Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Attleboro Pain Center MA Blog

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How to Protect Your Spine With Osteoporosis

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 30, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA

In some cases of osteoporosis, one or more vertebral bones can become so weak that they cannot fully support their load and develop tiny cracks. This type of fracture, called a vertebral compression fracture, can be painful and sometimes leads to worsening symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, weakness, or spinal deformity (kyphosis). Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your risk for vertebral compression fractures, as well as seek treatment if one occurs.

Although osteoporosis does not cause back pain, it can weaken the spinal vertebrae and make them prone to painful fractures. Read What You Need to Know About Osteoporosis

Visit your doctor regularly

If you’re dealing with a chronic condition, such as osteoporosis, it’s especially important to have regular checkups to monitor how you’re doing and whether the treatment plan needs to be adjusted. For example, your doctor might recommend certain medications for osteoporosis, such as bisphosphonates, which may reduce the risk for a vertebral compression fracture.

Eat healthy and quit bad habits

Everyone needs to get plenty of calcium for bone health. If you have osteoporosis or low bone mass, your doctor might also recommend calcium supplements. In addition, it is important to get plenty of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium into the bones.

If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking is known to weaken bones and can worsen osteoporosis.

Regularly drinking lots of soda and/or alcohol may also contribute to weaker bones. If you are in the habit of drinking soda or alcohol every day, try to quit or cut back.

Consult with your doctor to find a balanced diet that works best for you. While it’s important to get enough calcium for bone health, too much calcium can also potentially cause problems, such as kidney stones.

Stay active but use good judgment

The phrase “use it or lose it” is especially true when it comes to your bones. Weight-bearing activities help to build and maintain bone mass. On the other hand, being inactive allows the bones to thin and weaken.

In general, it is good for people to stay active and exercise regularly. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or low bone mass, check with your doctor regarding which activities may or may not be right for you. A supervised physical therapy program that focuses on safe resistance exercises may be recommended to help build muscle strength and bone density. Research continues to show that resistance training can strengthen both muscles and bones, even in older people, which may also lower the risk for osteoporotic fractures.

Most people with osteoporosis are encouraged to do some form of weight-bearing exercise as a way to better maintain bone mass, but some activities may be discouraged. For example, your doctor might advise against heavy lifting, doing sit-ups, or bending over to touch the toes, which could put undue stress on the spine.

Don’t ignore a compression fracture

Any time you have back pain that lasts more than a week or two, it is important to see the doctor. Ignoring back pain and potential vertebral compression fractures may lead to bigger problems down the road, such as increased pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and severe spinal deformity.

Most vertebral compression fractures are treated nonsurgically, such as with rest, pain medications, or applying ice and/or heat while the fracture eventually heals on its own. If the pain cannot be successfully managed with nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be considered. A couple of surgical options for vertebral compression fractures include:

Vertebroplasty. This minimally-invasive procedure involves carefully placing a needle through the back and into the compression fracture, delivering bone cement to fill the cracks and re-stabilize the vertebra. See Vertebroplasty After a Painful Spine Fracture

Kyphoplasty. This procedure is similar to vertebroplasty, except that a small balloon is inserted and expanded into the compression fracture to help restore the collapsed vertebra closer to its original height before injecting the bone cement.

Some studies have found that both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been effective at reducing pain from vertebral compression fractures, especially when done within 2 months of sustaining the fracture.

By following these tips, you’re well on your way to protecting your spine and successfully managing osteoporosis.

For more information, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.

Cortisone Shots for Osteoarthritis

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 15, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Attleboro, MA

There are a number of medical treatments that can be used for osteoarthritis, one of which is cortisone shots.

Cortisone shots, sometimes called corticosteroid injections, can help with osteoarthritis pain relief by targeting inflammation in the joint affected by osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis.

The effects of cortisone shots are only temporary, and if you take them too often, you may be at risk of side effects.

Osteoarthritis Pain Relief: What Are Cortisone Shots?

Cortisone shots are injections of synthetic corticosteroids, hormones that your body naturally produces in your adrenal gland which are essential for a number of your body processes.

When you experience stress, corticosteroids are released, minimizing inflammation. The corticosteroids in cortisone injections are manmade, but are very similar to the corticosteroids produced in your own body.

Cortisone shots help relieve inflammation. In addition to osteoarthritis pain relief, cortisone injections are commonly used to treat tendinitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

When your doctor injects the medication into your inflamed joint or joints, the cortisone minimizes inflammation in and around the joint, providing significant osteoarthritis pain relief. It may take a few days to feel the effects of your cortisone injection; the pain relief will eventually wear off, usually after several weeks.

Osteoarthritis Pain Relief: Recommended Injection Schedule

Because of these risks, it is recommended that people not receive cortisone shots more than two to four times per year. And it is best that you schedule your injections at least three months apart.

In addition, talk with your doctor about the risks of getting cortisone shots if you:

  • Have septic arthritis (an infection in a joint)
  • Have a skin infection where you received a previous injection
  • Have had an allergic reaction to a previous cortisone shot
  • Use blood thinners
  • Are injured — a recent head trauma or broken bone, for instance
  • Are a competitive athlete

Obviously, cortisone injections can do a lot of good, but, if overdone, can create some serious problems. It’s wise to understand the pros and cons of these shots before receiving your first one.

For more information on cortisone shots contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.


Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 01, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management - Attleboro, MA

For a lot of people living with chronic pain, searching for pain relief can be challenging. Patients report using a trial and error approach while searching for a pain treatment that really works. Here we will explain the importance of interventional pain management and how it can help those with chronic pain.

Interventional Pain Management can help patients cope with chronic pain. Some pain management treatments involve using prescription medications to help deal with your pain. However, what differentiates an Interventional Pain Management approach from the traditional use of pain medications are effective techniques such as Radiofrequency Rhizotomy and the use of various injections to address the specific pain source.

Several conditions that Interventional Pain Management techniques are applied include neck pain, bone or muscle pain, lower back pain, chronic headaches, face or mouth pain.

There are times that these techniques play a large part in a multi-disciplinary approach to relieve pain and most symptoms. These diagnostic procedures can be used in conjunction with emotional and mental therapies as well as prescription medications.


These injections are also known as nerve blocks, which work to offer temporary to long-term pain relief. They work by sending powerful medications like anesthetics, steroids, and opioids near or directly on the nerve for pain relief. One of the common injections is an epidural steroid injection. This, minimally invasive, injection sends steroids and a numbing agent directly to the inflamed nerve space. Some common injections are sacroiliac joint injections, single nerve root block, and facet joint injections. Most patients require two to three injections for optimum benefits. Some patients who have received these injections have reported pain relief which can last for several years.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is a kind of neuromodulation. Through this procedure, a stimulator device is implanted sending pulses directly to the area causing pain while blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. Electrical stimulation may also be used for specific spinal and nerve conditions including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. The patient is able to turn the current on and off or adjust the intensity of the signals.

Radiofrequency Rhizotomy

With the use of x-ray guidance and a tiny insulated needle (probe), the doctor can heat the affected nerve without destroying the nerve pathway. Radiofrequency Rhizotomy temporally turns off the nerve’s ability to send pain signals to the brain. Some names for radiofrequency rhizotomy are neuroablation and radiofrequency ablation. For many patients, this kind of procedure may offer pain relief ranging from 9 months to 3 years. However, during pain-free months, the doctor will recommend physical therapy. Physical therapists may help you address the underlying physical issues that cause pain.

Interventional Pain Management – Is It an Option for You?

You may need to try different Interventional Pain Management techniques or incorporate a combination of various methods as part of a comprehensive pain management plan. These techniques can offer pain relief to boost your quality of life. Remember though, these Interventional Pain Management procedures also have particular risks, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor whether interventional pain management is a good choice for you.

For more information contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Attleboro, MA.

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