Author Archives: Dr. Kassar

3 Lower Back Stretches That Provide Back Pain Relief

Millions of Americans experience lower back pain on a daily basis and it is the single most common cause for disability worldwide. Midwest Neurology Associates recommends these simple lower back stretches to residents of Munster IN, for back pain relief, to get you feeling like yourself again in no time! The best part is, they can all be performed in the comfort of your home. Check out this infographic with instructions to get started!

3 Physical and Psychological Benefits of Exercising When You Have Chronic Pain

I am sure the last thing on your mind when you are laying on the couch in serious pain is,

“I should go for a run!”

But studies have shown that exercise not only does wonders physically, but mentally too! Instead of resting in bed, physicians are encouraging their patients to add at least a half hour of physical activity to their day. Every person is different, and not everyone has the same pain, but one thing is for sure, exercise is becoming standard in most treatment plans throughout the nation.

At Midwest Neurology Associates, we offer various forms of pain management treatments in Highland, IN as well as Dyer, IN, and Crown Point. Our individualized treatment plans set us apart from other pain management centers because instead of strictly focusing on the symptoms, we delve deeper into the underlying biological causes to accurately treat our patients. Through our ongoing clinical research, it’s becoming more and more apparent that exercise is key for our overall well-being, physically and mentally.

Check out these benefits those with chronic pain can expect with just a little exercise each day.

Reduces Stress
Chronic pain and stress go hand and hand. It’s a vicious cycle, and honestly, it can be hard to break that cycle dealing with the same pain every day, day in, day out. You know what does help reduce stress related to chronic pain? Exercise. Walking, yoga, aerobics, and jogging, to name a few, will increase energy levels, decrease tension, and release endorphins. This, in turn, sharpens our mentality and reduces stress overall.

Keeps Joints Moving
If your chronic pain is in any way related to your joints, which is the case for people living with arthritis, moving your joints with daily exercise will significantly decrease discomfort, and strengthen muscles. Start small with range-of-motion exercises, rolling your shoulders and raising the arms in the air. Consult with your doctor what is right for you and your body.

Improve Sleep
When we think chronic pain, our minds go to extreme headaches, debilitating back pain, but do you ever think of insomnia? Those with insomnia sometimes develop the sleeping disorder due to other conditions like asthma, anxiety, or arthritis. Whichever form it comes in, it’s hard to function on a daily basis because of it. According to Sleep.org, as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day will improve sleep quality and reduce the likelihood of developing more serious sleep conditions.

If you’re dealing with chronic pain, it’s time to visit a specialist. Midwest Neurology Associates is a multi-specialty medical facility with board-certified physicians in areas of neurology, psychiatry, physical therapy, and pain management. Patients seeking pain management therapies like trigger point injections, or nerve blocks in Highland, IN should make an appointment today, so they can start feeling better tomorrow.

Trigger Point Injections: What You Need to Know If You’re Considering This Treatment

Trigger point injections are a pain management technique in which a certified medical professional inserts a small needle into a specific area of pain in a muscle. Introducing anesthetic medication into the affected area will block pain receptors within the nerves, and thus eliminate pain signals being sent to the brain.

Now that we know the very basics of trigger point injections – the next question is: are they right for you?

At Midwest Neurology Associates, we provide patients with trigger point injections as part of our
pain management program in Munster, IN . To find out if this procedure is right for you, read our quick guide on everything you need to know if you’re considering this treatment option.

What medication is in a trigger point injection?

As stated above, the injection may be an anesthetic such as Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, a mixture of different anesthetics, or a corticosteroid. Another method of trigger point injection is referred to as dry needling, and no medication is injected. The needle itself will relieve the trigger point, thus easing the pain.

What’s a trigger point injection procedure like?

Typically, the patient sits or lies down in an exam chair or table, and a medical professional will locate the site for injection. Of course, the injection site is then sterilized, and the patient can choose to receive a numbing solution on the affected area to minimize feelings of discomfort. The doctor can now insert the needle into the trigger point, and the procedure is done. A bandage is then applied to the injection site, and the patient may or may not need to take anti-inflammatory medication afterward.

How often should trigger point injections be performed?

Best case scenario, a patient’s trigger point will be resolved after only one injection. One dose is standard for isolated trigger points, such as one caused by minor trauma. Chronic conditions including fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome require more regular trigger point injections. The frequency of trigger point injections also heavily relies on the medication being injected. Trigger point injections utilizing lidocaine or a mixture of anesthetics can receive injections far more often than those getting steroid medication injections. Steroid injections run the risk of tissue damage or shrinkage.

Our multi-specialty medical group in Highland, IN focuses on pain management, rheumatology, physical therapy, and neuropsychiatry, as well as nutritional supplementation. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about trigger point injections, and if they are right for you, contact Midwest Neurology Associate today to make an appointment! 219-200-4676

Did You Know These Surprising Causes of Back Pain?

According to The American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain daily, and it is the number one reason why people miss work. Back pain can range from a minor irritation to a chronic and debilitating pain. When your back pain starts to interrupt your daily life, it’s time to take control and seek treatment.

Midwest Neurology Associates offers comprehensive treatment plans for pain management in Crown Point, IN, and its surrounding neighborhoods. We understand how any chronic pain, whether it be consistent migraines or back pain, takes away from a person’s quality of life. Since 2013, our multi-specialty medical facility has been diagnosing and treating patients with a broad range of chronic pain symptoms. Utilizing the most advanced therapeutic developments, we guarantee one of our treatment plans with work for you.

Have you recently experienced back pain, but don’t recall an injury, or pain just appeared out of the blue? We’ve compiled a list of reasons why your back might be in pain, and some may surprise you.

Rundown Shoes
Shoes that are worn down, with a lack of arch support directly affect the back, causing back pain and sometimes also neck pain. If you cannot afford brand new flats, sneakers, or dress shoes, opt for new insoles that can cost as little as $5.00!

A Poor Diet
People that are overweight tend to have more lower back issues than those living a life with proper diet and exercise. It is actually the number one risk factor for back problems. Poor nutrition causes the muscles to contract without relaxing. This isn’t to say you should never eat a cheeseburger again — just eat more mindfully, and you’ll see a world of difference.

Smoking Cigarettes
Nothing good will ever come from a cigarette addiction, and we are adding back pain to the list of adverse effects. Not only does smoking harm your heart and lungs, but it also deprives cells of oxygen all over the body. Research proves that smoking reduces the blood flow to the spinal region, and triples the likelihood you’ll develop back pain. Just one more reason to quit, for good.

There are many more reasons you might be experiencing back pain, as these are just a few. When the pain starts to become unbearable, contact the experts at Midwest Neurology Associates to devise a treatment plan for pain management in Merrillville, IN. We also have locations in Dyer, IN, Hammond, IN, and Crown Point, IN, for your convenience. Schedule an appointment today by calling 219-200-4676.