Tag Archives: chronic pain

FUN FOOD & FITNESS QUIZ – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

fitness-aging[1]

Nowadays we’re more prone than ever to think about our health and ways to stay fit. With so much information and “mis”-information out there in cyberspace to “digest”, it’s not easy making wise choices”. It’s difficult to separate myth from fact. Take our quick quiz and see how much you know. Then check your answers below.

  1. You stuffed yourself by binging on fatty foods at a party. What’s the best way to counter your overeating: Take a walk for 30-45 minutes OR Fast for the next 12 hours.
  2. Which burns more calories: swimming OR jogging?
  3. Cycling OR Aerobic Dancing?
  4. At PF Chang’s Restaurant which is the lowest in calories: Crisp Salad, or an Egg Roll?
  5. Which burns more calories: Boxing OR Jumping Rope?
  6. Which has more calories: a Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino OR an Applebee’s Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad?
  7. What is the strongest muscle in the human body?
  8. Which contains more lycopene: a cup of watermelon or a tomato?
  9. What is the longest bone in the human body?
  10. Which burns more calories: cardio OR strength training?
  11. BONUS QUESTION – True or False? Crunches are the best way to lose belly fat.

apple

ANSWERS:

  1. If you said take a walk, then pat yourself on the back. Fasting throws your metabolism out of whack while walking burns off a few calories, increases blood flow, and relieves stress.
  2. Swimming wins this one with approximately 580 calories burned vs 390 from jogging. Plus it’s more fun!
  3. The winner here is cycling but not by much. An hour of cycling burns approximately 480 calories vs. 440 from aerobic dancing, plus you get some fresh air. Which brings up another point … indoor cycling and outdoor burn equal calories so either way, you’re shedding those calories.
  4. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that the egg roll has 180 calories with 6 fat grams while the salad contains 270 calories and 22 fat gram. Sometimes the tastier choice actually IS better for you!
  5. Boxing takes the bigger punch on this one with 720 calories. Jumping rope is good aerobic exercise as well with 670 calories burned.
  6. You’ll be glad to know that while the Frappuccino is full of sugar, it has far less calories and fat than the salad which weighs in at a whopping 1,290 calories. There are far better salad choices out there, so think before ordering!
  7. This is a tricky one and there may be a couple of “correct” answers. There are different ways to measure strength: dynamic, elastic, and endurance. To complicate things even more, there are 3 types of muscles: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal. Most will say the strongest is the masseter, or jaw muscles, because it is based on weight and ability to force as much as 200 pounds on the molars. For more on this subject, check out this link: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/muscles.html
  8. In a one cup comparison, watermelon edges out tomatoes by a slim margin. Lycopene is a free-radical antioxidant able to fight some cancers. You can also get a healthy dosage of lycopene in pink grapefruit, red peppers, mangos, and carrots. Think “red” although some other non-red foods like asparagus contain lycopene.
  9. The femur, or thighbone, wins this one and comprises about one quarter of the height of an adult. Runner up is the tibia, or shinbone. The smallest? It’s the stapes, or stirrup, located in the ear.
  10. Both are important. Cardio will burn more calories, but won’t do much for your muscles. With strength training for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you may burn an extra 120 calories a day without even trying. The best solution? Do both!
  11. The most popular abdominal exercise in existence is not the best way to trim your midsection. They will tone a small portion of your abs, however your shoulders and butt need to move as well to be effective. Your waistline will sculpt faster by doing planks. If you do decide to do crunches, make sure you’re doing them correctly or you could put your spine into a painful situation.

So how did you do with your answers? At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we treat conditions of the musculoskeletal system with skilled physicians at each of our four locations. If you have chronically sore muscles, aching joints, or suffer from pain, call us at 941-951-2663 (BONE) or check our website www.SOA.md by clicking HERE. You may also obtain an appointment with us via our website BUTTON “request an appointment” which directly reaches our skilled scheduling team.

Driving … A Pain In The Neck? AND IN MY BACK!

driving neck pain

We’ve heard many times about how important it is to maintain good posture at our workplace desks to protect our neck and spine, however most of us don’t give it a second thought when driving. Unlike sitting in a chair, the spine experiences variations of force when in a car. Vibrations from car movement may push on the discs, our internal “shock absorbers”, acting as cushions.

Proper driving posture and seat positioning may avoid a myriad of chronic problems. Here are some helpful tips to avoid discomfort:

Position your car seat to the proper height and distance across from the wheel so that your hands can comfortably reach the recommended “10 and 2” or “9 and 3″ location.

  • Your thighs should rest as much as possible on the seat in order to align your knees on the same level plane as your hips.
  • Elbows should be slightly bent.
  • Consider using a neck support, one similar to that used on a plane. This keeps your neck straight. Even a 20 degree downward curve in the neck will cause stress over time.
  • If you have lumbar support in your car, use it. If not, use a portable back support or a rolled up sweater to place at the small of your back.
  • A seat cushion used for extra padding will help protect your spine from a bumpy ride.
  • For long rides, take regular breaks; get out and s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
  • If you have cruise control, use it to give your back a rest. Place both feet firmly on the car floor. Bend your ankles a few times to stimulate blood flow.

seat-position

Whatever the cause of your neck or back pain, don’t delay having it checked. Chronic pain needs assessment, particularly if it’s worse at night and wakes you up from your sleep.

The physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are experts in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating neck and back pain. Call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment at one of our four locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, or Bradenton. For more information about us, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/srqsoa or our web page at www.SOA.md

GETTING TO KNOW YOU – Nomen Azeem, MD

Azeem lab coat half

Over the past couple weeks we’ve met the more personal sides of Dr Michael Gordon and Dr Paul Lento.  Next to answer our questions is Nomen Azeem, MD, an Interventional Pain Management physician here at SOA.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I have always felt that providing care to improve a person’s health or to save a person’s life is not just a noble occupation but also carries a great responsibility to provide comfort and assurance to people in many times their most vulnerable moments.

Why Interventional Pain Management?

The debilitating effects of chronic pain physically, mentally, and psychosocially are many times overlooked or discounted. I believe that Interventional Pain Medicine is one of the most rewarding fields in medicine because in addition to providing treatment for chronic pain patients, you provide hope that can really impact their lives.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the candid moments of elation that I witness in patients that have received significant pain relief following an Interventional Pain Procedure.

What is your biggest challenge?

Convincing some patients that there are options to treat pain that are safer and more effective than opioid pain medications.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a __________________.

I’d be an entrepreneur.

Your proudest moment?

It’s a tie between, my wedding day, the birth of my first child, and the birth of my second child.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled?  Why?

My wife and I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey for our first international trip after being married and it was amazing! The mesh of cultures from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East was astounding. I would highly recommend Istanbul as a top travel destination.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

I love to spend time with my family. Beyond that, anything athletic or working out helps to pass the time.

What’s your next adventure?

An international trip with the kids.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Anything with a staple ingredient being coconut.

Dr Nomen Azeem is Fellowship Trained and Double Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Pain Management”. You may read his medical biography by visiting our website here. To make an appointment with Dr Azeem, call 941-951-2663. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has 13 physicians across 4 locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and we offer same day appointments when needed. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

GOING BEYOND MEDICATION TO TREAT CHRONIC PAIN

The following is a repost from: St. Jude Medical PULSE Blog: Neuro Regional MD – NanostimTM Leadless Pacemaker/SCS

For many people, traditional treatments don’t address chronic pain – a condition that impacts as many as 100 million Americans. Nomen Azeem, MD, Interventional Pain Management physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, provides insights on how he helps patients find relief through technological advances in spinal cord stimulation.

chronic pain

Despite the large number of people who battle chronic pain, many remain unaware of the treatment options available to patients once physical therapy, chiropractic care, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications have reached their limit. This results in many patients simply suffering in silence, unsure where to turn for meaningful relief from their pain.

National Pain Awareness Month is designed to help shed light on the problem, and raise awareness of potential therapies available to patients battling chronic pain.

The numbers may surprise you, but chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. The condition can negatively impact personal relationships, daily routine and work productivity. Often, someone is determined to be suffering from chronic pain if their pain lasts for three to six months.

For many patients, the road to effective management of their chronic pain can be complex and can include prescription medications, over-the-counter products, lifestyle modifications and physical therapy. But when those options have been exhausted and the pain continues, many people aren’t sure where to turn.

Nomen Azeem, M.D., is a pain specialist with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates in Sarasota, FL. Every day, he treats people with chronic pain and helps them find relief based on their individual clinical needs. According to Dr. Azeem, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and therapies such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can offer some patients meaningful pain relief, but some patients arrive to his clinic unaware that these options exist.

A renowned SCS expert, Dr. Azeem was the first doctor in Florida to implant the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRITM chronic pain system, and has a great deal of experience with SCS therapy and the technology behind the treatment. Dr. Azeem recently shared his insights on the use of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain.

ProtegeMRI_Hero_Image_Angle_White

What is neurostimulation?

Azeem: Neurostimulation, also known as spinal cord stimulation (SCS), is an advanced therapy option used to manage intractable chronic pain in the arms, legs and trunk, and pain caused by failed back surgery.

What is a spinal cord stimulator and how does it work?

Azeem: An SCS system involves a small device (approximately the size of a silver dollar) along the spinal cord that emits low intensity electrical pulses that intercept the body’s pain signals before they reach the brain, replacing feelings of pain with a more pleasant tingling sensation.

What new technology is available for patients considering an SCS implant?

Azeem: Earlier this year, the FDA approved the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRI™ chronic pain system, which is an important advancement for physicians because it allows people with chronic pain to remain eligible for MRIs of their head and extremities if required by their physician. The technology is also upgradeable, which means that as new therapies or software upgrades are approved, patients can access those upgrades through software updates and not repeat surgical procedures.

What do you want people to know about SCS and how it can help them?

Azeem: Spinal cord stimulation is an important option for patients who have not been able to alleviate their chronic pain through traditional methods, such as back surgery or prescription medications. Studies have shown SCS can reduce pain by 50 percent or more for many patients, and patients have the option to try a temporary implant to see if they’re comfortable with the therapy.1

 Note: Patients interested in learning more about SCS therapy and the Protégé MRI chronic pain system should visit www.poweroveryourpain.com for more information or to find a chronic pain physician in their area.

 The implantation of a neurostimulation system can involve risk, such as painful stimulation, loss of pain relief and surgical risks (e.g., paralysis). Patients are encouraged to talk to a physician to determine if SCS therapy is right for them.

For an appointment with Dr Azeem at any of our three locations, (Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch/Venice) please call 941.951.2663.  We offer same day appointments when necessary. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

 

CUTTING EDGE TREATMENT FOR VERTEBRAL COMPRESSION FRACTURES

1360705775_compression-fracture

Vertebral compression fractures affect approximately 25 percent of all postmenopausal women in the United States and are recognized as the hallmark of osteoporosis.  The prevalence of this condition steadily increases with advancing age, reaching 40 percent in women 80 years of age. Although less common in older men, compression fractures also are a major health concern in this group. Acute and chronic pain in the elderly is commonly attributed to severe pain from vertebral compression  and often leads to further disability. In addition to physical limitations, vertebral compression fractures may produce a psychosocial and emotional burden on the aging person who already faces losses of independent function. This may cause the person to worry about what the future may bring. These worries are not unfounded, because there is a substantial risk of subsequent fractures of all types and further morbidity in persons who have had a vertebral compression fracture.

About one third of vertebral fractures are actually diagnosed, because many patients and families regard back pain symptoms as “arthritis” or a normal part of aging.  Dr. Nomen Azeem, Interventional Pain/Sports Medicine Physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates states, “It is vital to conduct a thorough physical examination as close to the onset of pain symptoms as possible. This is combined with imaging such as X-ray and/or MRI of the spine to confirm the diagnosis.  When it comes to vertebral compression fractures, the sooner you can treat the patient, the better!”

Percutaneous-vertebroplasty(800x550)

Conservative treatment includes analgesic, muscle relaxers, a back brace and physical therapy. Patients who do not respond to conservative treatment or who continue to have severe pain may be candidates for percutaneous kyphoplasty. Percutaneous kyphoplasty involves using a high-pressure balloon which is placed into the center of the collapsed vertebral bone to restore the shape and height meanwhile creating a cavity.  After the cavity is created, acrylic cement is injected into the collapsed vertebra to stabilize and strengthen the fracture and vertebral body.   According to Dr. Azeem, “Kyphoplasty is a great option in the appropriately selected patient. It is amazing the magnitude of pain relief that is reported by the patient immediately following the procedure.”

The physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are committed to getting our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. Same day appointments are available in our three offices located in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice. You may call 941-951-BONE (2663) for an appointment.

 

CHRONIC PAIN: A new innovative, minimally invasive treatment

back-pain-manture-woman-white-e1313440331753

Chronic pain is a largely under-treated and misunderstood disease that affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offer an alternative solution that has proven to be quite successful for many of its patients:  spinal cord stimulation (SCS) which was approved by the FDA in 1998. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, researchers noted that SCS is “effective in reducing intensity, duration and frequency of pain experienced by the patient.”

SCS is for those who have endured chronic pain in the neck, back, arms or legs, neuropathic pain (burning, tingling or numbing sensations), or inadequate surgeries.  Think of it as analgesia “on demand,” though the patient must go through a broad prescreen before the trial can be done.

HOW IT WORKS

The SCS system consists of a pulse generator with remote controls, implanted to stimulate electrodes and conducting wires, known as “leads”, connecting the electrodes to the generator, similar to a pacemaker. To qualify for permanent implantation, a patient must undergo a trial period of about a week. During this time, a temporary stimulator device is implanted by the physician after a local anesthetic or sedative is administered. The physician places the leads under the skin, guided by an X-Ray machine and a radiology technician. The leads are then attached to a small, hand-held generator that the patient controls. The generator sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord, thus interfering with the nerve impulses that cause the pain sensation.

scs - Azeem

The system replaces pain with a feeling of massaging – or merely just the absence of pain. It may allow for reduced pain medication and help the patient improve mobility. Often times patients experience relief immediately, though the leads may occasionally need to be adjusted for optimum performance.

The spinal cord stimulation devices at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are supplied by St. Jude Medical, whose motto is “Power over pain.” The company has a longstanding relationship with physicians and are able to directly answer patients’ questions or help them out with maintenance of the device. Says Dave Moss of St. Jude Medical, “We provide the stimulation device and become the first line when dealing with it. We have an excellent relationship with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and Dr. Nomen Azeem and, we are very ingrained in the practice while working efficiently with their staff.”

“As an interventional pain physician, I witness the debilitating effects of chronic pain physically, mentally, and psycho-socially which impact individuals’ quality of life” said Dr Nomen Azeem. “All pain physicians worry of the long term systemic effects of pain medications. Fortunately, the technological advances being made in the field of neuro-modulation are astounding and have revolutionized how we think about treating neuropathic pain.” Dr. Azeem, Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine Specialist at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, has seen a vast increase in quality of life for many of his patients, without having to resort to invasive surgery or increased medication.

Dr. Azeem is double board-certified  in Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and an expert in minimally invasive procedures for treating chronic back pain (with or without leg pain), chronic neck pain (with or without arm pain), pain that persists after back or neck surgery, peripheral neuropathy, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Occipital Neuralgia, and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia.  Click HERE to learn more about Dr Azeem or HERE to learn more about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.

 

PRP – What is it and how can it help me?

prp

Platelet rich Plasma (PRP), a minimally invasive treatment for Tendinitis and Arthritis, is an enriched blood product composed primarily of platelets — a type of cell found in the blood. PRP is an emerging clinical tool for use in a wide variety of medical applications. With PRP, a blood sample is collected and then blood plasma is concentrated with higher than normal amounts of platelets, which most famously play a role in blood clotting, but have also been discovered to release a multitude of protein growth factors involved in many other biological responses involved in healing and tissue repair. The theory behind PRP is that by introducing platelets in large quantities to an injury site, the excess of growth factors might stimulate inflammation and heal long-term injuries contributing to chronic pain. PRP was first utilized during an open heart procedure in 1987, and has since found application in a wide variety of medical specialties. The growing medical application of PRP is a direct result of an increased understanding of platelets and their physiological role in healing processes.

PRP-Feat

Musculoskeletal injuries are one of the most common causes of chronic pain and disability in the world, and PRP has been shown to be particularly suited their treatment. Tendons in particular are vulnerable to injury as they anchor muscle to bone and are responsible for handling large amounts of force. They also heal very slowly, as the fibrous tissue contains very little vascular supply with which to receive blood and healing mediators such as platelets.  PRP has more recently been reported to be helpful in the treatment of chronic pain due to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis. Clinical studies continue to accumulate data on the potential benefits of PRP therapy. Some of the best documented musculoskeletal conditions that have been effectively treated with PRP therapy include:

  • Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow/Golfer Elbow)
  • Tendinopathy/tendonitis (Achilles/Patellar/Rotator Cuff)
  • Osteoarthritis

Dr. Nomen Azeem, Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine Physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, has done extensive research in the use of PRP for painful musculoskeletal conditions and has had numerous patients benefit from this progressive treatment.  He reports, “Many patients become frustrated having tried anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and even steroid injections without long lasting relief of their pain. I am excited to be able to offer a minimally invasive treatment option for such patients, allowing them to experience long term pain relief.” For more details, please visit our website HERE.