Jan 20

Oncologic pain is pain that is related to a person’s cancer. Many times this pain can be severe and at times debilitating. Many oncologic pains can be treated so that the patient does not have to suffer and can live as comfortably as possible.

What Causes Oncologic Pain

Oncologic pain is caused by the cancer itself. Typically a tumor pressing on a nerve, organ, or bone is to blame. The type and severity of pain depends on the type of cancer as well as what stage it is. Other times the pain is caused by cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. This type of pain can result in numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Some pains can also be normal aches and pains, like headaches or muscle strains.

Types of Oncologic Pain

There are different types of oncologic pain that range in severity as well as location. A cancer patient may only experience one type or multiple types of pain.

Acute Oncologic Pain

Acute oncologic pain is usually the result of some type of injury. It lasts until the injury goes away which in some cases can be a long time.

Chronic Oncologic Pain

Chronic pain can last a long time, sometimes months or years. It can be mild or it can be severe. It can also limit what a patient can do on a daily basis as well as be debilitating.

Breakthrough Oncologic Pain

This pain may be the most frustrating for patients because it happens despite the fact that the pain is being treated. As the name suggests, it “breaks through” any relief a patient is receiving from medication or other treatments. It can’t be predicted and can range in severity.

Oncologic pain can affect different parts of the body which can also determine how it is treated.

Nerve Pain

Oncologic pain can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves. When this happens, a patient may feel numb or get a tingling feeling. Sometimes patients also have trouble moving when they have nerve pain.

Bone Pain

Bone pain is sometimes referred to as somatic pain. Cancer can spread into the bone and damage the bone tissue. This pain can be dull or throbbing.

Soft Tissue Pain

This type of pain is felt from an organ or muscle. It is also referred to as visceral pain. It can be extremely severe causing cramping, aching, or throbbing.

Phantom Pain

This pain is pain felt from a body part that is no longer there. Often times breast cancer patients who undergo a mastectomy get phantom pains. Most times phantom pains go away within a few months, but they can last up to a year.

Treating Oncologic Pain

Treating oncologic pain is about managing the pain effectively for the patient. The type of treatment will depend on the patient and the level of pain. Here are the most typical ways oncologic pain is treated:

Over-the-counter pain relievers: This can be anything from Tylenol to Motrin, or ibuprofen.
Weak opioids: These require a doctor’s prescription. An example of such medication is one that contains codeine.
Strong opioids: These also must be ordered from a doctor and can include morphine, oxycodone, and methadone, among others.
Therapy. Besides medication, there are other forms of treatment and therapies that may be used. The Pain Care Clinic of Idaho can help you determine which ones are best for you needs.

Depending on the pain level, some patients may opt for more intense pain management treatments. These can include:

  • Surgery. If nerve pain is the source, a neurosurgeon may cut the nerves to stop the pain. When this is done, the patient will have no feeling and become dumb. This surgery is delicate in nature and should be discussed with a doctor thoroughly so a patient understands all of the risks.
  • Nerve Block. This is not as intense as surgery but is still serious in nature. During this procedure, a numbing drug combined with a steroid is injected around the nerve to stop the pain. It’s important to note that a nerve block can cause muscle paralysis.
  • Epidural. Pain medicine is injected into the areas around the spine, similar to when a pregnant woman receives an epidural during labor. Some patients end up getting pumps implanted so pain medicine can be distributed around the nerves.

In order to accurately treat oncologic pain, patients should track the pain and its severity levels. Keeping a log of pain triggers and length of pain as well as pain location can help doctors determine which type of treatment is best.

For more information on how to deal with oncologic pain, contact the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho at (208) 629-2492. Let their team of experts help you determine what treatments can help to ease your pain.






Dec 09

For those suffering from neuropathy, staying active can become a challenge. By understanding the condition and its triggers you can learn what exercises and movements are still safe and effective.

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that occurs when your nerves become damaged. It’s estimated that neuropathy affects a little over two percent of the general population and about eight percent of those 55 and older. Neuropathy affects the peripheral nervous system that is in charge of things like voluntary muscle movement, involuntary organ activity, and sensory nerves. When these nerves become damaged, it can cause pain as well as difficulty moving.

What causes neuropathy?

Neuropathy can either be acquired by birth or can develop later in life due to another illness or condition. The neurological disorder Charcot-Marie Tooth disease is the most common form of inherited neuropathy. It affects 1 in every 2,500 people in the United States.

For those who develop neuropathy later in life, there are several conditions that may be to blame. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disorders
  • Chemical Imbalances due to liver diseases
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Blood diseases and blood vessel damage
  • Vitamin deficiencies (specifically E, B1, B6, B12, and Niacin)
  • Physical trauma

Other medical conditions like HIV, Shingles, and Lyme Disease can also lead to neuropathy.

Of all of the possible causes, diabetes is the most common. High blood sugar can injure nerves throughout your body. For diabetics, this is usually seen in the legs and feet. In order to avoid developing neuropathy if you’re a diabetic it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain active.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

The symptoms of neuropathy will vary depending on which nerves are affected. When the peripheral nerves are affected symptoms can include:

  • Numbness
  • Inability to feel pain or temperature changes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance
  • Increased sensitivity to touch
  • Loss of balance, coordination, and reflexes

If a patient is experiencing neuropathy within the automated nervous system other problems may arise such as:

  • Bladder control issues
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Increased heart rate when you’re resting
  • Stomach issues (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, bloating)

When neuropathy affects the nerves in the lower body (thighs, legs, buttocks) patients may experience sudden or severe pains in those areas as well as weak muscles and weight loss.

If only a specific nerve is involved, symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Partial paralysis on one side of the face
  • Pain in the chest, abdomen, thigh

Is there a cure for neuropathy?

Some forms of neuropathy can be cured; each case is different. But for the most part it’s about pain management and therapy. Receiving care from the Pain Care Clinic of Idahocan help if you are experiencing some of the many symptoms of neuropathy. Professionals can help pinpoint a specific therapy that will help you deal with your neuropathy issues. Other treatments can include pain medications and cream. In many cases symptoms will lessen but may not completely go away. It’s best to talk to your doctor to determine the best line of treatment for your specific case.

How can I stay active with neuropathy?

One of the best ways to treat neuropathy is to try to remain active. While you may think it is virtually impossible to keep moving through the pain, there are exercises you can do that will help.

Seated exercises with weights

Sit in a sturdy chair or on a balance ball. Choose a pair of hand-held weights that is challenging but manageable. From here you can do arm raises, bicep curls, or any other movement you’d like with the weights while staying seated.

Find the right cardio active

An appropriate cardio active can be anything from walking to swimming depending on what you feel comfortable doing. Some people enjoy water activities because of the soothing benefits of water therapy. A stationary bike indoors is also a popular activity for some with neuropathy.

Flexibility exercises

Ask your doctor about simple stretches you can do at home to keep your joints flexible. A yoga class may also be a possibility if that interests you.

Balance exercises

Maintaining balance can be difficult for those with neuropathy. Doing balance exercises regularly can improve balance and stability.

Non-weight bearing exercises are usually most recommended for those with neuropathy. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any form of exercise. Also be sure to have the proper footwear. Not doing so can lead to foot problems for those with neuropathy.

Why should I stay active with neuropathy?

It is extremely important to stay active with neuropathy to improve muscle strength. Exercising regularly can help with heart issues and increase blood flow. Keeping active can also help maintain appropriate glucose levels. Since most neuropathy cases are attributed to diabetes, keeping an eye on glucose levels is crucial. Anything that can be done to keep them at an appropriate level can help with neuropathy and other diabetic issues.

For more information on how to deal with neuropathy, contact the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho at (208) 629-2492. Let their team of experts help you determine what treatments can help to ease your pain.








Nov 18

There are many different pain triggers out there that can leave you struggling with chronic pain. Some of them are totally unavoidable, such as having to have a part of your body amputated. However, some pain triggers are easier to avoid. It is important that you understand what can trigger your pain. The more you know about these triggers, the more you can do to avoid them. Here are five of the most common pain triggers, and some of the best way to avoid them leaving you in chronic pain.

First, You Must Understand What Pain Triggers Are

Pain triggers are simply events in your life that trigger your body to experience pain. Some of the pain is miserable because you feel it, while other pain is miserable because your body registers that it is there. It isn’t that you don’t feel the pain, because you do. It is more that the pain is a problem with the nerves in these particular cases. Your body needs to relearn what the signals are coming from that area, and understand how to decode them properly. This is called neuropathic pain. There are many things that can trigger this type of pain.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Trigger Pain

When you drink alcohol, it can directly affect your nerves. The more you drink, the more damage gets done. The nerve damage that comes from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is typically permanent. The best way to avoid any type of pain triggers that stem from alcohol, is to avoid drinking any type of alcohol in the first place. Even drinking now and again can damage your nerves. However, the occasional drink would be far less likely to hurt you than consistent drinking would.

Diabetes That is Not Managed Properly is a Common Pain Trigger

When diabetes is not managed the way it should be, it can cause extensive damage. This can include leading to neuropathic pain. You may notice that you struggle with occasional numbness, or you may even struggle with tingling and burning sensations. The best way to avoid this type of pain is to make sure to consistently manage your diabetes. Check your blood sugar regularly, and make sure to keep your insulin levels within the right ranges. This can keep your pain minimized, and keep your diabetes from causing additional damage to your body.

Compressed Nerves Are Common Pain Triggers

One of the more common pain triggers that people do not always recognize includes compressed nerves. This can cause not only chronic pain, but it can also cause tingling and impair movement. The affected nerves can leave you struggling with pain, or they can even make it to where you feel burning each time the nerve tries to send out a signal. The best way to avoid pain triggers that stem from compressed nerves is to get checked as soon as you notice any type of nerve pain. Your medical health care provider will likely suggest getting a chiropractic adjustment. That can help realign the nerves properly so they are no longer compressed together. That can stop your pain, and help improve your ability to move.

Immune Problems Can Trigger Pain

Disorders of the immune system, including things like HIV and even things like food allergies, can trigger widespread pain in the body. The body responds to the signals coming from different parts of the body by triggering an immune response. Your body believes there is a problem, so it sets up its defenses to keep you safe. Even if you do not have a legitimate problem that deserves an immune response, your body believes you are under attack. Your body then sends out the cells to attack the invader, which may result in you hurting. The pain can range from soreness to much more severe, chronic pain. The best way to avoid this type of pain is to figure out what things cause your immune system to respond. If you suffer from food allergies, make sure to steer clear of the foods that cause the response.

Chemotherapy Often Triggers Pain

Chemotherapy does a lot to harm your immune system, but it does so for a good purpose. What the goal is, is to kill off your current immune system, and retrain it to fight off the cancer cells. However, there is no way, at this time, to trigger only specific cells, so it hurts them all. This often leaves you facing a lot of pain, and can be difficult to treat by means of painkillers. The best way to avoid these pain triggers is to talk to your doctors. They often have alternatives that can treat some of the pain, such as the Scrambler Therapy.

Getting Help to Manage Your Pain Triggers

When your pain triggers take over your life, you need to get help. There are many options out there to provide you with relief. Pain does not need to tell you what parts of your life you get to live and what parts of your life you should miss out on. Take your life back, and stop letting pain dictate your life.

When you need help keeping your chronic pain under control, give us a call here at Pain Care Clinic of Idaho. You can reach our caring staff by calling (208) 629-2492 anytime. Let us help you avoid your pain triggers and get your quality of life back!

Oct 14

Many people misconstrue Scrambler Therapy for something else, but most of the myths about Scrambler Therapy are just that, a myth. It takes getting to know the technology to understand fully what it is and what it is capable of. If you have been hearing about Scrambler Therapy and want to know more about it, the best suggestion we have is to give us a call her at the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho, as we can give you a detailed description of what it is and how it works. Until then, here are a few of the most common myths about Scrambler Therapy.

A Lot of Myths About Scrambler Therapy Revolve Around What It Is

One of the most common myths about Scrambler Therapy is that it is simply a new version of TENS therapy. This is not the case. They are different types of therapy altogether. Each of these therapies work with the signals of the brain to some degree, but that is where the similarities end. First, TENS therapy sends electrical impulses to the area in the hopes of relaxing and healing it. Scrambler Therapy, on the other hand, works near the pain. The hope is not to relax it, but instead, to help the brain learn that there is no actual pain coming from that area. With Scrambler Therapy, the goal is to train the brain on the right signals, not to minimize or relax away pain.

Another of the more common myths about Scrambler Therapy is that it is still experimental. Many people believe that this therapy is new and that it has not yet had thorough testing. This is totally false. Scrambler Therapy is a safe, effective, and widely used therapy, in many places around the world. It has full authorization through all necessary channels to be a therapy used outside of the realm of experimental therapy. Plus, so far, research has shown that it is also a very effective way of managing pain signals coming from many parts of the body.

Some people also believe that Scrambler Therapy reads the pain you are in, and sends new signals back to the peripheral nerves. This is untrue. The unit itself is meant to stimulate parts of the body that relay pain signals up to the brain. This is to help teach the brain to recognize other signals, not just pain signals. That helps the nerves and brain connect and send the right signals, instead of the wrong ones.

Some Myths About Scrambler Therapy Has to Do with Medications

Another set of myths about Scrambler Therapy have to do with medications. Some believe that you must take prescription drugs while having Scrambler therapy, while others believe that drugs cannot be taken along with Scrambler Therapy. Both of these are incorrect. You do not need to take medication for pain while having Scrambler Therapy. However, if you do need to take pills, such as anticonvulsants, this is alright, so long as your medical care provider follows the preset protocols.

Another of the common myths about Scrambler Therapy is that it came about to replace pain medications. Again, this is false. Scrambler Therapy started as a way to help a specific niche of patients who had pain that otherwise could not be helped. This pain is either neuropathic or oncologic. Both of these sets of patients are often left to struggle with their pain on their own. For differing reasons, most medications and other forms of pain management do not work well, if at all. Helping this small population of patients was the original goal, and these patients have shown great promise in the benefits that Scrambler Therapy offers.

Other Myths About Scrambler Therapy

One of the myths about Scrambler Therapy is downright dangerous to believe. It is that this therapy is known to regrow nerves. This is dangerous because people may put a lot of false hope into this therapy that simply is not possible. Scrambler Therapy can do a ton to help many different types of pain. However, it is not a regenerative therapy. It is meant to help people feel better, which it does. It is also meant to help people get their quality of life back. Thankfully, it is showing a lot of promise here as well. If what you want is relief from pain, then this is a great solution for you to consider. However, if you expect regrowth of damaged nerves, then this is not going to give you that outcome.

If you want to find out more about Scrambler Therapy, contact us here at the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho. We have experienced and trained professionals on staff who can help you see the benefits that come with the therapy. You can call us at (208) 629-2492 today. Let us help you sort out the truth from the myths about Scrambler Therapy.

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