctor.

1. Drug testing provides documentation the patient is taking their prescribed medication as well as avoiding illicit drugs.

A drug test provides tangible proof that the patient is taking their medication. It is also a way for the pain doctor in Florida to discover if the patient is abusing illegal drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. Increasingly there are a number of people obtaining prescriptions then selling them on the black market as a way to earn money.

2. Drug testing helps in the regulation of narcotic prescriptions.

More states are clamping down on narcotic prescriptions because of abuse. That means additional regulations are being implemented such as drug testing. A drug test will soon be the standard for receiving prescription narcotics.

3. Drug testing protects the provider from legal issues.In a litigious society, a drug test administered by a health care provider provides a paper trail protecting the care giver from potential lawsuits. For example, should a patient sell their prescription to someone who in turn injures someone while on the substance, the doctor may be held liable unless there is a trail of documentation protecting him or her.

4. Provides equality for all patients.

It is not necessarily fair for only young people between the ages of 15-24 to be drug tested. Testing patients of all ages makes it a fair playing field, and is safer for everyone. Prescription drug abuse is not just Tampa pain managementa young person problem. People of all ages are falling prey to drug abuse.

5. Provides a baseline for the patient’s narcotic usage.

A drug test establishes proper care for new or first time patients. It ensures the patient is accurately portraying the drug history they wrote down on the intake application.

The Florida Pain Network connects those in pain with pain clinics throughout Florida. This includes pain management Tampa trusts, Orlando pain clinics, West Palm Beach pain management and many more. Visit the website to find those closest to you or call (877) 877-8556 for assistance today!


FAQs on Medial Branch Blocks – from the Florida Pain Network

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Medial branch blocks are extremely effective outpatient pain management procedures that are performed thousands of times a day across America.

What exactly is a medial branch block?Back Pain Treatment Orlando

This procedure involves the injection of numbing medicine around the facet joint in either the neck or the back. Steroid medication may or may not be included with the procedure, and the injection serves two purposes. The first reason for receiving a medial branch block is for diagnostic purposes. It can tell the Florida pain management doctor whether or not that particular arthritic joint is causing some of the patients discomfort.

The second purpose of a medial branch block is for therapeutic reasons. Studies show that medial branch blocks provide on average, 2 to 3 months of exceptional pain relief for the affected joint.

What are the medial branches?

Each joint in the spine receives sensation from tiny nerve endings. In order for a joint to be painful, it needs a nerve supply. These nerve endings are known as medial branches and they come off of nerve roots as they exit the spinal cord.

The purpose of the block is to stop the nerve endings from signaling pain to a person’s brain.

Pain Management West Palm BeachThere are two medial branches that supply each facet joint, one coming in from above and one from below. This is why the injections involved the needle going into two areas.

How are these injections performed?

This is an outpatient procedure performed in a procedure room or in an ambulatory surgery center. IV sedation is not necessary and typically the pain management doctor will numb up the skin and the soft tissues down to the affected joint.

Most modern pain doctors use fluoroscopy for the procedure, which is a real time form of x-ray. This helps ensure the highest accuracy for needle placement.

Once the accuracy is satisfactory, typically contrast is injected to ensure additional placement. At that point, the numbing medicine and possibly some steroid is injected into places around the facet joints.

For this procedure, the needle does not enter the joint itself, but stays around the joint to block the medial branches.

Once the procedure is completed, patients are monitored in the recovery room for 30 to 60 minutes to ensure stable vital signs and no allergic reaction occurs. The patients are then allowed to go home.

What are the results of the procedure?

As a diagnostic procedure, medial branch blocks have shown excellent accuracy for figuring out the source of an individual’s pain. This goes for both the neck and the back.Medial Branch Block Injections

In addition, these injections have shown to have an 80% effectiveness for relieving facet related pain. Studies have shown that the pain relief with medial branch blocks averages 2 to 4 months. This has even been shown without the steroid medication.

If the medial branch block works well for pain relief and then wears off, a radiofrequency ablation may be performed which can provide an additional 6 to 18 months of pain relief.

Usually, this procedure is approved by insurance companies with a 50 to 80% pain relief from the medial branch block.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Risks with a medial branch injection are extremely low. There is a very small risk of infection, nerve injury, bleeding, or allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Because the injection does not go into the spinal canal, it would be exceptionally rare to have a neurologic injury result.

For patients who are on blood thinning medications., those medications should be stopped 5 to 7 days prior to the procedure. Talk to your pain doctor about the exact time frame.

What is the bottom line with medial branch blocks?Pain Clinics in Florida

These procedures are very low risk and high reward. They are great at diagnosing the particular facet joint as the source of an individual’s pain, while at the same time, offering 2 to 4 months on average of exceptional facet joint related pain relief.

The Florida Pain Network connects those in pain in Florida with pain management providers across the state. This includes pain clinics in Orlando, pain management clinics in Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie pain management and more.

Simply visit THIS PAGE to find those closest to you, or call (877) 877-8556 for assistance today!


Eight Ways to Avoid Surgery for Chronic Back Pain

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Approximately 90% of Americans experience back pain at some point, and the vast majority of the pain resolves within six to twelve weeks no matter what the treatment. Chronic back pain occurs in the rest, and it may be disabling or result in intermittent episodes of severe back pain.Pain Management Fort Myers

At a certain point, back surgery may be considered. The pain generator can be the intervertebral disc (40%), facet joints (30%), sacroiliac joint (20%) and the rest is unknown. In fact, it is very difficult for even the best spine doctors to delineate a person’s exact cause of back pain.

Prior to back surgery being undertaken, here are eight treatment options to consider before undergoing the knife. It is important to remember that the vast majority of the time, back surgery is elective. It should therefore be considered an absolute last resort, with these treatments being exhausted first.

  1. Over the counter pain medications – these include NSAIDS and Tylenol. For mild to moderate pain, they may be extremely beneficial at relieving discomfort.
  2. Narcotic Pain Medications – opiates for chronic back pain get a bad name, but can be very helpful. For long term use, the risks start to outweigh the benefits. However, for short term exacerbation periods, they may be extremely helpful.
  3. Chiropractic Treatment – this includes manipulations, physical rehab exercises, electrical stimulation and more.
  4. Physical Therapy – active and passive stretching and strengthening may relieve back pain. Core strengthening can help along with ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  5. Spinal Decompression Therapy – FDA cleared in the late 1990’s, decompression therapy has increased in popularity exponentially since then. Research has shown that 85% of patients experience excellent back pain relief with treatment for facet syndrome, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.
  6. TENS Units – these are about the size of an iPod, and emit slight electrical impulses which can alter the way the brain perceives pain. They fit on a patient’s belt, are inexpensive, and run on a battery.
  7. Acupuncture – numerous studies in the 21st Century continue to confirm the benefits of acupuncture for low back pain. It is a very low risk procedure that may offer huge results.
  8. Interventional Pain Treatments – this may include facet injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablation, intradiscal injections. The SI joint should always be considered for an injection as well, and recent studies have shown SI joint radiofrequency ablation may offer relief for up to six months.

With these 8 treatment options, over 95% of those with chronic back pain are able to avoid the need for surgery. If you are experiencing chronic back pain, let the Florida Pain Network help you. The Network connects those in pain with pain management clinics around the state including pain management Orlando, pain management Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa and many more.

Simply visit THIS PAGE and input your zip code to find those closest to you, or call (877) 877-8556 today!


Spinal Cord Stimulator for Failed Back Surgery

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Lumbar spine surgeries are more popular than ever before. Sometimes, back surgery results in a home run where 80 to 100% of an individual’s pain is eliminated. Unfortunately, that is the exception rather than the rule.Pain Clinics in Florida

Between 20 and 40% of low back surgeries are considered a failure by the patient. This definition will vary between patients, and here is why. If you talk to one individual who has 50% of his or her pain eliminated with back surgery, that may be considered a failure. Another individual with the same amount of pain  eliminated may consider it a failure.

When an individual has a failed back surgery syndrome, when does a spinal cord stimulator become the best option? After an initial back surgery that fails, it is important to evaluate to see whether or not a repeat surgery is indicated. This may be the case if the fusion did not take, or adjacent levels to the surgery have degenerated substantially, causing new pain years after the initial procedure.

If neither of those is the case, and the surgery essentially just did not work, consideration should be given to a spinal cord stimulator. The SCS procedure is indicated as a last resort option for those patients who have failed back surgery and have no real indication for another surgery. Anytime a repeat back surgery is performed, the overall results are much less satisfying than the initial procedure. Especially if the reason for the revision surgery is not clear cut.

If the person has a choice of living on narcotics and other painkillers for the rest of his or her lifetime, or having spinal cord stimulator which may be able to significantly reduce the necessary medications, then it is actually a very good idea.

The initial step is to undergo what is called a spinal cord stimulator trial implant. As an outpatient procedure, a Florida pain management doctor will insert a Pain Management Doctors in Floridacatheter lead into the spinal canal. This is done while the patient is awake but sedated, so he or she can describe whether the pain is relieved when the catheter lead is turned on. The lead is left in place for 5 to 7 days, and removed in an office setting. If the trial relieved over 50% of an individuals back and leg pain, the final implant should be considered.

Your insurance company may require a psychological evaluation prior to approval.

The results of spinal cord stimulator implants have been very good considering it is a last resort option. Overall, over 60% of those with low back pain experienced dramatic pain relief. For those with a lot of leg pain due to nerve root scarring, the satisfactory results have been over 80%.Pain Management Doctors in Florida

The newest spinal cord stimulator implants are lightweight, rechargeable with a belt placed outside the skin every few days, and have much more programming options. Some of the latest ones actually have a detection system to maintain pain relief even while the individual is moving from a sitting to standing position or laying down. That was one of the inadequacies in previous models.

For an individual with failed back surgery syndrome, a spinal cord stimulator may make the difference between a life with disability, or a productive existence being able to work, socialize and play with once kids. If you are experiencing chronic back pain and have failed surgery, let the Florida Pain Network help you. The Network connects those in pain with pain management doctors in Florida, including pain management Port St Lucie, pain management West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and many more.

Simply visit THIS PAGE and put in your zip code to find those Florida pain clinics closest to you. Get Connected Today!


Why Back and Leg Pain Occurs After Laminectomy Surgery

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One of the most common conditions affecting older people with arthritis is spinal stenosis. If conservative treatments fail, a lumbar laminectomy will usually decompress the pinched spinal nerves and provide exceptional pain relief.Pain Management Orlando

Unfortunately however, some people end up with considerable back pain after a laminectomy surgery. Some end up with leg pain that never went away, or the same leg pain that returns after a laminectomy procedure. Here is an overview of why this back or leg pain occurs.

Individuals with spinal stenosis get it primarily because of arthritis. Hip and leg pain may be the only symptoms experienced, or individuals may also have some back pain due to the arthritis. Studies looking at back pain after a lumbar laminectomy surgery have shown that 50% of individuals and up with stiffness or pain in the back after the procedure.

This is a very high number and is the result of either residual back pain to worsen somewhat or new back pain after the procedure. When a surgeon does a laminectomy, some muscle needs to be cut to get down to the bones over the spine. This may cause residual stiffness and pain after the surgery, or the resulting scar tissue may lead to some pain.

In addition, when the surgeon removes bone that is pinching spinal nerves, it can lead to an increased chance of arthritis if it leads to instability at the joint at that level. This is more of a hypothetical risk, but it seems reasonable that it can occur.

Along with new leg or back pain after a laminectomy, the chances of continued leg pain or
Pain clinics in Floridaback pain occur as well.

If a person has had the symptoms of spinal stenosis for years, there is a chance that the surgery will not relieve all of the pain. It may only take away 50% of it, leaving the person with residual pain that will not be amenable to another surgery.

Another thing that is seen from time to time is that once the nerve roots are freed up and a patient gets a good result, scar tissue may form around the nerve roots with new pain occurring. This is termed post laminectomy syndrome and results in persistent leg pain that is not amenable to more surgery. The best treatment for this is medication management and possibly a spinal cord stimulator as a last resort.

Iou or a loved one has undergone a laminectomy and is experiencing persistent back or leg pain Florida Pain clinicsor new pain afterwards, call a pain clinic in Florida. The Florida Pain Network has a directory of pain clinics in Florida throughout the state, including Orlando pain management, Miami pain clinics, pain clinics in Tampa, West Palm Beach pain management, Port St. Lucie pain management and more.

Simply go to This Page and enter your zip code to see the clinics closest to you. Or call (877) 877-8556 for further assistance.