Chronic pain can occur anywhere in the body and can range from mild to severe, from occasional to constant. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Anyone can get chronic pain, but you don’t have to suffer and let it interfere in your life.
Getting to the source of your pain is the first step to becoming pain free and getting back to your daily activities. At Pain Specialists of Charleston, we perform a thorough evaluation to get to the root of your pain, and determine the best course of treatment to help you reclaim your quality of life.
We treat pain in the back, neck, shoulder, hip, and knee as well as other types of nerve and muscle pain.
- The Anatomy of the Spine
- Headache and facial pain
- Neck Pain
- Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Groin Pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Buttock Pain
- Foot Pain
- Nerve (neuropathic) pain
- Sports injury pain
- Work injury pain
- Muscle pain and muscle spasm
- Shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia)
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Compression fracture (osteoporosis)
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder, knee and hip
- Facet Joint Syndrome (Arthritis)
- Cervicogenic Headache
- Occipital Headache
- Radiculopathy – Cervical, Lumbar or Thoracic
- Herniated Discs
- Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
- Spinal Stenosis
- Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The Anatomy of the Spine
Headache and Facial Pain
Neck pain is very common and most people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain that lasts several weeks or longer is considered chronic neck pain. Most causes of neck pain aren’t serious. Poor posture and regularly leaning or hunching over can lead to neck pain. Other more serious causes such as whiplash or bulging or ruptured disks can also result in neck pain.
Back pain is one of the most common complaints treated by physicians and affects 80% of Americans at some time in their lives. Back pain can develop for many reasons, including muscle strain, injury to the back, overuse, muscle disorders, pressure on a nerve root, poor posture, and many others. Back pain can be located in several areas, from lower back pain, middle back pain, or upper back pain to back pain with sciatica.
Lower Back Pain
Lower Back Pain (low back pain, lumbago) occurs in many cases as the the spine becomes strained. Frequently low back pain is the result of lifting something too heavy, overstretching the spine or ligaments in the back or ruptured or bulging disks causing inflammation of the nerves. When this happens, pain results in the low back area.
The groin and hip areas are important in normal body movement. Chronic groin pain can occur for a variety of reasons including pulled muscles, arthritis, a complication of an inguinal hernia repair, gout and osteitis. Pain in the groin area can affect daily activities as well as sleeping patterns.
Chronic pelvic pain can result from several different causes including nerve pain, organ pain, and skin, muscle or tissue pain. Correctly diagnosing the source of pelvic pain determines the best course of treatment.
Pain in the buttock or gluteal area is usually due to problems in the pelvis, sacrum, low back, and buttock muscles. The most common cause of pain in the buttock area is weakness in the structures that attack to the sitz (or sitting) bones. The cause can also be from other body parts, such as the knees, ankles or feet. Pain in the area when sitting and walking is common. Pain may also radiate from the buttock into the posterior leg.
There are many causes of foot pain including trauma, injury (sprains, muscle strains, bruises, fractures), bunions, corns, irritation of nerves and joints, misalignment of the toes, and conditions such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, acute and chronic osteoarthritis, and disease.
Nerve (Neuropathic) Pain
Nerve Pain, or Neuralgia, occurs when nerves are damaged or there is something putting pressure on the nerve. Nerve pain can be very frustrating and often makes it difficult to perform simple tasks. Nerve pain is different from other types of chronic pain as it is often described as being shocked by electricity or poked with needles. Nerve pain doesn’t need to control your life. There are several treatment options available to manage nerve pain and get back to doing what you enjoy.
Sports Injury Pain
Most pain from sports injuries occurs from damage to the musculoskeletal system or muscles, bones, and other tissues such as cartilage. Injuries to muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones are all common reasons for sports injury pain. There are treatment options to cure sports injury pain when diagnosed early that can prevent invasive surgery down the road.
Work Injury Pain
Work related injuries are those that occur while performing tasks on the job. Work related injuries can limit or end your ability to perform your usual occupation, even resulting in permanent disability.
Muscle Pain and Muscle Spasm
Shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia)
Post-herpetic neuralgia is a painful condition that results from damage to the nerves during a shingles outbreak. Even after the shingles rash clears, people over the age of 50 are more likely to develop prolonged nerve pain. This is one of the most common complications of the shingles virus.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
RSD is also referred to as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS. It is progressive disease of the autonomic nervous system whose pain is characterized as constant, extremely intense, and out of proportion to the original injury. The pain, often chronic and acute, usually affects one or more of the four limbs but can occur in any part of the body.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is usually caused by the effects of aging on the spine. Discs in the spine break down causing movements to become more rigid and restricted. Low back pain is a common result of disc degeneration.
Compression Fracture (Osteoporosis)
Compression fracture pain from osteoporosis can feel different for everyone. Sometimes it can be a gradual worsening of pain that is attributed to aging or arthritis. Sudden, severe back or hip pain, especially in older women, is also a sympton of a compression fracture. Once diagnosed, pain from compression fractures can often be managed effectively using non-surgical treatments.
Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder, Knee and Hip
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and is seen especially among older people. Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, osteoarthritis mostly affects cartilage, the hard but slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Healthy
cartilage allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement. In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.
Facet Joint Syndrome (Arthritis)
Facet joint syndrome refers to pain in the facet joints, or the connections between the vertebrae in the spine that enable it to bend and twist. When facet joints get inflamed they cause pain and stiffness often felt in the neck or cervical spine, as well headaches and difficulty rotating the head.
Headache pain which is referred for facets joints in the neck.
Radiculopathy – Cervical, Lumbar or Thoracic
Radiculopathy refers to pain radiating either into the shoulder/arm or buttock/leg due to pressure on a specific spinal nerve supplying that area.
A herniated disc is also called a slipped disc, a prolapsed disc, a bulging disc, a ruptured disc or even degenerative disc disease. These are all terms for what is basically the same condition. Pain results when the disc herniates, or weakens, and touches a nerve. The two most common reasons for a disc to herniate are trauma and muscle imbalances.
Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
Lumbar Radiculopathy, or Sciatica, is a condition resulting from nerve irritation caused by damage to the discs between the vertebrae. Damage to the disc occurs because of degeneration, traumatic injury, or both. As a result, the softer inner portion of the disc can rupture (herniate) through the outer ring of the disc and touch the spinal cord or its nerves as they exit the spinal column. This causes “sciatica” pain which feels like shooting pain down the leg.
Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front. Scoliosis sometimes causes one shoulder or hip to appear higher than the other. Back pain from scoliosis is usually more common in adults, and is thought to be due to disc decay that is uneven and faster than normal. This occurs because of the abnormal curve puts uneven weight on the spine.
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord and nerves. This is usually due to the common occurrence of spinal degeneration that occurs with aging. It can also sometimes be caused by spinal disc herniation (disc rupture), osteoporosis or a tumor. Spinal stenosis may affect the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. In some cases, it may be present in all three places in the same patient. Lumbar spinal stenosis results in low back pain as well as pain or abnormal sensations in the legs, thighs, feet or buttocks.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the spine where one of the vertebra slips forward or backward compared to the next vertebra. The most common symptom of spondylolisthesis is low back pain, and sudden twisting or lifting motions will cause an acute episode of back and leg pain.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Failed back surgery syndrome refers to a chronic pain condition occurring when the pain relief goals of both the surgeon and patient are not met after a surgical procedure.