Injections for Back Pain… But It's Going Under My Skin?

Injections for Back Pain… But It’s Going Under My Skin?

Previous large studies have suggested that epidural steroid injections provide some short-term alleviation of radiating pain associated with disc herniations or spinal stenosis.  Since a disc herniation has a natural history of improvement, it’s reasonable to consider epidural steroid injections to suppress symptoms while the body heals itself.  Of course for other conditions which seem…

The 2020 Social Experiment

Social Isolation

You may never have guessed, unless you’re Stephen King, that social isolation can have devastating effects on animals. We’ve already observed increased psychiatric dysfunction since COVID-19 quarantine began. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), by June 2020 rates of anxiety were three times higher and depression was four times higher than 2019. Virtual…

Smoking to Treat Pain, yet Smoking Increases Pain?

Smoking to Treat Pain, yet Smoking Increases Pain?

Some patients report they smoke more because they have spine pain or anxiety. Studies have shown that smokers increase their cigarette consumption when their pain increases. 42% of persons experiencing medically unexplained pain in the last year smoke. 54% of treatment-seeking chronic pain patients smoke. Furthermore, these smokers tend to have more maladaptive pain behaviors,…