New Platinum 4 K-Laser Therapy Treatment in North Vancouver

Providing High-Power Laser Therapy for Pain Relief to The North Shore

North Vancouver, British Columbia — March 11, 2021 — BeWell Medical Clinic is pleased to announce that it can now offer K-Laser therapy from its Platinum 4 laser for clients in the North Vancouver area and Greater Vancouver. This non-invasive technique uses the body’s own processes to repair cells, treat pain, reduce inflammation and help with healing.

The Class IV therapy laser operates on four wavelengths to maximize its healing potential, resulting in a powerful treatment that’s highly effective. It penetrates deeply into musculoskeletal tissue and accelerates cell metabolism by increasing blood flow, nutrients, cell division and excretion of waste products. All of this means that the body heals much faster, including skin, tendons, ligaments and muscles, and scarring and inflammation are minimized.

Dr. Amini from BeWell Medical Clinic says, “Our clinic specializes in pain management and anesthesia within one fully integrated model of care to improve diagnosis, medical management, and quality of life for our patients in the Lower Mainland. Acute or chronic or deep, K-Laser therapy can help.”

The P4 laser used offers more power for even faster treatments as well as specialized lenses to target the source of pain. These include a 50mm broad beam lens to cover a larger area and a 25mm lenses that focus the treatment onto a more precise area for maximum pain relief. In addition, the power can be dialed in exactly as needed to get the precise results required. 

The treatment is backed by more than 1,300 studies that investigate the healing effects of laser therapy as well as soreness, stiffness and inflammation. They found the four wavelengths used in the Platinum 4 K-Laser target everything from surface healing and increasing oxygen delivery to deeply penetrating tissue and stimulating the immune system. Pulsing these frequencies improve therapeutic outcomes while minimizing heat build-up.

Expanding Pain Reduction and Healing Therapies

The introduction of the Platinum 4 K-Laser is part of BeWell Medical Clinic’s ongoing commitment to having the latest equipment and technology to treat pain and heal injuries. This non-invasive procedure produces superior results in people of all ages, fitness levels and genders, and it can be used on chronic conditions and acute injuries.

The Platinum 4 K-Laser can also be used in conjunction with BeWell’s other treatments, including ongoing pain management involving medication, standard treatments for acute injuries, such as stress fractures and shoulder injuries, and minor procedures, such as mole removal and burn treatments.

About BeWell Medical Clinic

BeWell Medical Clinic offers a range of medical services in North Vancouver, from family physician services to pain management, musculoskeletal medicine and minor procedures. The BeWell team has countless years of experience in their fields, and they offer longer appointments to ensure all options are covered. Clients also get in-house support regarding billing, insurance, finding providers and any other aspect of the process. BeWell Medical Clinic accepts both insurance and private pay clients from its clinic on 13th Street.

Address:

138 13th St. E
North Vancouver, BC V7L 0E5
Emailinfo@bewellmedical.ca

Telephone: (604) 770-0164

BeWell Medical: Ultrasound TPI Equals More Accurate Pain Diagnosis and Treatment

BeWell Medical announces the Ultrasound-guided Trigger Point Injection technique, a new, quicker and more accurate method of diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal pain and disorders.

North Vancouver, BC – BeWell Medical Clinic has received a major boost in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal pain and associated disorders, via the ultrasound-guided Trigger Point Injection (TPI) technique, which ensures accurate needle placement in the cervicothoracic musculature during treatment of muscle pain.

This ground-breaking technique will use near-pinpoint ultrasound placement to aid clinicians in avoiding adipose tissue penetration, which can reduce an injection’s effectiveness. The ultrasound guidance could help avoid associated complications, including a pneumothorax or inadvertent intrathecal injection, and may increase TPI accuracy and effectiveness in reducing and/or relieving myofascial pain as well as associated complications.

What is the TPI Technique?

Systemic Muscle pain typically can be associated with trigger points in the human body. These points are “knots” in an individual’s muscles and often are the suspected cause of tension headaches, myofascial pain and symptoms of diseases such as fibromyalgia. When these knots form, muscles cannot release and that can lead to pinched nerves, strained and sore muscles.

When triggered and agitated, these points can cause extreme pain and the muscles surrounding the trigger point adapt to alleviate the pain. The areas these trigger points commonly are located include but are not limited to:

Injection Challenges

TPI typically experience one of two types of challenges.

In obese patients, the first is the placement of the needle tip and ensuring it is in the muscle or in adipose tissue. If the injection is not in the muscle, the injection will have limited effectiveness and may not alleviate pain at all.

The second challenge affects all patients and that is that TPI in the cervical and thoracic spine can increase the possibility because of accurate placement of pneumothorax, or partially collapsed lung.

How Ultrasound Helps TPI

Trigger point injections are pinpoint injections designed to treat pain at its source. The ultrasound technique allows for closer placement of the injection because it gives the clinician a real-time “map” of where the trigger point is located.  This not only ensures the trigger point is directly affected, but also leads to a quicker and more thorough treatment of the pain symptom. It can also help diagnose the cause of the pain by allowing for a more accurate picture of its source to be gathered.

Better Results

Ultrasound TPI will lead to more accurate injection placement and the reduction of the possibility of associated complications. This can lead to quicker, more accurate and better outcomes for patients in the treatment of pain and underlying conditions.

Myofascial Pain: How Trigger Point Injection Can Help

An estimated 20% of the Canadian population deal with long-lasting or chronic pain. Of these people, two in three say that their condition afflicts them with moderate pain. At least half of all chronic pain sufferers also have had their condition for more than a decade.

The majority of these pain conditions trace back to myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Studies even suggest that MPS has a prevalence rate of between 9% and 85%! That makes it one of, if not the most common type of pain condition in the Great White North.

If you suffer from MPS, know that you have several myofascial pain treatment options. One of these is the trigger point injection (TPI).

Ready to learn all about MPS and how TPIs can help you cope with your pain condition? Then let’s dive right into it!

A 101 on Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The term “myo” in “myofascial” is the fancy, scientific word for “muscles.” The term “fascia” refers to the connective tissues that surround the muscles.

You can think of the fascia as a thin encasement made of connective tissues. Not only does it cover all the organs, bones, blood vessels, muscles, and nerves in the body — it also holds them all in place.

As such, myofascial pain syndrome is a condition that affects the muscles and fascia. It occurs when the soft tissues in the body become painful and inflamed. Unlike muscle tension pain or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), MPS symptoms persist.

As a “syndrome,” MPS comes with various signs and symptoms that a health-related issue can cause. It’s also because of this that MPS signs can arise from every which way of your body.

The pain you feel may not even be the actual location of the myofascial pain generator. In this case, those unpleasant sensations are a form of “referred pain.”

Experts say that MPS can be due to a significant amount of pressure placed on trigger points. Trigger points are sensitive, irritable spots found in the fascia. When trigger points develop, they may cause referred pain.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain

Severe pain in local muscle groups is one of the most common signs of myofascial pain syndrome. The pain also worsens when you stretch or strain the affected muscles. Worse, the pain caused by MPS doesn’t improve or go away on its own.

It’s also common for people with MPS to feel actual “knots” in their muscles. When pressed, these knots produce even more intense pain.

The affected muscles can also become stiff or inflexible. Over time, they can get quite weak and have a reduced range of motion.

All these can then lead to mood alterations and sleep disturbances. Researchers have even found a strong association between MPS and poor sleep quality.

Risk Factors & When to See a Doctor

Many cases of trigger points develop due to traumatic injuries to and overuse of the muscles. High levels of psychological stress, which can affect up to 11 million Canadians, can also be to blame.

Traumatic muscle injuries are often a result of falls and blows. These usually include contusions, sprains, and strains.

Muscle overuse, on the other hand, can result from prolonged repetitive activities. People who are at risk of trigger points due to overuse are those who work and work out. For instance, if your work entails lifting and carrying heavy objects, then you may be at a higher risk of MPS.

Also, note that according to studies, most cases of MPS occur in people aged 27 to 50 years old. This also goes for those who have poor posture, are sedentary, and always skimp on sleep. Smoking, obesity, and nutritional deficiencies can also make you more susceptible to MPS.

If you experience any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, it’s time to visit your doctor. This is especially true if your muscle aches don’t improve even after a good amount of rest.

How Myofascial Pain Affects Your Quality of Life

Studies show that many people with myofascial pain syndrome also experience mood disorders. So, aside from physical pain, people with MPS may also suffer from depression and anxiety. The pain caused by MPS, after all, can be unbearable that it can impair one’s mental health.

The long-term pain or loss of mobility from MPS can also interfere with school or work tasks. For instance, employees who deal with chronic pain may incur up to an estimated 28.5 lost workdays each year. What’s more, some estimates say that up to 60% of people who suffer from chronic pain end up losing their jobs.

All in all, MPS can cause a severe reduction in the quality of your life. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the frequent symptoms you experience. Nor should you choose to just “live with it.”

The good news is, chronic pain treatments can help reduce the life-altering effects of MPS.

Treatments

A comprehensive treatment plan is the best way to ease the signs of myofascial pain syndrome. In many patients, these include a mix of medications and non-medicated methods. It depends on the severity of your symptoms, but you may be able to stick to non-opioid treatment methods.

Treatments

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are over-the-counter pain relievers. These include medications like Tylenol and Advil. They may help reduce pain, but only for a short period of time.

Muscle relaxants, such as benzodiazepines, may help control muscle spasms caused by MPS. Anticonvulsants, on the other hand, may help ease both spasms and pain.

Some patients with MPS may also achieve relief from symptoms with tricyclic antidepressants. These are drugs indicated to treat chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and nerve pain.

Botox injections also seem to have promising pain-relieving effects in patients with MPS. This neurotoxin, after all, prevents contraction (especially the involuntary kind) of the muscles.

Physical Muscle Treatment

Physical therapy has also shown to help manage the signs of myofascial pain syndrome. In one study, the researchers evaluated physical modalities, massages, and exercise. They found that the combination of all three led to a more significant reduction in MPS symptoms.

Physical therapy for MPS often includes stretching, massages, and posture training. Ultrasound therapy can also help by boosting blood circulation.

Trigger Point Injection

Trigger point injections (TPIs) are injections directed to one or more trigger points. They are not like “dry-needling,” as TPIs don’t involve poking your skin with a needle over and over again. Instead, the doctor will only inject a tiny needle with a solution into your trigger point.

The solution itself contains long-lasting anesthetics that inactivate the trigger point. Once “deactivated,” the trigger point will then stop causing severe pain.

How Trigger Point Injections Can Make a Difference

Trigger point injections can relieve muscle pain affecting various areas of your body. You can get them for painful knots in your neck, arms, lower back, and legs. It can even help relieve severe headaches!

There are several other reasons to consider TPIs, though. Let’s take a look at some of their other benefits.

Don't Have the Same Risk for Misuse as Pain Medications

In 2018, almost 13% of the Canadian population used opioid pain relievers. These medications, after all, do have a significant pain-reducing effect. Unfortunately, it’s the same potency — plus their psychoactivity — that makes them such a huge risk.

Even if used as instructed and prescribed, opioids still carry a massive risk for misuse. Especially with their long-term use, as they can alter the way that brain works.

Trigger point injections don’t use substances that can cause dependence like opioids. It is, in fact, because of this that more healthcare professionals are taking an interest in them. They can treat MSP inflammation at the root without the need for risky opioids.

Low-Risk Profile

Speaking of risks, trigger point injections are low-risk treatments for chronic pain. Infection and bleeding rarely occur.

However, it’s still possible to feel some soreness or numbness in the treated area. These unpleasant sensations don’t last long, though.

Multiple Injections in One Appointment

As trigger point injections carry minimal risk, you can get several of them in one doctor’s visit. Your pain specialist can administer injections in multiple painful areas of your body. For instance, if you suffer from painful muscle knots and sports injuries, then you can get TPIs for both.

Best of all, the injection process itself takes only a matter of minutes. You’re likely to spend less than an hour in the clinic even if you need several injections.

No Post-Procedure Downtime

Trigger point injections cause less soreness than dry-needling techniques. Moreover, the inactivation of the trigger point restores mobility in the treated area. So, you can use your once-painful muscles soon after you receive the injections.

That means you’ll have little to no downtime at all. You can go back to work or school right after the procedure. Since the injections take only a few minutes, you can even have them during your lunch break.

It’s best, however, to steer clear of strenuous activities right after your treatment. Doing so gives your muscles more time to recover and heal.

Can Deliver Targeted and Immediate Relief

Painful spasms of the muscles abruptly come and go. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes, sometimes even longer.

In people who have MPS, however, muscle spasms are a common occurrence. Sometimes, the pain can be so severe that they can make your knees buckle. In most cases, though, the pain is so intense that you can’t move the affected part at all.

The good news is, TPIs can provide targeted and quick relief for muscles often affected by spasms.

There Are Steroid-Free TPIs

Corticosteroids can help with certain types of pain, such as those caused by an injured nerve. However, when it comes to myofascial pain syndrome, steroids appear to have little to no impact at all. There’s not enough evidence that these lab-made hormones can help with MSP.

This is why, up to now, the use of steroids in TPIs is still debatable and controversial.

Fortunately, not all trigger point injections come with steroids. These steroid-free TPIs are your best bet if you don’t want more artificial chemicals in your body.

Determining Pain Areas With a Trigger Point Chart

Since myofascial pain is a syndrome, there are no actual tests used for its diagnosis. However, a pain specialist uses a trigger point chart to locate your “pain areas.” There are at least 20 trigger points in the front and back sections of the body.

Healthline has an excellent trigger point chart that depicts all these pain locations.

In any case, common trigger points that TPIs can help with are those found in your neck. These include the low cervical (found in the front part of your neck) and the occiput (back of the neck).

You may also have trigger points within your rib and upper back (supraspinatus). The same goes for your arms, thighs, gluteus, thighs, knees, and ankles.

What’s important is to be as honest as possible when describing how painful each trigger point is. Your pain specialist will use this as a determining factor during your diagnosis. This will also help your doctor ascertain how many injections you need as well as how often you need them.

myofascial trigger point chart

*source - https://www.healthline.com/health/myofascial-pain#chart

Find Relief From Myofascial Pain Syndrome Now

There you have it, your ultimate guide on what myofascial pain syndrome is and how to treat it. Again, the most effective approach seems to be a mix of medicated and non-drug methods.

In this sense, medicated doesn’t automatically mean opioids. You may already find immediate relief with the less risky trigger point injections. You can then combine TPIs with physical modalities, such as stretching and exercise.

Ready to explore your injectable treatment options for MPS? Then please know that BeWell Medical Clinic is here to help. Please feel free to get in touch with us to know more about our trigger point injections!

K-Laser Therapy: A Breakthrough for Pain Management and Wellness

Did you know that the laser was invented in 1960 and patented by the Bell Labs? Starting with 1961, the laser was already used in commercial applications and today it’s widely available in the medical, optics, and aeronautics industries.

At the end of the day, a laser is nothing but a highly concentrated beam of light, but it can be used for medical purposes. For example, k-laser therapy is frequently used to alleviate chronic pain and promote healing. Keep reading to find out what laser therapy is and how it works!

What Is K-Laser Therapy?

As a general rule of thumb, laser therapy involves using different wavelengths of light to treat a particular problem. Light has multiple wavelengths, some are visible and others are invisible. K-laser therapy makes use of red and infrared light to treat an injury. This type of therapy is not painful or damaging to your body and it has been successfully used for years.

How K-Laser Therapy Works?

A k-laser therapy session is very simple and straightforward. Your doctor will use a laser to target specific areas of your body, usually the ones that cause you the most pain. The laser penetrates your skin and reaches the muscles or other tissues in your body.

The goal is to stimulate the natural healing process of the body and help you recover quicker. The laser doesn’t affect your skin, so you shouldn’t be worried about getting skin cancer or something similar.

Are There Any Side Effects?

No. K-laser therapy has been used for years on patients of different ages and with different ailments. This procedure has been approved by the FDA and it doesn’t cause pain or side effects.

During your therapy session, you might feel a warm sensation in the body area being treated. This happens as a result of the laser stimulating the tissue to heal quicker.

What Health Problems Can Be Treated With K-Laser Therapy?

You might be happy to find out that you can successfully treat a wide variety of health issues with this type of laser therapy. Here are some of the most popular problems that respond well to laser therapy:

1. Athletic and Sports Injuries

Athletes get injured a lot in the play field. Some common injuries include turf toe, tennis elbow or lower back pain. These problems might be alleviated with drugs or chiropractic sessions, but laser therapy is usually more effective.

The laser is capable of reaching the damaged muscle fibers and speeding up the healing process so that the athlete can get back to training as soon as possible.

2. Neck and Shoulder Issues

Those who live a sedentary lifestyle or sit in front of a computer for many hours every day tend to develop strains in their neck and shoulders.

At first, these issues might be mild, but they can develop into chronic conditions. Laser therapy is capable of improving blood flow to body areas that cause you pain and inflammation.

You might need several therapy sessions to fix the problem, but it’s possible to get rid of your chronic neck or shoulder pain.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is another painful condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by joint pain and stiffness, especially in the knees and elbows. Luckily, K-laser therapy can be used to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis as it promotes healing in the joints and tendons.

4. Auto and Work-Related Injuries

Being involved in a car accident can cause different types of injuries. Some of them are minor and can heal quickly while others are more severe and cause chronic pains. Laser therapy can be used to heal some of these injuries and alleviate pains and stiffness associated with them. In a similar fashion, work-related injuries such as slip-and-fall accidents can also be treated with laser therapy

5. Burns

Treating burned skin is not easy as there’s always a risk of inflammation associated with this type of injury. Laser therapy can help by accelerating the healing process and creating more skin tissue.

This is possible for burns on different parts of the body such as hands, legs or face.

6. Headaches and Migraines

In many cases, headaches can be caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen to the head. This usually happens when neck muscles are stiff and not enough oxygenated blood reaches the brain.

Various types of headaches and migraines can be alleviated with laser therapy as this method improves blood circulation through the neck and shoulder area of your body.

How Many Sessions of K-Laser Treatment Are Necessary?

This depends on your age, the type of health problem you want to treat, and various other factors. As a general rule of thumb, most acute conditions can be treated with up to 6 therapy sessions.

Chronic problems might require more sessions, but this is something your doctor will tell you when you go for a consultation.

What Are the Main Benefits of K-Laser Therapy?

Apart from being able to treat a wide variety of health problems, this type of laser therapy is also very safe. It has been the subject of scientific studies for decades and it has been successfully used on multiple patients before, so there are no dangers associated with it. 

On top of that, this treatment method offers quick results, so you should expect to feel pain relief after the first session. Keep in mind that the effects of laser therapy are cumulative, so the more sessions you do, the more benefits you can reap from your laser treatment.

Now You Know Why You Should Go for K-Laser Therapy for Pain Relief!

As you can see, k-laser therapy is efficient in combating a wide variety of diseases including chronic pain. It’s a cost-effective procedure that can replace the use of drugs.

In fact, if you want to find out more about laser therapy and how beneficial it can be for you then make sure that you contact us today. Our specialists have years of experience in using k-laser treatments for different types of health problems and we are more than happy to help you live a pain-free life! 

Trigger Point Injections: Pain Relief for Headaches

Chronic headaches are both serious health issues for much of the Canadian population. One study even found that approximately 8.3 percent of Canadians (that’s about 2.7 million people) struggle with migraines on a regular basis.

Do you deal with headaches often? Are you tired of relying on over-the-counter or prescription medications to try and relieve your pain? If so, you may want to try another approach, like trigger point injection.

Never heard of this treatment before? Keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about the benefits of trigger point injection for headaches.

What Is a Trigger Point Injection?

To begin, let’s go over the basics. What is a trigger point injection treatment?

TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. Many times, such knots can be felt under the skin. Trigger points may irritate the nerves around them and cause referred pain, or pain that is felt in another part of the body. [1]

Benefits of Trigger Point Injection for Headaches

There are lots of different treatment options out there geared toward those struggling with headaches. What makes trigger point injections different? 

One of the primary benefits of trigger point injections for headaches is the fact that it can help to address the problem at the root.

If your headaches are triggered by tension in your neck and shoulders, taking pain medication will help for a little while. Eventually, though, the effects of the medication will wear off, and you’ll be left with the same pain as before.

Trigger point injections do involve the administration of medication to help relieve pain. They also aim to promote relaxation of the muscles in the neck and/or shoulders, though.

This combination provides immediate and more long-term relief. This is especially true when the injections are combined with other treatment modalities.

You could pair it with physical therapy to correct your posture. This would also help to reduce the amount of strain and tension placed on certain muscles.

What Does the Research Say?

There’s quite a bit of evidence backing up the benefits of trigger point injections for headaches, too. The following are just a few studies illustrating the effectiveness of this treatment:

What Does the Research Say?

In this study, which took place in 2014, a group of research evaluated 20 physiotherapy students who struggled with episodic migraines. They compared this group to 20 healthy individuals who did not experience migraines.

After evaluating both groups, the researchers found that the people dealing with migraines had a much higher number of trigger points than those who did not have migraines.

This suggests that trigger point injections could be a viable treatment option that could provide a lot of relief to these individuals.

Trigger Points Are Associated with Widespread Pressure Pain Sensitivity in People with Tension-type Headache

This 2016 study looked at the connection between the presence of trigger points and pain sensitivity in folks who dealt with episodic and chronic tension headaches. They found that those who had more trigger points in their muscles had an increased sensitivity to pressure and pain than those who had fewer trigger points.

This finding suggests that trigger points, when left untreated, can exacerbate the intensity of the headaches people experience.

What to Expect from Trigger Point Injections

The idea of having a needle inserted into a knot in your muscle might be a little intimidating at first. The more you know about the treatment process, though, the less anxious you’ll likely feel.

The typical treatment usually goes something like this:

The Injection

The injection process often takes just a few minutes to complete. 

After you’ve talked to a doctor about your symptoms, they will check for the presence of trigger points in the muscles of your neck and shoulders. Once they’ve located the trigger points, the doctor will insert the needle and inject the anesthetic/steroid solution into the trigger point.

The duration of your treatment will vary. It depends on the number of trigger points in your muscles, as well as the severity of your headaches. You may need several injections to have a significant impact on your pain. 

No Recovery Required

The great thing about trigger point injections is the fact that there’s no downtime or recovery required. Since you’re not put under anesthesia during the treatment, you can go on with your day as soon as it’s over. 

Fast Relief

Most people notice some relief almost immediately after the injections have been administered. The amount of time that the relief lasts varies from person to person. Your doctor may recommend you come and see them again every few weeks for more injections to promote long-term muscle relaxation.

Try Trigger Point Injections Today

Now that you know more about the benefits of trigger point injection treatments, does it seem like a good option for you? Are you tired of dealing with headaches? Do you want to find some medication-free relief?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, trigger point injections might be exactly what you need.

Contact us today at Be Well Medical to learn more about our trigger point injection treatments or to schedule an appointment. We offer a variety of other beneficial treatments, too, including K-LaserMSK medicine, and more. Whether you’re dealing with acute pain or chronic pain, we’ve got the tools to get you feeling well again.

[1]. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/trigger-point-injection

Pain Management: Know Your Treatment Options for Acute and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can completely take over your life, causing a lack of energy, changes in appetite, mobility issues and much more. Because it doesn’t always have an obvious or easily identifiable cause, you may experience anxiety, depression and anger about the persistent pain that is constantly getting in the way of you living your life.

The truth is, treating chronic pain can be very complex, and sometimes the standard pain management treatments of surgery, or medication aren’t enough to achieve greater pain relief.

Your physician has access to an extensive number of some tools to determine the cause of your pain as well as the most effective approach to reduce or alleviate your pain and discomfort.

What is Pain Management?

Simply put, pain management is the process of reducing or alleviating pain. For mild to moderate pain, analgesic medications can be used, like aspirin.

For pain that is chronic or severe, a team of professionals may be needed for maximum pain relief.

Key Components to Approach Pain Management

By putting together a pain management plan, you’ll have better tools and expectations for the pain you’re experiencing. It is important that your plan fit your needs, takes into account alternative treatments and focuses on healing every part of you.

An Overview of Pain

k-laser-med-treatments_print

Whether your pain is due to physical damage to the body (nociceptive), damage or disease to of the nervous system (neuropathic) or a pain from an unknown origin complete mystery (idiopathic), pain professionals usually broadly categorize it as either acute or chronic.

Acute pain is generally short-term, lasting less than a month. Other simple characteristics to distinguish it include the following:

Whether your pain is due to physical damage to the body (nociceptive), damage or disease to of the nervous system (neuropathic) or a pain from an unknown origin complete mystery (idiopathic), pain professionals usually broadly categorize it as either acute or chronic.

Acute pain is generally short-term, lasting less than a month. Other simple characteristics to distinguish it include the following:

Though it is unpleasant, paying attention to pain is crucial, as it is the body’s way of letting you know something is not right. If it is not properly managed or left untreated, both your quality of life and productivity can greatly diminished. The consequences not only affect your health, but also your job, family and hobbies.

If you’re like most people, you head straight to your primary care physician when you feel pain – which is absolutely the right thing to do. They will be able to begin an evaluation process of the pain.

Though primary care physicians treat over half of people suffering from chronic pain using medication to effectively provide relief, this is just one tool. For pain that remains uncontrolled and continues to persist, an interventional pain management is the way to go.

If your pain remains uncontrolled or you may need a team of professionals.

Assessing Pain

Defined as an unwanted experience associated with potential or actual tissue damage, pain is both an emotional and sensory experience that can completely take over your mind and body.

The challenge when it comes to handling pain is that only the person suffering from it can fully understand the experience. Clinicians know all too well that the same set of circumstances that cause little to no pain in one patient can cause significant pain in another. Because of this, treating the subjective and objective components of pain is essential.

This makes optimal treatment impossible without knowing the type, source, severity and impact of pain you are experiencing.

In order to get a thorough assessment of your situation, your doctor will gather information using one or more of the following:

Once your doctor evaluates the data, they will be able to recommend a treatment plan for your unique situation.

Places like our BeWell Medical Clinic in North Vancouver offer walk-ins, so there’s no need to wait. If you have yet to see a licensed physician, visit us or make an appointment to see your own doctor immediately.

Pain Treatments

Though a person may never be free of pain, the focus of treatment is getting patients to the point where they are able to manage their condition independently. This means getting the most out of their everyday routines and reducing their discomfort along with any side effects and consequences treatment may have.

Medicine, though able to provide some form of pain relief, in many cases it is not enough and can cause side effects – especially when patients are dealing with chronic pain.

There are a number of alternative treatments to try that can help improve your quality of life.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points are “knotted” muscle that occur when muscles don’t relax. Areas with trigger points are tender and can be quite painful.

This kind of therapy involves using a small needle to inject local anesthesia into the directly into the trigger point. The injection makes the trigger point inactive, relieving pain.

Trigger point injection therapy, or TPI, can be used to relieve pain in the lower back, neck, arms and legs, as well as for those suffering from myofascial pain syndrome, tension headaches or fibromyalgia.

In our experience, a course of TPI therapy results in sustained relief for our patients. Injections may be performed once a week, over the course of several weeks. When used as a maintenance treatment, it’s common to limit them to one session every 3 months.

Very safe, patients may feel tenderness at the injection site as the local anesthetic fades. It may take a few days for your body’s repairing system to kick in.

If other treatments have not improved your muscle pain, TPI therapy may be a good option. The main benefit of trigger point therapy is releasing muscle spasm, increasing blood circulation at the damaged area and dissolving old muscular scars which improve results and progress in physical rehabilitation.

You can talk to your doctor about it or schedule an evaluation at our office.

K-Laser Therapy

Also referred to as High Power Laser Therapy, this procedure uses light wavelengths to target damaged tissue, which has been found to accelerate the body’s healing process.

As the wavelengths of light pass through the skin and into the muscle cells, a process known as photobiostimulation begins. The body’s natural regenerative abilities are enhanced and the release of pleasing endorphins initiates and collagen production are stimulated. This gives damaged or injured tissue a chance to heal normalize.

The result of this safe and non-invasive technique is pain relief, accelerated healing; and reduced spasms, swelling and stiffness.

K-Laser therapy can stimulate every cell type. This includes ligaments, cartilage, nerves and soft tissue and can help all kinds of pain – acute, chronic, deep or superficial. This is why it is the reliable choice for the medical team here at our clinic, as well as thousands of healthcare practitioners throughout the world.

High power laser therapy is appropriate for any skin tone, body size and age group. It is so safe that pregnant women and the elderly can have this procedure with no worry of side effects or risks. Most patients report a relaxing, warm feeling and no recovery period. As long as this pain therapy treatment is administered by trained and experienced clinicians, like those at the BeWell Medical Clinic, it is safe and highly effective.

In as little as one treatment, many patients experience pain relief and are able to carry out daily activities without movement restrictions. The treatment is administered by a handheld device and the laser is placed directly over the affected area from 30 seconds to 9 minutes.

Conditions that respond well to K-Laser therapy are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, headaches, Sciatica, back and neck pain, tendinitis, sprains, bruises, burns and contusions – and these are just a few. To see if this treatment option can help you, schedule an evaluation with one of our doctors today.

Pain Management is About Healing, Not Solely Pain Relief

There has been an emphasis on symptom relief instead of real healing for too long in the medical community. Thankfully, patients are becoming aware of pain management alternatives that are a welcome change to the standard remedies offered to them.

Remember that the goal is to take control back of your life and feel confident about completing your day to day activities, managing the ups and downs of pain symptoms as they come.

If you have been suffering from pain, you can’t get help unless you talk to a healthcare professional.

The daily struggle of living with acute or chronic pain can make finding relief very challenging, but we are here for you. Get in touch with BeWell today to find out if the treatment options at our clinic are right for you.

Pain Management Therapy Is Crucial to Sports Injury Recovery

More than 8.6 million sport related injuries occur in North America, every year. While recovery time can vary, some victims experience life-long complications.

Are you living with chronic pain following a sport’s injury? Does acute pain attack without warning?

These are debilitating conditions that leave many people feeling desperate. When surgery isn’t an option, some patients turn to prescription drugs for relief without releasing the risks.

In North America, Nearly 2 million people are taking prescription painkillers and are at risk of drug dependency. If you want to avoid becoming a demographic, keep reading.

This article answers the question, “what does pain management do for me?” and explains your pain management options.

How Chronic Pain Impacts Your Daily Life

Once the initial shock and complications associated with your sport’s injury fade, you may think the healing has completed. Unfortunately, chronic pain can persist for years, or even a lifetime, following your injury.

Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common sports related injuries and occurs through a variety of mechanisms, including direct trauma (e.g., contusions, lacerations, strains and fractures) and indirect injuries (related to some underlying medical conditions, neurological dysfunctions and ischemia).

The cascade of healing is divided into these four overlapping phases: Hemostasis, Inflammatory, Proliferative, and Maturation.

Phase 1: Hemostasis Phase

Hemostasis, the first phase of healing, begins at the onset of injury, and the objective is to stop the bleeding. In this phase, the body activates its emergency repair system, the blood clotting system, and forms a dam to block the drainage. During this process, blood clots forms to prevent further bleeding.

Phase 2: Defensive/Inflammatory Phase

If Phase 1 is primarily about prevention bleeding, the second phase, called the Defensive/Inflammatory Phase, focuses on destroying bacteria and removing debris—essentially preparing the wound bed for the growth of new tissue.

During Phase 2, blood immune cells enter the wound to destroy bacteria and remove debris. These cells often reach their peak population between 24 and 48 hours after injury, reducing greatly in number after three days.  White blood cells also secrete growth factors and proteins that attract immune system cells to the wound to facilitate tissue repair. This phase often lasts four to six days and is often associated with edema, erythema (reddening of the skin), heat and pain.

Studies showed that the Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), laterality or naproxen interfere and cause delay in the phase 2 of healing process. [1]

Phase 3: Proliferative Phase

Once the wound is cleaned out, the wound enters Phase 3, the Proliferative Phase, where the focus is to fill and cover the wound.

The Proliferative phase features three distinct stages: 1) filling the wound; 2) contraction of the wound margins; and 3) covering the wound (epithelialization).

During the first stage, shiny, deep red granulation tissue fills the wound bed with connective tissue, and new blood vessels are formed. The Proliferative phase often lasts anywhere from four to 24 days.

Phase 4: Maturation Phase

During the Maturation phase, the new tissue slowly gains strength and flexibility. Here, collagen fibers reorganize, the tissue remodels and matures and there is an overall increase in tensile strength (though maximum strength is limited to 80% of the pre-injured strength). The Maturation phase varies greatly from wound to wound, often lasting anywhere from 21 days to two years.

The remodeling process forms new muscle fibers that are not as robust as our original muscle fibers. The formed scar tissue always is mechanically inferior and therefore much less able to perform the functions of a normal muscle fiber. It is also more susceptible to re-injury. A complete recovery from the injury can be compromised due to the development of fibrosis in the second week after the injury.

An Incomplete or interrupted wound healing and change in local musculoskeletal structure can lead to a chronic pain.

Pain makes it difficult to perform daily tasks, sleep comfortably at night, and lead to a negative effect on quality of life. Many people turn to prescription opioids to ease the pain. The problem is that these painkillers simply mask the pain without offering a viable, long-term solution.

BeWell Clinic takes a dual approach to pain management that includes both therapeutic treatments and a focus on healing.

Understanding your pain management options can help improve your quality of life and help you experience long-term relief.

Pain Management Options

Before you go under the knife or grab for the pill bottle, let’s explore other, less invasive, pain management options.

Trigger Point Therapy

Do you suffer from knotted (old scar) muscles that just won’t relax?

These problem areas are known as trigger points and a specific form of therapy can help.

Trigger point therapy, or TPI, involves injecting anesthesia directly into the trigger point using a small needle. This injections trigger healing process and helps to relieve pain.

In many cases, pain relief is sustained over long periods of time.  In that case the patient receives injections, once a week for a month or two.

Once your pain is stabilized, you can spread injections out even further – needing maintenance shots only four times a year or less.

Trigger point injections help release muscle spasms, increase circulation near the damaged area, and help dissolve old muscular scars. TPI treatment used in conjunction with physiotherapy and rehabilitation can augment the treatment results.

One of the biggest benefits of trigger point injections is that treatment and recovery are relatively painless. Patients will feel slight tenderness at the injection site, but this will subside in less than a day. Usually after 24 hours, the chronic pain response to treatment and gradual pain relief initiates.

TPI is most used to relieve pain in the lower/upper back, neck, arms or legs. TPI can also help those suffering from tension headaches, fibromyalgia, or myofascial pain syndrome.

The procedure is one of the safest pain management approach with a minimal risk of adverse effects.

K-Laser Therapy

Another minimally-invasive treatment option is K-Laser therapy, also known as High Power Laser Therapy. One of the major benefits of this form of pain management is that it offers relief while also accelerating the healing process.

K-Laser therapy uses light wavelengths to target damaged tissue. During treatment, wavelengths of light pass through the skin and into your muscle cells, triggering photobiostimulation.

This form of therapy is painless. In fact, some patients report a warm, relaxing feeling with zero recovery time. 

Medical professionals place a handheld laser directly over the affected area. Treatments can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 9 minutes, depending on your condition.

This process triggers your body’s natural regenerative abilities, releasing endorphins and initiating collagen production. Now, any damaged or injured tissue can heal naturally. Patients will also experience reduced swelling and stiffness, fewer spasms, and long-term pain relief.

Another benefit of this wavelength therapy is that it can stimulate every cell type, benefiting people with all types of injuries and illnesses. Whether you’ve damaged your soft tissue, nerves, ligaments or cartilage, K-Laser therapy can help. It also addresses all forms of pain including chronic, acute, superficial, and deep. 

Unsure if K-Laser therapy is right for you? This form of pain management is suitable for patients of all ages, body sizes, genders, and skin tones. Common conditions that respond well to K-Laser therapy include back and neck pain, tendonitis, bruises, sprains, burns, concussions, and Sciatica.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a common form of pain management – especially when discussing sports injuries. This form of therapy encompasses many different techniques including massage, heat therapy, and exercise. The focus of physiotherapy is to improve, restore and maintain a patient’s mobility and function.

To achieve optimum results, physiotherapy should be used in conjunction with other pain management options like TPI or K-Laser therapy.

Massage is a popular form of physiotherapy because it’s both relaxing and effective – for the short-term. The benefits of massage only last for a few days and continuous sessions can get costly.

Exercise should already be a part of your daily regime – even while recovering from an injury. It’s important that you maintain a healthy weight and keep your body active to promote blood circulation, flexibility, and mobility. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can also support your current pain management treatment plan.

Cold and Heat Therapy

If you’ve experienced a sports injury in the past or suffer from chronic pain, chances are you’ve used heat or ice to ease discomfort. Both methods offer different types of relief.

Cold therapy helps dull pain and shrink nerves that may be causing your discomfort. This is a common method for acute injuries accompanied by inflammation and swelling. Heat, on the other hand, can help ease muscle soreness and stiffness.

Mind-Body Techniques

The theory of mind over matter is more powerful than most people realize. A holistic approach to pain management involves a strong mind-body connection. 

Popular techniques include mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises. A strong mind-body connection helps patients restore control over their bodies and can accelerate the healing process. 

Another benefit is reduced stress. Extreme stress can lead to muscle tension, increased pain, and tension headaches.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are two of the most common exercises used to speed up the recovery process and reduce pain. Focused on relaxation and flexibility, both practices can help loosen muscles and promote healing.

Like the mind-body techniques mentioned earlier, both these exercises focus heavily on breathing. Gentle movements help to elongate, stretch, and strengthen muscles. 

The Healing Side of Pain Management

Addressing chronic pain symptoms isn’t just about pain management – it also focuses on the healing process. Helping ease your pain is one thing but addressing the root cause is much more effective. 

You don’t want a quick-fix approach to pain management. By focusing on healing while treating your pain, you’re investing in a long-term solution.

The physicians at BeWell Medical Clinic can help you regain control of your life by combining pain management therapy with an approach to healing. This includes handling the ups and downs of pain management.

It’s important to remember that for some, pain management is a life-long struggle. There will be moments of triumph and extended relief, but there may be some missteps along the way.

Our qualified team will help support you throughout the entire healing process. 

Creating a Pain Management Plan

Before you start on the road to pain relief, it’s important to create a pain management plan. You and a medical professional can sit together to discuss your options.

First, the healthcare professional will assess your current condition including when the pain started, any possible causes, and the type of discomfort you’re experiencing.

Is your pain related to a recent injury or underlying medical condition? And what type of pain are you experiencing – chronic, acute, deep or superficial?

You may not know the answer to these questions, but a trained professional can help pinpoint the specifics about your condition. They will then offer a recommendation of which therapy is right for you.

The medical team may also ask you to create a pain journal to help determine patterns. This is also a great tool for monitoring your body’s response to treatments. Once it’s determined that your body is positively responding to therapy, you and your healthcare professional can adjust your plan for maintenance. 

What Does Pain Management Do for You?

If you’re living with chronic or acute pain, the struggle ends here. With new and less-invasive forms of pain management available, you can regain your independence, confidence, and active lifestyle.

Still looking for the answer to the question, what does pain management do? Contact us today for a free consultation. Our professionals will help you create a pain management plan to suit your individual needs.

[1]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23680778

6 Effective Non-Opioid Methods for Managing Chronic Pain

Approximately one out of every 10 Canadians between the ages of 12 and 44 (that’s about 1.5 million people) suffer from chronic pain on a regular basis. 

Are you part of this group? Do you suffer from chronic pain but also have concerns about using popular treatments like opioid painkillers?

If you answered “yes” to either (or both) of these questions, remember that there are plenty of effective non-opioid treatment options for you to consider. Read on to learn more about them and find out which one is a good fit for you.

What Are Opioids and What Are Their Risks?

Opioids are a type of drug that binds to the body’s opioid receptors. In doing this, they can help to relieve pain. They also, when they’re consumed in high enough doses, can cause an intense feeling of euphoria or a “high.”

About 13 percent of Canada’s population currently relies on opioid painkillers for pain management. For some people, opioids are not a problem. They can use them on a temporary basis to relieve their pain and recover from an injury or surgery, then never feel an urge to touch them again.

In many cases, though, opioids can be habit-forming. The body builds up a tolerance to them very quickly, and the individual often requires a higher dose to experience the same effects they felt before. For those dealing with chronic pain, the risk of opioid addiction is especially high since they require long-term treatment to manage their symptoms.

Non-Opioid Pain Management Alternatives

If the risks of opioid use outweigh the pain management benefits, you’re not out of luck. One of the following treatment options can help to relieve your pain without you having to rely on habit-forming substances:

1. Trigger Point Injection Therapy

Trigger Point Injection Therapy is a highly effective, heavily researched pain management technique that can be used to relieve chronic pain. 

Medical professionals can use Trigger Point Injection Therapy to treat musculo-skeletal pain. It’s often used to manage pain in the arms, legs, neck, chest, upper and lower back. It can also help those struggling with myofascial pain, migraines, tension headaches, and fibromyalgia.

A trigger point is a “knot” that forms in the muscle when the muscle isn’t able to relax properly. Trigger Point Injection Therapy involves injecting a small amount of an anesthetic solution into the trigger point. This, in turn, promotes relaxation and reduces pain.

This type of therapy is an effective option for those who haven’t found relief from other pain management interventions.

Trigger Point Therapy is also covered under MSP, so there’s no cost associated with it. If other treatments haven’t worked, you’ve got nothing to lose by looking into it.

2. K-Laser Therapy

Another effective approach for those who haven’t found relief from other treatments is K-Laser Therapy.

K-Laser Therapy, which is also known as High Power Laser Therapy, uses specific light wavelengths to target damaged tissue. These wavelengths have been shown to speed up the healing process and minimize pain by reducing inflammation and improving circulation to the injured or damaged area. 

K-Lasers penetrate the deep tissues of the body. The idea of laser treatment might seem intimidating at first. It’s a totally safe procedure, though, and non-invasive as well. It simply expedites the body’s own natural repair processes.

This therapy is an effective treatment for various types of pain. From repetitive strain injuries and chronic back pain to non-healing wounds and fibromyalgia, almost any musculoskeletal condition can improve with the help of K-Laser treatment. 

3. Mind-Body Therapies

For some people, a mind-body approach to chronic pain can be very beneficial. Examples of mind-body therapies include things like yoga and meditation.

Participating in these activities on a regular basis can help individuals to feel more at ease and manage their stress in a healthy way. This, in turn, can minimize their pain and other symptoms.

Those who struggle with chronic pain, at first, might be hesitant to engage in a physical activity like yoga, as they may worry that it’ll exacerbate their pain.

In reality, though, gentle movement can help the body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are chemical messengers that promote a better mood and can help to relieve pain. Endorphins actually bind to the opioid receptors and reduce pain in a natural way.

4. Therapeutic Massage

Massage can be a useful tool as well for those dealing with severe, long-term pain.

Therapeutic massage, in particular, offers a myriad of benefits. It helps to relax tense muscles to relieve pain and discomfort, and it can also reduce inflammation that contributes to joint or muscle pain. Massage also minimizes feelings of stress and anxiety, which can often manifest as physical pain within the body.

Regular therapeutic massages may help to block pain signals sent to and from the brain as well. This, in turn, helps people to manage their pain without having to rely on any habit-forming drugs.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy. It involves a practitioner inserting very fine needles into the skin at specific points throughout the body.

The idea behind acupuncture is that, by inserting these needles in certain ways, practitioners can help to clear energy blockages that may be causing pain and inflammation.

Researchers also believe that acupuncture works by releasing endorphins in the body. This, in turn, minimizes pain.

Acupuncture can boost serotonin levels as well. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and helps to mitigate feelings of depression and anxiety (which can make chronic pain worse).

6. Non-Opioid Medications

There are many non-opioid medications that can also be helpful when it comes to managing pain. Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, for example, help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. But, they’re less likely to have the same habit-forming effects as opioid drugs.

Having medications like these on-hand can help patients when they’re having particularly difficult days and need additional relief. It’s also easier for patients to gain access to these medications than opioid painkillers. Many of them are available over-the-counter, and doctors can prescribe them at higher doses if needed.

Get Treatment for Your Pain Today

As you can see, there are many effective non-opioid treatments you can use to manage your chronic pain and improve your quality of life.

Are you interested in giving one of these natural methods a try? If so, we’re here to help at BeWell Medical Clinic in North Vancouver.

Contact us today to learn more about our different natural treatment options or schedule a consultation to find out which approach will be most helpful for you and your condition.

“Forcing A Worse Situation To Make It Better” With Dr. Mehrtash Amini

Did you know that when blood enters areas in our body, the repair is accelerated? Did you know we can force blood to enter into these areas by triggering the spots? This is what Dr. Mehrtash Amini discusses on the podcast today as he breaks down the effectiveness of trigger point injection and how it can help our bodies heal.

Dr. Mehrtash Amini graduated from the Iran University of Medical Sciences and worked in the military as a medical officer. He later moved to Canada and worked in family practice and the emergency unit. He is an expert on the topic of trigger point injection and its usage as therapy for patients dealing with chronic pain.