If you are suffering from acute or chronic back and/or leg pain, epidural injections may offer you substantial pain relief without surgery. This procedure, also known as epidural nerve blocks, has proven to be very successful in relieving the pain and inflammation caused by herniated discs, arthritis and spinal stenosis. With today’s advanced technology, this office-based technique is also very safe, accurate and can help return you to an active, pain-free lifestyle.
What Is an Epidural
It is the injection of corticosteroid medication into the epidural space of the spinal column. This space is located between the dura (a membrane surrounding the nerve roots) and the interior surface of the spinal canal formed by the vertebrae. A local anesthetic is applied first to numb the injection site, and then a spinal needle is inserted into the epidural space. To ensure accuracy and safety, our physicians perform the procedure under fluoroscopic guidance.
Local anesthetic and corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medications are delivered into the epidural space to shrink the swelling around the nerve roots and relieve pain.
A Safe, Non-Surgical Solution
Epidural nerve blocks are performed in a sterile, office-based environment without general anesthesia, hospitalization or prolonged recovery. The procedure typically requires only 10-20 minutes, including preparation time. After 45 minutes of observed recovery time, you should be able to return to work and other normal activities.
A set of three injections is typically recommended, and usually given 2-3 weeks apart, however, you may gain considerable relief after the first or second injection. In that instance, further injections may not be necessary.
Relieve Your Pain and Start
Enjoying Life Again
A clinically proven technique, epidural nerve blocks have brought welcomed pain relief to countless individuals. Talk to a board certified pain specialist to find out if this is an effective option for you.
Why is it that women and men often have trouble discussing and resolving issues of conflict between them?
The answer may be found in neuroscience studies of differences in male and female brains that show, on average, male brains are just slightly larger, by five ounces, than an adult female brain. However, female brains comprise much more white matter tissue in volume than male brains do.
The brain pathways located in the white matter cells are rich in connections to the emotional centers of the brain, which suggests that the reason females are tied more to emotions as part of their experience is due to their white matter dominance and the areas of the brain that women use.
Males, on the other hand, primarily process their experiences through the gray matter or association cortex areas of the pre-frontal cortex, which involves facts rather than emotional connections.
When women want to discuss an issue, their discussion almost always includes the issue and a lot of emotional content involving their feelings. Interestingly, men have learned over time that the woman’s emotional reaction is a reflection of something the man is doing. That is, women are looking for a change in a man’s behavior when they discuss an issue.
Men want to avoid emotionality and will adjust their behavior until they notice the women showing signs that she is happy again and not angry with them. Men, as a group, have learned to avoid blame and manage a woman’s emotional discharges by adjusting their behavior (not changing it). When the man’s behavior continues, a woman might say, “He just doesn’t get it.” The answer is often found to be that the issue has not been addressed, because it gets drowned out in the emotional expression.
Another area of misunderstanding for women is when they ask a man to help them do something that is outside of the normal routine of expectations for the man. Women ask other women, all the time, to assist them in some way by lending a hand to what needs to be done. Men want to be acknowledged for going above and beyond what is normally expected of them. Women do not understand this dynamic because women operate quite differently.
Men will do what is asked, one time, and expect appreciation every time they do something extra. Women learning this principle will make communication much easier and help to resolve conflicts.
As the warmer weather draws us outdoors, we can’t help but notice the vast array of colors, textures, fragrances and forms of the summer garden. But much more than just providing beauty and pleasure for our senses, these wonders of nature also have powerful medicinal properties, some of which have been used for healing for thousands of years.
The Chinese Materia Medica (compendium of medical material) contains hundreds of plant-based herbs commonly used to treat a wide variety of ailments:
Honeysuckle flowers (jin yin hua) with its unmistakably sweet fragrance, is used to clear heat and remove toxins from the body, such as might be present in a sore or swollen throat. Magnolia flower (xinyihua) on the other hand, is pungent and warming, and is used to treat conditions related to nasal and sinus congestion. Red sage (danshen) has cooling and calming properties, and has been researched extensively for its positive effects on heart disease and hypertension. Balloon flower (jiegeng) prized for its striking ornamental qualities, is a wonderful herb for colds, coughs, and other respiratory conditions.
Even weeds, plants we often think of as being a nuisance, can have quite beneficial effects when used in the right context. For example, dandelion (pu gong ying) has been used historically to treat problems relating to the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and joints. Common mugwort (ai ye) is a warming medicinal often used for gynecological disorders.
Just as in an orchestra, where the sound of each individual instrument blends into the resulting symphony, Chinese herbs are most frequently used in combination, creating a dynamic interplay and balance of function designed to treat a particular pattern of illness.
In our industrialized culture, herbal medicine can often seem mysterious. But I find that once we understand its potential and true accessibility, any trepidation we might initially have is quickly replaced by a sense of awe and gratitude for nature’s bounty. Of course, it’s always best to consult with a trained, licensed health care provider before taking herbal remedies, in order to ensure proper dosage and application.
Herbal medicine and nutrition – along with acupuncture, qi gong (energy cultivation), and massage – is one of the pillars of Chinese medicine, an invaluable tool for creating and restoring health, and for bringing the body-mind into alignment so that the spirit can properly shine through.
In the chiropractic profession we are known for effective relief of acute back and neck pain. Patients present with soft tissue pain like tendinitis, ortendinosis from long standing and reoccurring overuse injuries. The primary physician has pain medications that stop the inflammatory chemical cascade in the body. The chiropractor uses many techniques, including hands-on manipulation, soft tissue muscle work, and adjunctive physical therapy modalities.
It is the common clinical approach in all healing professions to look at the patient’s local complaint(s) as a primary focus. Chiropractors trained in the post-graduate program QA (quintesssential applications) look at the local presenting problem, and then address any contributing systemic physiological conditions affecting the local symptom. For example, a runner comes in with a knee problem that is non-traumatic in origin. The assessment appears to be an overuse problem. The QA assessment would also rule out anemia or a subclinical hypo-thyroid problem as a contributing biochemical stressor to the knee pain. Unless these systemic conditions are corrected, the response to osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic adjustments, and/or physical therapy procedures for that knee problem may not be successful.
A clinician trained in QA and Applied Kinesiology (AK) uses very specific manual muscle testing (MMT) to determine where there are muscle imbalances in the entire lower extremity: the foot, ankle, knee and/or hip joints. Any of these regions can contribute to the pain pattern. We always look at the spinal connection to the local muscle motor dysfunction. Muscles that are hypotonic (neurologically inhibited) usually go unnoticed, and most clinicians follow the pain to the spasm/tightness of the hypertonic muscles (neurologically facilitated). Any local complaint, i.e. knee pain, needs to be initially addressed with effective hands-on work: primarily with manual therapy (joint manipulation and soft tissue mobilization).
Pain measurement (pain scale 1-10), and Range of Motion measurements gives a base line to start with. Stopping pain is a priority and one of the techniques that are quite effective in the QA protocol involves evaluating and treating the associated Chinese acupuncture points on the head. They are called NSB and SET POINT Techniques. NSB is for acute pain and SET POINT (Touch and Tap) is for persistent and chronic pain.
After the acupuncture meridian head points are determined, the meridian imbalances are corrected through manual procedures. Erchonia cold laser therapy on the acupuncture points also demonstrates excellent results in stopping the pain. When the pain diminishes any prior objective clinical assessment will be better.