Pain Management In Orange County, California

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Orange County, though it does have a higher profile and a higher median income than most other areas of the United States, also has its fair share of pain sufferers. We live in a time when almost half of the population in the United States is suffering from either acute or chronic pain. This pain can cause debilitation and a drop in the quality of life for people who are experiencing it. Beyond that, it can cause problems for people beyond themselves. Patients who suffer from chronic pain also face psychological stress which can put their relationships with both friends and family at risk.

Facts About Orange County

Orange County is a county in the state of California in the United States. In 2010, a census was done in which the population was found to be around 3 million, showing that it is one of the most populous areas in the country. It is also a major transportation hub in the area and has won major awards for having one of the best public transportation systems in the United States, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Orange County is an area which is typically considered to have a high land value and the median income is higher than most other areas of the United States. With some of that luxury and fast paced economy comes a higher than average amount of service offerings. Most of the service offerings here are relatively high quality when compared with some of the surrounding areas. For one thing, there are certainly a lot of clinics and, particularly, pain management clinics, in the area that serve the people who live there.

medicinePain Management Basics

Pain management is a type of medicine which uses a multidisciplinary approach to help relieve the suffering and the drop in quality of life for people who are suffering from either acute or chronic pain. The team who works on an individual case could include anyone from doctors to psychologists, from clinical nursing specialists to PAs. The team also typically includes massage therapists to help with soft tissue injury and some sort of psychologist in order to help deal with some of the traumatic mental and emotional aspects of the issue.

Pain can usually be resolved quite quickly once the trauma or the pathology that is causing it has been fixed. This is typically going to be treated by a single practitioner through the use of specific drugs. Though management of longer term pain is typically something which is much more complex and involved a coordinated effort of an entire management team. This is the primary reason why most pain clinics will have a full team of diverse practitioners of medicine who are able to work together to form unique solutions to problems.

There are a number of medical specialties which help to manage pain and specialize in the treatment of individuals who have pain. Some pain can be managed using either noninvasive techniques or through the administration of drugs. Many procedures, however, are what are classified in the industry as “interventional” and these are typically going to result in a longer term solution that some of the other techniques which can be used. A lot of the time, these will be used for chronic back pain or joint issues. Some of the most common techniques used in these situations are injections or specific drug delivery systems which are implanted into the body for use over time.

The doctors who practice this type of medicine usually come from other fields. A pain management team will usually also include people like occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, or physiotherapists. Using all of their combined efforts, they are able to formulate a plan which is different than the plan any of them might have been able to come up with on their own. Pain physicians are usually trained through a fellowship and usually specialize in psychiatry, anesthesiology, or neurology. Of course, the doctors could also come from other specialties as well.

The three governing boards which help to determine whether a doctor is qualified to do this are the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Anesthesiology, and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Each of these groups provides a certification for the specialty of pain management once fellowship training has been completed by the doctor. Doctors can also opt to fore-go this and receive a certification from the American Board of Pain medicine as well, though this is not typically going to be recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

The physical approach is the most common approach to pain management. This is a combination of different techniques. TENS is a method which is sometimes used and has shown to be effective with things such as diabetic neuropathy. Physical medicine and rehabilitation tries to use an array of physical movements and techniques in order to help treat pain. This is usually done as part of a larger program of treatments so that the patient gets the best treatment that they possibly can. Acupuncture is another treatment which is offered sometimes, and it consists of inserting and manipulating needles into points of the body to help relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes in general.

Sciatic Nerve Pain Can Make Everyday Life Difficult

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Anyone that wants to go into business for themselves should consider hearing to the west coast of America. The city of Los Angeles, California, is not just a really popular place where people go to follow their dreams of making it the movie business. However, other than just becoming a movie star, people go to Los Angeles for a number of reasons including the fact there are a lot of small businesses that have gotten their start in the LA area. If people were to do a search about the number of small businesses there are in Los Angeles, they may be shocked to discover that there are almost a quarter of a million of them. Businesses can come and go in the space of just a few months, but if people have a great idea, then their chances of success go higher. One business idea that can make a budding entrepreneur successful may have to do with pain relief. A pain clinic is always on the lookout for ways that can make their patients stop having so much pain, and it is a golden opportunity for anyone that truly wants to get into the business world.

Ways to Deal with Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is located in the lower half of the spine, and then continues down the back of the thighs. Sometimes people can do something to accidentally pinch or irritate the nerve, and the pain can be great enough that people need to go to see a pain clinic. In addition to going to a facility for the sciatic nerve pain, there are other ways that people can find relief from the pain that is making it very difficult for them to walk, sit, or stand:

•    The placement of the body: Sitting or standing too long can cause a lot of pressure on the sciatic nerve especially if it for long periods of time. People need to remember that half of the body weight is placed on the lower half of the spine where the sciatic nerve is located. The best way to still sit without causing pain is to look for a chair that is neither too hard or too soft, but contain enough padding to support the lower body especially the back.

•    Reflexology: Reflexology is used in a pain clinic because it involves pressure points that are located on the bottom of the feet. These points are massaged, and the manipulation can relieve pain because the nerves at the bottom of the feet are linked to different parts of the body.

Pain Network

Image Credit: California Pain Network

•    Shoes: For people with sciatic nerve pain, the shoes that they wear on their feet can make a big difference in how much pain they experience on a daily basis. For women, high heel shoes may look amazing on their feet, but the fact that the bottom of their feet are compressed is not going to help the pain they are feeling throughout their lower body. The right kind of shoes to wear, for both men and women, are the kinds that are very supportive. The insoles of the shoes need to be well cushioned so that the bottom of the feet are cushioned, which is going to offer support to the bottom of the feet and the lower half of the body.

•    Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needled into the pressure points of the body. Acupuncture works so well when it comes to pain relief because the pain signals to the brain get blocked. Though acupuncture does not work for everyone, but a lot of chronic pain sufferers get results, and actually get relief from sciatic pain.

•    Swimming: People feel a lot of pain when they walk, sit, or stand, which is why swimming can be an ideal way to get some exercise, and also a way to deal with sciatic pain. Whenever people are in a pool, the weightless environment can actually be very beneficial especially for sciatic nerve pain sufferers. What causes people to have a lot of sciatic pain is the fact they are putting pressure on their lower spine. By heading into a swimming pool, people are floating around in the water, which means they are taking a lot of pressure off of their lower spine. The best way to handle sciatic pain is to stay off of the feet, and floating on the back in a swimming pool, is the perfect way to get pain relief. Also, the swimming pool is great for arthritis pain too because the water allows for the joints to be moved without causing inflammation or pain.

•    Look into a firmer mattress: For people who have sciatic pain, getting off of their feet is the best way to deal with it, but that is only about half right because laying down does not necessarily stop the problem. People spend a lot of money on the kind of mattresses they sleep on, but it may not be the right kind for people who have problems with sciatic pain. If the mattress is too hard, or too soft, it can cause either an unnatural curve of the spine, or be so rigid that the spine is pressed against. The best kind of mattress for people with sciatic issues is to get a mattress that allows for its firmness to be adjusted.

Los Angeles is the home of almost half a million small businesses. With so many businesses that go under every year, it is important that a new business have a clever idea that will make them very wealthy. For people with chronic pain, a business idea that can be used in a pain clinic is one way for them to create something useful that people with pain can use. Sciatic pain is one of the worst kinds of pain there is because it involves the lower half of the body. There are ways to deal with sciatic pain such as a new mattress with adjustable firmness, going swimming, acupuncture, and there are many ways to deal with it that can make the pain go away, and people can get back to their lives.

Neck And Spinal Injuries And How A Cervical Neck Brace Can Help

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A cervical neck brace is not a recent medical invention. In fact, they have been used as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians. Also referred to as cervical collars, these devices allow healing, relieve pain in the neck area, and immobilize the head. The number one cause of injury that requires the use of a cervical neck brace are car accident. Studies have shown that well over one million cases of whiplash happen in the United States on a yearly basis, and almost 66 percent of the victims will develop some type of injury or neck pain.

A cervical neck brace is an orthopedic medical device that is used to provide support for the neck after whiplash, sprains, and other types of strains to the muscles. After a traumatic injury has occurred to the neck or head, they are a critical piece of equipment for the responding emergency personnel to have on hand for stabilizing the spinal cord of the patient. A cervical neck brace can also be worn for therapeutic purposes, relieving pain and realigning the spinal cord. Since this is such a critical area of the body, and improper care can make the injury even worse, you should always speak with your physician in order to determine which type of cervical neck brace is the one that you should be wearing. The doctor will also ensure that you are wearing the device correctly and for the appropriate length of time.

Whenever a patient has had a traumatic injury that effects the neck or the head, there can be a higher than average likelihood of a cervical fracture. With a fracture of the cervical spine, there is an increased risk of further injury to the spinal cord itself. Exacerbating a spinal cord injury by the patient moving around could then lead to either paralysis or even death. This is a typical scenario: A patient who was in a car accident is suspected of having whiplash. To prevent additional injury to the area, emergency medical personnel or other medical professionals may place a cervical neck brace around the area until a cervical spine fracture is ruled out by X-rays. A cervical neck brace will only stabilize C1 to C7, the first seven vertebrae. If further stabilization is required, devices such as a backboard or a Kendrick Extrication Device may need to be used to ensure that the other vertebrae in the spinal column have been properly stabilized.

Cervical When a cervical neck brace is worn for therapeutic purposes, it can help to make sure that the spine is realigned, often relieving pain in the patient. When being uses for sprains, strains, or whiplash, the cervical neck brace may need to be worn attached for a long period of time so that the area has all the time that it needs to heal. If surgery has been done on the spine, such as a cervical spinal fusion, the patient may need a brace or halo fixation device to provide the proper amount of support the neck requires during the period of healing and recovery.

When is a cervical neck brace used?

There are three commonly accepted reasons for having to wear a neck brace:

•    If you have been involved in a serious accident, on-scene medical personnel may fit you with a cervical neck brace as a precaution until medical professionals are able to evaluate if there are any neck injuries.

•    If you needed to have some type of spinal neck surgery, the cervical neck brace may need to be worn. During the period of healing, the cervical neck brace will assist with keeping the bones of the neck in a straight line.

•    Pain relief is the most common reason for wearing a cervical neck brace. The brace will help your neck support the weight of your head during the healing time for the damaged soft tissue.

Wear and care of a cervical neck brace

There is a range of product options available on the neck brace market. They can be one-piece wraparound colors that are soft, or there are rigid type braces that have pads which are supported by hard plastic. The type of collar that your doctor will recommend will be based on how long it is anticipated that you will be wearing the brace, and how severe the injury is. If the doctor recommends that you wear a specific neck brace, it will come with full instructions on how to wear it, and how to clean it. However, these are general guidelines:

•    The neck brace should be tight enough that you are unable to move your head. Your chin should not be able to slide inside the brace, nor should it stick out over the top.

•    The lowest edge of the brace should be resting comfortably against you. Only the areas that are padded should actually be touching the skin.

•    If you wear your hair long, or if you have a beard, hair should not be on the inside of the brace.

•    Areas of skin that are underneath the cervical neck brace should be kept clean and dry.

•    When you take the brace off to have it cleaned, check thoroughly to make certain that there are no areas where the skin is irritated.

•    The pads touching your skin should be cleaned daily with soap and water. If the brace includes plastic supports, it is a good idea to weekly clean these with mild soap and a wet towel.

A cervical neck brace is meant to be a temporary solution while your neck is going through the healing process. It should also relieve some of the pain. You will not get the maximum benefit from the neck brace if it is not worn properly. The cervical neck brace should decrease the range of motion but it should not be causing any discomfort. If you find that the brace you are wearing feels uncomfortable, let your doctor know right away.

Things You Need To Do When Hiring An Employee

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There are many types of educations, from certifications at technical colleges to professional degrees at major universities. There are also a number of colleges and trade schools in Phoenix where residents can get the education they need to get a reliable job. These include Paradise Valley Community College, Gateway Community College, Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix College, Arizona Christian University, the University of Phoenix and many others.

When you are the employer who is looking for a candidate to hire that has the right education for a specific position within your business, you want to know that they have achieved the educational milestones that they have provided you with. A private investigator can perform the employee background check that will assure you a potential employee is who they say they are. Although actual school records including transcripts, schedules, disciplinary records and student worker records cannot be released unless the student gives consent, the potential employer can gain needed information in different ways. For example, with the dates the person attended the school of record, the employer can find out whether the person graduated through the National Student Clearinghouse.

Hiring a Private Investigator

First and foremost, when you hire a private investigator to perform background checks, make sure you find a service that is trustworthy and ethical. You want to know that the results you get from the investigation include all of the possible information that the private investigator could gather about the employee.

The primary concern of most employers is to find the best person for the job. An employee with the skills for the specific position you have to fill should make the best hire. However, there are a number of additional factors that a new employee can affect including:

•    Company Morale

•    Reputation of the Business

•    Reduction in Productivity

•    Negative Impact on Customer Relations

•    Cost of Re-Hiring and Training a Replacement

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Photo Credit: Flickr / soloh-050

Saving You Money

Hiring the wrong employee will eventually lead to their departure from your business in most cases. In addition to the money you have lost from their lack of productivity and that they have caused in other employees, you also have the expense of going through the hiring processing again. In addition, once you have hired a new employee, you will have to provide training to prepare them as a replacement.

Having a private investigator to perform a background check prior to hiring them could reveal details about past employment or even of criminal behavior that they failed to disclose. You may find that not only did they not excel at a similar position in the past, but that they have a bad employment history from their poor work habits or criminal activity.

Types of Background Checks

All background checks are not the same. The laws impacting which types of background checks you can perform and the ways that information collected from them can be used vary from state-to-state. Details that you are not allowed to attain without consents in any state are their credit score and record of military service. A private investigator is aware of the laws in your state and can obtain the appropriate background checks for your specific use. It is important to understand that all the methods used by the private investigator to gain information are completely legal.

Although the law does not require a potential employee to reveal their education records, the employer does have the option to refuse to hire them if they do not get the information they need during the background check. If a potential employee has nothing to hide, it would be in their best interest to agree to share these records.

Investigating Workers Compensation Records

Records of past workers compensation claims are a matter of public record and of value to a potential employer who has a lot to lose if a new employee is unable to perform their job efficiently and without the risk of injury. Any person who has filed multiple workers comp claims in the past may have a chronic condition that is aggravated by the details of their work. If there is a genuine concern that a previous injury or illness will interfere with the performance of the job, the employer can legally use the information to base their decision not to hire them on.

The Role of Social Media

Almost everyone is on social media these days, posting photos and sharing their good times with their friends. This pastime has turned into a common tool for employers looking for information about a potential employee hire. The reason that this is so valuable to potential employers is that most applicants don’t expect you to look at their social media pages to see what they have been up to. Most of the information comes from photos that may include running in a marathon for charity or doing a keg stand. The important thing for potential employers to remember is that most of the things people share with their friends on social media are mild in comparison to the things the rest of us were doing twenty or thirty years ago. If you want to check out a potential employee, stick with a background check performed by a private investigator. Focus on red flags such as previous arrests, multiple jobs over a short period of time, or any discrepancies between what the person told you and what you see on paper.

The people you hire as your employees represent your company. Putting the wrong person in that position could have a negative impact on your company’s image and hurt your reputation with your customers. Hiring a private investigator to do a background check before you hire a new employee has become standard procedure for a large number of companies.

Today, hiring a private investigator to “check someone out” is no longer the sneaky, pessimistic action that it was thought of in the past. Getting a background check for every employee you consider hiring is an ethical practice and smart business!

Five Reasons Why Women Should Go to Pain Management Clinics

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It is no secret that women feel more pain than men throughout their lives. Women also carry more stress which is known to aggravate the pain they are experiencing, making it sometimes seem unbearable. Chronic pain is when the pain that we feel will not go away. Making our bodies hurt for majority of the day, chronic pain can make it difficult to do our daily activities. Chronic pain is no laughing matter and should never be forgotten when it suddenly stops.

If you start feeling chronic pain which prevents you from performing simple tasks, like doing laundry, it might be time for you to talk to your doctor about going to a pain management clinic to help you manage your pain. Here are five reasons why you should try a pain management clinic to help you manage your chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is when you have pain in an area of your body which lasts more than three months. There are some new research suggests that chronic pain should be diagnosed after a year or more has passed. Chronic pain can easily last all day or only strike during certain parts of the day. This kind of pain could be the result of an injury, like arthritis, where the injury has healed but the pain remains.

Many women do not experience chronic pain until the later years of their lives. This is after life has taken its toll on their bodies, leaving them with the aches and pains of old age. There are many older women who see doctors on a regular basis but some of them also go to a pain management clinic to have their chronic pain managed.

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Photo: Flickr/familymwr

Pain Management Clinics Have Better Diagnostics

Pain management clinics have specialist who have studied many different conditions which are known to cause chronic pain. Having gained the right expertise to properly diagnose your condition is hard enough to find but, having someone who has the right expertise to diagnose and advise you in your quest to find the right treatment to help you is a hard thing to find. There are hundreds of pain management clinics in the Las Vegas area which help many of the women who live in Las Vegas find peace from their chronic pain.

One of the best ways that a pain management clinic can help you is by helping you determine whether or not the cause of your chronic pain demands surgery. Many specialists might suggest surgery when less invasive procedures could remedy the pain without causing you to have to go through surgery and the recovery time that the surgery requires.

Pain Management Clinics Understand Your Position Better

Doctors see many patients which can make them seem less able to give you the care that you need. There may be some doctors who might seem uncaring. The women who work at pain management clinics understand how debilitating and devastating chronic pain can be. Many people choose to go through a pain management clinic instead of going through a doctor’s office. As a patient, you will get the best care possible which fills the needs that your condition requires. As a person, they will help you feel like your voice is being heard by women you can trust.

Access to Alternative Therapies

Las Vegas has thousands of doctor’s offices within its city limits, many of these doctor’s offices still give out the same treatment options with very few alternative therapy options. Alternative therapies are becoming more popular by the day. There are many cases where alternative therapies work to alleviate your chronic pain. While you may have to have your alternative therapy performed in other locations outside the pain management clinic that you choose, they will be able to help you determine if the alternative therapy you seek will work as a viable solution to relieve your chronic pain.

Innovative Treatments

Pain management clinics are kept up to date on the latest advancements in new treatments. These innovative treatments are not always suggested by doctors since doctors are often too busy with their patient’s to be able to research each new treatment that has just become available. It is the pain management clinic’s business to keep up to date on all the newest treatments.

Innovative treatments allow pain management clinics to offer the most comprehensive treatment plans that they can possible have. Many of these procedures are difficult to get from a doctor’s office and they might not have the training to be able to perform those techniques. They may not have the ability to train for each new technique when they would have to study hundreds of different techniques for many different treatments including the ones for pain management. This is the reason why many people seek out specialists who specialized in a specific type of medicine since it would be almost impossible for a general practitioner to be an expert in every medical field.

Getting Actual Results

There are many women who have tried for many years to find some kind of relief from their chronic pain. They spend thousands of dollars in medications and treatments that simply do not work for them. The right pain management clinic will help you put an end to this constant battle, allowing you to start living your life again. With chronic conditions, there might not be a cure for the cause of the pain. There are thousands of women who suffer from chronic pain every day who seek freedom from constant pain which keeps them from doing their day to day tasks.

There are many women rely on pain management clinics to help them get through their days without being slaves to their chronic pain. Chronic pain can keep you from doing your daily tasks which can make it difficult to enjoy your life. Pain management clinics give many women hope of not only relieving the pain that they feel, but hope of being able to live their lives while doing the activities that they love most.

Luxury Homes Offer The Opportunity For Outdoor Cooking

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Every year, the cost of living around the country goes up, and it becomes a lot more expensive to do things like pay rent, get gas, buy groceries, and buy other things that are necessary for families to live. The cost of simple everyday things can be so high that people actually have to cut certain things from their lives just to make ends meet. However, in some places, the cost of living is pretty low, and the fact is that Scottsdale, Arizona has a very low cost of living. People who live in Scottsdale pay a lot less for the basic necessities, and even buying homes is a lot lower than in most major metropolitan areas. For people who move to Scottsdale, and are interested in the luxury real estate market, owning a fancy home is a real possibility there. With luxury homes comes the option to get certain things added to it, and one thing that people are now interested in is cooking outdoors in a way that is other than with a barbeque pit or grill.

The Advantages of Outdoor Kitchens

Back in the days of the caveman, the ancient people had to make fires, and then use flat surfaces like hot rocks, or use sticks as skewers, in order to cook things like meat. As time went on, cooking outdoors became a thing of the past when people moved from caves to houses and kitchens were installed. However, the urge to cook outdoor may be part of the human instinct because it was not long before people were once again cooking outside. Barbeque grills were invented, and suddenly everyone was enjoying cooking outside again. These days, people do have back porches, but instead of just getting a regular barbeque grills, they are having outdoor kitchens built. When it comes to the luxury real estate market, people can get anything they want, and the ability to cook outside in one of these outdoor kitchens is becoming a real estate trend that is only growing with every year. Here are the advantages to having the ability to cook outside, and why more and more people are having an outdoor kitchen added onto their home:

Marbella Real Estate

Image courtesy:Flickr/Marbella Real Estate

•    Meal preparation is easier outdoors: When it comes to grilling outdoors, a kitchen outside can make cooking a lot easier. Grilling involves just putting something like meat or vegetables onto the grill. Even if people do use a marinade for their meat, it can simply be brushed on or the meat can be soaked in it before being placed on the grill. The luxury real estate market allows for home buyers to customize their home, and this can include things like what to have installed in outdoor kitchens. People can have barbeque pits installed, but also things in their indoor kitchens like regular stoves and refrigerators. To make cooking outside even easier, people can even keep separate food in their outdoor refrigerators that is different from what they keep in their regular kitchens.

•    Grilling any food gives it a unique flavor: Kitchens inside the home have either gas or electric stoves that people use to cook with. However, before stoves were invented, human beings used fire to cook things, and there is something about flames that add unique flavoring to any food. Whether people use charcoal briquettes or wood chips, the food that is grilled will have an amazing taste that cannot be duplicated in any indoor kitchen.

•    Seafood does not cause odors that linger: People who love to cook seafood often do not cook it because the smell of it can stay in the house for days or even weeks after it is cooked. Even if the kitchen is cleaned spotlessly, and the trash is tossed out immediately, the odors from fish can linger throughout the house. An outdoor kitchen can mean that people can once again cook their favorite seafood because the smell of the seafood will waft out into the air, and there are no walls or furniture to the smell to stick to once the meal has been eaten.

•    Grilling is a healthy way to cook: These days everyone is trying to eat healthier, and one way to do that is to eliminate fried foods and substitute them with foods that are either baked or grilled. When food is grilled, especially red meat, the fat from it comes out turning from something high in fat into something healthy and nutritious.

•    Clean up after cooking is easy: The nice thing about an outdoor kitchen is the fact that people can clean up easily after a meal. After all, an outdoor kitchen sits on top of a giant piece of concrete, and is essentially a back porch. With a water hose, people can spray away any dirt or grease that gets on their porch, and simply leave it to air dry outside in the wind and the sunshine.

•    Parties can be held outside: With an outdoor kitchen, the entire backyard is available for guests, which can mean that people will have plenty of space to move around in. Guests are much happier when they can relax and enjoy themselves at a party, and an outdoor kitchen means that parties can happen a lot more often.

People are looking to settle down in an area that is not going to be a huge impact on their bank account every month. The City of Scottsdale, Arizona is known for having a low cost of living, and for people who want to move to it, there are plenty of houses available. The luxury real estate market is full of homes that have a lot of special features, and one that is in demand is an outdoor kitchen. With these kitchens outside, people can do a lot of things they cannot do indoors such as hold parties, cook fish, and both cooking and cleanup are incredibly easy. Outdoor kitchens are very popular these days, and their popularity is only growing because food tastes better when it is cooked outside.

Tennis Elbow: What It Is, How It Occurs, And Surgical Intervention

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With an average monthly temperature of 76 degrees year-round, Phoenix, Arizona is constantly bustling with tourists and locals alike. Phoenix is also home to many different types of sports, both professional clubs and amateur enthusiasts. With the weather being so lovely all year, one of the most common sports played in Phoenix is tennis. The “Valley of the Sun” has an astonishing 400+ indoor tennis courts, not including the thousands of outdoor sites and private courts. Although only about 5% of tennis elbow sufferers actually play tennis, there are a variety of other sports that can put you at risk for this painful condition. As can be expected, with the large number of individuals who engage in sporting events around the area, orthopedic surgeons are kept busy with a number of surgical conditions related to sports, both recreational and professional.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is an extremely painful condition that is caused by overuse of the elbow. On the outside of the elbow, the tendons that join the forearm to the elbow become inflamed and sore, making movement difficult. From constantly repeating the same motions over and over again both the tendons and the muscles in the forearm become damage.

There are many different treatment options for those who have been diagnosed with tennis elbow. It is usually a “team style” approach, with physical therapists, primary care physicians, and in the more extreme cases, orthopedic surgeons, all working together to provide the patient with the most effective care.

Anatomy of the elbow

The elbow is a joint that is comprised of three bones, the humerus (upper arm bone), and the radius and the ulna (forearm bones). At the bottom of the humerus are bony bumps that are called epicondyles. The epicondyle on the outside of the elbow is known as the lateral epicondyle. The elbow joint is held together by tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Tennis elbow involves the tendons and muscles of the forearm. It is these muscles which allow the fingers and wrist to be extended. The tendons in the forearm attach bone to muscles. For the elbow, the muscles are attached on the lateral epicondyle. The tendon that is most often involved in cases of tennis elbow is the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB).

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Flickr / wonderlane

Causes of tennis elbow

Overuse: Studies have shown that it is a specific forearm muscle that is damaged when a patient has tennis elbow. It is the ECRB muscle which helps to stabilize the wrist when the elbow is positioned straight. For example, this could occur with a tennis groundstroke or while making a swing during a golf game. When the ECRB becomes weakened from the repeated motions, microscopic tears begin to form where the tendon attaches to the lateral epicondyle. This is what causes the pain and inflammation.

Activities: Not only athletes get tennis elbow. If a job or recreational activity requires vigorous and repetitive use of the forearm then there is a significant risk of damage. Some of the professions which are most commonly at risk include carpenters, plumbers, cooks, auto workers, butchers, and painters.

Age: Tennis elbow is most commonly seen in those who are between 30 and 50 years of age, but a person who is older or younger can still get it.

Idiopathic: There are times when tennis elbow occurs even though there has not been any type of repetitive injury.

Symptoms

In most cases the symptoms and signs of tennis elbow will come on gradually. The pain will usually start as mild and get progressively worse as time goes by. The two most common symptoms are a grip strength that has weakened and burning or pain on the outside of the elbow. The pain will get worse the more that the forearm is used. Although it is usually the dominant arm that suffers, it is possible to get tennis elbow in both arms.

Examination and tests

There will be many factors that your doctor will consider before making a definite diagnosis. They will consider such things as your participation in recreational sports, risk factors from your occupation, and how the symptoms developed. During the physical exam the doctor will have you perform certain movements to see if they cause pain. Then the next step will be to have X-rays done, along with other possible other diagnostic tests such as an MRI or an EMG.

For patients who do not need to see orthopedic surgeons, there are several types of treatment that will be tried. One of the best things that a patient can do is rest the arm so that it has proper time to heal. This will usually take several weeks. The doctor will also likely prescribe some type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. In more severe cases, the doctor may choose also to inject the patient with steroids such as cortisone.

Physical therapy may also be recommended since the exercises that the therapist will have you perform work well to help re-strengthen the forearm muscles. They may also use techniques for stimulating the muscles or even ice massage. It may also be required that you wear a brace for a period of time. This gives the tendons and the muscles in the arm additional time to rest.

Surgical intervention

If the patient has not noticed a difference after 6 to 12 months, the doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. The most common surgical procedures that are used to counteract tennis elbow usually involve the removal of muscle that has been diseased and then reattaching healthier muscle back to the bone.

Open surgery: Open surgery is usually the first choice of orthopedic surgeons for treating tennis elbow. It is normally done as an outpatient procedure and simply requires an incision to be made over the problem area of the elbow.

Arthroscopic surgery: The other repair option is to use same-day arthroscopic surgical techniques to treat the tennis elbow.

Surgical risks

Like any other surgery, there are risks associated with surgery for tennis elbow. The most common considerations include:

•    Infection

•    Blood vessel and nerve damage

•    Possibility of a prolonged rehabilitation period

•    Loss of arm strength

•    Loss of flexibility

Considerations For Back Pain Specialists In Chicago

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Chronic and acute pain are illnesses which affect over half of the population in the United States. It should come as no surprise, then, that Chicago, a major metropolitan area, has its share of back pain sufferers as well. The interesting thing about back pain is, it usually shows up months or years after the incident which triggered it to begin with. This can often lead to a great deal of confusion amongst the individuals who suffer from it. Though it is not something that happens to everyone, it is enough of an issue that it makes its presence known in nearly every population of people.

Back pain specialists are an extremely common sight in most major cities in the United States. Chicago, of course, is no different. There are plenty of back pain specialists in the city. All the specialists in the world, however, will not help you if you do not know what to look for when you need one. There are some specific things that you have to find in a clinic before choosing to go with them for your care.

Here are some things that you will want to keep in mind when looking for back pain specialists in Chicago:

•    One thing that you need to keep in mind about Chicago is the sheer size of the city. It is enormous. For people who have back pain,

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Photo Credit: PP Specialists

this is something which is both a blessing and a curse. It is great that the population is so high because that will inevitably bring more and more doctors to the area to open up clinics. At the same time, this also means that the travel will be much harder and longer.

•    Public transportation is the best way to get around the city. This means that you will probably have to be on foot in order to move around to get to public transportation spots. A nightmare for people who have issues with mobility. Cars are usually not a feasible way of moving around the city for most people. It would simply take too long. Even so, going up and down steps is extremely difficult and there are certainly a lot of steps in Chicago.

•    Again, another mobility issue has to do with the weather. Chicago is cold. It rains. It snows. Ice builds up on the streets. Ice and snow can cause issues for people who do not have mobility problems, but for people who do have them it becomes an even bigger issue.

•    Look for a company that has multiple locations so that the likelihood of them having a clinic near your domicile increases. This is something which is very important to keep in mind when you have mobility issues. It will also save some money on transportation.

•    Find a company which has a program of managing medications in addition to the other things that they handle. The company that you find needs to be able to deal with the issue that the medications which are often prescribed for back pain are also sometimes bad for your health and can become addictive. It is important to manage both the prescription of these medications and to keep a close track of patients who are taking them to begin with.

•    You need to find a clinic which is able to handle the emotional and the mental aspects of the pain in addition to the pain itself. Chronic pain will often lead to issues affecting quality of life. That, in turn, can lead to problems with depression or a lack of happiness. It is important to keep that in mind when you are trying to find a good physician to handle your problem.

•    Find a clinic which looks into the core cause of your pain. You have to treat the root cause in order to get rid of the pain itself. This is extremely important. Fixing pain itself is only going to be like putting a bandage on a broken arm. You have to fix the problem before you begin to treat the effect of that problem. Treat the illness and not the symptom. Many medical facilities do not do this.

•    Make sure they take your insurance. Medical care is astronomically expensive. It is utterly important that you are able to handle your health while saving your economic future at the same time. Simply call up your insurance company and find out if they deal with the specialists that you are planning on seeing. This is, again, something that a lot of people tend not to think about until it is too late. Make sure you have this covered ahead of time.

Back pain is a complex issue. Dealing with it can be a painful and stressful experience. Even so, there are clinics out there which specialize in treating this issue and dealing with patients who suffer from it. With that being said, it can still be difficult finding a company which is good with that kind of thing. The first place you will probably want to start looking is your primary care physician. You need to speak with them in order to get a recommendation of a specialist to see. This is something a lot of people do not do, opting to see specialist first instead. That is usually a mistake.

One of the best companies to work with if you intend to see a back pain specialist is Premier Pain Specialists. They are, easily, one of the top providers of pain care and pain management in the entire state of Illinois. Their team of doctors takes a multidisciplinary approach to the core issue in their attempt to fix it. Board certified, their team uses minimally invasive procedures and the latest techniques to help treat their patients. They are one of the most prestigious pain programs in the entire country and, honestly, it is like that for a good reason. They certainly know what they are doing and you would be doing yourself a serious disservice if you chose to go somewhere else.