Why Do I Have Sciatica?

Named for the nerve it irritates, sciatica can cause a wide variety of symptoms that typically wax and wane in intensity and may not occur where or when you’d expect. That low back pain you’ve been thinking of as sciatica may not be related to your sciatic nerve at all, but the burning discomfort in your left leg could be.

Diagnosing Arthritis

Arthritis can indeed cause aching pain in your joints that may interfere with your ability to enjoy an active lifestyle. Did you know, though, that many effective treatments exist that can

Don’t Let Achy Knees Sideline You

You depend on your knees to stand, sit, walk, and run. When you think about it, most physical activity relies on your knees to get the job done. With all the work they do, it isn’t surprising that knee pain is a common complaint for individuals of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The Pain Institute of Arizona (PISA), with offices in Tucson, Safford, and Benson, Arizona, has a team of highly qualified specialists. They focus their medical expertise on treatments that relieve chronic pain and return you to the active lifestyle you desire.  Find out what our team of top-rated providers has to say about the causes of your achy knees and the highly effective solutions they provide to get you off the sidelines and moving pain-free. Understanding knee pain Your knees are made up of bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue structures that make them one of the most complex and most durable joints in your body. Depending on the cause, chronic knee pain often begins as an aching or stiffness that worsens over time. Our goal at PISA is to effectively relieve

Recognizing the Signs of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spaces in your spine through which nerves travel. It’s a common condition, but the pain and other symptoms associated with spinal stenosis can confuse you since they may seem unrelated to your back or neck. Our highly skilled team of pain management specialists at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona has significant expertise in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating spinal stenosis. We’re happy to provide information that may help you recognize the signs of this sometimes-confusing condition. Understanding the basics of spinal stenosis The spinal canal runs through the center of your spine and provides a channel through which the spinal cord/nerves travel from your brain to your lower back.  At certain points along the spine, these nerves branch away from the backbone and carry instructions regarding movement and sensation between your spinal cord and the areas they serve.  Certain conditions can narrow the spaces in the spine through which these nerves pass.  If the space becomes too narrow, it crowds or “pinches” the nerves. This can lead to nerve irritation and inflammation, which causes the pain and other symptoms associated

Foods That Cause Migraines

People who experience random headaches should consider looking into foods that have been shown to possibly cause migraines. It’s said that certain foods are more prone to causing headaches than others due to their various ingredients or additives. For a great deal of people, migraines are a serious problem that can be long-lasting and obstructive to your daily plans. Finding the root of this pain can help you prevent it from becoming a chronic condition. Here is a list of prospective foods that are suspected to trigger migraines or migraine-like symptoms. Common Food Triggers for Headaches Sadly enough, some of the most common foods that cause migraines are coincidentally addicting to consume. The most notable component in these foods to watch out for are the amino acids tyramine and phenylethylamine. Foods high in tyramine and phenylethylamine include nuts, citrus fruits, chocolates, “moldy” cheeses, and vinegar. Tyramine is an amino acid that actually increases over time, which is why it can be easily found in improperly stored leftovers. Alcohol like beer, red wine, vermouth, and sherry also contain a great amount of tyramine, and is often

Can Exercise Help Prevent Migraines?

We all know exercise is good for you. It keeps internal organs functioning; it keeps the body healthy; it builds the immune system—the list is seemingly endless. But can we confidently add “helps to prevent migraines” to the numerous benefits that regular activity offers? The short answer is yes; a carefully executed workout routine can naturally help to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches and migraines. While a small percentage of individuals experience issues with exercise-induced migraines, there has been extensive research proving that regular light to moderate cardio activity actually works to decrease the frequency and severity of chronic migraines in most cases. This is due to the variety of chemicals that are released throughout the body during exercise; these chemicals include endorphins (which help with pain control) and enkephalins (chemicals that naturally fight depression). In one particular study, Swedish researchers observed three separate groups of chronic migraine sufferers. One group was assigned a moderate exercise routine; another was provided with topiramate (a drug specifically created to help with migraines); and the third was given a relaxing exercise routine. At the conclusion

5 Common Types Of Neuropathic Pain And Their Symptoms

Neuropathic pain is a broad, catch-all term for a wide range of pain conditions caused by injury or changes to nerves. Common sensations include a range of pains from tingling to stabbing sensations. The area of the body that neuropathic pain impacts, its severity and other symptoms can vary greatly. Among the most common neuropathic pain conditions is peripheral neuropathy, which is when the condition is affecting nerves aside from the central nervous system (which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord). Similarly, a broad range of treatment options exists, though most aim to manage pain rather than to “cure” neuropathic pain. As with most pain conditions, addressing the underlying cause is often the most effective treatment option, though in some cases, there is no clear cause for the pain. In these instances, they are pains known as idiopathic neuropathy. In this article, we explore both common types of neuropathic pain as well as some of the treatment options. Types of Neuropathic Pain Sciatica Sciatica is a type of neuropathic pain typified by radiating pain that begins in the lower back or pelvic

Common Knee Pain Causes

The knee is a complicated structure and one that we rely on for an overwhelming range of activities, from walking to swimming to hiking and more. As a result, knee pain causes are varied and knee injuries are incredibly prevalent among a wide range of demographics. Here, we take a brief look at some of the most common knee pain causes we encounter in our practice. Knee Pain Causes If you have any of the following symptoms, contact a licensed healthcare professional immediately: Cannot bear weight on the kneeHave severe swelling of the kneeYou are unable to fully flex or extend the kneeThere is an obvious deformity in your kneeYou have a fever in addition to inflammation (redness, pain, and swelling) in the kneeIf you are unable to use your knee–it feels like it “gives out.” For those of you not currently suffering from knee pain and the symptoms outlined above, let us continue with our list of common knee pain causes. Osteoarthritis While there are more than 100 types of arthritis known to man, osteoarthritis is among the most common, particularly for people over the age of