Headshot of patient Almita Lowery.

Refusing to Let Pain Interrupt Life Thanks to Alliance: Patient Success Story

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers provides life-changing pain relief. Our best-in-class physicians help our patients live fuller, more functional, and fulfilling lives.

If you’re dealing with chronic pain, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Our patient success series is intended to share incredible and inspiring stories of our patients overcoming pain. Keep reading to learn about 78-year-old Almita Lowery’s journey with pain management with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO ALLIANCE SPINE AND PAIN CENTERS?

I had a herniated disc in addition to suffering from arthritis all my life. On top of all of that, I also love to work out and accidentally overdid it.  After suffering from pain and heaviness in my shoulder and elbow for a long time and frustrated when other options did not help, I was finally referred to Alliance Spine and Pain.

TELL US ABOUT THE ALLIANCE PHYSICIAN YOU WORKED WITH.

Dr. Michael K. Schaufele took care of me! He did a series of epidurals for my disc and lumbar issue. They relieved the pain and I am feeling good. However,  I know where to turn if things start to change.

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ALLIANCE SPINE AND PAIN CENTERS?

I have always had a great experience with Alliance. Everyone is very nice, and I always feel well liked there.

WHAT LESSON DO YOU WANT THOSE READING YOUR STORY TO LEARN?

I would like to remind everyone that you can’t always control what happens to you at your age. My 25-year-old mind can’t control my 78-year-old body. Listen to what your body tells you and get the help you need.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I retired from being an engineer in 2005. I love to travel, collect art, and exercise. In fact, I was a docent for art museums in other cities and used to be a semi-professional body sculptor. Currently, I am feeling good thanks to Alliance playing a vital role of getting me back to my painless, normal self.

Grandma holding her grandchild, happy to be without pain.

Get Back to What You Love with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers provides life-changing pain relief. Our best-in-class physicians help our patients live fuller, more functional, and fulfilling lives.

If you’re dealing with chronic pain, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Our patient success series is intended to share incredible and inspiring stories of our patients overcoming pain. Keep reading to learn about a patient’s journey with pain management with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. (This patient has chosen to stay anonymous.).

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO ALLIANCE SPINE AND PAIN CENTERS?

I was having back pain for several weeks, so I made an appointment with my primary care doctor. After being X-rayed, we found the source of the pain was arthritis in my back. Unfortunately, before that appointment, I tried to go down the stairs and my right leg fell out from underneath me. This fall caused me to fracture my foot on the left side. In a later orthopedic appointment, we found out that I had an additional fracture in my ankle. Between the pain from arthritis in my back and the foot fractures, this was a rough time for me.

With all that pain, my primary care doctor made me an appointment with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers for the arthritis pain in my back. Although the appointment was only two weeks away, I was in so much pain that my husband called Alliance and got me an earlier appointment.

It turns out nerve pain was going down my leg and I needed relief through injections. I got my first one at that appointment. I walked out immediately feeling better. I had two more injections over the following weeks. Things started to look up after the third injection.

TELL US ABOUT THE ALLIANCE PHYSICIAN YOU WORKED WITH.

Dr. David Neckman is awesome. He is the kindest and the most understanding doctor I have ever met. He couldn’t have been more thorough.

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ALLIANCE SPINE AND PAIN CENTERS?

My experience was good! I like the whole atmosphere at Alliance Pain and Spine Centers. When you make an appointment, let them know how much pain you are really feeling so they can get you in as quickly as possible.

WHAT LESSON DO YOU WANT THOSE READING YOUR STORY TO LEARN?

I should have spoken up more for myself. People in pain should voice their concerns so they can see a doctor to help them faster.

HOW ARE YOU DOING NOW?

Overall, I’m feeling great! I have no pain in my leg or back. I’ve also been doing physical therapy recommended by an internist and my daughter.

My husband has been so amazing helping me throughout the whole process. Now I get to enjoy painting again and spending time with my family, my daughter, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

If you or a loved one are having issues with pain management, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help you get back to what you love. Give us a call at 770-929-9033 or click here to schedule an appointment.

Back view of fit African American man suffering from backache during workout in gym, wondering about the most common treatment options for back pain.

The Most Common Treatment Options for Back Pain

If you have back pain, it can be an excruciating daily nuisance. You’d do anything to get rid of it, just for a moment of relief.

But what are your options? And which one is best for you? We’ve compiled a list of the most common treatment options for back pain below from the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers.

Best Options for Treating Back Pain

  • Topical pain relievers are an option many find helpful. These creams or ointments that you rub onto the skin of your painful spot can often alleviate pain quickly and effectively.
  • Many doctors will offer prescriptions to help, whether those are pain, relaxer, or anti-depressant focused. With the opioid crisis on the rise in America, fewer doctors are willing to prescribe options like opioids. This decline is for a good reason! It’s good to know this before discussing your treatment options, just in case you were expecting one pill to take care of all of your pain.
  • Cortisone injections are popular for persistent back pain that also travels down the legs. These injections provide relief and numbing directly to the areas that need it the most.
  • Physical therapists have often been enlisted to help exercise the pain away, especially if it’s due to issues like posture or recovering from an accident.
  • For those sufferers who have severe and crippling enough back pain, surgery may be the only viable option.
  • Lifestyle changes can also make a world of a difference. Changing what you eat and the way you exercise might help to change your pain.
  • Some alternative options often can help specific patients, which include:
    • Acupuncture.
    • Massages.
    • Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
    • Laser Therapy.
    • Biofeedback Therapy.

If you have any more questions about the most common treatment options for back pain, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain-alleviating specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

Woman holding sore joint while running, wondering how does bad weather affects joint pain.

Bad Joints in Certain Weather? What to Do!

When bad weather starts to roll in, it’s common for anyone with joint pain or arthritis to instantly grow worried. Many people know that when rain or cold hits, it can be disastrous for their afflicted joints.

The truth is, doctors and scientists alike have both looked into this claim that bad weather increases joint pain. They have found that this claim is true for many people. So, if the storm clouds start to gather and you feel your knees begin to ache, know that you’re not alone.

If you’re looking for a solution to how bad weather affects joint pain, keep reading below. bad weather affects joint pain

Why Does Bad Weather Affect Joint Pain?

Think about the things that make bad weather what it is. The barometric pressure of the air, the level of humidity or precipitation, and the temperature. Out of that list, it’s hard to pinpoint which exactly is the true cause of joint discomfort. But, it is safe to say all play a part in creating the nasty weather that squeezes the joints, the cartilage inside the bone, and the exposed nerves.

In most cases, many people will complain of joint pain when it’s raining, particularly humid, and if a cold front has come through.

How to Help Joint Pain When the Weather Changes

Keeping the above in mind, here are the things you can do to alleviate any joint pain you may feel:

  • Keep yourself warm. When it gets colder and you start to feel your joints twinge in pain, reach for things that will warm you back up. Options include additional layers of clothing, warm baths, and hot presses.
  • Certain pain medications prescribed by your doctor can help make the pain easier, as can over-the-counter options.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get exercise, and have plenty of sleep. You’ve heard time and time again how good these habits are for your body. That includes joint discomfort.
  • Paraffin baths are a favorite of many people who have joint problems. This tool melts wax in a small container, allowing you to dip your hands and feet in. The wax hardens on skin and the warmth from the wax absorbs into the joints to warm them up. Speak to your doctor to see if this is a good option for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and do low-impact exercises. Both of these options ease the effort your joints go through on a daily basis, including those that are horribly cold and rainy.

If you have any more questions about how bad weather affects joint pain, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain-alleviating specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

Dr. Zwade Marshall Featured on Anesthesia Success Podcast

Alliance Spine and Pain Center’s Dr. Zwade Marshall was featured on a podcast for Anesthesia Success, which focuses on career, finances, and life. In this particular episode, Dr. Marshall and the podcast creator and host, Justin Harvey, covered a wide variety of topics. Those topics included Dr. Marshall’s fight with severe asthma as a young child and how it affected what he does today, tips for business students, the importance of the discussion of economics and medicine, and his strategies to build a strong referral base.

If you’d like to listen to the full podcast, click here.

peripheral neuropathy written in a notebook on white table.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Despite the fact that it is very common, peripheral neuropathy is not a household disease name. Not many people know of its existence, until it happens to them. Yet, more than three million cases of it happen year after year.

To help educate everyone on this medical issue, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are defining and discussing peripheral neuropathy below.

The Definition of Peripheral Neuropathy

The peripheral nervous system is a key component of your anatomy. It helps to send information from your brain and spine directly to the rest of your body. This is from where senses of pain and touch come.

However, when issues in this area happen, it’s called peripheral neuropathy. More specifically, having this disease means weakness, numbness, and pain due to the damage of nerves or the body’s communication system. Most commonly, this damage to the nerves happens to the hands and feet, but it can travel anywhere.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Most often than not, this problem is caused by something else, like another disease. Here is a broad list of some of the most common causes:

  • Diabetes.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Medications/Chemotherapy
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vitamin deficiencies.
  • Exposure to poisons.
  • Tumors.
  • Bone marrow disorders.
  • Previous trauma or accidents.
  • Infections.

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

The symptoms vary widely. This is because the physical effects depend on which nerves are affected. Here are some of the most common:

  • A slow build-up of numbness.
  • Spontaneous pain in the toes or fingers or in a glove or sock-like area.
  • Pain during normal activities, such as putting on a blanket or touching something soft.
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch.
  • The feeling of wearing gloves or socks even if none are on.
  • Heat intolerance.
  • Weakness.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Changes in blood pressure.
  • Dizziness.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Paralysis.

Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy

In most cases, the treatment for peripheral neuropathy lies in the treatment for the disease or the issue that is causing it. Once that is fixed, it will begin to alleviate. However, certain medications can also help.

If you have any more questions, the pain specialists experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help. Reach out to any of our pain specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

Physiotherapist doing healing treatment on man's back forMedical Conditions That Can Cause Spinal Pain

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Spinal Pain

You’ve heard about bad posture and previous injuries hurting your back. But what about the long list of medical conditions that can also cause spinal pain? The experts at Alliance Spine and Pain know all the well the many reasons someone can find themselves walking through our front doors.

In this blog, we’re breaking down the most common medical conditions that can cause spinal pain.

Illnesses and Diseases That Can Cause Spinal Pain

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis (or Bechterew’s Disease):This is a type of arthritis that directly affects the spine through inflammation and severe pain.
  • Arthritis: Since arthritis, the inflammation of joints, can cause pain and discomfort in all areas of the body, some people’s spine pain comes from this medical disease.
  • Cervical Radiculopathy (or Pinched Nerve): This disease happens when a nerve root in the spine is damaged or even inflamed. It’s a severely painful condition.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: When the discs between the vertebrae lose their protective cushioning, this disease occurs. It’s a pretty common medical disease as people get older.
  • Endometriosis: Though this disease rarely causes spinal pain, this is a medical condition that happens when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Though it doesn’t grow on the spine, the side effects often cause discomfort in that area.
  • Fibromyalgia: A musculoskeletal condition that causes widespread pain, sleep issues, and mood changes, fibromyalgia commonly causes spinal discomfort.
  • Herniated Disc (or Bulging Discs): If a spinal disc manages to push through a crack in the exterior casing, herniated discs happen.
  • Kidney stones: These are known to be painful, so it only makes sense that kidney stones can also cause spinal pain. They are small and hard deposits of calcium that form in the kidney and are then passed through the ureter and the bladder.
  • Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, this happens when the flexible tissue at the end of a bone breaks down. Since it can happen to any bone, it can certainly happen in the spine.
  • Osteomyelitis: When a bone is infected in the spine, the inflammation that occurs from this often causes spinal pain and discomfort.
  • Scoliosis: This disease causes a sideways curve of the spine, which often leads to discomfort and pain. It’s not clear what causes this, but it’s often a side effect of other diseases like cerebral palsy.
  • Sciatica: The sciatica nerve, which is a nerve that runs along the lower back down to the back of the leg, can often have issues that cause severe back pain. 
  • Spinal Disease: An umbrella term, this describes any sort of medical condition that impacts the spine.
  • Spinal Stenosis: When the spinal canal that contains the nerve roots and spinal cord becomes compressed, it pinches those areas and pain will arise.
  • Spondylolisthesis: One of the lower vertebrae slips during this condition and presses against the bone beneath it.
  • Tumors: Though this is very rare, tumors on the spine can happen. When they appear, they press against all the sensitive materials of the spine.

If you believe you may have any of the above medical conditions that can cause spinal pain, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help. Reach out to any of our pain specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers physicians receiving training on Nalu Neuromodulation.

Alliance Physicians Training for New Innovative Technology

Several of our Alliance Spine and Pain Center’s physicians recently took part in Nalu Neuromodulation training. Nalu is a new modality that will allow our physicians to help target pain through Peripheral Nerve Stimulation and Spinal Cord Stimulation. The use of these treatments for chronic pain is extremely stimulating and is helping thousands of our patients get the pain relief they need.

Participating physicians were Dr. William EppsDr. Pallavi GuptaDr. Allen HordDr. David Rosenfeld, Dr. Jordan TateDr. Thomas HurdDr. Rhee Miller, and Dr. Ramon Espinal.

The doctors learning from the training session.

If you would like to learn more about these new pain-alleviating systems, click here to schedule an appointment with any of these expert physicians or give us a call at 770-929-9033.