Your joints are responsible for the movements you perform every day, from writing a note to walking across the street. Joint pain, as you might imagine, makes these normal tasks difficult, even impossible. As many as one-third of adults report having pain in their joints within the last month, with the knees, shoulders, and hips being the most commonly affected areas. Dr. Wilson Almonte and Dr. Ted Lin at Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center in Victoria, TX, as well as Brazos Pain Management in Sugar Land, TX, commonly treat this ailment. Our team of experts outlines the basics of joint pain and how it is effectively treated.
Common causes of joint pain
Many of our patients at Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center and Brazos Pain Management who have joint pain are dealing with some form of arthritis, whether it's due to the breakdown of the cushioning cartilage between the joints (osteoarthritis) or a malfunctioning immune system (rheumatoid arthritis). Gout or bursitis, which involves fluid buildup around the joints, is painful as well. Injuries like strains and sprains are also responsible for the pain felt in wrist and ankle joints. This is only a shortlist of common conditions your interventional pain management team treats. Your Victoria, TX, and Sugar Land, TX, joint specialist works with you to determine the exact cause of your joint pain.
Treatment of joint pain
At Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center and Brazos Pain Management, we focus on using interventional pain management techniques whenever possible to help our patients with their chronic joint pain. These techniques are minimally invasive (non-surgical) and are aimed at treating joint pain at the source through injections of steroids or synthetic fluids to replace the loss of natural lubricants. Cold therapy and electric nerve stimulation are also used to slow the body's response to pain in the affected area. These treatments are used in conjunction with physical therapy exercises. Your Sugar Land, TX, and Victoria, TX, joint pain doctor will customize a treatment plan that alleviates your symptoms while managing your discomfort between appointments.
To schedule an appointment regarding joint pain with Dr. Wilson Almonte or Dr. Ted Lin, contact Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center in Victoria, Texas at (361) 575-2882. We also have an office located in Sugar Land, TX. Brazos Pain Management can be reached at (281) 240-4300. Call us today!
Find out how to gain control over your chronic post-surgical pain through a multimodal treatment plan.
While it’s natural to experience some pain and discomfort after surgery, particularly with more invasive surgeries, when pain persists for weeks or even months afterward you may be dealing with chronic postoperative pain. This happens to more people than you might think. While some cases will resolve on their own, others may require more tailored treatment and care. At Brazos Pain Management in Sugar Land and Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center Interventional Pain Management in Victoria, Texas, Dr. Wilson Almonte and Dr. Ted Lin are interventional pain management physicians who have helped countless patients manage their chronic pain conditions.
Treating Your Post-Operative Pain
While our goal is to help you find effective solutions for managing and even eradicating your pain we also want to choose more conservative approaches in the beginning. We focus on patient-centered healthcare in which we help patients take control over their chronic pain so they don’t feel at the mercy of their condition.
When you come into our office we will discuss the symptoms you are experiencing and from there design a treatment plan that may include a variety of lifestyle modifications, therapies and other minimally invasive pain management procedures. Our therapies and services focus on treating the whole patient, not just their symptoms. After all, we want to make sure that all systems without the body are working together to function optimally without pain and discomfort.
If you are looking to treat your chronic pain without medication, our team can provide you with non-medicinal treatment options to reduce your symptoms. We offer a comprehensive range of physical therapy techniques at our Victoria location, including,
- Joint mobilization
- Myofascial release
- LSVT-BIG® therapy
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Motor control/mobility training
- Pelvic floor exercise/retraining biophysical agents
We also offer radiofrequency ablation, cryoneurolysis, and electrostimulation to treat severe and persistent post-operative pain, more specifically for patients dealing with chronic back, neck and knee pain.
Brazos Pain Management in Sugar Land, TX and Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center in Victoria, TX makes it easier to get the treatment you need to lead a pain-free life. If you are ready to take control over your chronic pain, we can help. Call our office today. In Victoria, phone (361) 575-2882, or in Sugar Land and the Fort Bend/Greater Houston area, call (281) 240-4300.
Find out how interventional pain management could benefit your long-term health.
Severe and chronic pain keeps millions of people from doing what they love. It can affect almost every facet of a person’s life, from their social and romantic lives to their careers. Dealing with long-term pain that dictates what you can and can’t do can also cause stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The goal of our pain management physicians, Dr. Wilson Almonte and Dr. Ted Lin, is to provide patient-centric healthcare geared at managing pain and getting patients back to doing what they love.
What is interventional pain management?
If you are dealing with severe chronic pain that isn't responding to home care then you may want to consider interventional pain management. Interventional pain management involves uses a variety of minimally invasive procedures such as joint injections, electrostimulation, nerve blocks, and implant drug delivery systems along with lifestyle modifications, stress management, and physical therapy to provide more well-rounded and thorough pain management.
We treat patients dealing with pain that affects their everyday life and makes it challenging to enjoy hobbies or to effectively perform their jobs. If you have found other treatment options to be unsuccessful in the past, then the solution to treating your chronic pain could be turning to our interventional pain doctors practicing in Sugar Land and Victoria, TX.
What conditions can interventional pain management treat?
Interventional pain management is ideal for anyone dealing with either acute or chronic pain conditions. This multimodal approach to treating pain can improve:
- Neck and back pain
- Joint pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Chronic headaches and migraine
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal fractures
- Tennis elbow
- Tendon or cartilage injuries
- Pain due to personal injury, work-related injuries, or trauma
What an interventional pain specialist can do?
Dr. Almonte, Dr. Lin, and their medical team have in-depth knowledge of pain and have received specialized training to be able to diagnose and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal and neuropathic problems.
We not only have the specialized tools needed to diagnose conditions quickly and accurately, but we also have a broad knowledge of the most advanced minimally invasive treatments, therapies, and techniques available to help manage pain. An evaluation usually involves:
- Going through your medical history
- Performing a physical and neurological exam
- Reviewing any diagnostic tests
If other conservative treatments have failed you, this doesn't mean that you have to give in to the pain. Our physicians will work tirelessly to find the right pain management plan for you.
Need care? Give us a call
If you are ready to take control of your chronic pain, our team at Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center and Brazos Pain Management is here to help. If you are looking for a pain management physician in Victoria or Sugar Land, TX, call one of our offices today:
- (361) 575-2882 Victoria (Interventional Pain Management)
- (361) 578-7396 Victoria (Physical Therapy)
- (281) 240-4300 Sugar Land
Have you had surgery, a recent injury or long-term chronic condition? You wish to optimize your mobility and function and just get your life back. At Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center’s Physical Therapy Department in Victoria, Texas, our team of well-prepared professionals treats you as a whole person, helping you regain mobility, function and well-being. Physical therapy is a proven way we can assist you.
What is physical therapy?
Ease and prevent pain. Walk, run and work as you used to. Feel more confident and capable in your day to day routines, work and sports. Tamra Mikulik (PT DPT) and Laura Crandall (PT DPT MS) head up a team of high-trained and experienced physical therapists. Together with you, they will:
- Assess your level of function
- Provide or confirm diagnoses of chronic and acute conditions
- Focus on pain management
- Provide recommendations on self-care at home and on the job
- Assess and correct posture issues
- Improve your flexibility
- Increase your range of motion post-injury or surgery or as it relates to chronic conditions such as arthritis
- Provide strategies to improve pelvic floor dysfunction
- Improve balance
- Regularize gait and strength
- Help you prevent falls
- Manage age-related issues such as osteoporosis (geriatric physical therapy)
- Improve stamina and endurance after a heart attack or cardiac surgery
Physical therapy modalities
Our physical therapists provide the most up to date treatment and rehabilitation modalities, all individualized to suit your living situation, occupation, level of fitness and function and more.
These treatments may include:
- Weight training
- Range of motion exercises and stretching (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)
- Electrical stimulation
- Ultrasound and light therapies
- Global postural retraining (for Parkinson's disease)
- Soft-tissue mobilization to reduce scar tissue and adhesions and reduce swelling and pain
The American Physical Therapy Association says that your PT experts are available to help you throughout your rehabilitation process. Physical therapists work closely with our patients to prevent further injury and progression of chronic conditions.
We can help
We know how frustrating chronic or unexpected acute conditions can be and how long the process of recovery may seem. We'll work closely with you to use minimally-invasive treatments and procedures, as well as physical therapies, to improve your quality of life and help you take charge of your health.
For a physical therapy appointment, please contact our Victoria location at (361) 578-7396.
Is back pain interfering with your daily life? At Brazos Pain Management in Sugar Land and Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center in Victoria, Texas, Dr. Wilson Almonte and Dr. Ted Lin help patients manage and overcome their pain and its associated disabilities. Read on to learn more about back pain and how these highly-skilled and compassionate physicians can help you live the life you deserve.
What is back pain?
It can be chronic or acute, resulting from a degenerative process, surgery, accident, or malformation. Whatever the source, sufferers agree that back pain impacts how they interact with their loved ones, function on the job and simply go about their daily activities.
Back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States, causing loss of work and school days and impacting health care costs. In particular, lower back pain seems to be on the rise across the world. In other words, back pain is an ongoing, and often frustrating, problem.
Dr. Almonte and Dr. Lin use a holistic approach to back pain management. They investigate a person's overall health, the source of the injury or chronic condition and what needs to change to improve the pain and quality of life.
As such, your individualized care plan may include various therapeutic modalities such as physical therapy and minimally invasive treatments. Our professional team will work with you closely to understand your condition every step of the way and vary your treatments as needed.
Offered treatments for back pain
After an initial evaluation by Dr. Almonte or Dr. Lin, you will be offered a tailor-made care plan. Back pain services include:
- Nerve block and steroid injections
- Spinal cord implant stimulators which block pain through locally-applied electricity
- Radiofrequency ablation, which decreases pain reception through the application of radio waves
- Lumbar decompression (lower back pain treatment)
- Intrathecal Pump Trial, to deliver pain medication to the spinal cord through a catheter
Take charge of your back pain and your life
At Brazos Pain Management in Sugar Land, TX and Victoria Pain & Rehabilitation Center in Victoria, TX. It's our honor and privilege to help you achieve maximum comfort, mobility and function. For a back pain consultation with Dr. Almonte or Dr. Lin, please call one of our two pain management locations. In Victoria, phone (361) 575-2882, or in Sugar Land and the Fort Bend/Greater Houston area, call (281) 240-4300. Proudly serving patients in southeast Texas and the greater Houston area.
Neck pain is slightly more common in women, but most people experience some form of neck pain at some point in their life. There are many causes of neck pain, and generally they can be separated into acute and chronic causes.
- Acute: if the pain is suddenly occurs and lasts less than three months, then it is considered acute. Acute neck pain can be caused by facet syndrome, acute muscle strain or traumatic injury like whiplash.
- Chronic: if the pain persists more than three months, it is termed chronic neck pain. This pain can be from multiple sources, but is often due to facet joint irritation, discs, ligaments and muscular sources.
Let’s explore in detail some of the most common causes of neck pain:
Overuse of the muscles and falling asleep in awkward positions for extended periods of time often produce muscle strains. The neck muscles located in the back of the neck become tense. When the neck muscles are continuously or frequently strained, a chronic pain syndrome can develop.
A well-known cause of neck pain, referred to as whiplash, occurs after motor vehicle accidents, specifically in rear-end collisions. This hyperextension of the neck often results in stretching of the soft tissues of the neck, producing local inflammation, muscle tension and ligament strain. When ligaments and tendons become inflamed or damaged, they can cause persistent pain that intensifies with particular movements. In addition to neck muscle strains, the neck facet joints are also commonly involved in painful neck conditions.
Another frequent cause of neck pain is spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the central spinal canal. This narrowing can compress the spinal cord and surrounding nerves roots. This compression can cause cramping pain, shooting pain, or numbness in the legs, back, neck, shoulders or arms. The symptoms typically depend on the area of the spine that is affected. In cervical spinal stenosis, the upper extremities and shoulders are most commonly affected.
Depression, anxiety, and stress tend to exacerbate chronic pain syndromes. Worsening neck pain is a common manifestation of these emotional stressors.
Disc disease is one of the most common causes of neck pain and one of the most common reasons for surgery. Disc disease may be acute, resulting from trauma, or more commonly, chronic pain caused by degeneration. Degenerative disc disease is a process that is due to a thinning and dehydration of the discs over time that can lead to compression of other nearby structures.
Anatomy and Treatment
Understanding the neck’s anatomy is critical for properly diagnosing and treating the source of pain. The anatomy and physiological function of the neck is the key in evaluating a person with neck pain. The bony spine is positioned so that individual vertebrae (bones of the spine) provide a flexible support structure while also protecting the spinal cord.
Separating each individual vertebrae are discs that act as cushions to minimize the impact that the cervical spinal column receives. Since the discs are designed to be soft and provide support, they have a tendency to herniate posterior (collapse backwards) through ligaments and cause irritation to adjacent nerves, or even to the spinal cord.
Minimally-invasive procedures are numerous and can be the most helpful to control pain and improve daily functioning. In recent years, there has been an abundance of research surrounding non-surgical procedures and their effectiveness in treating neck pain.
If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms or have chronic pain from one of the conditions above, schedule an appointment with us so you can get out of pain and back to your life!
Neck pain treatment is one of the most frequently requested therapies in our offices. There are many causes of neck pain, which we discussed in our Anatomy of the Neck blog post.
Some of the current treatments for neck pain include:
- Pharmacotherapy: NSAIDs (ibuprofen-like drugs), acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), muscle relaxants, and membrane-stabilizing medications are often effective in treating neck pain.
- Cervical epidural steroid injections: Epidurals are frequently used for pain syndromes due to common conditions such as degenerative disc disease. The method involves injecting a steroid into the epidural space of the spinal cord where the irritated nerve roots are located. The medicine then spreads to other levels and portions of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation.
- Cervical facet joint injections: Facet joint injections are a minimally invasive non-surgical procedure used as treatment for many different causes of neck pain including facet joint arthritis and degenerative disc disease. They work by reducing the inflammation and irritation in the facet joints of the cervical spine that are causing you pain. The most important and greatest success achieved with the use of facet joint injections is the rapid relief of symptoms that allows patients to experience enough relief to become active again. With this, they regain the ability to resume their normal daily activities. With a minimal amount of risks, facet injections are considered an appropriate non-surgical treatment for many patients who suffer from neck pain.
- Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): RFA is a procedure in pain medicine that uses a specialized device to disrupt nerve conduction. This pain relief technique can be used by those with back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, and multiple other pain syndromes. A probe is inserted through a needle, and controlled delivery of heat is placed along a painful nerve, disabling the nerve from conducting painful signals. RFA has been used for many years, and the technique continues to improve with better efficacy and fewer risks. Patients can experience significant pain relief with a minimally-invasive procedure that does not require a hospital stay. Radiofrequency therapy can provide pain relief for six months and up to two years.
- Cervical spinal cord stimulation (SCS): This method involves tiny electrodes being placed within the epidural space close to the spinal cord. The electrodes release a small electrical current to the spinal cord that inhibits pain transmission. This inhibition of pain signals allows for pain relief.Cervical SCS is currently used for treating chronic pain syndromes such as complex regional pain syndrome, chronic neck pain, diabetic neuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia, peripheral ischemia, and other conditions that are resistant to more conservative treatments. Patients reported significant (70-90%) reductions in neck and upper extremity pain when treated by cervical SCS. Several of the patients in this particular study also benefited from a decrease in associated headache and lower extremity pain.
- Occipital nerve blocks: This method involves an injection of local anesthetic and corticosteroid over the occipital nerves (back of head). The blocks can dramatically improve pain and increase the quality of life.
- Occipital nerve stimulation: This method involves tiny electrodes being placed close to the occipital nerves (back of head). The electrodes release a small electrical current that inhibits pain transmission and causes pain relief.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This is a technique that relieves pain by applying mild electric current to the skin at the site of the pain. The electric impulses interfere with normal pain sensations and alter perceptions that were previously painful.
- Trigger point injections: These injections can be an effective treatment for muscle spasms. The procedure involves injecting a local anesthetic and steroid into a “trigger point.”
- Botox: Used in treating neck pain, this is an exciting more recent treatment that is widely accepted among modern medical practitioners. In 2005, “Botulinum toxin Type A (BtA) became the first line therapy for the treatment for cervical dystonia. Although a single injection of BtA is effective, multiple injection cycles seem to work better for patients. Botox injections have also been found to be effective in patients with whiplash injuries. Along with reductions in pain, patients were found to have improved range of motion.
- Biofeedback: This is a treatment for neck pain that teaches a patient to become aware of processes that are normally thought to be involuntary inside of the body (such as blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate control). This method enables one to gain some conscious control of these processes, which can influence and improve the level of pain. A better awareness of one’s body teaches one to effectively relax, and this can help to relieve pain.
- Physical therapy: In order to decrease or prevent functional limitations, physical therapy and occupational therapy are recommended as well as medical treatments. Physical therapy for neck pain aims to increase range of motion and muscular strength.Please visit our physical therapy page to learn more about our PT facility in Victoria, our staff and treatment options.
- Nutrition and exercise: Exercise improves neck pain by increasing flexibility and range of motion. Another benefit is the release of hormones called endorphins that are your body’s natural pain relievers. Nutrition and healthy eating may be powerful treatments to combat nutritional deficits.
- Massage: Gentle focal rubbing of tender areas may help relieve muscle spasms or contractions and improve the discomfort associated with it. Massage can also help you relax, decreasing stress and tension.
Clearly, many treatment options are available for chronic pain, headaches, reduced range of motion and more. If you have additional questions about options for your neck pain treatment, please call and schedule an appointment with our staff. We want you to feel better and get back to your life!
Recently on our blog, we’ve discussed general neck pain symptoms and neck pain treatments; now, we’re taking a deeper dive, into the lower back.
Low back pain is one of the most frequent musculoskeletal complaints. Pain may arise from damage or irritation to structures of the lower back including the vertebrae (bony spine), facet joints, discs between the vertebrae, vertebral ligaments, muscles of the lower back, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, as well as internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen (spleen, kidney, pancreas, and liver).
Acute vs. Chronic Lower Back Pain
Typically the symptoms of low back pain resolve within four weeks – acute pain – depending on the pathology associated with the complaint. However, the pain often returns, leading to a high percentage of the U.S. population with a chronic condition that requires lower back pain management.
Acute low back pain typically comes on abruptly and occurs during a specific activity. Acute lower back injury is more commonly due to overuse by excessive exercise, lifting of heavy objects, motor vehicle accidents, or any trauma involving the lower back. The anatomy typically involved in acute low back pain is the muscles and surrounding ligaments. Vertebral body fractures, ruptured discs, and spinal cord compressions can also be seen acutely with pre-existing osteoporosis, cancer, or spinal stenosis. Acute pain due to ligament and muscle injury typically responds to activity and NSAIDs (ibuprofen-like drugs). Acute back pain should be evaluated by a physician to rule out other causes like kidney stones, kidney infection, and acute pancreatitis.
In some cases of acute back pain, a specialist and proper imaging is required for immediate evaluation (emergency room, pain specialist, spine surgeon). These cases might include:
- Acute vertebral compression fractures
- Acute disc herniation
- Fever or chills
- Weakness or paralysis
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Spinal cord compression
Chronic low back pain is defined as pain over three to six months in duration. Typically the symptoms are more gradual and occur over an extended period of time. With chronic low back pain a person may experience pain in their back as well as down either leg. Causes of chronic low back pain are numerous and include:
- Arthritis in the facet joint
- Sacroiliac joint disease
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc protrusion
- Disc herniation
- Disc extrusion
- Facet joint osteoarthritis
- Nerve root irritation or compression (sciatica)
- Central sensitization
- Excessive breast size
- Poor posture
- Psychological and emotional factors
- Vertebral body fractures
- Ankylosing spondylitis
In our next blog, we’ll discuss the anatomy of the lower back, and how chronic conditions can arise from disk disease and more.
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing some of these symptoms or have chronic pain from one of the conditions above, schedule an appointment with us so you can get out of pain and back to your life!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.