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

Warwick Pain Center RI Blog

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What You Need to Know About Getting Botox Injections for Migraines

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 27, 2018
Botox Injections for Migraine Headaches, Warwick, RI

Botox is said to decrease the frequency of migraine days by an average of 50 percent for those who suffer chronically (people who experience 15 or more headache days per month).

Much like other fillers, Botox is slowly metabolized in the system, so for it to remain effective, patients have to get the procedure every three months or so.

Let's talk about migraines — namely, chronic migraines.

First of all, for those who aren't familiar with migraines, they're different from headaches. Headaches are unpleasant, too, but are typically less severe than migraines and don't usually present with other symptoms besides the pressure and aching in the head. Migraines, on the other hand, can be much more intense and often come with nausea, seeing spots, vomiting, extreme fatigue, sensitivity to light and sound, and more. They affect 39 million folks in the U.S., 4 million of whom deal with daily pain. Chronic migraines can severely inhibit daily life.

How is Botox for migraines different from cosmetic Botox?

The Botox used for migraines and the Botox used for cosmetic procedures is actually exactly the same. Basically, young and middle-aged women were getting [Botox] for cosmetic purposes, and that’s the most common person that has migraines, and that’s how they figured out it was helpful. Women were getting Botox for aesthetic reasons and happened to notice relief from their migraine symptoms, and doctors began looking into it as a direct treatment. In fact, women are disproportionately affected by migraines — about 85 percent of chronic-migraine sufferers are women, and the condition affects 28 million in just the U.S.

The only difference between the two procedures is that with Botox for migraines, they may do a few more shots in areas where the pain is experienced. Botox for migraines can have the same aesthetic effect that cosmetic Botox has.

How does it work, and how effective is it?

Though there's still more research to be done on Botox for migraines and doctors aren't yet completely sure why the procedure is effective, they have some ideas. What [Botox] does is paralyze nerve terminals. Essentially, nerve terminals transmit pain, but they also produce pain substances while they’re doing that, and it completely paralyzes that process. It stops the process of pain patterning and it also relaxes the muscles.

It's very effective among a large sampling of patients and is usually very well tolerated. Some patients find that it even eliminates the need for medication, which is a huge deal. However, about 7 to 10 percent of my patients find that it’s not effective. As with any medical procedure, everybody (and everyone's actual body) is different and will respond to treatment differently, and it's best to do a healthy amount of research and thoroughly talk to your doctor about your body and medical history before making a decision.

What are the potential side effects?

The side effects of Botox typically don't happen at the doses prescribed for migraines, and even if the scary-sounding side effects you read about online do occur, they aren't particularly dangerous and last four to six weeks. Most commonly, people have pain because you’re dealing with a bunch of shots, and sometimes you can get a headache from the procedure.

After the treatment, what comes next? How long does it last?

Some doctors recommend lying down and resting after a treatment, but there isn't any need for downtime unless a patient experiences pain. It can take about two weeks to work, though some patients start to feel relief from chronic migraines sooner than that. If it’s going to work for a patient, one round of the treatment typically lasts for around three months. Though everybody metabolizes it at a different rate, getting it done every three months or so has been found to be effective.

For more information on Botox for migraines, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Allure

TENS Therapy for Nerve Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 13, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA

A Tens Unit, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machine, can help back and neck pain that may be caused by trauma or continual strain. The body responds to such pain or injury with muscle guarding, an attempt to immobilize the painful area by tightening the muscles surrounding the injury. Muscle guarding impairs circulation in the affected area.

The decrease in blood supply leads to a decrease in metabolism with an accumulation of waste products. TENS therapy (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulator) can help break this pain cycle and aid in the normal healing process.

How Does a TENS Unit Work?

TENS units are a machine with different adjustable settings to control intensity of stimulation by controlling the voltage, meaning current, and pulse duration of each pulse. Electrodes are placed at specific sites on a user’s body depending on the physical location of their pain. The machine sends electrical current that travels through electrodes and into the skin stimulating specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that reduces the perception of pain.

When a Tens Unit is used as directed a T.E.N.S. is a safe, noninvasive, drug-free method of pain management. A TENS unit is used to offer a better quality of life for people with pain.

What does a TENS unit do to relieve, decrease or eliminate pain?

There are two theories. One of these theories is called The Gate Control Theory and is the most advanced explanation. The gate-control theory suggests that there’s a neural mechanism in spinal cord that acts as a kind of gate, shutting down or opening up the flow of signals from the periphery to the brain. Whether the gate is open, closed or partially closed depends on what sort of signal it receives from the brain to change the perception of pain in the user’s body. These frequencies interfere with the transmission of pain messages at the so spinal cord level, and help block their transmission to the brain.

Another theory is called The Endorphin Release, which suggests that electrical impulses stimulate the production of endorphins and enkaphalins in the body. These natural morphine-like substances block pain messages from reaching the brain, in a similar fashion to conventional drug therapy, but without the danger of dependence of other side effects.

TENS units are used for the relief of physical pain. Some common uses for TENS treatment are:

  • acute and chronic pain
  • post op incisions and post surgical pain
  • migraine and tension headaches
  • acute pain from sports and other injuries
  • arthritis
  • chronic pain from tendentious and bursitis
  • cancer pain
  • wound healing

For more information on TENS Therapy, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

tensunits.com


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