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American Pain and Wellness: Holistic & Active Medical Care

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    Providing Pain Relief Treatment for 20+ Years

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Back and Neck Pain Information

Learn more about the causes and treatment of back pain

Introduction

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. Eight out of ten people will develop a back problem at some time during their lives.

Introduction

It is the second most common cause of missed work days and is the leading cause of disability between the ages of 19-45. Approximately 80 billion dollars is spent because of back pain each year, and the cost keeps growing...

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Anatomy

Nerves connecting the brain to the body make up the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs through the center of each protective vertebra. Nerves branch off from the spinal cord to organs and muscles including the arms and legs.

Anatomy

The nerves carry messages from the brain to the organs, muscles, and limbs. The soft tissue supporting structures of the spine, the muscles and ligaments, enable the spine to function in an upright position, and allow the trunk to move in a variety of positions...

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Causes of Back Pain

There are many causes of back pain, the most common of which is a sprain or strain of muscles or ligaments. Muscle spasm can occur after twisting or bending awkwardly, or from a simple sneeze or cough.

Causes of Back Pain

The majority of muscle spasms tend to get better over time. Severe cases of muscle spasms are treated with medication, physical therapy, or injections...

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Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your odds of developing a disease or condition. The following are risk factors for developing back pain:

Top Risk Factors

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10 Steps to Pain Management
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5
  • Step 6
  • Step 7
  • Step 8
  • Step 9
  • Step 10

Pain Management 101

At some time in our lives, the vast majority of us will experience the agony of pain. If you are lucky, your pain will be short lived. If not, you will have to do battle with the monster known as chronic pain.

Pain Management 101

Some of us will quickly learn how to adapt to this monster. For others, the battle with chronic pain will result in unnecessary suffering, sleeplessness, hopelessness, sadness, financial hardship, and divorce.

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Step 1: Accepting The Condition

The first step in controlling chronic pain is accepting that you have it. Chronic pain is a separate or at least an additional problem from the injury or disease that caused it.

Step 1: Accepting The Condition

Coming to grips with this is often difficult for individuals to understand, however, grasping this concept will go a long way in helping to develop coping mechanisms for chronic pain.

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Step 2: Positive Thinking

Are you an individual who approaches difficult situations with great negativity or do you try to look at the bright side? Is your cup half empty or half full?

Step 2: Positive Thinking

Unfortunately, even the most positive and enthusiastic individuals tend to dwell on the negative when experiencing chronic, unrelenting pain.

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Step 3: Become Physically Fit

Often individuals with chronic pain stop being active and proactive; they let pain rule their lives. This leads to loss of independence, loss of self esteem, and loss of self confidence.

Step 3: Become Physically Fit

Inactivity leads to weakening of muscles, loss of flexibility, loss of stamina, and weight gain. These symptoms are known as physical deconditioning and disuse syndrome.

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Step 4: Taking control of your pain through diet

In these days of modern medicine, we seek out the newest pill or procedure to magically cure our ailments. Too frequently we fail to recognize our own abilities to affect our health and wellness. We all know that a healthy diet, moderate exercise and eliminating smoking lessen our risk of heart disease and cancer.

Step 4: Taking control of your pain through diet

Did you know these same lifestyle choices affect pain as well? Yes, the cheeseburger and fries you ate yesterday did contribute to the exacerbation of your pain that ruined your sleep last night. Most people, including doctors, don’t recognize the connection between diet and pain.

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Step 5: Practice Relaxation Techniques Daily

Years of experience and research have taught us that with chronic pain comes muscle spasm. Muscle spasm is a reflex; it’s your body’s reaction to pain that you have no control over. Tense muscles can produce anxiety, depression, fear of more pain, bad posture, and immobility.

Step 5: Practice Relaxation Techniques Daily

Many individuals with chronic pain do not recognize that they have muscle tension because they have had pain for so long. There are those people with chronic pain who strongly believe they have no need to learn relaxation techniques, but nothing could be further from the truth.

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Step 6: Understanding Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions

The experience of pain is a complex event, involving an interaction between our physical state-nerves, the brain, and body chemicals-and our psychological state–our thoughts, attitudes, and history.

Step 6: Understanding Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions

A person who focuses on the details of their pain often imagines that they have every last disease under the sun, stops seeing friends, thinks the future is bleak and will therefore suffer to a greater degree than someone who has more rational thoughts and actions.

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Step 7: Establish Regular Goals

Setting realistic goals is an essential step in taking control over your pain. It is important to set regular targets in order to achieve results. Make your targets simple and realistic-something you know you can accomplish.

Step 7: Establish Regular Goals

Being too optimistic and setting your goals too high will result in failure. Failure may trigger fear and depression. Set short and long term goals. If you would like to return to work within three months, identify what going back to work will entail.

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Step 8: Get people to treat you the right way

Although people with chronic pain may not be aware of it, they either directly or indirectly send out signs that seek out attention from others. It may be a groan, a limp, or pained facial expression that tells others things are not well.

Step 8: Get people to treat you the right way

Unfortunately, if you’re trying to break free of pain’s grip controlling your life, broadcasting your pain can be self-defeating. Family or friends usually react to your responses in two manners-both of which can be unhealthy.

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Step 9: Working with your doctor

Suffering from pain can leave you irritable and frustrated. If you want to develop a good relationship with your doctor and his office, remember not to take out your frustration on your physician or his staff.

Step 9: Working with your doctor

Your doctor has a limited time to evaluate your problem and discuss treatment options. Therefore, come on time to your appointments and make sure to fill out all paperwork as requested by the office.

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Step 10: Putting it all together

Taking control over your chronic pain is not easy. In fact, it may be one of the most difficult challenges you face in your lifetime. Some individuals will never take control over their pain because they expect that their doctor can and should take it all away.

Step 10: Putting it all together

They don’t take responsibility to change their thoughts and behaviors so that their pain can be controlled. Some individuals will eventually take action to control their pain only to relapse into the same poor habits they previously broke.

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How Pain Works

In most instances, painful sensations arise from tissue injury in the body. Sensitive nerve endings pick up pain signals and carry these messages along nerves to the spinal cord and then onto the brain.

How Pain Works

All along these complex pathways, there are biological “gates” that can be either opened or closed. When these gates are closed, pain is reduced or eliminated. When open, pain messages continue through the circuit. It is when these gates are jammed open that chronic pain cycles begin.

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  • What an amazing group of people thank you Dr Remer for taking my pain away but more importantly taking the time to educate me you have a great staff may god bless you all.

    ~ D. Boyce
  • I have had a bad back for 12 years and made worse in 2011 when I broke and shattered some vertebrates. Doc Remer has gone all out for me. Not only was I treated short term with mecation but the procedures he has performed have me almost 100% pain free. Just yesterday he performed a Rhizotomy on my back for the second time in about a year and a half. I woke up this morning pain free and have been so all day.... I have been his patien for 2 1/2 yrs. Doc Remer is not a pill slinger he will help you long term he is a artist who is compassionate with a amazing staff through and through. If given a chance Doc Remer will change your life for the better.... Thanks Doc.

    ~ Matthew K.
  • Dr. Remer is a very compassionate doctor. His staff is so great. They understand that you are in pain and they work hard to get you in for your procedures quickly. Dr. Remer always takes his time to answer all of your questions and he cares about treating you and taking away your pain. I would recommend Dr. Remer to anyone that is looking for a pain doctor.

    ~ S. Brooks

Qualified Physicians

friendly, reliable, and trusted
Steven L. Remer, M.D.

Steven L. Remer, M.D., is a graduate of the University of Michigan and completed his medical training at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He completed his Residency in Anesthesiology at Ohio State University and was awarded a Fellowship in Pain Management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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Jil Rice, RN, MSN, FNP-C

Jill Rice, RN, MSN, FNP-C received her Masters in Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University, graduating with honors. She completed both an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Transylvania University.

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Chun M. Lin MD

Dr. Lin is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and subspecialty board certified in Pain Medicine. He received his medical doctorate from Northwestern University Medical School in 2002. followed by residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He then went on to complete a fellowship in Pain Medicine.

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Jacqueline Moore Evans

Jacqueline Moore Evans, BS, DC, CCSP received her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas. She completed her Bachelors of Science Degree from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Evans is licensed and certified by the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

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