What Is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc refers to an intervertebral disc tear that causes the nucleus pulposus (central portion) to rupture and irritate surrounding spinal discs and nerves. This medical condition can develop anywhere in the spine, including the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back) regions.

Spinal discs act as cushions between vertebrae, helping the spine bend and move more fluidly. Over time, discs may become dehydrated, less flexible, or injured, causing them to herniate or bulge. Sleeping comfortably is often a concern for individuals suffering from a slipped disc, so the pain management... Read more

Cervicocranial syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that are believed to be caused by instability and misalignment in the cervical vertebrae (neck bones).

The condition is also sometimes called Barré-Lieou syndrome or posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome. Cervicocranial syndrome can include a wide range of symptoms. They include:

Headache Neck pain Sinus congestion Facial pain Ear pain Vertigo (dizziness or loss of balance) Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) Disturbed vision Hoarseness and loss of voice Clicking in the neck Difficulty swallowing Pain at the carotid artery

What causes cervicocranial syndrome?

With cervicocranial syndrome, weak or injured ligaments in the neck cause the cervical vertebrae to become... Read more

When you’re in pain, you may find yourself browsing the brace section at your local drugstore, wondering if one of these foam and Velcro devices could be the answer to your pain.

Braces seem to be available for almost any part of your body—back, elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, neck, etc. It’s understandable that you might want to try one, but in general, it’s best to see your doctor first.

The wrong brace, or the right brace that’s not fitted properly, could be a waste of money. Worse, it might even make your pain worse. The doctors at Tri-State Pain can tell you whether a brace will help you, and they can help fit you with one.

Here’s a quick look at two of the most popular types of braces—knee and back braces.... Read more

You know that old saying about exercise—no pain, no gain? Well, it’s wrong.

We encourage all our patients to exercise. It can help keep your heart strong, relieve depression, help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen the muscles that support your joints, build bone strength, and improve sleep. 

But what if when you try to exercise, your pain gets worse? For chronic pain sufferers, that’s a real issue. There are no surefire answers to that problem, but we do have some tips that may help you increase your activity level more comfortably.

Start slow. If you’ve been completely sedentary, start with a leisurely 5 or 10-minute walk or something similar. Build up slowly to faster and longer bouts of exercise. If you’re... Read more

If you suffer from chronic pain, are your kids also more likely to? The answer seems to be yes, although it’s certainly not inevitable. 

Increasingly, research is showing that our genes may play a role in causing certain conditions that cause pain. Our genes may also help determine how intensely we feel pain. 

For instance, researchers in Utah found that deterioration of lumbar discs—which is one of the most common causes of low back pain—seems to have a genetic component. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia seems to run in families. And research has also shown that teens whose parents had chronic pain were more likely to suffer chronic pain themselves.

What's more, researchers have discovered that chronic pain... Read more

You’re tired and you ache all over. Could it be fibromyalgia? You may need a series of tests and a thorough discussion with your doctor to find out. Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be tricky because many of the symptoms are similar to other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or hypothyroidism. 

Not everyone with fibromyalgia will have all the symptoms below, but here are some common ones:

Widespread pain. Patients describe muscle and joint pain that’s spread throughout the body. Tender points. These are points around your joints that hurt when you put pressure on them. Fatigue. Fibromyalgia patients may feel exhausted even after getting a good night’s sleep, and small household tasks may wear them out. Difficulty... Read more

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