Author Archives: Dr. Kassar

Midwest Neurology Associates Help Patients Avoid Lost Wages and Unemployment

As many Americans admit these days, the burden of chronic pains cannot be understated. As a report by the Institute of Medicine recently indicated, over 300 million dollars in productivity was lost in 2017 as a result of debilitating chronic pains and other untreated medical conditions.

Workers across the United States report chronic pains that render them unable to complete their work happily and successfully. In fact, chronic pain extends far outside the American workplace.

Utilizing the latest medical technologies, best procedures and practices, in the hands of the finest board-certified physicians, Midwest Neurology Associates brings pain management to the region of Merrillville, IN, and beyond.

Controlling Pain, Controlling Work

By diagnosing and pinpointing the direct and indirect causes of chronic conditions, the doctors and medical experts at Midwest Neurology Associates have brought relief to countless patients and communities in the Indiana area. Aiding retired seniors, students, stay-at-home parents, as well as workers, they examine every symptom and its underlying condition. Understanding that pain can debilitate anyone, the physicians at Midwest focus their efforts and energies, treating everything from headaches, chronic back pains, and other neuro-critical states.

Beginning at a consultation, diagnosis, and then every step of the patient care process, Midwest Neurology Associates allow workers to understand their ailments and potential treatment plans available to them.

Headaches, Back Pains, and Discomfort

When they assess a patient’s symptoms, the neurologists near Merrillville, IN then devise a plan that is tailored specifically to their patient, their lifestyle, and their condition. Once a strategy has been formulated by their doctors, Midwest Neurology Associates employs nerve blocks, infusion therapies, Botox, and medications to minimize the pain of cluster headaches, migraines, tension and other chronic ailments.

As their board-certified physicians know all too well, chronic back pains may manifest without an accident or related injury. Only by thoroughly understanding a patient’s medical history and state can their physicians ensure that chronic pains finally wane.

Unaffected by pains during the workday and with hours of rest, workers can increase their productivity and their personal happiness. Secure physically and mentally, they’ll protect their employment, as well as their own company, coworkers, friends, and families.

What Patients Should Know About Nerve Conduction Studies

Versed as we are in the finest and most efficient pain management therapies, our doctors near Merrillville, IN are frequently asked about the range of procedures and treatments we provide. One such treatment that we offer, alongside infusion therapy—catering to the residents of areas like Munster, IN and surrounding parts—is called a Nerve Conduction Study. Typically, we administer such a procedure after our staff of board-certified physicians and specialists have completed a thorough diagnosis and assessment of a patient’s physical state and level of chronic pain or discomfort.

Definition of the Procedure

Utilizing an electromyogram (or EMG), we are able to measure the electrical activity within a patient’s muscles, both when at rest, and contracted. Our reasoning behind such a study as nerve conduction is to assess the speed at which a patient’s nerves signal each other. Being that the body’s nerves act as conductors and messengers of electricity, the equipment used is meant to detect spikes and waves, as well as any potential abnormalities. Within the field of neurology, we call these electrical signals impulses—encompassing the ways muscles can react to stimuli.

Scope of Nerve Conduction Studies

Inside of our clinic, patients will be guided through their Nerve Conduction Study by one of our experienced and friendly physicians. During the procedure, mild electrical currents will pass along the skin and specific areas of the patient’s body. To assess the functionality of a muscle, we place a precise needle just below the skin, allowing us to measure the electrical activity occurring in the muscle itself. The needles we utilize are strictly for measuring—not applying the electrical current.

As we measure electrical activity, it appears instantaneously on a nearby monitor as a wave or line.

Preparing for Nerve Conduction Studies

Before we conduct a NCS, we ask our patients that they shower or bathe—without the use of a lotion—so that their skin is free of any excess oils. Once patients have arrived, we start by laying small metal disks or electrodes on the areas of the skin where we intend to gauge the electrical activity of nerve cells. Our doctors will then apply a mild electrical current that does not harm or hurt our patients. With the results that we gather from this NCS, we can then devise an appropriate plan to effectively manage and alleviate our patients’ symptoms of pain.

Infusion Therapy: An Alternative to Oral Medications

Today in the medical field, there exists an ongoing debate as to the efficacy, and reliance on prescribing oral medications. Because of the tremendous array of medical conditions and pharmaceuticals available to treat them, nearly any drug may be administered either orally or by infusion therapy.

Here at the Midwest Neurology Associates, our board-certified neurologists, nutritionists, and medical experts bring pain management to areas like Merrillville, IN through our study and careful treatment of disorders like multiple sclerosis. In our professional experience, it is in the interest of our patients and the medical profession that we invest in technologies and techniques like infusion therapy, so as to avoid the dangers and risks often tied to oral medications.

IVs or Infusions?

Although terminology may differ from practice to practice, IVs or infusion therapies include the delivery of medication directly into your bloodstream; often by needle or tube. With IVs, the delivery method is usually a thin plastic tube, otherwise called a catheter. By design, the catheter allows a nurse or healthcare provider to accurately and carefully administer doses of medication without the use of a needle.

In almost all cases, patients do not administer intravenous medications to themselves. With access to a pain management clinic in Dyer, IN, anyone can visit our experts at the Midwest Neurology Associates and have our trained staff ensure that correct dosages are safely and comfortably administered, in a relaxed and professional environment.

Pump and Drip

When we discuss and employ infusion therapies with you at Midwest Neurology Associates, we generally mean two types—pump, and drip infusions. Within the United States, you are most likely to see pump infusions utilized in a hospital or medical clinic. In such cases, what you receive through your catheter or needle is a medication in a sterile saline solution. Our medical practitioners utilize pump infusions when we want to ensure the most precise, and smoothest doses of a medication—like Magnesium or Ketamine.
Utilizing the science of gravity, drip infusions do exactly what you imagine—they drip with a constant amount of medication over a predetermined interval. Usually, drip infusion will be sourced from a bag, tube, and catheter.

The Versatility of Infusion Therapy

When a patient proves unresponsive to conventional pain management treatments, be they in Dyer IN or Munster IN, infusion therapy is often the best available option. Though most people tend to think of infusion therapy as being needle-driven, intravenously, it can refer to any form of non-oral medication, such as intramuscular or epidural injections. At our neurological practice in Indiana, we prescribe infusion therapy to patients who suffer from severe chronic conditions.

While infusion therapy has been utilized by medical doctors and pain specialists for years, only more recently have we seen its range of applications widen within the medical field.

Range of Applications
In these most recent years, infusion therapy has allowed doctors to administer drugs that include antibiotics, antivirals, growth hormones, pain management, infliximab, and other biologics.

Some of the conditions treated by infusion therapy have included the symptoms of cancer, (namely, the chronic pains) Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, heart failure, and gastrointestinal diseases.

History of the Therapy
It was not until the 1980s that infusion therapies could be administered directly within the home of a patient. Up until then, any patients receiving said therapy were forced to remain within inpatient for the duration of their treatment. Conscious of the costs of caring for and treating patients, hospitals and clinics soon transitioned to a more efficient and economical long-term strategy. By administering infusion therapy in the home, doctors could minimize the cost of treatments, while respecting the patient’s freedom and lifestyle. More than cost, it was advancements in medical technologies that made all of this possible.

With safer, and more effective methods of administering infusion therapies, patients have appreciated all the benefits. Undeniably, patients will always be more receptive outside of an environment they find to be unwelcoming or disruptive—like an overburdened hospital.

Technicalities of Infusions
As per any highly specialized service, the supplies and equipment used to administer drugs to patients must be strictly regulated. Any medication that is part of an infusion therapy will have been ensured to be: manufactured and compounded in a sterile environment, stored in a way that guarantees its sterility and facility, administered at exactly the correct dose for each individual patient, properly flushed and washed between doses, and closely observed after being administered.

Tips for Pioneering A Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Regardless of where you live—be it in Dyer, Highland, or Merrillville IN, every doctor you see for MS treatment will inevitably be different. When making the difficult decision of choosing a doctor, it’s paramount that you find one that you respect. The more comfortable you are in the physical presence of your physician, the more likely you are to engage yourself in the healing process. When you’re visiting a doctor who respects you as well, the atmosphere of MS changes altogether, as you see your condition through a lens of optimism.

Ideally, the physician who treats your MS will be coordinating his or her efforts with a team of specialists, monitoring your physical and mental health and wellness. Once you’ve found an inspiring team of physicians near Merrillville or Lake County, IN, your MS treatment can begin as soon as you’re ready. Take heed though: doctors are not magicians; and they can’t peer into your thoughts. Before every MS appointment, you should prepare.

An Overview of Your Teammates

Assisting and consulting with your neurologist, a team of medical practitioners will leverage their respective disciplines to treat your MS.

Your team may include:

  • Nurses—coordinating the bulk of your care, and maintaining your health.
  • Physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech pathologists
  • Psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers
  • Nutritionists—helping you plan out your meals, reducing feelings of fatigue.
  • Urologists—for treating urinary and kidney complications.

Proactive Patients Prosper, Simply Put

Now for the preparations! Whenever possible, bring a family member or close friend to one of your appointments, giving you an extra pair of ears and eyes. If you own an iPhone or an Android, you may even acquire a recorder app—assuming you’re the tech-savvy type. Try to remember everything that’s said during your visits.

Before you even step inside to see the doctor, plan to keep a journal of your treatment and the days of your weeks. Any symptoms or observations you have on a Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday are equally crucial to your teammates. In the same vein, always keep a list of the prescription drugs you’re taking. Once you’ve fallen into the habit, your treatment will only get easier.