Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

Burnsville Surgery Center Receives AAAHC Accreditation

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is very proud to announce that our newest affiliate ambulatory surgery center has just received its official accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). The state-of-the-art Burnsville Surgery Center attained this distinction by undergoing an extensive self-assessment and onsite survey by AAAHC expert surveyors, including physicians, nurses, and administrators, who are actively involved in ambulatory care. Accreditation is only given to facilities that adhere to rigorous, nationally-recognized standards of care and safety.

“Our organization prioritizes exceptional patient experiences and top quality care,” said Sheila Thompson, Practice Administrator for Twin Cities Pain Clinic. “Obtaining this accreditation is an important step in establishing our facility as a safe, clean, and highly effective surgical center for excellence. A lot of people worked very hard to get us to this point, and we couldn’t be more proud of this achievement.”

Burnsville Surgery Center is a brand new, multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center located in Burnsville, Minnesota. Equipped with the latest technology and modern amenities, the facility is able to accommodate a wide range of surgical procedures encompassing numerous medical specialties. For more information, visit burnsvillesurgerycenter.com.

Burnsville Surgery Center-Recovery Rooms  Burnsville Surgery Center-Nurse Station Burnsville Surgery Center-Recovery Bay  Burnsville Surgery Center-Reception Area

Learn more: burnsvillesurgerycenter.com

Schedule an appointment with Twin Cities Pain Clinic: SCHEDULE

Telemedicine Cartoon Banner Image

The Rise of Telemedicine

As the world changes and technology continues to advance, the delivery of healthcare services has also changed rapidly in an effort to keep up. Along with pursuing the best quality care, the focus of many healthcare providers has progressed toward delivering that quality care in the most convenient, effective and affordable way possible, to stand apart and ensure patient satisfaction in these modern times. This new dynamic has led to the rise of telemedicine.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine has utilized modern technology to revolutionize how patients access medical care. Put simply, telemedicine allows appointments to be conducted via webchat, meaning patients can meet with their healthcare providers face-to-face from just about anywhere. Anyone with a device that includes a webcam and an internet connection (both of which have been standard on smart phones, tablets and computers for years now) can take advantage of the benefits of these virtual visits! This new form of healthcare delivery has eliminated barriers and made access to care easier and more convenient than ever before.

How Does Telemedicine Work?

One of the best things about Telemedicine is that it is generally very easy to use. While each platform may differ slightly, the overall process is essentially the same across the board.

The first step is to make sure you have a working device that can accommodate telemedicine. This would essentially be any computer, tablet or smartphone with a web camera and access to the internet. You will also need a working email address so you may receive a link to access the virtual appointment.

Telemedicine-Female Doctor on Laptop ScreenThe next step it to schedule your appointment. Simply contact your provider and request an appointment via telemedicine. If your provider is not yet set up for telemedicine, you may ask them for other options or seek a provider that can accommodate you for now.

In many instances, the provider’s office will contact you at some point prior to your appointment to ensure your device is working and able to access the telemedicine program.

On the day of your visit, you will receive an email with a link to the telemedicine appointment. Just click the link, and you will be directed to the online video conference with your provider.

And that’s it! Once you have completed your appointment, you can go on with your day.

What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?

The ability for patients to meet with healthcare providers without having to be at the same location is a game changer for a variety of reasons.

It’s Safe

Virtual visits are an ideal option for certain at-risk segments of the overall patient population. In-person visits to healthcare clinics and facilities are perfectly safe for the majority of people and are still the preferred method for many treatments due to availability of specific supplies and technologies.

But telemedicine is tremendously helpful for many individuals, including those who are either suffering from a contagious illness or may be particularly susceptible to contagious illnesses. Visiting with their providers remotely allows these patients to receive the care they need without putting themselves or others at risk.

Telemedicine is also a safe and very valuable tool during times of crisis. Virtual visits allow patients to get medical treatment when their usual means are cut off. If a natural disaster renders medical facilities inaccessible, or a widespread health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic quarantines people in their homes, much needed care can still be made available thanks to telemedicine.

It’s Convenient

Let’s face it, people are busy these days. Whether it’s due to a full-time job, attending class, volunteer work, or getting the kids to six different activities, it just seems there isn’t enough time in the day. This can make traveling to your own medical appointments a real drag.

Once again, it’s telemedicine to the rescue! Eliminating the commuting component of your appointment saves a ton of time, especially if it’s out of the way of your other daily rounds. With telemedicine, all you need is your device and an internet connection. That means you can complete your appointment from home, your office, or during your lunch break!

The lack of a commute is also convenient for anyone who has trouble traveling. For example, some patients of Twin Cities Pain Clinic suffer from conditions that make transportation difficult, and in some cases outright unbearable. Telemedicine allows these individuals to access care from the comfort of home without enduring any additional, unnecessary discomfort.

Telemedicine Cartoon Image

It’s Everywhere

At any given time, there are countless people without reliable access to medical care. One of the largest segments of this population are those living in rural communities.

For many of these rural residents, even the basics like primary care and emergency hospital services can be many miles away. Specialty services, such as orthopedics, mental health, or pain management, can be almost unobtainable, as even a simple consult or checkup could require a commute of several hours.

Not with telemedicine! Virtual visits allow rural patients to complete many kinds of appointments from their homes and delay the long commute until the time comes for that big, important appointment or procedure, which by then is worth the trip.

What Does it Mean to Me?

Telemedicine is changing the healthcare landscape forever. Reliable access to care is quickly becoming the new norm, even in times of widespread challenge and crisis. Any one of us could one day find ourselves cut off from our usual means of receiving much needed medical care. On that day, we will be glad telemedicine is around to save the day.

Telemedicine at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

We are proud to offer you the convenience of telemedicine virtual visits, wherever you may be. The process is simple, and appointments are readily available! Learn more and request your own virtual visit today by clicking the link below.

REQUEST TELEMEDICINE>>

Do Heat and Humidity Affect Chronic Pain?

Summer has not quite arrived, and already we are experiencing 90+ degree days and high humidity. These conditions are hard to handle for just about anyone, but if you suffer from chronic pain, it can be an especially challenging time.

Why Does Weather Affect Pain?

You may have heard someone warn of an approaching storm because they can “feel it in their bones.” Turns out, this is actually a real thing. Drastic changes in weather, like an oncoming storm, or in our case, a sudden and intense heat wave, can cause pain to flare up.

There is no proven scientific consensus as to exactly why this happens, but there are a few prevailing theories.

Changes in temperature and barometric pressure

Changes in temperature and barometric pressure are considered one of the most probable causes of weather-related pain. These changes are thought to increase pain in several ways:

  • Causing joints to swell and then rub against bone
  • Changing the level of fluids that line and lubricate joints
  • Affecting the level of ozone in the air, which may exacerbate certain chronic pain conditions
  • Acting as one of many triggers of hypersensitive conditions like CRPS

Dehydration

Dehydration is anther cause of joint pain. The joint cartilage in our bodies has a high-water content. When the body loses fluid through sweating and is not replenished, dehydration can occur. Dehydration decreases the concentration of fluid in the joints and can agitate existing pain conditions.

How Can I Relieve My Pain in Summer?

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to beat the heat and avoid pain this summer.

Silhouette of woman with outstretched arms facing rising summer sun

Stay Cool

Make sure to spend adequate time indoors where you can run a fan or air conditioner to cool your body down. Try to avoid prolonged periods outdoors in the middle of the day, when the sun is at it’s peak strength. Swimming is a great summer activity that provides the benefits of low-impact exercise while keeping your body temperature regulated. When you do go outside, consider bringing something to help you keep cool, such as a handheld misting fan or ice pack.

Stay Healthy

Don’t give the heat and humidity any help. If they can cause inflammation, then your diet should be rich in healthy foods that can reduce inflammation. One good idea is to swap out sugary snacks for fruits that are rich in antioxidants and inflammation fighters, such as fresh berries, melons, and peaches.

Stay Hydrated

It is so important to stay hydrated, especially in the summer when the heat and humidity require increased water intake for your body to function properly. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and headaches, as well as aggravating chronic pain symptoms. Be sure to carry a bottle of fresh, cold water with you as often as possible so you can replenish your fluids often.

 

Summer is the time to get outside and enjoy the warmth and the sun. If you suffer from chronic pain, don’t let it keep you indoors. With a little planning ahead and the right attitude, you can beat the heat and make the most of your valuable time this summer!

Pain Management at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

The above tips are great ways to temporarily help keep pain at bay, but they are not treatments. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, please contact us. We offer the most advanced and effective treatment options that could significantly reduce or even eliminate persistent pain.

CALL: (952) 841-2345

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/weather-and-joint-pain

https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/beating-the-heat-with-chronic-pain.aspx

https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-summer-heat-may-worsen-chronic-pain-4140691

Spinal Cord Stimulation – A Review

Spinal Cord Stimulation implant placement illustrationAt Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we continually strive to pursue the most advanced treatments for patients with chronic pain. 

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) has been an increasingly popular and effective drug-free alternative for pain management. But have you ever wondered what a spinal cord stimulator is, or how it works? Today we are going to review and answer some of the most frequently asked SCS questions!

 

  1. How do I know if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will work for me?
  2. What does spinal cord stimulation feel like?
  3. Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?
  4. Will spinal cord stimulation eliminate other sources of pain?
  5. What is the best spinal cord stimulator for me?
  6. Is spinal cord stimulation a new therapy?
  7. Is spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain covered by my insurance?

 

How do I know if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will work for me?

The first step is to meet with a Twin Cities Pain Clinic provider to discuss your pain and treatment history. You will review details such as the type of pain, its severity, and your response to past pain treatment. If your provider thinks you are a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, you can complete a trial to see if it will provide adequate pain relief.

What does spinal cord stimulation feel like?

Your stimulation level can be adjusted to deliver your preferred sensation and pain relief. With some device brands and settings, you may feel a slight tingling sensation, called a paresthesia. in some instances you will not feel anything at all!

Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?

Typically, most people experience significant and sustained reduction in chronic pain. However, spinal cord stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain, so the amount of pain reduction can vary from person to person. Spinal cord stimulation therapy is not a cure for chronic pain, but rather a therapy to help manage your pain.

Will spinal cord stimulation eliminate other sources of pain?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is specially designed to target nerves primarily associated with back and neck pain. As such, SCS will not provide relief from other types of pain such as headaches, stomachaches, fractures, etc.

What is the best spinal cord stimulator for me?

Many of the world’s top medical device companies make their own model of spinal cord stimulator, including Medtronic, Abbott, Boston Scientific, and Nevro, and each one is a marvel of medical engineering. The best stimulator for you will depend on the type and source of your pain. Your pain management provider will review these details with you and can then determine the stimulator that he or she believes will provide you with the greatest level of pain relief.

Is spinal cord stimulation a new therapy?

It is not! Spinal cord stimulation was introduced as a treatment for chronic pain back in the late 1960s and was officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984. However, recent technological breakthroughs have resulted in spinal cord stimulators that are significantly more effective and can fit in the palm of your hand, with room to spare.

Fun fact: The basic theory of electrical stimulation of the nervous system goes all the way back to ancient Rome!

Is spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain covered by my insurance?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is covered by most insurance carriers. As with the majority of pain treatments, you will need an approval from your insurance company before you can receive a SCS for your chronic pain. Insurance carriers usually require you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Medicare – Spinal cord stimulators are approved for coverage by Medicare, as long as the procedure is determined to be medically necessary. Medicare usually requires you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Workers’ Compensation – Most workers’ compensation carriers cover SCS with an approval before treatment.

 

Still have questions?

Pain Relief Tips While Sheltering in Place

Page Banner-Shelter in Place-Pain Relief Tips

The current COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for all of us. New terms like “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” have suddenly entered our social consciousness and become the new norm. While these behaviors are critically important to prevent the spread of the virus and must be taken very seriously, most of us have nonetheless experiences a shift in how we go about our daily lives. This change in routine has undoubtedly resulted in difficulties for many, not least of all those suffering from chronic pain.

But staying in place does not mean you have to stay in pain! There are a bunch of ways you can manage your chronic pain without leaving the house.

Get Good Sleep

Getting quality sleep is essential for relieving your pain. Sleep boosts immune response, improves brain function, and helps the body heal and recover. Here are some things you can do to help maximize the amount and quality of your sleep:

  • Stick to a schedule – Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Regulating your body’s clock can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the whole night.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime – A large meal is tougher for the stomach to digest than a light snack and can make it harder for your body to relax and fall sleep.
  • Have a good sleep environment – Make your sleeping area a place of peace and serenity. Keep it clean and tidy, and remove anything that could distract you, such as TVs, tablet or phones. 
  • Get regular exercise – Physical activity during the day improves sleep quality at night. It can also increase sleep duration and reduce stress.

Stay Active

Don’t let “sheltering in place” make you sedentary. Getting daily exercise is essential to managing your pain and keeping you healthy. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay active while practicing appropriate social distancing. A regular routine of low-impact exercises, including stretching, walking, yoga, Pilates, biking, and light weightlifting, can significantly reduce your pain and improve your quality of life in many ways:

  • Improved bodily function – Regular exercise can result in increased flexibility, improved circulation and blood flow, alignment of the body, reduced stress, increased oxygen flow, enhanced coordination, and as we just learned, better sleep. Collectively, these upgrades can reduce your pain.
  • Durable joints – Keeping your joints moving strengthens them and improves overall mobility, which makes performing daily activities and tasks much easier.
  • Stronger muscles – Having strong muscles helps support your spine, which can prevent stress and strain injuries. Stronger muscles and tendons also align the body and protect bones and joints from impacts.
  • Better mental health – The effects of chronic pain can often take a mental and emotional toll, which in turn can further worsen physical pain. Staying active can help boost self-esteem and improve your mental state.
  • Healthier weight –Extra weight puts added pressure on your spine, joints, and muscles. This forces your body to work harder to support that extra weight, which can result in pain flare ups, muscle strains, pinched nerves, and accelerated structural degeneration. Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and fend off these negative consequences.

Make sure you talk to your pain provider before starting an exercise routine. He or she can help determine if exercise is appropriate for your pain condition, and if so, recommend the best options.

Eat Right

A healthy diet plays a huge role in managing your chronic pain. Different foods cause different reactions in the body, and it’s important to know which ones will help your pain and which ones will make it worse. Here are some tips on what to eat and what to avoid:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and omega-3 fatty acids – Fruits, vegetables, and omega-3’s have shown to decrease inflammation in the body and reduce muscle and joint pain. Choose foods like berries, leafy greens, winter squash, walnuts and pecans, salmon, kidney and navy beans, and seeds such as chia, flax and hemp.
  • 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.
  • Avoid nightshade vegetables – While vegetables are a nutritious and important part of any diet, vegetables in the nightshade family – such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants – can potentially increase joint pain and arthritis symptoms in some individuals due to neurotoxins in the plants. Continue to include veggies in your diet but consider avoiding these ones.

Home Remedies

We have covered some really important pain relief strategies so far. But most of us unfortunately can’t spend our entire day eating, sleeping, and exercising. Many of us still have responsibilities like working or watching the kiddos. Plus, we all need a little “me time” to relax and blow off steam. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to relieve from your pain. There are plenty of simple home remedies that can help you fend off the pain as you go about your day.

  • Use heat or cold – Applying a heat pad or a cold compress can provide some wonderful, albeit temporary, pain relief. Ice is generally best for reducing inflammation and swelling, while heat is best for muscle aches and stiffness. The important thing is to listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, stop.
  • Take a hot bath or shower – A hot bath or shower will help dilate your blood vessels, promote blood flow, and help your sore and tightened muscles relax. It can also help you relax and unwind, which is a great added bonus.
  • Distract yourself – Do something to keep your mind focused on something other than your pain, like watch a movie, read a book, do a puzzle, or go for a refreshing walk.

Change Your Behavior

These strange and difficult times have thrown a wrench into our familiar routines and forced us to change our behaviors in many ways. But that isn’t entirely a bad thing. There are some behavioral changes that could help reduce your pain and improve your life. These may not all be applicable to you, but at least one of them is likely something new that you should consider trying!

  • Try Delivery – If you don’t already use home delivery for your shopping needs, now is the time to try it out. When shopping, you are usually focused on the task at hand, and not on all the walking, twisting, bending, and lifting that goes with it. Having your goods delivered will not only help keep you safe from contracting COVID-19, but it also eliminates a lot of unnecessary movement that could cause your pain to flare up.
  • Consider quitting smoking – This one is not necessarily specific to sheltering in place, but now is as good a time as any. Smoking impairs the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to bones and tissues, which can accelerate structural degeneration and cause or worsen chronic pain. For perspective, 18% of the US population are smokers, but smokers make up more than 50% of patients seeking pain treatment.
  • Take up meditation – Mindful meditation is a great way to relax your body and your mind. Meditation promotes slow, rhythmic breathing and a calm, relaxed state of mind. Studies have shown that deep, slow breathing while relaxed can alter your perception of pain and provide relief.

Keep a Pain Diary

A pain diary is a great way for you to better understand your specific pain situation. Not only can this help you identify different things that help or hinder your pain, but it will create a detailed record that your pain provider can use to prescribe the best possible treatment.

Things to Note in Your Pain Diary:

  • Indicate whether your pain interrupts daily activities like walking, working, or sleeping.
  • Note what medications you took, when you took them, how much relief they provided, and for how long.
  • Describe other treatments you may have tried and whether they provided any relief.
  • Note any side effects of pain medicine.
  • Keep track of anything that makes the pain improve (better when you are sitting instead of standing, better after a hot shower, etc.)

Take Control!

Most of us are quarantining at home right now, and for good reason. All of us need to do our part to keep each other safe and get past this. But you don’t need to quarantine your quality of life. By incorporating some basic strategies into your time at home, you can better manage your pain and make this whole situation a lot more bearable. Be disciplined, take control, and relieve your pain!

Pain Care from Your Favorite Chair

In the face of these unusual and challenging times, Twin Cities Pain Clinic is still here for you. We are continuing to serve patients via telemedicine virtual visits. You can meet with one of our specialized pain experts without getting up from your favorite comfy chair!

Appointments are available so schedule your virtual visit today!

(952) 841-2345

Online Appointment Request>>

We understand virtual visits might not be a viable option for everyone. If this is the case, please call us to discuss other options. Together, we’ll make it better.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21939499

A Message from Twin Cities Pain Clinic Medical Director, Dr. Andrew Will Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Providing our patients with a truly exceptional experience is a commitment we live by each and every day. Our top priority is providing the best possible pain care in an environment that is compassionate, clean and safe. We hold true to this promise, both in good times, and more importantly, in difficult times.

As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, all our clinic locations and our surgery center remain open and we are still seeing patients for their scheduled appointments and procedures. 

We are taking additional, comprehensive steps to ensure our patients receive the care they need, while at the same time safeguarding their health and well-being, as well as that of our employees.

  • We are closely following updates at the local, state and federal level to inform our decision-making and provide the most current information.
  • We have reinforced our already stellar sterilization and sanitation protocols, and performed deep clean procedures at all locations.
  • We have implemented certain scheduling adjustments for our employees to help reduce potential spreading of the virus, while ensuring personnel are still onsite to serve patients.
  • We have opened more time in our provider schedules for telemedicine visits so patients can complete appointments without leaving their homes.

Most importantly, we ask that you please respect our other patients and staff. If you are presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 or have reason to believe you have been exposed to the virus, please DO NOT travel to any of our facilities.

Call (952) 841-2345 to discuss alternate arrangements. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to remain calm as these circumstances unfold. This situation is certainly unfamiliar, but if we all do our part and diligently follow professional recommendations to minimize the risk of spread, we can help keep each other healthy and safe.

For updates and information regarding coronavirus, you may visit these websites:

We are truly grateful for our valued patients and amazing staff. Thank you for everything you do.

Sincerely,

Andrew J. Will, M.D.
Medical Director – Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin-Cities-Pain-Clinic-Physician-Dr-Andrew-Will

Paying it Forward to Save Lives

An intrathecal pain pump helped save Frank Kallstrom’s life. But what he did next is is nothing short of incredible.

Some people pay it forward by buying coffee or paying tolls for strangers. Frank Kallstrom pays it forward by offering strangers another chance at life.

Our friend Frank can be described in two words – Selfless and Courageous. Frank has spent the better part of his life helping others and putting their needs before his own. Along the way, he stood up to adversity time and again, never letting it get the better of him.

There may be no better example of Frank’s qualities than his fight against a debilitating chronic pain condition. It completely derailed his life, but instead of giving in, Frank gritted his teeth, picked himself up and pulled off a comeback so epic and inspirational, it deserves its own film adaptation. Then, he took it a step further and helped a bunch of other people with their own comeback stories. But for now, let’s focus on Frank.

This is Frank

Frank Kallstrom-Twin Cities Pain Clinic patient-Pain pump recipient

Born and raised in St. Paul, MN, Frank spent much of his youth living life to the fullest. Before his twenties were over, he visited all the lower 48 states, became an accomplished puzzle master (particularly the Rubik’s Cube), and got married.

Before he knew it, Frank was the father of four beautiful daughters. Now, you don’t need to be a parent to understand how difficult raising even one child can be. But bringing up four kids quickly turns the intensity meter up to 11. Frank, however, was unfazed by this. His job was to make sure his girls were loved and provided for. He was going to be the best dad he could possibly be, whatever it took.

At the age of 31, after his high-octane twenties came to a close, Frank graduated from North Hennepin Community College with a degree in law enforcement. Shortly after, in classic Frank style, he started one of the most selfless and courageous jobs there is. He became an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, putting his own life on the line to protect and serve others. Frank maintained his post honorably for the next four years. But then, everything got turned upside down.

Frank’s Struggle with Chronic Pain

When he was 35, Frank was diagnosed with diabetes. While that alone was difficult enough, it also led to Frank developing peripheral neuropathy, a condition whereby damaged or diseased nerves cause pain throughout the body. Over time, Frank’s pain grew to debilitating levels, resulting in serious consequences.

He had to step down from his post as a police officer, as his pain did not allow him to perform his duties. Travel was no longer an option and his plans to visit the two remaining states (Alaska and Hawaii) were indefinitely put on hold. A bit further down the line, he and his wife of over 20 years decided to part ways. Frank suddenly found himself having to care for four daughters while dealing with his ever-worsening pain.

Frank holding his daughter before chronic pain started

As the hits kept coming, Frank sought help, visiting countless doctors to try and treat his pain. They prescribed all kinds of medications, none of which helped. Instead, they had very negative side effects. He became lethargic and despondent, finding it difficult to care for even himself, let alone his four children. He was even hospitalized on multiple occasions.

But no other solutions were being offered and before long, Frank’s situation began to have severe emotional effects alongside his physical pain. He knew he could not continue down this path much longer. He was fighting for his life, and needed to find help, fast.

The Comeback Begins

Desperate to find relief from his excruciating pain, Frank decided to reach out to Twin Cities Pain Clinic. He had seen their Woodbury, MN office in passing and figured it would be worth a shot to try someone new. His first appointment was with Dr. Andrew Will at Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Edina, MN Immediately, Frank saw glimmers of hope. He had been taking pain medication previously, but when Dr. Will took over, Frank finally felt he was getting the right meds, in the right doses, and never felt judged for any of it. This alone made a huge difference to Frank, and he steadily begin to rise out his emotional low and toward what he hoped was a renewed life.

Frank began regular visits with Dr. Anne Kokayeff at Twin Cities Pain Clinic in Woodbury, as it was the more convenient location for him. It was here that his ascent truly took off. For the first time since his pain began, Frank felt like a real patient. He felt listened to, and genuinely cared for, instead of being cut down and accused. Together, he and Dr. K reviewed medication options and continued to fine-tune his dosage. Then, one day, Frank realized that he felt well enough to get back out into the world. And what did he do after 12 long and painful years of disability?

Frank went back to school.

Frank graduating with his psychology degree

Human nature had always intrigued Frank. He found himself continuously interested in what makes people behave the way they do, and why. He decided he wanted to learn all about it, and in 2016, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology!

We will revisit Frank’s new area of expertise a bit later on, because it’s amazing what he does with it. But first we must reveal the final and most substantial leg of his journey to relief.

The Intrathecal Pain Pump

After Frank’s new pain medication regimen proved to be consistently successful for an extended period, Dr. K proposed a more advanced solution. She recommended that Frank consider an intrathecal pain pump. An intrathecal pain pump is a device that gets permanently implanted in the body and automatically provides the patient with a specific dose of concentrated pain medicine. The result is significant pain relief, with fewer potential risks and side effects than orally ingested opioid medication.

Frank had never heard of such a device, but his interest was sufficiently piqued, and he agreed. With Twin Cities Pain Clinic handling all the details and obtaining all the necessary authorizations, Frank proceeded with a trial run of the pain pump. The specific pump model chosen in Frank’s case was the SynchroMed™ II by Medtronic. A trial is virtually the same as the permanent implant, but the pump device is worn on a belt outside the body for a period of time, allowing the patient and doctor to determine if it’s an effective treatment.

Shortly after the trial began, Frank knew this was the right choice. He hadn’t felt so good since before his diabetes diagnosis over a decade earlier. At the end of the trail, Frank didn’t hesitate to pursue the permanent implant. The implant was a complete success, and after a short period of building up to the correct dose, his pain essentially disappeared, his energy and happiness returned, and he was ready to start living again.

Finally, after many agonizing years at the bottom of the barrel, Frank was back!

And what has he been up to since his triumphant return? He picked up right where he left off of course.

Frank is Back!

Frank wasted no time getting back into doing all the thing he loves. He is traveling again, with plans to finally visit Alaska and Hawaii, thus completing his grand tour of all 50 states.

The puzzle master returned to solving Rubik’s Cubes, with a goal of completing the challenge in under one minute. He solved it in 12.61 seconds, which is so fast it’s basically invisible to the naked eye. Check out the video clip at the end of this article to see Frank in action!

Frank has also managed to combine these two passions. He now travels the country and participates in competitive Rubik’s Cube solving tournaments.

But the most inspiring part of Frank’s story is what he did with that new psychology degree he had earned.

Today, Frank is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor at a methadone clinic in Woodbury, MN. Once more, Frank’s courage and selflessness shine through. He spends his days bravely facing his own past suffering and using his story to motivate and help others who are enduring their own afflictions. He tells people, from first-hand experience, that even when you’re at your worst, you can rise up and overcome. And many of them have, thanks to Frank’s inspirational message.

Frank at Clingmans Dome-Smoky Mountains

Frank sets an amazing example for all of us. There were so many times when he could have called it quits, but he refused to. He fought gallantly to overcome every obstacle life threw at him, until he finally got the help he was seeking. And then he immediately turned around and started serving others, helping them achieve the same fresh start he had earned.

That there is paying it forward at its absolute finest.

BONUS! Check out Frank’s supersonic solving skills!

 

Are you looking to make a comeback of your own? Schedule an appointment with Twin Cities Pain Clinic today.

Call us: (952) 841-2345

Schedule online

Minnesota’s First Medtronic DTM™ SCS Trial

On February 18, 2020, Dr. Andrew Will, Medical Director of Twin Cities Pain Clinic, along with our super talented surgical team, performed a trial procedure of the new Medtronic DTM™ spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system. This was the first DTM™ trial performed in the state of Minnesota, and one of only 20 pilot trials across the entire country. The entire team proudly posed with the happy patient after a successful procedure.

Medtronic DTM Spinal Cord Stimulator-First Trial in MN

What is DTM™ Spinal Cord Stimulation?

First of all, here is a quick crash course in spinal cord stimulation. Spinal cord stimulation is a pain treatment therapy that uses mild electrical pulses to “stimulate” nerves, interrupting pain signals before they reach the brain and providing relief.

DTM™ (differential target multiplexed) spinal cord stimulation is a proprietary stimulation technology developed by Medtronic to enhance the pain relief capabilities of SCS therapy. DTM™ is a uniquely programmed waveform setting delivered by the Medtronic Intellis™ spinal cord stimulator platform. This innovative new setting could potentially result in up to 80% relief for patients suffering from chronic, intractable pain.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is proud to be a partner in introducing this revolutionary new pain treatment technology.

Spinal Cord Stimulation at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is one of the premier providers of spinal cord stimulation therapy in the Midwest. Our highly skilled physicians and surgical teams perform hundreds of SCS trials and implants every year. To provide our patients with the most personalized care, we offer all the leading brands of spinal cord stimulator systems, including Medtronic, Abbott, Boston Scientific, Nevro and Nuvectra.

To learn more about spinal cord stimulation or schedule a consultation, click below.

SPINAL CORD STIMULATION>

Spinal Cord Stimulation – Drug-Free Pain Relief

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is an advanced technique for treating chronic pain. The therapy relies on a device named a spinal cord stimulator. The device emits mild electrical pulses to stimulate nerves and interrupt pain signals from reaching the brain.

Spinal cord stimulation has been used to treat chronic pain since 1967. Over the years, these devices have increased in effectiveness while decreasing in size. Current models measure only a few inches in diameter. The leads can also be placed more accurately than ever, resulting in more precise and effective pain control.

Spinal-cord-stimulator-device-for-back-painHow does spinal cord stimulation treat chronic pain?

With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves may be damaged, dysfunctional or injured. This causes them to send incorrect signals to other pain centers. Spinal cord stimulators help treat neuropathy by replacing pain with a mild tingling sensation. Some devices can even eliminate pain sensations entirely.

What are the advantages of spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy has many advantages over other pain treatment options.

For one thing, it’s a drug-free therapy, using electrical impulses to relieve pain. Spinal cord stimulation avoids the negative side effects of pain medication, like addiction and tolerance.

It is also a completely reversible procedure. The entire system can be removed at any time if the patient chooses.

Patients can “test drive” the therapy. A trial run takes place before the permanent implant is placed, to ensure the treatment is effective.

What’s involved in a spinal cord stimulation trial?

During a spinal cord stimulation trial, the physician places temporary leads in your back. The leads connect to an external device that you carry around in a belt pack. The temporary system performs all the same functions as the permanent device, so you can experience what spinal cord stimulation feels like.

Placing the lead is done using a needle and does not involve surgery. The physician will program different settings and ask you what feels best. You will receive specific instructions on how to care for your temporary spinal cord stimulation system.

For the next 3 to 10 days, you will have the opportunity to try the system in your daily life. During this trial period, you will be able to walk around and do most of the things you usually do. Following the trial period, you and your physician will determine if a permanent spinal cord stimulator is right for you.

Does my insurance cover spinal cord stimulation therapy?

Most likely, yes. While the situation may vary case by case, most insurance does cover spinal cord stimulation therapy.

Is spinal cord stimulation therapy safe?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy has been tested in hundreds of clinical studies worldwide and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a safe and effective pain management therapy.

The device implantation is a minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure that can take only a couple hours.

Spinal Cord Stimulation at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is one of the metro area’s leading specialists in spinal cord stimulation therapy. We offer all the top stimulator brands and participate with all insurance plans.

Contact us today to learn more about spinal cord stimulation or schedule a consultation.

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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