Combining Joint Injections with Physical Therapy to Manage Pain

physical therapy

Physical medicine is a practice that centers around treating diseases using physical modalities and techniques. As the Lowcountry’s premier physical medicine practice, Advantage Healthcare of Charleston (AHC) takes a comprehensive approach when it comes to back, neck and knee pain relief.  Let’s take a look at how our physical medicine practitioners combine joint injections with physical therapy to manage pain.

Joint injections are minimally invasive and often offer quick relief for some pain

A patient may be in too much pain to participate in active physical therapy regimen.  In cases such as these, we often suggest joint injections as a short-term relief for pain, which then allows the patient to be able to participate in active physical therapy designed for more long-term pain relief.

Physical therapy helps the body recover

Joint injections can offer quick pain relief, but they do not address the root cause of pain.  Physical medicine often incorporates physical therapy as part of an overall treatment plan.  Not only does physical therapy aid the body in recovery, but it also helps reduce and prevent injury and further pain.

Joint injections and physical therapy – better together!

Patients who are experiencing various types of joint pain often benefit from a comprehensive treatment plan which includes both joint injections and physical therapy.  While joint injections alone can stop the pain fairly quickly, they only offer temporary relief.  Physical therapy, when prescribed as part of an overall pain treatment plan, is designed to re-train the body to be in proper alignment, decrease muscle tension and strengthen muscles to prevent further pain and/or injury.

If you are experiencing either chronic or acute pain, give us a call today. You may be a candidate for joint injections,  physical therapy or other physical medicine services.  We will thoroughly evaluate your condition, identify the root cause of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan designed to help you recover.

What Are Some Benefits of Trigger Point Therapy?

medical pain relief

A trigger point is caused by muscles that fail to relax.  This results in a knot or tight band of muscle that can twitch, irritate surrounding nerves and cause pain in other parts of the body. For instance, a trigger point in the lower back could be causing pain in your neck.  When a patient comes to us for medical pain relief, we often incorporate trigger point therapy as part of their overall treatment plan.  Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of trigger point therapy:

Decreased Headaches

Trigger point therapy is a proven method to treat headaches that stem from tight upper back and neck muscles.  When a patient comes to us with chronic headaches, we conduct an evaluation to identify the underlying cause.  When the underlying cause is muscular, trigger point therapy can be used to treat the muscles, which, in turn, results in fewer headaches.  Pain management doctors often prescribe medication for medical pain relief, when in many cases, trigger point therapy can be more effective, especially over the long term.

Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion

Pain causes reduced flexibility and range of motion. Trigger point therapy can be used to release muscle tension, improving flexibility and increasing overall range on motion. Athletes seek trigger point therapy to not only ease muscle pain but help improve overall performance.

Alleviate Pain

Trigger point therapy can be used to alleviate all types of pain.  When a patient comes to us for medical pain relief, we evaluate their pain and use trigger point therapy as one method to address and treat the pain.

Improved Posture

Tight muscles can cause slouching and have a negative effect on your posture. Trigger point therapy can be used to relieve pain and tightness which, in turn, eases tension on the neck, shoulders, back and other areas that may be causing issues with posture.

If you have pain, give us a call.  Our physical medicine practitioners will conduct a thorough evaluation then develop a customized medical pain relief treatment plan designed to address the underlying cause of your discomfort.

What Makes AHC Different from Pain Management Doctors?

physical medicine services

We are often asked how our physical medicine services differ from treatment offered by pain management doctors.   While both physical medicine and pain management doctors offer medical pain relief, our methods are vastly different.  Let’s take a look at how physical medicine services are unlike those offered by many pain management doctors:

Medical Pain Relief Without Medication

Physical medicine offers medical pain relief without medication.  Most pain management doctors use prescription pain killers, steroids and powerful nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) for medical pain relief.    Physical medicine takes a vastly different approach.  For instance, when a patient comes to us seeking knee pain relief, we explore treatments such as physical therapy, cold laser therapy, hydrotherapy, myofascial release, platelet rich plasma and joint injections.  In contrast, Pain management doctors often prescribe prescription medications that can have both short and long-term contraindications.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medical pain relief options, physical medicine also explores lifestyle changes.  For instance, weight loss may be recommended as part of an overall knee pain relief treatment plan.  Or, in some cases, dietary adjustments may help a patient with chronic headaches.  Stretching and pre-workout routines may be recommended for athletes who suffer from muscle strains and pain.  Pain management doctors focus more on immediate pain relief, where as physical medicine practitioners take an approach designed to help alleviate pain now and prevent pain in the future.

Identifying Underlying Causes

When a patient seeks medical pain relief, physical medicine practitioners conduct a thorough evaluation of the underlying cause.  In many cases, pain management doctors provide medication to mask the pain, but don’t develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address the root issue(s).  For example, when evaluating a patient for knee pain relief, we ask questions, conduct testing and gather specifics that help cue us in to the root cause(s) of pain.  We can then not only treat the pain, but also the underlying cause(s).

Are you seeking medical pain relief for either an acute or chronic pain?  If so, give us a call to schedule your personalized evaluation today.

Free Backpack Check – Protect the Back

Why Do I Keep Gaining Weight?

medical weight loss

Weight gain is a struggle most people face at some point in their lives.  Even individuals who were fit in their 20s can find it difficult to not pack on the pounds once they hit 40. And, there are those who have struggled with weight gain their entire lives. Fad diets may be popular, but they are usually unhealthy, often fail, and can become a source of tension and frustration. If you find you are gaining weight and unable to shed excess pounds, then a medical weight loss program can help.

Advantage Healthcare of Charleston offers a variety of safe and effective medical weight loss options.  Our weight loss physician will meet with you and discuss your eating and exercise habits, history of weight gain, medical issues and gather other pertinent information to help determine the best medical weight loss plan for you.

Causes of Weight Gain

Your medical weight loss physician will first work to determine what might be causing your weight gain.  Some medical reasons you may be gaining weight include:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Diabetes
  • Medications, including corticosteroids
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Aging
  • Hormonal Imbalances

In addition, your medical weight loss physician will also examine your lifestyle to determine what may be impacting your weight, including:

  • Stress
  • Work habits
  • Eating habits
  • Exercise routines
  • Depression

Your medical weight loss physician will complete your evaluation then discuss medical weight loss treatment plan options with you.  Weight gain can cause a plethora of problems, including high blood pressure, stroke and type 2 diabetes as well as contribute to back, hip and knee pain.  Addressing it now can prevent numerous health problems in the future.  Why wait? Contact us to make your medical weight loss appointment today!

Knee Pain Relief Without Pain Pills

knee pain relief

More often than not, a physician’s first course of action for knee pain relief has been writing a prescription for pain pills.  However, the country’s current opioid crisis has focused on other types of medical pain relief options, including joint injections and physical therapy.   Let’s take a closer look at how these two treatments are used for knee pain relief.

Joint Injections

Joint injections are becoming more widely prescribed for medical pain relief.  Advantage Healthcare of Charleston has found great success in using hyaluronate injections for knee pain relief.  Hyaluronate is a gel-like substance designed to act as a lubricant and shock absorber within the knee joint.  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that provides lubrication and cushioning of the joints and bones. Osteoarthritis causes the knee’s own cartilage to thin over time, thus providing less lubrication and protection.  Hyaluronic acid has proven very successful in knee pain relief.  The hyaluronate is administered in three to five injections given once a week in the affected knee. Most patients report that joint injections offer knee pain relief for up to six months.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often prescribed in conjunction with joint injections and other medical pain relief treatments.  Strengthening the calf muscles, improving flexibility and increasing overall strength are all important factors in helping promote knee pain relief.  Advantage Healthcare of Charleston has a team of qualified physical therapy professionals to help you with exercises and techniques designed to strengthen the knee joint and surrounding areas.

If you are in need of medical pain relief and desire options other than pain pills, our physicians and physical therapy professionals can help.  We will assess your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan designed to help you achieve a pain-free life!

Help! I Can’t Find a Reputable Auto Accident Chiropractor Near Me

Car Accident Chiropractor

Car accidents disrupt your life and can cause significant injury.  When injured, many people seek chiropractic and/or medical pain relief.  However, not every auto accident chiropractor has the best interest of the patient in mind.  AHC is different.  We care about you and your pain and specialize in both chiropractic and medical pain relief to help you on your road to recovery.

Let’s take a look at how AHC’s auto accident chiropractor and medical pain relief physicians are different:

  1. Many chiropractic / medical pain relief practices utilize a standard course of treatment for all auto accident victims. We conduct a full examination to first identify the source of pain, then develop a customized plan to treat it.
  2. Our auto accident chiropractor makes sure you are accurately diagnosed and all your injuries are properly documented for insurance companies and attorneys.
  3. We also evaluate the possible long-term effects of your injuries.

Another key feature of our chiropractic and medical pain relief programs is that we steer away from pain killers and other medications that can become addictive and/or have harmful side effects.  Instead, we incorporate a combination of chiropractic and physical medication and rehabilitation techniques designed to restore you back to where you were or near where you were before the accident.

If you’ve ever muttered the words, “Help!  I can’t find a reputable auto accident chiropractor near me,” fear no more.  AHC’s chiropractic and medical pain relief physicians stand ready to provide you with a customized treatment plan to safely address your injuries and get you back on the road to optimal health.

Trying to Lose Weight? AHC’s Medical Weight Loss Clinic Can Help!

Weight Loss Programs

Weight gain is something most people battle at some point in their lives.  The Internet is saturated with thousands of articles on special diets, supplements and different types of advice and weight loss programs.  But, how healthy are these and if you lose weight, how do you keep from regaining it? The bottom line is that there are no magic pills or miracle weight loss programs.   True weight loss takes time, commitment and encouragement.

AHC’s medical weight loss clinic is designed to help you make the lifestyle changes you need to keep the pounds off for good.  Each of our weight loss programs are overseen by our expert weight loss physician to ensure you are losing weight safely while improving your overall health.  Let’s take a look at the three types of weight loss programs available at AHC’s medical weight loss clinic:

  1. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
    Supervised by our medical weight loss doctor, HCG is designed to increase your metabolism, activate your fat reserves and rid your body of stored fat.
  1. Phentermine
    Our medical weight loss physician utilizes this FDA approved appetite suppressant to help increase energy while decreasing appetite.
  1. Vitamin B12
    Low B12 can wreak havoc on your body.  It not only makes you feel tired but can negatively affect numerous body systems.  Our medical weight loss doctor prescribes B12 to help patients increase their energy and metabolism.  Vitamin B12 supplements are combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Two of AHC’s medical weight loss programs (HCG and Phentermine) include initial exam, medication monitoring by our weight loss physician, diet plan, counseling and weekly visits and weigh-ins.  If you want to lose weight and start feeling great, our medical weight loss clinic can help.  Call to make your appointment today.

Physical Medicine Options for Knee Pain Relief

We’ve discussed the types of knee pain a patient can experience. Now, we will focus on knee pain relief treatments offered by our qualified physical medicine practitioners. The first step in determining which physical medicine services should be incorporated in a customized knee pain treatment plan is to conduct a complete physical evaluation.  Once the root cause of knee pain is identified, we can then determine the best physical medicine services to treat the condition.  Let’s take a look at some treatment options for knee pain relief:

Physical Therapy

The goal of physical therapy is to re-train the body to function properly.  When the body is functioning properly, injury occurrences are significantly decreased.    Physical therapy can help relax soft tissues and tight muscles that are related to knee pain.  Physical therapy is also used to strengthen and stabilize the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the knee joint. Passive physical therapy may be recommended for individuals with severe knee pain. This can involve transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, heat, ice and stretching.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a type of physical therapy that uses water to take the weight off of joints and allow the muscles to relax.  Knee exercise and knee extensions performed during hydrotherapy can help a patient regain and/or improve muscle strength.  Hydrotherapy is also used to increase blood circulation, which is especially helpful for people suffering from arthritis related knee pain.

Joint Injections

Joint injections can help relieve knee pain in a matter of hours.  Joint injections reduce inflammation and are used in physical medicine as an alternative to pain medication. There are many types of injections that may be used including:  hyaluronate to improve the cushioning in the joint, platelet rich plasma injections to assist with healing, as well as more traditional medications. At Advantage Healthcare of Charleston, all joint injections are administered under fluoroscopic guidance. A fluoroscope is  a real time x-ray that allows our providers to see the joint at rest or in motion. This technology also enables our provider to efficiently deliver medication to the appropriate joint space.

Cold Laser Therapy

AHC’s physical medicine services include cold laser therapy. Light is known to reduce inflammation and can even regenerate damaged tissue in some cases.  This non-invasive treatment is administered by using a small handheld device that allows light (laser) to be absorbed by tissues.  We find this to be a very effective physical medicine treatment for knee pain relief.  It is especially beneficial for those whose knee pain is a result of osteoarthritis.

These are just some of the treatments we may recommend to you for knee pain relief.  Next month, we will take a closer look at additional treatment options for knee pain relief including myofascial release therapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, durable medical equipment and medical weight loss.

 

 

 

Types of Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of issues.  Although commonly associated with increased age, knee pain is a condition that can happen to anyone.  In general, the knees take a beating as they are constantly subject to direct force while standing and walking.  At Advantage Healthcare of Charleston (AHC), we break knee pain down into three categories:

Acute knee pain

– comes on suddenly and is usually associated with an injury such as a ligament or meniscus tear or broken bone.

Condition-related knee pain

– examples include infections, excessive weight, lack of muscle flexibility and/or strength, previous injuries, etc.

Chronic knee pain

–includes issues with the bursa, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, patellar syndrome, etc.

Associated symptoms that come along with knee pain vary and can include limited range of motion, popping or crunching, weakness, swelling, warm to the touch, stiffness and instability.  Narcotic pain killers and surgery are generally the recommended courses of action in traditional medical practices.  However, AHC takes a different approach, offering less invasive and safer physical medicine services for knee pain. In fact, as physical medicine practitioners, we specialize in surgery-free knee pain relief.

Are you in need of knee pain relief?  If so, give us a call and book a consultation.  We will diagnose the cause of your knee pain and develop a customized, surgery-free treatment plan to help you get back to doing the daily activities you enjoy…pain free!