Muscular-Skeletal Pain/Multiple Location Pain Disorders
Tendintis is inflammation of a tendon. It is a type of tendinopathy, not to be confused with tendinosis. Tendinitis is a result of a tendon injury that involves large-scale, acute injury with inflammation (Achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinitis, elbow tindinitis, etc.).
Symptoms vary and may include aches, pain, stiffness, burning, swelling decreased range of motion. Pain is worst during and after activity, and stiffness follows the following day. Tendinitis can become tendinosis over time.
Treatment usually is conservative, with cold compresses at first, rest, non-steroidal anti-inflamatories and PT/orthotics. In chronic tendinitis, laser therapy has been found to be better than more conservative treatments for reducing pain. Autologous blood injection and platelet-derived growth factor are also used to help accelerate healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the early phase of tendonitis/tendinitis will decrease the swelling and secondary damage (chemical injury) and allow for a faster/better recovery. In the late stages of tendonitis/tendinitis, HBOT can provide healing specifically through increased blood vessel growth and stem cell stimulation.
The Pain Specialist Center provides alternative therapies to narcotic treatments. Individuals should make an appointment to discuss specific needs and information about services.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through an infected tick and is most often caused by the bacterium, borrelia burgdorfern (Bb spirochete). In the United States the black legged tick (Ixodes Scapularis) and the western black legged tick (Ixodes pacificans) are the most common ticks to infect humans. Other ticks that have been found to be infected with the Bb spirochete bacteria are the wood rat tick (Ixodes neotomae) and the rabbit tick (Haemaphysolis porispalastris).
The first symptom of Lyme disease is a local rash (erythema migrans) but it is not always present and it can be overlooked. In the EARLY PHASE (inflammatory phase) flu-like symptoms, headaches, stiff neck, mild fever, chills, muscles aches and fatigue are seen. These symptoms are very non-specific and mimic other diseases. Lyme disease needs to be considered as a possibility if the flu-like symptoms persist over weeks. The LATE PHASE (intracellular phase) of Lyme disease occurs when the bacterium is in the organ (skin, muscles, eyes, heart, brain, etc.). Symptoms in this phase might include neurological dysfunction, cognitive disorders, sleep abnormalities, muscles aches, cardiac problems, etc. These late symptoms also imitate other illness such as fibromyalgia. These characteristics of Lyme disease have given rise to the term “great imitator” to describe this disease process.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy works by driving oxygen into infected cells, thereby creating a rich environment of oxygen that is not suitable to the Bb spirochete. While at the Texas A&M University, William Fife, Ph.D., treated Lyme disease with HBOT at 2.36ATA (atmospheres absolute). Of 91 patients with Lyme disease, 85% of those treated showed significant improvement. A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction during hyperbaric oxygen therapy and/or while on antibiotics is a sign that the Bb spirochete is being killed. As with all patients facing a serious illness, Lyme disease patients have learned that they need to be informed about treatment options. Especially if standard antibiotic treatment has not helped sufficiently, patients should explore alternative options.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has not been identified. The common areas of research include but are not limited to cellular dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic infections (both viral and bacterial), abnormal pain center in the brain, abnormal blood flows, etc. Treatment includes not only supportive measures by optimizing body function/cellular milieu. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a multi-modality approaching requiring patient and medical staff cooperation.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction with Muscle Pain
As more is known about how intracellular dysfunction affects diseases, more therapies are geared toward reversing these abnormal pathways.
There are some well-documented mitochondrial diseases (http://www.tsbvi.edu/seehear/archive/mito.htm) that produce a very specific symptom or disease state.
Abnormal cellular dysfunctions with the mitochondrial organelles that are only “partially” abnormal can produce less severe diseases. Research into these areas holds much promise.
There is no one identifying feature of mitochondrial disease. Think of mitochondrial issues when:
- a “common disease” has atypical features that set it apart from the pack;
- three or more organs are involved; or
- recurrent setbacks or flare-ups in a chronic disease occur with infections.
Areas that can be affected include brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, hearing, eyesight, liver, pancreas, etc. Unless the abnormal gene or DNA is identified, there are not a lot of treatment options. We can, however, optimize the “milieu” to help cellular function. Sometimes compensating for a deficiency in a specific nutrient, coenzyme, amino acid, etc. can help. Even stem cell therapy is being researched. Although most stem cell options will develop in the future, we know that we can stimulate our own stem cell production with hyperbaric oxygen at 2.0 ATA.
Treatments for interstitial cystitis include medical management, spinal cord stimulation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and intrathecal therapies.
Malignant Pain from Cancer
Medications, nerve blocks/nerve ablations, nerve stimulators and intrathecal therapies are used to treat malignant pain from cancer.
Treatment for chronic pancreatitis includes medical management, spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal therapy.
Ilioinguinal/iliohypogastric pain or groin pain is treated though medical management, ilioinguinal nerve blocks or spinal cord stimulation/peripheral nerve stimulation.