THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NERVE BLOCK AND FACET JOINT INJECTIONS…

As my readers will have read before I had great success with lumber facet joint injections for low back pain. I have never had facet joints injections in my cervical spine but nor have I had a nerve block in my lumber spine so it’s interesting to find out the difference between them both.

The cost is definitely different for these two injections with the facet joint ones coming out a lot more expensive.

To explain the difference with these two types of injections I will start with a facet joint injection which is a type of steroid injection that is administered to a very specific set of joints. Steroid injections directly into these joints of concern can help relieve both inflammation and pain in the neck or back. Several injections to different facet joints may be needed depending on the site of pain.

As explained by the Spine Institute of North America a nerve block injection can be done anywhere along the spine. This particular injection targets the sympathetic nervous system and helps to reduce inflammation in nerves that branch from the spinal cord and the ganglia that is present at a particular location. Nerve blocks are a form of pain management as the substance that is injected numbs the nerves and helps to block pain signals. This one can consist of a local anesthetics, steroid and lidocaine (a numbing agent).

In a facet injection procedure, a physician uses fluoroscopy (live X-ray) to guide the needle into the facet joint capsule to inject lidocaine (a numbing agent) and/or a steroid (an anti-inflammatory medication). If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the pain generator is the specific facet joint capsule that has just been injected.

A nerve block injection is also done using Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) to ensure the medication is delivered to the correct location. If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the back pain generator is the specific nerve root that has just been injected.

So, basically both injections administer similar drugs and both are done using live X-ray but they are put into different parts of the spine. Why they vary so much in price is something I cannot seem to find out about except that you seem to need more than one facet joint injection at each session. Let’s hope that nerve block injections funding doesn’t change to a postcode lottery like the facet joint ones have done.

Advertisements

PROLOTHERAPY FOR RELIEF OF CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN…

Prolotherapy addresses damaged ligaments (bands of connective tissue that help keep bones attached to each other) to relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Prolotherapy is an injection of a liquid solution into soft tissue like your ligaments and tendons. This then triggers local inflammation and the body’s natural healing response which repairs the weakened soft tissues and relieves pain.

Unlike conventional drugs, Prolotherapy is thought to address the underlying pain problem coming from aggravated nerves.

Once the areas that require treatment are found, the consultant will insert a thin needle with the solution into the inflamed area. You will probably experience mild pain, but it can be reduced if you need it by using a local aesthetic first.

A typical course of treatment is around 10-25 sessions.

Preliminary studies have found that pain responds well to this treatment. The American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine state that Prolotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for selected cases of lower back pain, and other chronic myofascial pain syndromes.

The British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine holds a list of Prolotherapy practitioners in the UK.

According to Wellness Pharmacy Patients occasionally experience a great deal of relief after their first injection; most, however, note improvement after 3-4 injections, with the duration of treatment then determined by the rate of progress. Studies suggest a success rate (“greater than 50% improvement in pain level”) of 80-90%. They also have 20 common questions and answers about Prolotherapy, here.

BACK PAIN AWARENESS WEEK 8th-12th OCTOBER – #backpainweek…

The countdown has begun for the 2018 Back Pain Awareness Week which is on the 8th-12th October – #backpainweek

Back Pain Awareness Week (#backpainweek) this year is the 8th-12th October, and the theme this year is back pain in older adults.

Backcare writes that Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management. 

In BackCare’s TalkBack Summer Magazine an article from Arthritis Research points out that INCREASING numbers of people are suffering from low back pain worldwide – an issue being made worse by the prevalence of inappropriate treatment methods, according to recent scientific papers published by The Lancet.

It is most common and burdensome in working populations, with many older people finding that their back pain prevents them from taking part in daily activities. Although most cases of low back pain are short-lasting, recurrences are common, with the costs associated with back pain-related healthcare and work disability
shown to be enormous.

Events throughout the week include –

Physiotherapy with Katrina from Bodyworks Physiotherapy Clinic – Monday 10.30-11.30 A talk outlining the most common lower back issues in older adults and a demonstration of exercises to help lower back conditions.

Osteopathy with Lindee and Ned – Tuesday 10.30-11.30 Understanding how your posture affects your breathing and learn how to breathe to optimise your health and wellbeing.

Rehabilitation with Jamie – Wednesday 10.30-11.30 Learn about the benefits of exercise to back health and function.

Podiatry with Paul from Expert Podiatry a free event on Thursday 10.30-11.30 The importance of foot function is working out the cause of managing your back pain.

Seated Pilates with Claire from Bodyworks Physiotherapy Clinic – Friday 10.30-11.30 Seated exercises designed to improve your physical strength, flexibility, posture, and enhance mental awareness.

 

 

GROUP THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF #FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC #PAIN…

Group Therapy for the treatment of #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain.

You read something new every day on treatments for #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain, but now they are saying that group therapy can help pain sufferers. A trial published in the Lancet, revealed that after only six sessions of group therapy, it showed patients still found improvements a year later.

All patients who took part in the study were given advice about remaining active, avoiding bed rest and taking pain medication, and felt more positive about being able to deal with their pain and less fearful about their situation. The study, led by Professor Sarah Lamb at the University of Warwick, found: “Compared with advice alone, advice plus cognitive behavioural intervention was associated with significant benefits in nearly all outcomes. This trial shows that a bespoke cognitive behavioural intervention package, Best, is effective in managing subacute and chronic low-back pain in primary care.”

The treatment also compared favourably with other ways of combating back #pain, such as acupuncture and teaching correct posture. Dr Laxmaiah Manchikanti, from the Pain Management Centre of Paducah, in Kentucky in the US, said the study “showed rather impressive results”. The book ‘The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy’ by Irvin Yalom and Molyn Leszcz is a great book to help you understand what is behind group therapy. It presents the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as the writers’ clinical wisdom and expertise. Hailed by Jerome Frank as “the best book that exists on the subject,” Irvin D. Yalom’s The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has been the standard text in the field for decades.

In this completely revised and updated fifth edition, Dr. Yalom and his collaborator Dr. Molyn Leszcz expand the book to include the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as their broad clinical wisdom and expertise. New topics include online therapy, specialized groups, ethnocultural diversity, trauma and managed care.

The charity MIND also has lots of details on group therapy treatments.

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. They provide support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year. They raise awareness of the issues that matter. And with your support, they will keep driving change across society until this country is great for everyone.

You can get involved by working in one of their charity shops, campaign for change, fundraise, make a donation, partner with them or work for Scope. 

They have a very active online community in which anyone can join groups, actively comment on discussions within the community or talk to a community advisor.

You can also find hundreds of practical tips contributed by disabled people and their families to help make life a little easier.

OPIOID PAINKILLERS CRISIS THE SILENT EPIDEMIC ON THE ITV ‘TONIGHT’ PROGRAM…

 

On ITV Tonight Britain on Painkillers: The Silent Epidemic.

A quarter of a million people are struggling with opioids in the UK. There are many risks involved with taking them for long-term use. They say they are of no use for long-term pain and they think that exercise, meditation and tai chi are a good option or soothing alternative to get through your pain.

Over the past decade in Britain, prescriptions for these drugs have gone through the roof – up 80% in England alone. We’re now among the biggest consumers of opioids in Europe.

And the tragedy and irony is that while the drugs are super-effective for acute emergency pain, in 90% of long-term chronic pain cases, they don’t even work.

Pain specialists are also trying to get to grips with the fact we’ve practically sleepwalked into a public health crisis: GPs under pressure to help their patients deal with pain and patients sometimes too in distress to find other strategies rather than popping the pills.

According to the British Pain Society, approximately 8 million adults in the UK  report chronic pain that is moderate to severely disabling[1]. Back pain alone accounts for 40% of sickness absence in the NHS[2] and overall it costs £10 billion for the UK economy[3].  The UK has some of the best pain services in the world and the multidisciplinary British Pain Society is at the forefront of informing the public and professionals of what is available.

However, the British Pain Society believes more research is essential to allow pain services to offer the latest effective and safest treatments.  Unfortunately, pain research is not a priority for major UK funders.

So how have we got here and how do we step back from the brink?

Is it time to radically rethink how we manage pain?

I’ve been on Tramadol for over 15 years so a rethink of how I can cope with my pain would be amazing.