2019 In Review – Part 5: Burnsville Surgery Center

Back in 2016, we opened the doors of our first ambulatory surgery center in Edina, MN. Since then, Twin Cities Surgery Center has become a huge part of our organization, allowing us to provide our patients with convenient access to a much wider range of pain treatment options, all under one roof.

Looking back on all that success, a second surgery center started to sound like a better and better idea. Finally, in 2019, we channeled our inner Kevin Costner and WE BUILT IT.

In October, we proudly threw open the doors of the beautiful new Burnsville Surgery Center (location classified). The BSC is loaded with the most advanced technologies and modern amenities, and has allowed us to offer the best and most effective pain treatments to an even larger audience.

Burnsville Surgery Center Exterior Burnsville Surgery Center-Recovery Room Burnsville Surgery Center Operating Room Burnsville Surgery Center Nurse Station Burnsville Surgery Center Recovery Bay Burnsville Surgery Center Reception Area

Living with Fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (pronounced: fi-bro-my-al-gee-uh) is a disorder that causes pain in your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Unlike pain cause by injuries or illness, fibromyalgia can cause pain for little or  no reason. Fibromyalgia is thought to result from an imbalance between cells that carry pain signals and cells that slow pain signals down. This imbalance significantly increases the impact of any physical pain you may experience. Other times, it can cause pain when none should exist at all.

Fibromyalgia pain is especially intense when pressure is applied to areas called “tender points.” Common tender points are the back of the head, the elbows, the shoulders, the knees, the hip joints and around the neck.

Image depicting common pain points on the body

What causes fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a fairly common condition, affecting around 2% of the population of the United States. However, experts are unsure why people get fibromyalgia. Some common causes are thought to be:

  • Genetics – Fibromyalgia tends to run in the family, so if one of your relatives has it, there is an increased chance you may get it too
  • Gender – Women are much more likely to get fibromyalgia than men
  • Lethargy – Fibromyaliga is more common in people who do not move and exercise regularly
  • Illness – Illnesses, particularly others associated with pain like arthritis and headaches, can increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia
  • Emotional and mental conditions – People who suffer from conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression are more likely to develop fibromyaliga than those who do not

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Increased sensitivity to pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia.

You may have some degree of constant pain, but the pain may get worse in response to activity, stress, weather changes and other factors. The pain may be a deep ache or a burning sensation. You may have muscle tightening or spasms. Many people have migratory pain (pain that moves around the body).

Most people with fibromyalgia feel tired or fatigued. This fatigue may be mild or very severe. You may also have trouble sleeping, which may add to the fatigue.

Depression or anxiety may also occur as a result of your constant pain and fatigue, or the frustrations you feel with the condition.

The good news is that fibromyalgia does not cause any permanent damage to the muscles and organs. It is not a life-threatening disease, but it is chronic (ongoing).

Although there is no cure, there are many things you can do to feel better.

What can I do to relieve my symptoms?

Find an exercise that gets all your body parts moving and do it consistently. Yoga classes, warm water therapy, swimming and low-impact aerobic exercise are among the best things you can do. Many people find that establishing a consistent routine of eating, sleeping and exercising helps to ease symptoms.

Woman doing yoga on a cliff overlooking the oceanYou may need to begin at a very low level of exercise (five minutes every day is helpful at first). Continue to increase the length and frequency of exercise until you are exercising for at least 30 to 60 minutes, three to four times a week. Once you reach this point, you can consider switching to higher-impact exercises, like walking, jogging and tennis. A physical therapist experienced in treating fibromyalgia can help you develop an exercise regime to follow at home.

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are made worse by stress and poor sleep, it is important to cut stress out of your life whenever possible and to get as much sleep as you need. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed to get a good night’s rest.

Is there any medicine I can take to help my symptoms?

Several medicines can help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Many of these medicines are taken before bedtime to help reduce pain and improve sleep.

Your doctor may recommend treating your symptoms with acetaminophen (like Tylenol) first, with additional medications being prescribed as needed. Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin are not usually effective in treating fibromyalgia when taken alone.

They say laughter is the best medicine and that certainly applies in this case. A positive attitude can go a long way in helping you feel better. Be sure to smile, laugh and appreciate the good things in life.

Eating tips for chronic pain patients

Research shows that what we eat can also have an effect on the body’s pain levels – especially in fibromyalgia patients.

Many experts blame fibromyalgia pain on oversensitive nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and certain foods may stimulate the release of neurotransmitters that heighten this pain. Experts have compiled a list of healthy and helpful eating tips for patients with back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and other types of chronic pain.

Collection of fruits and vegetables that help relieve pain

  • Eat whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and omega-3 fatty acids. These foods are rich in vitamins and can help control weight, which is essential to controlling chronic pain. Fresh whole foods also contain antioxidants, which may provide additional pain relief.
  • Eat less refined, processed “junk food.” Heavily refined, sugary and chemically processed foods are known to irritate muscles, disrupt sleep and interfere with immune function – three things that can enhance chronic pain. Aspartame, a chemical sweetener used in diet soft drinks, has also been found to heighten pain sensitivity in some fibromyalgia patients.
  • Avoid nightshade vegetables. While vegetables are a nutritious and important part of a pain patient’s diet, vegetables in the nightshade family – such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants – can increase joint pain and arthritis symptoms in some individuals due to neurotoxins in the plants. While many will experience no difference, some sensitive patients will improve remarkably by avoiding these vegetables.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with. But with some discipline and smart decision-making, there are a variety of ways to reduce its effects and continue to have a happy and fulfilling life.


Twin Cities Pain Clinic specializes in treating pain conditions, including fibromyalgia. Get in touch with us if you or someone you know is suffering and would like to know more about treatment options.

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2019 in Review – Part 4: A Bit of Everything

Today we’re highlighting several big 2019 upgrades. They include the launch of our own transportation service, improving access to care with our mobile check in feature, and completing the first of several remodeling projects!

Twin Cities Transportation

We bought a van! In July, Twin Cities Transportation was launched, and it started with this beauty here:

Twin Cities Transportation Van-Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin Cities Transportation (TCT) is a service for patients undergoing procedures at Twin Cities Surgery Center. Many of our surgery patients require a ride home after their procedures, and TCT now allows us to give a lift to any patients who run into difficulties securing their own rides.

TCT is another great example of our dedication to breaking down barriers and offering our patients consistent and convenient access to the best possible pain care.

Mobile Pre-Check

January saw the roll out our new mobile pre-check feature! As the name suggests, mobile pre-check allows our patients to complete the appointment check-in process remotely from their smart phone or tablet prior to coming into the clinic.

This affords our patients additional flexibility in their daily schedules. They no longer have to come to the clinic as early to complete the onsite check in process.

Our front desk staff has been able to maximize their efficiency. Now they spend less time checking patients in and more time on other essential tasks.

It’s a win-win service, and just one more way we are making the experience better and more convenient for every patient.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Headquarters Remodel

During fall of 2019, our administrative office building underwent an extensive remodel project. Now we have brand new carpet and tile, repainted walls, and a shiny new bathroom.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic-Remodeled Bathroom

The results speak for themselves, and we all love our new and improved office!

2019 In Review – Part 3: Outreach

TCPC Gives Back – 2019 Charity and Community Outreach Initiatives

The Twin Cities Pain Clinic team is a generous bunch, and that generosity was on full display in 2019. From food drives to fundraisers, and even making gifts from scratch to donate, there was no shortage of joy and good will to spread around, and we’re proud of our employees for caring so much!


Valentines Candy Grams

February 11 – 13, 2019

Employees bought candy grams and sent them to fellow employees.

$426 raised and donated to the American Heart Association


Feed My Starving Children #1

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The TCPC team packed meals that would feed hungry children in need across the globe.

4,485 meals packed, which fed 12 children for a whole year.


Second Harvest Heartland

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

We joined a team to pack “rescued” food items to feed those in need.

5,762 pounds of food packed


Feed My Starving Children #2

Feed My Starving Children-Group Photo-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Our team participated in the Pack at the Park event at Target Field.

442 boxes packed, which is a total of 88,992 meals.


Breast Cancer Awareness Week

Breast Cancer Awareness Week-Group Photo-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

October 14 – 18, 2019

Employees could pay $5 to wear jeans for the week, with the company matching every dollar.

$300 donated, totaling $600 with the match.


Fall Food Drive

Boxes of Food Donations-November 2019 Food Drive-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Month of November 2019

Food and monetary donations were collected and given to Second Harvest Heartland.

$200 gifted and 238 pounds of food collected.


Holiday Blankets

Stack of Handmade Blankets-Twin Cities Pain Clinic Outreach

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Staff members made tie blankets, gift bags and holiday cards for the Little Brothers of MN.

10 fleece blankets were made along with dozens of cards and bags.


Learn more about the charities we support:







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2019 in Review – Part 2: PACT

Twin Cities Pain Clinic-logo imagePACT logo image

In July of 2019, we made a commitment to further improving the health and well-being of our patients. Twin Cities Pain Clinic partnered with the Personalized Activated Care and Training program, known as PACT for short.

We understand the impact of pain does not always end within the walls of our clinics. The effects often go beyond the physical and can be long-lasting. Successful pain treatment must provide patients with the maximum amount of relief, comfort and contentment at all times.

This is where PACT steps in to help. In a nutshell, the PACT program provides our patients with health coaching and self-care strategies to keep away the pain.

Health coach treating senior female chronic pain patientPACT allows our organization to extend the pain relief patients receive at our clinics. Along with receiving expert care from our pain professionals, our patients can now receive additional health coaching to identify their  personal risk factors and establish a plan take better care of themselves in their daily lives. The result is long-term pain relief, a healthy attitude and overall well-being.

This added layer of pain management care helps our patients achieve the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life, both now and into the future.


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What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

How is pain defined? Understanding the answer to this simple question can help you and your doctor find the best way to treat your pain. The first step is defining the common types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute Pain

Ice pack on knee to relieve acute pain

Acute pain is pretty much any pain that lasts less than three months. Pain that is directly related to soft tissue damage such as a sprained ankle or a paper cut is also considered acute. We usually think of acute pain as sharp and severe. Acute pain does not last long and gradually resolves as the injured tissue heals. Most causes of acute pain can be remedied with basic self-care. But some issues and injuries can be more severe and may require medical treatment. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing acute pain that is causing you concern.

Chronic Pain

X ray image of human body hunched over with chronic pain

Chronic Pain refers to pain that lasts longer than three months. The pain will often grow worse and reoccur over time, outlasting the usual healing process. Most pain is generally expected to stop once the underlying condition is treated and the injured tissue heals. However, chronic pain can persist long after injuries for no apparent cause. It can cause significant psychological and emotional trauma and often limits an individual’s ability to fully function. Chronic pain will usually require medical treatment.

Pain Treatment at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Treating pain is what we do. It’s right there in our name, and we’re pretty good at it. Whether you’re suffering from acute or chronic pain, we can help you find relief. Our friendly providers are highly trained and specialize in treating pain from head to toe. Schedule an appointment today and return to the quality of life you deserve.


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(1.) https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/chronic-pain

(2.) https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/acute-pain

2019 In Review – Part 1: Provider Growth

2019 Year in Review-Banner Image

2020 – it’s the start of a new year and a new decade. Everyone is settled back in after the holidays and ready to hit the ground running. We’re all looking ahead to the coming year and planning for how we’re going to improve over the year before.

It turns out this is going to be quite the challenge for Twin Cities Pain Clinic. If we take a step back and gaze into the recent past, 2019 was truly a banner year! Our organization launched a ridiculous number of initiatives to improve the patient experience, welcomed a ton of new team members to the TCPC family, and gave back to our community in a way that would make Bono himself weep with joy. Altogether, it’s worth one more look back.

So, without further ado, here is part one in our series highlighting all the amazing things our team accomplished together in 2019.

Provider Growth

In 2019, we offered our pain management services to more patients than ever before. More patients require more treatment options and more experts to provide them, and we were very proud to welcome FIVE new providers to our team last year. While they all come from different backgrounds, they all share a passion for providing amazing care to those suffering from pain. Let’s take a second to introduce them all one more time:

Nancy Nyongesa, DNP, FNP


Clinical Interests

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Patient Education
  • Mental Health


  • Associate Degree in Practical Nursing – Dickinson State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Dickinson State University
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Family Practice – North Dakota State University


Power walking, running short distance races (5K, 10K), spending time with husband and kids and playing league volleyball.

Katherine Le-Banh, MS, APRN, FNP-C


Clinical Interests

  • Comprehensive pain management
  • Holistic wellness
  • Patient education
  • Board Certifications


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Master of Science, Nursing – The Ohio State University


Traveling, hiking, rock-climbing, weightlifting, and cuddling with my two kitties

Kjerstin Durie, PA-C

Twin Cities Pain Clinic Provider-Kjerstin Durie, PA-C

Clinical Interests

  • Holistic care
  • Individualized treatment plans


  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – Bethel University
  • Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies – Bethel University


Spending time with family, traveling and hiking

Vivian Ngongang Ogunyemi, DNP

Vivian Ngongang-Twin Cities Pain Clinic-Providers

Clinical Interests

  • Patient education
  • Interventional techniques


  • Doctor of Nursing Practice – Metropolitan State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – North Dakota State University


I am a relationship coach, and I enjoy cooking, running, traveling, and spending time with family

Matt Klein Gannott, DPT

Matt Gannott, DPT-Physical Therapist-Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Clinical Interests

  • Chronic Pain Management
  • Spine Care
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Manual Physical Therapy


  • B.A. in Biology and Psychology – Minnesota State University, Moorhead
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy – Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons


Spending time with family, traveling, woodworking and home improvement projects

Provider Education

Our providers did not just grow in quantity, however. Our physicians also grew their skill sets and hit some impressive milestones in 2019. First, all four of our physicians earned their certification to perform the MILD surgical procedure, allowing us to add another service to our expanding repertoire.

Second, Dr. Travis O’Brien and Dr. Anne Kokayeff both became certified to perform DRG stimulator implant surgeries. This earned both of them a spot in a very exclusive group and gave TCPC the distinction of having ALL our providers certified to perform DRG implants.


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