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November 16, 2023
Treating Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuffs are a group of tendons and muscles that allow your shoulder mobility. These cuffs also help in stabilizing your shoulder. Additionally, rotator cuff injuries vary greatly from one another, and the symptoms may also vary. 

Some of the most common injuries may include bursitis, rotator cuff strains, and tendinitis. These injuries can range from severe to mild. If you’re an athlete or a sportsperson who uses their rotator cuff quite frequently, then the most likely injury you may get is tendinitis. That’s because overuse of these muscles and tendons can lead to inflammation. Most basketball players, tennis players, and painters fall in this category. 

rotator cuff injuries

How to Treat Rotator Cuff Injuries

You may experience rotator cuff strain from accidents, falls, and other sudden movements. Typically, most acute injuries involving the shoulder can lead to a partial tear or even a complete one in the tendons. Moreover, overuse can also cause this type of strain. 

As for bursitis, this is inflammation in the bursa. These fluid- filled sacs between your bones and tendons can be inflamed for various reasons, including degenerative use. 

Can You Treat a Rotator Cuff Tear or Strain at Home? 

Home remedies can help you get relief from rotator cuff strain. However, it’s still important to visit your doctor if your symptoms persist for longer than a week. Your physician can help determine the severity of the injury, the type of rotator cuff injury and come up with the right prescriptions for you. The most common solutions are: 

  • Using over-the-counter medication for pain
  • Using an ice pack on the area (hot packs are good too)
  • Using a sling to avoid motion on the shoulder and resting it
  • Injecting cortisone to reduce inflammation
  • Exercising the affected shoulder

You should also note that depending on how bad the injury is, you may need surgery. However, the timing of the surgery will not necessarily affect the outcome. 

What Are the Symptoms to Look Out For? 

As mentioned before, while some types of rotator cuff injuries are generally characterized by immediate and intense pain, some may take longer to manifest. You may have a tear without even knowing it until it gets worse. Even so, there are tell-tale signs of such injuries. They include: 

  • Difficulties with moving the affected shoulder due to pain
  • Difficulties in sleeping or lying on the affected shoulder
  • Trouble reaching the back of your shoulder
  • Pain in the area from time to time
  • Inability to use full range motion of your shoulder
  • Weakness in the shoulder which gets worse over time

Can You Prevent a Rotator Cuff Injury? 

Injuries caused by an acute injury cannot easily be prevented as a most result from accidents. However, it’s possible to prevent other forms of injuries by exercising your shoulder frequently to improve its range of motion or simply strengthen it. You can also try taking frequent rest breaks if your occupation involves overusing your shoulder muscles. 

Final Thoughts 

Rotator cuff injuries can sometimes lead to excruciating pain. Although home remedies and preventive measures can help ensure you don’t strain your tendons, sometimes surgical intervention is necessary to help correct the tear. For more information, feel free to fill out the form below.

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November 8, 2023
Finding Pain Relief from Hip Injections

Arthritis is a disease of the joints that can cause chronic, or long-term, pain. The hip joint is particularly prone to this condition because it bears much of the body’s weight. Hip pain can also be caused by an injury to the hip, although this is less common than arthritis as a cause of discomfort in the area.

For some patients with milder cases of hip arthritis or an injury that isn’t too severe, taking analgesics (pain relievers) or anti-inflammatory medications orally might be sufficient relief. However, for more serious cases, hip injections are often necessary in order to achieve the desired pain relief. In addition, these injections have a beneficial effect on the underlying condition that is causing the pain in many cases.

hip injections for pain relief

Hip Injections for Effective Pain Relief

Hip Injections: Diagnostic vs. Therapeutic

Hip joint injections may be classified as either diagnostic or therapeutic. A diagnostic injection is meant only to determine whether a particular patient will benefit from receiving a therapeutic injection at some point in the future.

There are several reasons why doctors might perform this procedure prior to giving a patient a therapeutic injection. First, it can help confirm that arthritis or another medical condition is indeed present and that it is not being caused by some other problem. Second, if the diagnostic injection is given after an injury has occurred but before there has been time for the injury to heal, it can determine whether or not the injury is likely to respond to a therapeutic injection.

If the hip joint does indeed appear suitable for receiving a therapeutic injection, doctors will typically wait several months before giving one in order to allow the patient time to recover from the diagnostic procedure and give them time to consider their options.

Benefits of These Injections

Hip injections are particularly beneficial because they can provide long-term relief for people suffering from this painful condition. Unlike oral analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, which must be taken regularly over an extended period of time in order to achieve any benefit, most patients enjoy immediate pain relief following the injection. For particularly severe cases, this can mean several months or even years of added quality time with friends and family before eventually succumbing to the inevitable degenerative effects of osteoarthritis in this joint.

Potential Risks

Fortunately, only minor risks are associated with hip injections in general. The numbing agent may cause some temporary numbness or tingling around the site where it was injected; however, this side effect usually subsides within a few hours at most.

Very rarely, patients develop an infection following their injection, but this is also quite uncommon given how few people actually experience it. Even if they do get an infection, it will typically be no worse than a typical sore throat and will typically respond to antibiotic treatment.

Hip Injections: Pain Management Strategies

In most cases, a hip injection is only needed once (or at most twice) in order to provide relief for months or even years. However, there are other strategies that can be used in conjunction with this treatment or as an alternative when necessary. For example, many people often use heat and ice packs in order to alleviate their pain before an injection is even necessary.

When this does not provide enough relief for a particular individual, there are many oral analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications that can be used in addition to or in place of injections. These include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.


Hip injections are quite safe and effective in the vast majority of cases. However, they do not work for everyone. In rare cases in which they do not work, there are many other treatment options that can be used instead.

If you would like to discuss additional treatment options or if your problems persist despite receiving a previously performed hip injection, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Progressive Pain Management by using the form below:

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September 14, 2023
Treating Chronic Knee Pain

If you’re suffering from chronic knee pain, you know that it can significantly limit your daily activities. Chronic knee pain can be debilitating and can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. From simple actions like taking a walk around your neighborhood to more strenuous duties like playing sports or running, an aching knee can keep you grounded.

But don’t give up hope! Understanding the underlying causes of chronic knee pain – and finding ways to alleviate it – is key to enjoying an active lifestyle. Also, there are many treatments available that can lessen and even possibly eliminate the debilitating effects of chronic knee pain. Read on to learn more about how these treatments can restore your life free from constant knee pain!

chronic knee pain

 What is Chronic Knee Pain?

Chronic knee pain is classified as any pain in the knee that lasts three months or longer.


The symptoms vary from person to person and may include:

  • Constant or intermittent pain
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Loss of range of motion in the knee
  • Redness and warmth around the affected area
  • Stiffness
  • Locking sensation
  • Itching and burning 

Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

The underlying causes of chronic knee pain can include: 


Arthritis is the most common causes of chronic knee pain. Arthritis can refer to any condition that affects the joints, and it can range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating pain. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused by excessive wear and tear on the cartilage between joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is another type that occurs when your immune system attacks your joints, causing swelling and damage to the cartilage and bones in your knees.  

Tendonitis or Bursitis 

Tendons are thick bands that connect muscles to bones in the body, while bursae are fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones, muscles, and tendons. When these become inflamed due to injury or overuse, they can cause chronic knee pain. Tendonitis usually occurs when tendons become irritated due to repetitive use or overuse, while bursitis occurs when bursae become infected or irritated by nearby tissues. 

Meniscus Tears 

Your meniscus is a semicircular piece of cartilage located between your thighbone and shinbone inside your knee joint. A tear in this cartilage can occur due to trauma or age-related wear and tear, leading to sharp pains in the affected area. This type of injury often requires surgery if it does not heal on its own with rest and physical therapy. 

How to Treat Chronic Knee Pain 

There are several things you can do to improve your quality of life and reduce the severity of your chronic knee pain; these include: 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a great treatment for chronic knee pain that can help to improve mobility, reduce swelling and inflammation, and strengthen the muscles around the joint. Exercises such as stretching, strengthening, and range of motion exercises can be beneficial in relieving symptoms while also helping to prevent future injuries.  

Over-the-Counter Medications 

Over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat chronic knee pain by reducing inflammation and providing short-term pain relief. However, these medications should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision and may not be suitable for everyone.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga can all be beneficial in reducing chronic knee pain. These treatments can help to relax the muscles, improve circulation and reduce stiffness in the affected area.


Surgery may be necessary when other treatments are ineffective in relieving chronic knee pain symptoms. Surgery typically repairs damaged ligaments or cartilage within the joint and may involve arthroscopy (a minimally invasive procedure) or open surgery (where larger incisions are required). Regardless of the type of surgery performed, it is important to follow a physical therapy program after surgery to ensure proper recovery and rehabilitation.

 Rest and Relaxation 

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you have chronic knee pain is to rest and relax as much as possible. This means avoiding activities that strain your knees or aggravate them further, such as running or jumping. Instead, focus on low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or biking. These types of activities will help strengthen the muscles around your knees without causing further damage or discomfort.  

Long-Term Effects 

Chronic knee pain can cause severe discomfort and negatively impact your quality of life. It is important to understand the long-term effects of chronic pain, such as:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Difficulty performing daily activities
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Get Treatment for Your Knee Pain!

When it comes to treating chronic knee pain, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s pain levels and needs are unique, so finding the right combination of treatments to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life is essential.  

If you’re suffering from chronic knee pain and want to learn more about what treatments are available, contact Progressive Pain Management and speak with a trained medical professional. We’ll work together to create a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle and works toward reducing your overall pain. To get started, fill out the form below to contact us today! 

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September 8, 2023
Does Colder Weather Affect Pain?

People have very different opinions on the cooler temperatures – either they love it, or dislike it. However, regardless of personal feelings, a degree drop affects the body similarly in everyone. A change in weather requires the body to function differently to conserve heat.

Those with chronic conditions and weakened systems can suffer, resulting in fatigue, worsened pain, and even immobilization. 92% of patients suffering from chronic pain believe their symptoms are exaggerated when the weather gets colder. Being aware of the impact of colder weather on your body can help reduce the pains of winter. 

woman in wheelchair in cooler weather with chronic pain

How Cooler Weather Can Affect Chronic Pain

Why A Drop in Temperature Results in Greater Pain

Despite a definitive, scientific relationship between cold weather patterns and chronic pain symptoms, patients report the changes their body experience when barometric pressure changes due to cold fronts and humidity changes. 

Most of the reported pain symptoms result from swelling of joints and their surrounding tissues. When barometric pressure drops due to bad weather, the air pressure pushes with less force against joints. This allows the tissues to expand, which applies greater pressure to the joints. Patients with arthritis and fibromyalgia report aggravated pain. 

Reduced temperatures can cause muscle stiffness, which makes moving and daily activities painful.  However, remaining inactive leads to even greater pain. Spasms are more likely to occur when muscles are stiff and tight, leading to intense discomfort and pain. In patients with fibromyalgia, shortened muscles, caused by temperature drops in energy-deficient muscles is the main cause of pain. 

For some patients, their chronic condition may be so severe that even a minor temperature change can result in worsened symptoms. It may be their first response to depend on a heating device, such as a heated blanket or hot water bottle. However, this can also cause painful side effects. Weakness, nausea, and changes in brain activity can result from overheating. 

In patients who suffer from pain due to oversensitive nerves, the colder temperatures can cause widespread muscle and joint pain. An increase in nerve receptivity causes this. Cold weather negatively influences nerve conduction, so any pre-existing nerve damage becomes more noticeable. 

Ways to Reduce Pain in Cooler Weather

Chronic pain patients can utilize a variety of methods to fight weather-related pain. Simple actions and changes to their daily lifestyle help keep the body warm and reduce pain caused by lower temperatures. 

  • Boost Your Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to maintaining energy and mindset. During the winter, it is common to battle seasonal depression and feeling slower due to reduced exposure to sunlight. Retaining higher levels of Vitamin D is important to help the body function properly and aids in reducing pain and stiffness. You can increase your Vitamin D intake by adding fatty fish and seafood to your diet, trying a UV light, or taking a supplement. 

  • Reduce Alcohol Intake

Winter alcoholic beverages may seem like they provide a cozy, toasty sensation, but they can actually lower body heat. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate, resulting in heat loss. Instead of having an alcoholic nightcap, try sipping on herbal tea to warm up and relax your body. 

  • Stay Active

Even if you can’t exercise outside, getting 30-45 minutes of cardio, strength, or flexibility training each day is recommended. Low-impact exercises such as yoga or tai chi help stretch the muscles and reduce mental stress. Cardio activities such as a treadmill or elliptical build muscle while increasing your heart rate. 

It is important to remember to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Even mild chronic pain conditions can be aggravated by overexertion. A physician can help determine appropriate exercises and stretches to combat your specific pain. Contact Progressive Pain Management by filling out the form below.

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June 8, 2023
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

In recent years, research has proven that the body has the unique ability to heal itself. The body can regrow tissue and cells and repair damage to ligaments, muscles, and joints. Through the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments, the body is given a chance to accelerate repair and heal quickly.  The effectiveness of PRP is constantly improving thanks to scientific advances and improvements in technology. 

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Blood contains components like red and white cells and platelets. The liquid portion of the blood is called plasma and is mostly made up of water and proteins.  Its primary function is to help blood cells and platelets move throughout the body. Platelets are special blood cells that cause blood clots, but most importantly, contain growth factors that are crucial for healing injuries. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is plasma with significantly more platelets than what is normally found in blood.  In fact, the concentration of growth factors can be 5 to 10 times richer than usual. 

platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

What are PRP Injections?

Platelet-Rich Plasma injections are a concentrated solution of the patient’s own platelets. They use the patient’s individualized healing system to recover injured muscles, tendons, and joints.  

How Do PRP Injections Work?

Blood must first be drawn from the patient to prepare for PRP Injections. The blood is then filtered to concentrate the platelets, using a machine called a centrifuge. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected directly to the affected area or diseased tissue.  Growth factors are released and increase the number of reparative cells the body produces.  

Ultrasound imaging can sometimes be used to guide the injection. 

There are two ways PRP Injections can be used: 

  1. Platelet-rich plasma can be injected directly into the injured area. A mixture of PRP and a local anesthetic can be injected into inflamed tissue to help decrease pain, swelling, and accelerate healing. The injection site may be sore for a few days following the procedure and can take several weeks to feel the full effect of the injection. 
  2. Platelet-rich plasma can be used after surgery to aid healing. An athlete with a torn ACL may require surgery to repair the ligament. Healing the ligament can be improved by using PRP during surgery. The PRP is prepared in a very specific way that allows it to be woven into the torn tissues. 

Effectiveness of PRP & Conditions They Treat

Studies are constantly being conducted to measure the effectiveness of PRP injections. Results can vary, depending on the area being treated, the overall health of the patient, and the severity of the injury that is being treated. 


Some conditions PRP is being used to treat are: 


  • Chronic Tendon Pain: PRP is very successful in treating tendon injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis. 
  • Muscle Injuries: Athletes have been using PRP therapies to treat muscle injuries such as a pulled hamstring.  
  • Surgery: As previously mentioned, PRP is being used in surgery to help heal scar tissue. 
  • Knee: PRP can be used to help heal the knee after surgeries like an ACL repair or joint replacement. It is also being used to treat osteoporosis in the knee. 


There are other uses that are being researched and tested on an ongoing basis to help increase the effectiveness of PRP injections. Fill out the form below to learn more about Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy and how it may help your chronic pain. Someone from the team at Progressive Pain Management will be in touch with you shortly.


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June 5, 2023
Things to Know About Lower Extremity Pain

Lower extremity pain is commonly due to overuse and inflammation as a result of conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and other organs. The key to pain is understanding what causes it. Only physicians can truly diagnose this kind of pain. There are a few questions to ask when diagnosing pain in your legs, hips, thighs, ankles, and lower joints. 

  • Is there a recent trauma? Falls to the ground are a common cause for lower extremity pain. This is especially true when a patient is unable to recall periods of time or suffers from a drug withdrawal. There is a chance of fracture, so radiographs should be taken. 
  • Is the pain articular or non-articular? Articular pain (meaning joint pain) is often accompanied by inflammation or swelling. Non-articular pain is musculoskeletal pain and affects muscles and bones. These differentiating symptoms help physicians diagnose the potential source of the pain. 
  • What is the root of the pain? When determining and understanding the root of the pain, physicians consider a broad variety of symptoms and characteristics regarding your pain. Things like infection, inflammation, vascular, and neoplastic causes can disguise other sources of pain. 
lower extremity pain

Lower Extremity Pain

Being able to answer those questions helps pain doctors diagnose pain and recommend effective treatments for lower extremities. The term “lower extremities” includes the pelvis and hip joint, thigh, knee, lower leg, ankle, and feet. 

Types of Lower Extremity Pain


Because your ankle bears the weight of your entire body, it is prone to injury. The ankle is a complex network of bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. This means there are a lot of things that can cause pain. 

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of conditions, including, but not limited to: 

  • Achillies tendonitis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Sprained Ankle
  • Stress Fractures


Pain in your thigh commonly starts in nerves that surround the hip and radiate down. Muscle pain, nerve pain, and injuries are all factors to consider when looking at thigh pain. 

Pain may be caused by:

  • Bernhardt-Roth syndrome
  • Overuse
  • Sciatica
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Sprained or torn ligament
  • Blood clots


Foot pain can be caused by overuse and conditions that cause inflammation like injury to tendons or ligaments in the foot. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. The bottom of the foot has a network of nerves that cause immense burning sensations, numbness, or tingling when damaged. 

Common causes of foot pain include: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Mortnon’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Gout
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Tendonitis

Lower Leg

A wide variety of conditions and injuries can cause leg pain. Generally, the leg pain is a cause of tissue inflammation. This can be a result of injury or chronic diseases. The leg contains many different types of tissues and bone structures, making injury and pain very common. 

Leg pain can be caused by: 

  • Shin Splints
  • Stress Fractures
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Sciatica
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

Hip and Pelvis

Hip and pelvis pain can be difficult to diagnose. The movement of the hip joint, lower back, and leg bones are all connected by a large network of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Pain from another area of the body frequently causes pain in the hip and pelvis region. This is called referred pain. 

Sources of pain can include:

  • Bone Fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve Damage
  • Muscle Injury or Inflammation

Knee Joint

If you use your knees to repetitively kneel or lift heavy objects, you may experience knee pain. Knee pain affects people of all ages. Injuries are common and regularly affect the ligaments, tendons, or fluid-filled sacs surrounding the bone. Cartilage in the knee also gets damaged from normal wear and tear, which can cause pain. 

Common causes for pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Meniscal Injuries
  • Cysts
  • Gout
  • ACL tears
  • Bursitis

Treatment Options

Once a diagnosis has been made, your physician will create a treatment plan specific to your pain. If the cause is musculoskeletal, non-steroidal medications or acetaminophen may be used. If pain persists, stronger medications may be prescribed, although it is rare that narcotics are needed. 

If the pain is articular, corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce pain. Muscle and tendon pain can be reduced using physical therapy. However, if the muscle pain is due to arthritis, physical therapy may not be helpful. 

Your doctor will work with you to form an effective treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and provides the greatest success in restoring a higher quality of life. Fill out the form below to get in touch with the team at Progressive Pain Management.

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April 21, 2023
Neuropathic Pain: Things to Know

Neuropathic pain is a type of pain where the cause is not found in an organ or tissue and can occur in any part of the body. This type is most common in the limbs but can also occur in joints, stomach, or elsewhere. It occurs when nerve cells are damaged or injured, sending signals to be felt as pain, usually through burning, prickling, and tingling sensations. Neuropathic pain can be complicated to treat because it cannot always be easily located like other types of pain.

neuropathic pain in hand

Things to Know About Neuropathic Pain

Causes of Neuropathic Pain

Nerve Damage or Injury 

Neuropathic Pain can occur when the nerve cells are damaged or injured. This may happen as a result of disease or damage to the nerves. It may also occur when the protective covering surrounding the nerve fibers are damaged.


Neuropathic Pain can be caused by degeneration of specific brain cells or spinal cord cells, which send pain signals to the brain. This type of Pain is often due to dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal injury, and diabetes.

Compression of the Spinal Cord 

Occurs when a person is experiencing a fracture or vertebral compression in the neck, chest, or back. The most common Pain that can occur with this maintenance is referred to as radiculopathy and is characterized by sharp shooting pains that run down the arms, legs, and back.

How to treat neuropathic Pain

The main goal of treating neuropathic Pain is to manage the pain as much as possible and to reduce the side effects of the treatment. People with neuropathic Pain may be referred to standard medication such as:


 A class of drugs that relieve Pain by suppressing the central nervous system’s response to pain signals. Examples include hydrocodone (Vicodin) and codeine. Medications like these slow the nerves down, making them less sensitive to pain signals.


These medicines constrict the muscles in the brain by reducing abnormal neuron activity or abnormal neuron growth. Examples include carbamazepine (Tegretol), valproic acid (Depakote) and gabapentin (Neurontin).

NSAIDs(Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

These painkillers are most commonly used to treat inflammation and swelling, but they also reduce the effects of nerve damage by suppressing the central nervous system’s response to pain signals.


Acupuncture is a method that involves placing wonderful needles into acupuncture points and in the back to try to curb pain signals from being sent out. Acupuncture can help reduce a person’s sensitivity to Pain by blocking the nerves and nerve pathways.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) 

Treatment involves placing electrodes on the skin and pressing them to send signals to particular nerve pathways. TENS can be used as a treatment for Pain that conventional therapies cannot control.


When Pain becomes severe and chronic, severe Pain should be treated first. Treatments after that may include rehabilitation therapies. These include physical therapy, which can help improve mobility and strength, cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help to decrease stress and anxiety related to Pain, and psychotherapy, which can also help reduce stress as well as depression or other emotional problems related to the Pain or different multidisciplinary approaches such as educational programs.

Final Thoughts

Neuropathic Pain is a type of Pain that many people suffer from at one point in their lives. In most cases, Pain can be managed with various treatments and medications.

If you suffer from neuropathic pain that conventional treatments cannot control, Progressive Pain Management is here to help you. Fill out the form below to contact our team for further queries.

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March 13, 2023
The Facet Joint Injection Procedure

Facet joints are small, bony joints that sit along the spine. They are paired up from the neck to the lower back area. When the joints get inflamed, they cause pain that can be severe. The pain can be acute or chronic, caused by a variety of conditions. 

The pain radiates to other parts of the body and causes indirect pain. For pain that starts in the lower back, it’s common for the pain to move to the thighs and buttocks. If the pain starts in the neck or upper back region, it can transfer to the shoulders, and arms, and even cause headaches. 

facet joint injections for chronic pain

Facet Joint Injections for Chronic Pain

What is a Facet Joint Injection?

The injection is a strong anti-inflammatory steroid that gets inserted into the facet joint. The medication is a mixture of a local anesthetic and a steroid, similar to a cortisone injection. Before performing the injection, your doctor will explain the procedure, have you sign all the appropriate consent forms, and then have you lie on your stomach. 

The procedure is minimally invasive. X-ray guidance is used to locate the facet joints and helps guide the needle to the exact location.  The actual injection only takes a few minutes, but you may want to allow for additional recovery time depending on the type of anesthetic you choose. Some doctors will let you choose a local anesthetic or a stronger general anesthetic. The general anesthetic may cause drowsiness and sedation will take longer to wear off. 

What to Expect After the Injection?

Right after the injection, you will feel relief from pain. That is due to the anesthetic in the injection, and only lasts for a few hours. The injection site may become sore after a few days, and the pain is not uncommon to resume the day after the injection. About 1-2 days after the injection, the medication will begin to take effect and help reduce your pain on a daily basis. 

It is advised to take it easy following the injection and only to resume normal activity when it is comfortable to do so. Your doctor may recommend applying ice to the injection site. This will help reduce any swelling and soreness following the procedure. 

How Long Does a Facet Joint Injection Last? 

Immediately following the injection, you may feel lessened pain. However, this is temporary relief until the medication kicks in. That can take between 2-7 days after the injection.

If the first injection is successful in managing your pain, your doctor may perform additional injections. The amount of relief depends on your specific pain and because there are a variety of pain receptors in the spine, the long-term effect of these injections cannot be predicted. Everyone’s pain is different, so the treatment effectiveness will vary. 

There are very few risks associated with this type of injection. The most common being tenderness and pain at the injection site, although this is temporary. Side effects of steroids may include weight gain, water retention, and temporary increase in blood sugar. 

Facet joint injections are an excellent alternative to undergoing serious back surgery. Talk with your doctor today to discuss your options for getting relief from your pain and taking one step closer to bettering your quality of life. 

Risks Associated with the Facet Joint Injection Procedure

As with any type of injection or invasive procedure, there are certain risks or complications that could arise:

  • Allergies: In most cases, the allergic reaction is caused by the X-ray contrast or steroid, not the local anesthetic. Severe allergies are rare. 
  • Bleeding: In patients who are taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, it is possible to have some bleeding as a result of the injection. 
  • Discomfort at the Injection Site: Worsened pain or discomfort at the injection site. Long-term pain is uncommon. 
  • Infection: Minor infections occur in less than 2% of facet joint injections. More complex infections are rare, only happening in 0.1% of injections. 

Fill out the form below to contact the Progressive Pain Management team and learn more about facet joint injections.

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December 30, 2022
5 Early Signs of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a gradual disease, with symptoms that appear over a long period of time. Depending on the joints and bones that are affected, symptoms vary, some that are more severe than others. 

Osteoarthritis affects over 27 million Americans each year. The symptoms mirror those of other chronic illnesses as well as show up differently depending on the patient’s lifestyle, making it hard to diagnose. However, there are early signs of osteoarthritis to watch for that can help make an accurate diagnosis. 

osteoarthritis in knee

Osteroarthritis Warning Signs

Early Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis

  • Joint Pain: Pain that worsens with activity and finds relief after a period of rest is suggestive of osteoarthritis. This is often one of the first signs of an issue with a joint. The discomfort of early osteoarthritis can be classified in two different ways: tenderness and pain. Patients don’t always suffer from debilitating pain, but experience aches or tenderness around the joints. 
  • Swelling: There is naturally occurring fluid in your joints. There is pain when the fluid builds up and causes the joint to swell. The extra fluid is created by the soft tissue that surrounds the joints. 
  • Loss of Flexibility: Early stages of osteoarthritis can cause body parts to not move as easily as before. Pain and stiffness contributes to this loss in flexibility and range of motion. Fully bending and extending a joint may become difficult or impossible. This has the ability to make daily activities hard to do. A loss in flexibility or range of motion is a very gradual process. 
  • Abnormal Sensations: The cartilage between your bones is meant to act as a “shock absorber” and to keep your joint moving smoothly. When this cartilage becomes worn out or torn, the bone-on-bone rubbing can cause abnormal sensations such as crackling, grating, or clicking can occur. Sometimes these sensations are felt, heard, or both. The bones rubbing together (grating) is common for patients with osteoarthritis. 
  • Joint Stiffness: Similar to joint pain, joint stiffness is commonly an early sign of osteoarthritis. Stiffness is common after sitting or laying for long periods of time. That sluggish, slow-to-move start in the morning could be an early sign of osteoarthritis. Oftentimes, joint stiffness fades as you move around and the joints have gotten a chance to loosen up. 


If you experience these symptoms regularly, talk to your doctor. Test and examinations can be performed to accurately diagnose what is causing your pain. The earlier the detection, the more effective treatments will be. Osteoarthritis does not have a cure, but is manageable and there are treatments designed to help reduce pain and to help patients who suffer with pain get back to doing the things they love. 

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December 23, 2022
Exercises to Reduce Chronic Joint Pain

People who live with chronic joint pain know how debilitating it can be. Joint pain makes doing daily activities difficult and typically has a negative effect on the quality of life. It can steal away joy from doing the things they love and spending time with loved ones. 

Chronic joint pain affects approximately 100 million Americans each year. Fortunately, there are exercises and self-care practices that help reduce and maintain pain. Exercises are designed to reduce inflammation, increase mobility, strengthen joints, and regain range of motion. Ideally, by implementing an exercise routine, there is no need for medication to manage the pain. 

Working with a physical therapist or pain specialist is a great way to learn the proper exercise techniques that will help manage and reduce chronic pain. It’s important to remember not to force exercise or continue if it worsens your pain. Listen to you body and do what feels best!

water aerobics for chronic joint pain

Exercises to Help Reduce Chronic Joint Pain

Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. 

Types of Exercises to Reduce Chronic Joint Pain


Stretching helps relieve tension and stiffness that causes joint pain. Stretching does not require any equipment, so these can be done at-home, on-the-go, or even at work. Stretches are designed for certain areas of pain, like knee pain, neck pain, and back pain. 


Cardiovascular exercises have a large impact on chronic pain and reducing symptoms that are caused by living with pain. Little-to-no equipment is needed for cardio exercises and they are relatively easy to incorporate into your daily life. Walking is the easiest way to get moving and increase your heart rate, endurance, and strength. If walking is challenging at first, start with short walks and slowly build up the distance overtime. 

Swimming and water aerobics are another great cardio option for those living with chronic pain. Being in the water takes the pressure off your joints so you can exercise with ease. This is especially important for patients with low-mobility. Moving in the water adds natural resistance while no additional stress or pressure on your joints is present. Being in the water is often therapeutic, too. Improving your mood is critical to managing chronic pain. 

Low-Impact Group Classes

Low-impact exercises are a great way to build muscle strength to better support joints that cause pain. Group setting classes, such as cycling or aerobics, can be beneficial to pain patients. Group classes are usually designed around a certain level of ability, meaning pain patients can take classes that best suit their needs and functions. Group settings are also great for accountability, which is important when trying to exercise regularly. 

Cycling, for example, is a smoother motion for the joints than jogging, which can cause further damage and pain. If your pain levels allow, trying cycling a few times a week. The pedaling motions and breathing rhythms are excellent for increasing oxygen flow to the muscles and releasing endorphins that reduce chronic pain. 

Balance Exercises

Exercises that focus on balance, core strength, and self-awareness like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are excellent for managing pain. They improve coordination and balance, which helps increase a sense of where joints are located and how to relieve tensions and pressure on those joints. These exercises include moves that increase flexibility and range of motion. This can loosen joints, which improves their function. 

These exercises will help teach proper posture and body positions that align your joints and muscles, in hopes that your pain will be reduced. At Progressive Pain Management, our team can help create a plan incorporating exercise with interventional pain management techniques.

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