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

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
Friday, 17 November 2017 05:44

You Are What You Eat! [Guest Blog]

Jennrich Heidi dir resized 600Heidi Jennrich, APNP
Fort HealthCare

Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught to children at a young age. The following are some general guidelines for helping your child eat healthy. It is important to discuss your child’s diet with your child’s health care provider before making any dietary changes or placing your child on a diet.

  • Eat three meals a day, with healthy snacks.
  • Increase fiber in the diet and decrease the use of salt.
  • Drink water. Try to avoid drinks and juices that are high in sugar.
  • Children under the age of 2 need fats in their diet to help with the growth of their nervous system. Do not place these children on a low fat diet without talking with your child’s health care provider.
  • Eat balanced meals.
  • When cooking for your child, try to bake or broil instead of frying.
  • Decrease your child’s sugar intake.
  • Eat fruit or vegetables for a snack.
  • Decrease the use of butter and heavy gravies.
  • Eat more lean chicken, fish, and beans for protein

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Making healthy food choices

The Choose My Plate icon is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. My Plate can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat.

The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have prepared the plate to guide parents in selecting foods for children age 2 and older.

The My Plate icon is divided into five food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:

  • Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.
  • Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.
  • Fruits. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed.
  • Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
  • Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine—choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, contain essential nutrients and can be included in the diet. Animal fats are solid fats and should be avoided.

Exercise and everyday physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan. For more information, visit FortHealthCare.com/HealthyKids.

Thank you to Fort HealthCare and Heidi Jennrich, APNP for the guest post.

pain guide

Published in Healthy Living

Chronic pain plagues more that 116 million American adults and diet may be contributing to this staggering statistic. Did you know that if you look around your kitchen you could find foods that fight inflammation, block pain signals and can even heal underlying disease? Moreover, did you know that a typical Western-style diet is rich with foods that promote inflammation, which include highly processed foods and refined carbohydrates?

 “Eating more fruits and vegetables alone will not alleviate your pain,” says Advanced Pain Management (APM) physician Michael Jung. “But if you commit to a healthy eating plan that includes less processed foods and more fresh foods, you will likely see positive results.”

What does he suggest? Take a look at a few tasty tips below.

The power-packed cherry has the ability to help with muscle pain and general inflammation. Why? The compounds in cherries that give them a bright red color, called anthocyanins, pack a heavy punch of antioxidants. These compounds block inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes in the same way that aspirin and other NSAIDS work, says Jung. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition confirms that cherry consumption can in fact help healthy adults reduce inflammation.[1]

If you experience headaches and are not a regular coffee drinker, you might see some benefit from having a cup or two when a headache strikes. Caffeine helps narrow the dilated blood vessels that often cause headache pain, says Jung. But beware; too much coffee can exacerbate headache pain.

Typically reserved for expectant mothers and sea travelers, the ginger root can do much more than ease nausea. Much like the cherry, ginger can be beneficial in reducing inflammation[2], particularly offering relief from migraines, muscle pain and arthritis.

According to Foods that Fight Pain author Dr. Neal D. Barnard, eating fish low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve back pain.[3] Omega-3s help improve blood flow by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and nerves. A study published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, suggests that omega-3s provide benefit as an alternative therapy for joint pain and inflammation.[4] 

Try making mint tea to help with headaches and general aches and pain. Wintergreen leaves in particular contain a compound called methyl salicylate that has been shown to block the  enzymes that cause inflammation and pain.

Hot PeppersHot Peppers
Capsaicin, an ingredient in hot peppers, can help reduce pain. In fact, you may notice that many topical creams contain this as a pain-fighting ingredient.

Do you want to save or share this information? We make it easy! Download your own ‘Foods
that Fight Pain’
cheat sheet today! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get more tips and facts to help you prevent or reduce pain!

Did you find this information helpful? Do you have foods that you find help your pain? Let
us know in the comments section below!

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

[1] Kelley DS et al.(2013) Sweet bing cherries lower circulating concentrations of markers for chronic inflammatory diseases in healthy humans. Journal of Nutrition. March; 143(3):340-4.

[2] Grzanna et al. (2005) Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions. Journal of Medicinal Food. Volume: 8 Issue 2.

[3] Barnard, N. (2010). Foods that Fight Pain: Revolutionary New Strategies for Maximum Pain Relief. Harmony.

[4] Goldberg, Robert J; Katz, Joel. (2007) A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Volume 129, Issue 1 , Pages 210-223.

Published in Foods
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 13:52

Resources To Help You Quit Smoking

Reasons to Quit SmokingStudies show that individuals who smoke cigarettes are more at risk for developing pain. If you are interested in more information about how to quit smoking, take a look at a few resoruces we’ve compiled that can help you on your way to smoke-free living.

Looking for more helpful tips and information about pain? Download our FREE pain guide now for detailing information you need to know on pain.

Interested in more information about pain prevention? Subscribe to our blog now to get weekly emails from our team of expert pain management physicians or join the over 23,000 people who subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter. You can also follow our #KnowYourPain series on Facebook and Twitter to stay current with all of our educational resources.

pain guide

Published in Smoking
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:16

How Music Therapy Can Help Reduce Pain

Music can move people. It can bring a smile to a face, tears to eyes; music can make us laugh and motivate us to overcome obstacles. But did you know that the power of music can even reduce the perception of pain[1]?

As more and more studies reveal the benefits of music therapy in healthcare, it’s no wonder that this field continues to grow. Music therapy has been shown to lower stress, enhance comfort and manage pain for people of all ages, genders and races.

It can work in many different ways. At its most basic, rhythm's ability to ease pain has been noted among patients in cancer wards and nursing homes[2].

Some medical facilities will use music to elevate patients’ moods, promote movement for physical rehabilitation, calm patients down, counteract apprehension or fear, and lessen muscle tension for the purpose of relaxation. Music with a strong beat can actually stimulate brain waves, including those that govern the autonomic nervous system, which can slow breathing and heart rates.

And while the greatest benefits of music therapy will come in a professional setting with a trained expert, people can use music to assist in relieving daily aches and pains. Music can be used for relaxation, to get an added boost for physical activity, as a catharsis when dealing with emotional stress, and other ways.

There is no one kind of music that everyone finds soothing or beneficial in reducing pain. Start by identifying the type of music that soothes you the most and makes you feel comfortable. This might be anything – classic music, jazz, rock ‘n roll, maybe even rap.

You will likely find that you use different types of music to promote specific types of healthy activities. While one form of music might get you revved up for a walk or run through the neighborhood, another type of music might be perfect to relax your tight muscles after that run. A good balance of physical activity and periods of relaxation can dramatically help reduce the pain people experience.

Music also has the power to improve your state of mind. This helps keep things like depression and anxiety at bay[3]. Having a positive attitude can prove beneficial in decreasing pain.

While listening to music can provide many benefits, actually making the music has been shown to provide even better results. And no, it’s not necessary to be a musician to get involved. Some people find that rhythmically banging on a drum can provide serious returns.

What type of music do you find theraputic? Let us know in the comments section.

Nileshkumar Patel, MD

Nilesh Patel, M.D., works for Advanced Pain Management in Green Bay. He is board certified in both pain management and anesthesiology.

[1]Tan, X., Yowler, C.J., Super, D.M. & Fratianne, R.B. (2010). The efficacy of music therapy protocols for decreasing pain, anxiety, and muscle tension levels during burn dressing changes: a prospective randomized crossover trial. J Burn Care Res., 31(4):590-7.

[2] Magill, L. & Berenson, S. (2008). The conjoint use of music therapy and reflexology with hospitalized advanced stage cancer patients and their families. Palliat Support Care. 6(3):289-96.

[3] Siedliecki, S.L. & Good, M. (2006). Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability. J Adv Nurs. 54(5):553-62.

Published in Acute and Chronic Pain

Repost from CBS 58: The state's top cop said Milwaukee is Wisconsin's biggest economic engine. When something good - or in the case of crime, bad - happens here, its impact is felt statewide.   

Schimel gathered law enforcement and health leaders together in Brookfield on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, to talk about what he called the state's biggest public health crisis. 

View the entire post at http://www.cbs58.com/story/32168677/wi-attorney-general-says-if-residents-are-unhappy-with-crimes-involving-juveniles-they-need-to-vote


Published in News

BROOKFIELD, Wis. — On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a group of lawmakers, doctors and recovering opioid addicts came together to show their concern for the current prescription opioid abuse epidemic.

To learn more about the event, follow this link to read WISN 12's coverage and watch a short video. http://www.wisn.com/news/recovering-addicts-lawmakers-doctors-team-up-against-opooid-abuse/39944772

Download your free opioids and pain in-depth guide

Published in News

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, WPR News covered the Time to Intervene panel discussion, which dealt with the opioid epidemic currently affecting our state and our countyr. Listen as leaders discuss Wisconsin's Opioid Abuse Epidemic. http://www.wpr.org/listen/941606

Download your free opioids and pain in-depth guide

Published in News

The U.S. workforce participation rate (those employed or unemployed and seeking work) is declining – which could mean major economic and social issues for the country in the coming years – and pain has been cited as a major contributing factor. That’s according to as new paper by Princeton University labor economist Alan Krueger, which was released this week in advance of its presentation at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conference this weekend. This paper, titled “Where Have All the Workers Gone?,”[1] paints a distressing picture of the future of the American workforce – one in which pain plays a prominent part.

The Workforce Problem

As is well-known to both economists and the general population alike, in the near future the country is going to see a major shift in the workforce population (those who are employed or unemployed and looking for a job), mainly due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. This shift is in addition to a larger number of young adults delaying their entry into the workforce (due to more entering higher education), a declining number of women entering the workforce (many  still choosing to stay at home) and, most importantly, an increasing number of “prime age” men (ages 25-64) who aren’t in the workforce at all (unemployed and not seeking employment).

All of these changes have led to a significant decline in workforce participation, one that’s been worsening since 2007. And it’s a trend that, according to Krueger, isn’t going to abate without major societal changes. So the question remains: Why aren’t many of these prime age men, who were once considered the main breadwinners of the family, able to participate in the workforce?

The Prime Age Problem

The U.S. is not alone in seeing a decline of this valuable group of workers. In fact, “the participation rate of prime age men has trended down in the U.S. and other economically advanced countries for many decades.” But, compared to other advanced countries, the U.S. has seen one of the worst declines – surpassed only by Italy. The main reason, Krueger concludes, is health-related problems – especially pain.

Of those prime age men who are out of the labor force, 43% report their health as fair or poor, with 34% of them reporting at least one disability (like difficulty walking or climbing stairs). “As a group,” the paper states, “workers who are out of the labor force report feeling pain during about half of their time.” These men experience both a greater prevalence and greater intensity of pain in their day-to-day lives than employed and unemployed men. Because of that, somewhere between 44%-47% are on pain medication (including OTC), with 2/3 of those men utilizing prescription painkillers.

This pain is a clear factor keeping them from work. In fact, 40% of these prime age men responded “yes” when asked directly if pain prevented them from working a full-time job for which they were qualified.

The Mental Health Problem

This inability to join the workforce takes its toll on prime age men. By looking at various studies, Krueger found that men outside the workforce were less happy, sadder and more stressed than even unemployed men were.

In comparison, women outside the workforce report more happiness and less stress, meaning that – unlike their male counterparts – they’re deriving considerable meaning from their activities. This points to an urge amount the prime age men to return to the workforce; but with high levels of pain, that’s a difficult feat.

The Solution

Krueger concludes that stemming this tide of prime men leaving the workforce should be an issue of national priority. But how can this be done? Krueger takes a stab at answering that, as well. “The finding that nearly half of [these] prime age men take pain medication on a daily basis and that 40% report that pain prevents them from accepting a job suggests that pain interventions could potentially be helpful,” he says.

Intervening to both wean these men off of medications that could be dangerous to their health and future ability to work and reducing their pain levels to the point where they can return to the workforce would go a long way toward reversing this dangerous trend. Many pain management organizations, like Advanced Pain Management, are working toward these ends, utilizing the latest interventional technologies.

This advancement, along with other cultural and national shifts – like increased access to healthcare and equal pay and advancement for women – may help stem the tide of workforce decline, ensuring this country doesn’t face further inequality and division in the coming years.

Download your free opioids and pain in-depth guide

[1] Krueger, Alan. “Where Have All the Workers Gone?” October 04, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.

Additional information: Coy, Peter. “Why Are so Many Men Not Working? They’re in Pain.” Bloomberg Businessweek. October 7, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-07/why-are-so-many-men-not-working-they-re-in-pain.

Published in Work
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