As we hear more and more about problems with opioid treatments for pain, many patients with chronic pain are wondering if marijuana is a better option.

Research shows it can be effective at treating certain types of pain, although it’s not a perfect solution for all patients.

New guidelines in Canadian Family Physician, based on an in-depth review of clinical trials involving medical cannabis, say there is solid research to support using cannabis to treat four conditions:

Chronic neuropathic pain Palliative cancer pain Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy Spasticity from multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury

There can be side effects, however, such as sedation, dizziness, and confusion. The group didn’t find... Read more

Gardening can be such a satisfying experience—digging in rich soil and nurturing tiny seeds into delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers. Some studies say it can even ward off depression.

But gardening can also leave you with an aching back, knees, wrists, and more. If you suffer chronic pain but love to garden, how do you work the soil without making your pain worse?

Try these 10 suggestions:

Warm up and stretch. Before you start, go for a brisk walk and do a few stretches to get your body ready for work. Use the right tools. By using long-handled tools, you can reach your beds without having to stoop down as much. Sharp tools with good grips can also help, by letting you do more... Read more

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, will affect about 1 in 3 Americans during their lifetime. For most, the itching and painful rash will run their course over two to four weeks, and that will be the end of it.

Unfortunately, about 10-13 percent of people who develop shingles will continue to have pain after the other symptoms are gone.

This pain, called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, usually lasts only a few weeks or months. But for some people, the pain can persist for years. PHN can afflict anyone who’s had shingles, but the risk of developing it increases with age.

If you’re one of the unfortunate PHN sufferers, your doctor may recommend one of several treatment options:

Over-the-counter... Read more

Dr. Benjamin Venger of TriState Pain Institute was recently featured on 91.5 KJZZ radio! In the news segment, Dr. Venger provided his input on the new opioid regulations and how they could have unintended consequences, such as not allowing physicians to use their better judgement for prescribing the appropriate amount of necessary pain medications. The key word being "necessary." In fact, he argues that this inflexiblity could prevent patients (who truly need pain medications) from receiving the treatment they need. Here's a clip from the article, which you can review here:

"The governor’s plan would not affect existing prescriptions. Pain specialists —... Read more

During certain times of the year, our team may see an influx of patients reporting surges in their pain levels. The summer and wintertime are two such seasons that can lead to an increase in appointments. This can happen for many reasons, but the pain specialists at TriState Pain Institute speculate that the dramatic changes in weather can cause increases in pain. We’ve written about the effects weather has on the body in many of our blogs, but we’ve never addressed whether or not monsoons can worsen a patient’s chronic pain.

What is a monsoon?

If you’re new to Arizona, you may be unfamiliar with monsoons. These large-scale weather patterns cause a seasonal wind shift, which can result in precipitation and... Read more

If you suffer from chronic back and joint pain, chances are you’ll do just about anything to stop it from affecting your quality of life, right? Right. As a result, you may schedule an appointment with a pain specialist like Dr. Venger at TriState Pain Institute to receive interventional pain care for complete relief from your pain. 

While our back and joint pain treatment options are some of the best in the area, our team understands that interventional pain therapy often works best when combined with supplemental conservative and alternative treatment options. After all, there is no “one size fits all” approach to chronic pain.

If you’re looking for a conservative treatment option for your pain, look no further than... Read more

Get tips on managing pain in the latest edition of Pain News