APM Blog

Sunday, 19 November 2017 05:43

Golf Stretches to Reduce Back Pain

Golfing and back pain. If you are an avid golfer you know the importance of having a healthy back on the golf course. But did you know that strength and flexibility can help you add distance to your golf game and help you prevent pain and injury? It's true.

Advanced Pain Management's team of physicians has some recommendations to help you prevent back pain injury and to help you add distance to your drives. Take a look and leave us your comments below! What do you do to help prevent injury on the course?

Download and share our "Golf Tips: Reduce Pain and Improve Your Game" info sheet for more information.

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Published in Healthy Living
Sunday, 19 November 2017 05:37

8 Daily Habits That Reduce Pain

Oftentimes a patient’s most complicated challenge is pinpointing the source of what is causing them pain. Pain specialists are trained to recognize conditions and recommend new treatments, procedures and pain management techniques. Relief can come in the form of not only medications, but also a few simple habits that can be incorporated into our daily routine to help alleviate both acute & chronic pain. From exercise to meditation, quitting smoking to eating healthy foods, these simple habits could change your quality of life.

Download the infographic.

8 daily habits to help reduce pain

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain

You may have read the recent article in the New York Times discussing new research indicating that the use of yoga and stretching were equally effective in easing chronic back pain. The study demonstrated that regular use of both yoga and stretching exercises helped participants ease chronic back pain, and it also helped improve function.

Back pain affects 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. This study demonstrates the benefits of adding exercise to your weekly activities, and moreover, that you can help yourself prevent or reduce back pain. Download some of Advanced Pain Management's simple at home exercises for back pain including exercise and stretching eBooks:

Five Moves to Strengthen Your Back and Core

Six Stretches to Help Back Pain

Injury Prevention at Home and at Work

Published in Yoga

High heels and their effect on women’s feet, legs and toes are often highly debated when it comes to the topic of women’s fashion. If you are a woman, it is likely you have found yourself in a situation where a brand new pair of killer heels left a bigger mark than just a great fashion statement. The perfect complement to an outfit or the illusion of longer legs isn’t always worth the long-term compromises to muscle strength and increased chance for injury.

In past years, the average height of high-heeled shoes has gone from 3 to 5 inches. Shoes with heels two inches or higher cause feet to slide forward and toes are forced into an unnatural shape. When foot sliding occurs, weight is distributed incorrectly. An increased weight on your toes may cause your body to tilt forward which forces you to compensate by leaning backwards and overarching your back. This position may cause strain on knees, hips and the lower back.

Here are a few quick facts you need to know to prevent pain from high heels:

pain guide

Published in Healthy Living

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has always been a difficult condition to treat. CRPS, previously called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), which typically causes aching or burning sensations in the arms or legs and can manifest after an injury or surgery, doesn’t always respond to the treatment methods that work for other conditions. Even individuals with an implantable spinal cord stimulator don’t always experience the desired levels of CRPS pain relief. But all of that is about to change.

A revolutionary new stimulator, which works in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) region of the spine, has been proven extremely effective for the treatment of CRPS I and II. And in June, Advanced Pain Management became the first company in Wisconsin to begin offering it.

How it Works

DRG stimulation has the same three components as typical spinal cord stimulation (SCS): a generator with a battery, which sends out electrical pulses; insulated wire leads, which carry the electrical pulses to a specific area in your spinal cord; and the handheld patient controller, which allows you to adjust the location and strength of the stimulation. The trial is also the same: For roughly a week patients are fitted with a temporary device to determine its effectiveness for their particular pain condition.

What’s different with DRG stimulation is the location being stimulated. The dorsal root ganglion is a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves, which regulate signals and sensations as they travel to the brain. The DRG corresponds to particular locations in the body (like the feet and groin) meaning that stimulating it results in targeted pain relief to the specific areas affected by CRPS. This targeting means a better level of CRPS pain relief than typical SCS.

Proven Effective

DRG stimulation was the focus of a 12-month comprehensive study, known as the ACCURATE study.[1] Researchers found that 74.2% of patients using DRG stimulation had 50% or greater pain relief after one year, versus 53% of those utilizing traditional SCS. This means that not only can DRG provide superior CRPS pain relief, but it’s also sustained over time.

For those patients who experienced paresthesia, or the tingling sensation that replaces the pain, 94.5% of them reported that the sensation was confined to the primary area of pain. With traditional SCS, only 61.2% of patients reported this. In some cases, though, paresthesia was eliminated altogether. About 1/3 of patients experienced over 80% pain relief with no paresthesia at all.

According to the study, patients also had improvements in quality of life measures, psychological disposition and physical activity levels.

Other Benefits

Unlike some other SCS systems, the DRG system doesn’t have to be recharged, since it actually uses a fraction of the energy of typical systems. While the battery will still have to be replaced (roughly every five years), battery replacement with this device has also improved, meaning an easier process.

Additionally, like traditional SCS, DRG should reduce the need for oral medications, meaning fewer opioid-related side effects. Plus the system is reversible and can be removed at any time.

Learn More about CRPS (RSD) Pain Relief

If you’re suffering from CRPS and would like to learn more about DRG stimulation – including if it may be right for you – call (888) 901-PAIN or schedule a chat with a member of our care team staff to discuss your RSD pain relief / CRPS pain relief.

Get moving. Call (888) 901-PAIN (7246) or click to schedule a consultation now.

[1] "Long Term Data Confirms the St. Jude Medical Axium System Delivers Sustained and Superior Pain Relief for Patients with Chronic Lower Limb Pain." BusinessWire.com. December 11, 2015. Accessed August 22, 2016. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151211005787/en/.

Published in CRPS
Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:04

5 Tips for Apple Picking

Autumn offers an opportunity for fun outdoors activities, like apple picking in the fresh, crisp air. But before you head out to your local orchard, there are few things you should consider.

The pain team at Advanced Pain Management has five tips for you before you grab your pail and hit the outdoors.

  1. Pack light. To make the most of your apple-picking adventure, plan ahead so you are prepared for lots of walking. Be sure to pack only the items you need so you have room to carry all of the apple you pick!
  2. Dress in layers. The weather can change quickly in the Autumn so be prepared with layers you can add or remove at any time.
  3. Stay hydrated. Bring a full water bottle so you can stay hydrated as you walk the orchard grounds. The cool weather may mask how hard your body is working to walk and pick apples.
  4. Take regular breaks. It is important to rest your body as you work. Take a break every 15 - 30 minutes and sit and enjoy the sceanery.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes. To get the best crop, you'll need to do a lot of walking. Be prepared with light, comfortable running to tennis shoes that provide ample support. Also note that you'll likely we walking on all types of terrain.

Did you know there is a right way to pick apples off a tree?

Place your hand under the apple and then gently twist the apple rather than pulling it.  The stem should break free from the spur.

Are you storing your apples properly?

Apples stay fresh longer when they are kept in a cool place. To help your apple last even longer, don’t wash an apple until you are ready to eat it, and be careful not to bruise your apples because bruised apples will rot more quickly.

Published in Healthy Living

As you lift and carry heavy objects, proper lifting technique is important not only to protect the items you are carrying, but also to protect your back, knees and spinal muscles.

Advanced Pain Management's Jeremy Scarlett, MD, has some advice for you before you do any heavy lifting.

Think Before You Move
Before you lift a heavy object, decide where are you going with your object and the best path to get there safely, without too much turning or twisting. Also, be sure that you can lift the object on your own. If the object is too heavy, always ask for help.

Start in a Safe Position
Stand with your legs hip distance apart and place one leg slightly in front of the other. You can either squat to grab the object, or move down into a kneeling position and grab the object. Be sure to keep your back upright and core muscles tight. If you are in a kneeling position, it might help to rest the object on your bent leg as you prepare to stand.

Lift With Your Legs
From a squat or kneeling position, tighten your core muscles and lift straight upwards with your legs – not your back. It is often helpful to hold the object close to your body as you lift.

Do Not Twist or Turn
As you lift the object, be sure not to twist or turn from the waist. When you are ready to move with the object let your feet lead the way. Twisting with a heavy object in tow can cause back injuries and muscle strains.

Download our eBook of Proper Lifting Tehcniques now.

pain guide

Published in Lifting
Saturday, 18 November 2017 09:07

8 Tips to Prevent Injury in the Garden

Back pain, neck pain and muscles strains don't have to slow you down in the garden this year. The pain experts at Advanced Pain Management have eight helpful tips you should try as you get out the shovels and soil this season. You'd be surprised to see some of the simple things you can do at home to help prevent injury and reduce pain.

Download the eBook 8 Tips to Prevent Injury in the Garden

Warm Up

1. Warm Up
It may seem simple, but warming up is really about preparing the muscles for work. Not only does warming up your muscles help prevent injury, it can also boost energy and performance. In the garden that means you can bend, lift, dig and water with ease. Try performing some stretches and walk briskly for a couple of minutes to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.


Use Proper Tools

2. Use the Proper Tools
Using the right tools is important to protect your back and neck from injury. Tools with short handles can force you to bend down awkwardly and lead to sore, strained muscles. Select tools that allow you to stand up straight as you dig, shovel and weed. Also consider proper lifting technique as you work.


Stretch While You Work

3. Stretch While You Work
Stretch as you go! Stretching not only helps you prepare for work, it can also help you re-energize. Try stretching periodically as you work. Breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically, allowing your body to relax and muscles to loosen.


Avoid Sudden Movements

4. Avoid Sudden Movements
The muscles in your back are not prepared to handle sudden jerking or twisting movements that are often associated with do-it-yourself projects. These sorts of movements will likely result in a sore back or strained muscles. As you work, turn your whole body as you perform twisting movements and keep your back aligned.


Protect Yourself

5. Protect Yourself
Apply sunblock before you begin work outdoors. It is important to protect your skin from harmful UV -rays. It is also a good idea to wear a hat to protect your neck and face from getting too much sun.



Start Small

6. Start Small
Beginners and experts alike should understand that gardens don’t happen overnight. Ease into your projects and pace yourself. Taking it slow will ensure you don’t overwork yourself or your muscles! Don’t let your expectations dictate your pace; listen to your body instead.


Work at the Right Height

7. Work at the Right Height
Wherever possible, get down to the level at which you are working. Bending at the waist to lift tools or supplies can aggravate your back muscles, instead, get to the ground and if you are lifting tools or objects lift with your legs. Also, try using a knee pad for comfort so you can get closer to your work.



Ask for Help

8. Ask for Help
A partner can help you move or carry heavy  objects and tools. Consider using a wheelbarrow to move extremely heavy items like soil and rocks.




What tips have you found helpful in the garden? Tell us in the comments section!

Weed Out The Pain Toolkit Download

Published in Gardening
Friday, 17 November 2017 10:21

Tackle Pain and Up your Garden Game

Gardening is a great form of exercise, working multiple muscle groups as well as burning calories. It makes sense, then, that just like any other exercise or sport, there should be some rules to keep you – and your garden – in fighting form.

Before and After

Warmups and cool downs aren’t just for runners. Take the time to loosen up your body with some quick stretches and a brisk walk before digging in. And make sure to take frequent time-outs, with plenty of water, says Melinda Myers, an expert horticulturalist who works with Advanced Pain Management to provide tips on seasonal gardening and safety. Afterward, cool down with a few more stretches, and ice any sore areas.

Switch it Up

Whether it’s practicing tennis or watering hydrangeas, doing the same thing for extended periods of time can result in injury. Switch up your activities, and your position, to avoid stiffness and work a range of muscle groups. “I may go from weeding down on my knees to digging with a shovel or raking,” says Myers. “I often take a break from these more strenuous activities to water, so I’m moving and stretching my legs.”

There’s No ‘I’ in Garden

Share the load with a gardening round-robin, suggests Myers. Not only will it decrease your own load, but it’s a great way to catch up with friends – and boost your gardening know-how. “With busy schedules,” she says, “I find it’s a great way to take on overwhelming tasks, like spring cleanup and winter pruning, and enlist help, but make it fun.”

Learn More

For more tips on getting a leg up on gardening pain, visit Melinda Myers at the We Energies Energy Park stage during the Wisconsin State Fair Aug. 6-16, where she will be presenting “The Livable Landscape” at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. And don't forget to download your free Gardening Toolkit.

Weed Out The Pain Toolkit Download

Published in Gardening

You'd be hard pressed to start your garden this year without lifting and hauling some plants, soil or gardening equipment. Don't leave home without reading this handy guide to proper lifting!

Proper lifting technique is important every time you lift and move objects. Before you lift a heavy object, decide where are you going with your object and the best path to get there safely, without too much turning or twisting.

Prevent Injury with Proper Lifting Techniques

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Published in Lifting
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