What is functional restoration rehabilitation? My surgeon and my shrink are suggesting I complete the FRR program at their clinic.Posted January 5th, 2007 by Matt
Functional restoration rehab (FRR) has been around since the 1970s. It was first started to help chronic pain patients who failed to improve with medications, injections, physical therapy, or surgery.
Patients with chronic pain found themselves in a downward spiral of pain, disability, depression, and more pain.
I was recently tested for psychologic problems related to my chronic low back pain. The test showed I am seriously depressed. But who wouldn't be depressed after months and months of back pain everyday?Posted January 5th, 2007 by Matt
It's true that quality of life does suffer when a person is faced with chronic pain. Depression can be a natural response to the downward spiral of pain, deconditioning, loss of function, and more pain. But studies show over and over that certain personality types are more likely to become depressed after an injury or problem with back pain.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a personality inventory often used by psychologists. Scores on the test help predict which patients might improve with treatment. Surgeons started using this test some years ago to select patients who were good candidates for surgery.
I've been told I have piriformis syndrome caused by a pinched sciatic nerve. How does the sciatic nerve get pinched?Posted December 21st, 2006 by Matt
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that starts in the low back and goes down the back of the leg from hip to foot. As it travels through the buttocks area, it passes out of the pelvis through the a hole called the greater sciatic foramen. Once it goes through this hole, it passes just below the piriformis muscle (PM).
Yesterday I had a steroid injection into my buttocks for piriformis syndrome. I feel find today but I'm wondering if there's anything I shouldn't be doing.Posted December 21st, 2006 by Matt
Patients usually are given written instructions after any procedure, including steroid injections for piriformis syndrome. If you have any paperwork from your doctor's visit, reread it for any specific instructions.
If you cannot find any instructions, contact the doctor's office where you had this prodecure done. Ask for a review of the instructions. If you have access to a fax machine, have the form faxed to you.
I went to a chronic pain clinic for help with constant headaches and neck pain. One of the treatment options is acupuncture. Are there any side effects from this kind of treatment?Posted December 21st, 2006 by Matt
Acupuncture involves the use of tiny needles placed in the skin to stimulate acupuncture points in the body. Specific musculoskeletal problems like chronic headache and neck pain can be treated effectively this way.
At 78 years old, my father has his share of aches and pains. But lately he's been complaining more and more about back pain. X-rays show he has mild spinal stenosis. We think he would do better and have less pain if he would take an antidepressant, not have another surgery. Is it possible that an antidepressant could help?Posted December 21st, 2006 by Matt
There are two sides to every coin. Whereas depression has become a very common disorder, especially in older adults, anti-depressants aren't always the quick and easy answer.
On the other hand, depression is known to cause joint and/or muscle aches and pains. An antidepressant is certainly less invasive than surgery to correct the problem. And if the X-rays show a mild case, then other conservative measures might be helpful.
This is the first study to report the results of using ultrasound (US) to guide needle injection of the piriformis muscle (PM). The PM is located deep in the buttock and can cause painful buttock or hip symptoms along with sciatica.
I find myself at a cross roads. I have had back pain for three years now with no relief. I'm finally ready to try the pain killers my doctor has recommended. With all the possible side effects and worries about addiction, I'm still wondering if I shouldn't just tough it out?Posted December 7th, 2006 by Matt
This is a good question and one that is highly debated by many people on both sides. The use of opioids for control of chronic non-cancer pain has increased by as much as 600 per cent in some countries. The availability of new drugs and advertising efforts of drug companies are two main factors in this change.
Is it true that children are more likely to get better from a pain problem than adults because children think they can and adults take a more pessimistic view?Posted December 7th, 2006 by Matt
According to social research, some children do exactly as you suggest. Remember the story about the little engine who thought she could? She chugged up the long hill chanting to herself, I think I can, I think I can. And she finally made it!