Knee Pain Los Angeles

What is the knee?

The knee is anatomically described as the section which joins the thigh to the lower leg. It is made up of the bones of the thigh (femur), the leg (tibia and fibula), and the patella. The structure is held together by tendons and ligaments, and protected from shock by surrounding cartilage and fluid-filled sacs. The knee mainly functions to allow leg movement especially for walking purposes, as well as in helping bear part of the weight of the upper body when standing. The complex joint structure permits a wide range of movement such as flexion, extension, and a limited degree of rotation.

What is knee pain?

Due to the extensive amount of movement endured by the knee joint, it is hugely subject to strain and injury, either resulting from wear and tear, trauma, or overuse. This results to knee pain, which may involve the entire knee or just a section of it. Knee pain is the discomfort in the knee area of varying severity, usually accompanied by redness, swelling and stiffness. As smooth and pain-free leg movements rely heavily on the integrity of the bones, cushioning and support structures of the knee joint, knee pain could also inevitably lead to walking difficulties, weakness, and inability to assume certain leg positions.

What causes knee pain?

The knee joint is made up of many units with differing functions, and all these structures are subject to inflammation, irritation, and infection, consequently causing pain. As difficult as the discomfort is, it is important to remember that knee pain is merely a symptom, thus consulting a doctor for complete diagnosis is always the best course of action. It is necessary to pay attention to treating the underlying causes on top of pain management. Several conditions causing knee pain include the following:

  • patellofemoral syndrome
  • osteoarthritis
  • meniscal tears
  • anterior and posterior cruciate ligament tears (ACL and PCL)
  • dislocation of one of the bones making up the knee joint
  • gout
  • knee trauma
  • fractures
  • tendinitis
  • knee infections

How is knee pain diagnosed?

Upon consulting with your healthcare professional, your case will be evaluated through several diagnostic procedures. Physical examination is done primarily to inspect for signs of swelling, as well as to mechanically test the integrity of the tendons and ligaments. Patients may also be subjected to knee x-rays, diagnostic imaging tests such as MRI scans, knee joint aspiration, or arthroscopy for a more complete evaluation of the knee structures and determination of the cause of knee pain.

How is knee pain treated?

After thorough evaluation of the knee pain, patients may be recommended by physicians to undergo a few of many possible treatments to not only lessen the pain, but also to deal with the actual injury, infection, or irritation. In some cases, knee pain can be remedied at home through rest and over-the-counter pain relievers, while others require interventional therapy or even surgery, all depending on the severity and nature of the injury or infection. Some of the common treatments include:

  • Pain medication (e.g. acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen)
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory steroid injections
  • Hyaluronan injection
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Knee surgery
  • Rest, cold compress, and bandage supports

Needing a specialist for your knee pain in Los Angeles?

Are your knees giving you trouble? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a double-board certified pain management specialist based in Los Angeles, may be able to help you. With his expertise in evaluating and treating patients gained from years of practice and extensive training, he could provide you with pain management care, from diagnosis, to treatment, to rehabilitation. In addition to his competence, Dr. Li also believes in patient-centered, individualized care, so you only get holistic treatment that suit you best. Call his L.A clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 now for an appointment, and say goodbye to pain!

Headache Specialist Los Angeles

What are headaches?

Headache, also known as cephalgia, is described as the condition where patients experience incessant pain in the head. Depending on the causes, the discomfort may be felt as pain in one or both sides of the head, confined to a specific spot or radiating across, and may even involve the back of the eyes or neck. Some headaches manifest only briefly, others lasting up to a few months. Whatever the form, headaches may be able to keep a person from functioning normally, and from enjoying life.

What are different headache types?

Headaches are diagnosed and classified by headache specialists based on their origin, or causes. There are three common types. One type is termed as primary headaches – called so as they do not manifest as symptoms of other disorders or illnesses. They are headaches caused by abnormalities in the cephalic region such as chemical imbalance, irritated nerves, blood vessels, or muscles in the areas surrounding the brain. Primary headaches however, may be set off by certain lifestyle factors such as stress and alcohol intake. The next type of headaches are called secondary headaches. This type is usually brought about as a symptom of an underlying illnesses (e.g. brain aneurism, ear infections, and flu). The last type of headaches are cranial neuralgia, or inflammation of one of the 12 cranial nerves. This type of headache usually involve other areas of the head such as the face, as in cases of trigeminal neuralgia.

What causes headaches?

Headaches, including chronic ones, affect millions of Americans today. Despite its frequency, headache causes and mechanisms are still not widely understood even by headache specialists. Generally speaking, the headaches are brought about by irritation or inflammation of one the structures surrounding the brain, such as muscles around the skull, sinuses, meninges, and cranial nerves. Some of the other conditions which could cause headaches include the following:

  • Infections in the cephalic region (e.g. dental and ear infections)
  • Inflammation of muscles in the head (as in tension headaches)
  • Head and neck trauma
  • Brain swelling (otherwise known as edema)
  • Inflammation of blood vessels in the neck
  • Concussions and neck injuries
  • Overuse of certain medicine (as in rebound headaches)

How are headaches treated?

Depending on the types, headaches may be treated in several ways. For secondary headaches, treatment schemes would also involve dealing with the underlying causes. Some forms of treatment prescribed by headache specialists include:

  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Calcium blockers
  • Anti-depressant medicine
  • Massage and rest
  • Lifestyle adjustments

What can a headache specialist do for me?

Headaches have multiple facets and could originate from a variety of reasons. It is indeed helpful to be able to read about the possibilities as you experience headaches, but as headaches could indicate serious illnesses, it is extremely important to still consult a headache specialist for complete diagnosis. Headache specialists are doctors who have particular training and experience in handling headaches and its pain management. They would be able to help you with the proper diagnosis of the causes of your headaches, as well as in managing the pain so it doesn’t stop you. As an additional note, be sure to see your headache specialist immediately if you observe a significant increase in frequency or severity of your headache attacks, have recently sustained trauma that could have affected the head, or experience attacks accompanied by high fever, or a sudden loss of motor functions.

Where can I find a headache specialist in Los Angeles?

Is your headache keeping you from life? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, is a headache specialist in Los Angeles, who could really help you. With unparalleled experience in pain management from treating patients with a wide variety of conditions, he could give you a comprehensive diagnosis of your case, as well as recommend the best treatment approach to managing the pain. With a headache specialist who believes in holistic, patient-centered care, you’d be in the best of hands. So why don’t you give his clinic a call today at (626) 538 – 8950 to set your appointment? Let him stop your pain, so it doesn’t stop you.

Pain Relief Center Los Angeles

What is pain relief?

Pain is the body’s mechanism of letting the individual know that something is not well. It is often a symptom of an illness, an injury, an infection, and many other possible conditions, which makes it almost impossible not to know a person is indeed sick. It manifests as a discomfort involving unpleasant sensations of varying severity and duration. In some cases, it may be able to keep a patient from living and performing well, and thus necessitates intervention. Pain relief is a healthcare discipline focused on helping patients manage their pain and cure their illnesses so they could continue to carry out their daily functions. It draws on several disciplines in science such as anesthesiology and neurology, as well as physical therapy, and possibly surgery. The strategy always involves a comprehensive diagnosis of the underlying causes of symptomatic pain, then pain relief, and treatment for the actual illness.

What is a pain relief center?

Pain relief centers like the ones found in Los Angeles, are clinics who put together a team of doctors from different medical disciplines in order to holistically care for patients who are in pain. Pain relief specialists may include neurologists, chiropractors, surgeons, anesthesiologists and professionals from other disciplines who have had training in pain reduction. Pain relief centers offer varied services from diagnostic imaging tests, to consultations, treatment options, surgeries, and rehabilitation programs. They may also offer psychological and counselling support for patients suffering from chronic pain.

What are the treatments employed by pain relief centers?

Pain is only an indication of illness or injury, so there is a lot more to treatment than just handing out medicine. Pain relief center specialists usually start diagnosis by studying the patients’ medical history, the manifestations of their pain. Patients will then be recommended to undergo physical, chemical, and imaging evaluations for a more in depth diagnosis. After which, pain relief center specialists may recommend remedies for the pain, as well as treatment strategies for the underlying symptoms. When in pain, especially in cases where it becomes impossible to bear, or has lingered for a while, consulting with your pain relief specialists as soon as you can will be best, so as to be able to get a comprehensive evaluation of your condition. Pain is a symptom, thus it is not nearly enough to just get medicine to lessen the pain, apart from the fact that most pain relief measures are temporary. It is also important that you also get treated for the illness or injury or risk worsening the problem.   Depending on the causes of pain, its severity, and other complications, different treatments may be employed by specialists in local pain relief centers. Some of them would be:

  • Oral pain relief medication – coming in the form of anti-inflammatory medicine, generic pain relievers, and other types, this mode of treatment is usually the first option for pain relief, being relatively easy to administer, non-invasive, and cheap.
  • Pain relief injectables – involves using the same classes of drugs as those taken orally, but are instead directly administered to affected areas via injection. This is especially helpful in cases such as inflamed nerves, where steroids are used to soothe nerve irritation.
  • Nerve stimulation – takes advantage of the nerves’ inherent response to electrical currents to interfere with normal signal transduction by generating artificial currents, ultimately numbing pain
  • Physical therapy – another form of non-invasive treatment employed by pain relief centers that uses mechanical force such as massage and certain stretches to help rehabilitate strained tissue
  • Surgery – intervention that involves surgical procedures to relieve pain, by either removing pain sensors and nerves, repairing torn tissue, or removing tissue that is beyond surgery. This type of treatment is irreversible and very invasive, so is only considered as a last resort.

Where’s a good pain relief center in Los Angeles?

Are you in pain and wanting to seek help from a pain relief center in Los Angeles? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a double-certified specialist in pain care and anesthesiology might just be who you need. With his years of experience in caring for patients, excellent training, and holistic treatment perspective, he’ll be able to help you greatly in dealing with your pain comprehensively. His clinic offers a wide spectrum of the latest diagnostic and rehabilitative treatments that could easily be tailored to your specific needs. Call his clinic now at (626) 538 – 8950 and start getting back on your feet!

Migraine Specialist Los Angeles

What is migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease primarily identified by recurring bouts of moderate to severe pain in the head. Unlike normal headache, it is accompanied by a cocktail of other symptoms such as marked sensitivity to light and nausea. The intense, throbbing pain often affect only one side of the head, and could last from a few hours to several days. This condition affects around 10% of the population including children, and is more common in women than in men.

What causes migraine?

Debilitating as migraine is, the underlying reasons for its occurrence are still being studied. Migraine specialists believe it is brought about by physiological disorders in the brain’s nerve pathways and chemical signaling. Research has shown it may also involve genetics, occurring more often to families with migraine history among its members.  There are however, what we call triggers – factors which may cause an actual attack. In order to be able to manage migraine more effectively, it is important for affected individuals to observe events that lead to their migraine attacks, and if possible, avoid their individual triggers completely. The triggers vary from one individual to another, but the common ones, as migraine specialists put it, are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain food, drinks, or additives
  • Stress
  • Sensory overstimulation (e.g. bright lights and loud sounds)
  • Sleep depravation
  • Medications (e.g. oral contraceptives)
  • Environmental changes

What are the symptoms of migraine?

Migraine often comes not only with the headache, but a couple of other symptoms of varying intensity. The combination may differ between adults and children, and between individuals, but ultimately altogether able to prevent a person from meeting normal daily functions. Seeing a migraine specialist could help patients manage the pain so it doesn’t get in the way of their responsibilities. Some of the symptoms often experienced during migraine episodes are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Sensory warning symptoms (aura)
  • Blurred vision
  • Pulsating pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Eye and neck pain
  • Numbness and tingling sensations in the extremities

How is migraine treated?

Migraine cannot be cured completely, but seeking the help of migraine specialists would enable you to get through each attack with relative ease. Migraine specialists usually employ treatments falling into two categories – pain relief and prevention. It is of course easier to avoid triggers, but in the event of an attack, several classes of drugs are prescribed by migraine specialists to deal with the pain. Some of the treatments include:

  • Pain-relievers
  • Preventive medication
  • Opiods and anti-depressants
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Rest

What can a migraine specialist do for you?

Migraine specialists are doctors who focus on helping patients with migraines. They may come from different medical disciplines including internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, and other specializations. They also would have usually undergone distinctive trainings and certifications in pain and migraine management. Seeking the help of migraine specialists could really help you gain control of the intense pain, even as they recur. By studying the history, triggers, and nature of the attacks, your migraine specialist could recommend a treatment strategy specially tailored to your needs and ensure effective and holistic pain management.

Needing a migraine specialist in Los Angeles?

Are you experiencing frequent migraine headaches that keep you from living your life? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a migraine specialist in Los Angeles, may just be who you need. His intensive training and more than a decade’s worth of experience in dealing with a broad spectrum of pain attacks guarantees you the best of care. Employing the most advanced treatment modalities techniques and really striving to provide comprehensive, patient-centered, individualized regimen, he could give you the medication strategy that would suit you best for your migraine needs. Why don’t you call his clinic today at (626) 538 – 8950 for an appointment? Let him take away your pain, so you could take back your life.

Los Angeles Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a form of specialized rehabilitative medicine drawing on several disciplines such as physics, biomechanics, physiology, and anatomy to redress physical injuries or illnesses. It involves the use of mechanical forces such as stretching exercises and massage to restore or improve a patient’s mobility and physical functional capacity. Usually facilitated by a trained physical therapist, the exercises provide relief to strained tissue, restore movement, as well as prevent future problems. Physical therapy, including that which could be had in Los Angeles, is a non-invasive alternative to surgical and interventional treatments for a diverse assortment of cases.

What are the types of physical therapy?

Several types of physical therapy can be prescribed for patients depending on the nature of the underlying causes, their physique, age, and many other factors. As the injuries frequently also involve pain, physical therapy plans may also be coupled with pain management medicine and other treatment strategies. It is important to note that physical therapy should not be self-administered without consulting with a specialist, as some forms of movement could further aggravate tissue injury. Additionally, some conditions require attention to other physiological aspects of the illness, which could easily be neglected by untrained opinion resulting to worse situations. Upon consultation with a doctor, patients may be asked to go through different types of physical therapy to comprehensively care for the injury or illness. Some deal with putting back dislocated tissue (as in joints), some more employ massage to decongest inflamed nodes, and others employ certain media (e.g. electricity, water, and ultrasound) to facilitate rehabilitation. Common forms of physical therapy are:

  • Manual therapy (e.g. massage, physical manipulation, and slow stretches)
  • Education (training for doing exercises at home and avoiding reinjury)
  • Specialized treatments (e.g. wound care, vestibular rehabilitation, cancer care)
  • Ultrasound therapy and electrical stimulation
  • Hydotherapy

How do I know I need physical therapy?

Physical therapy may be able to help patients suffering from a wide variety of conditions, so you may opt to ask your physician about including it on your treatment scheme as necessary. Physical therapy in Los Angeles is used in the following cases:

  • Recovering from injury – physical therapy is used to help patients reduce pain in strained tissue such as muscles and tendons by relaxing them or putting them back to their proper positions, as well as prevent future injuries by building muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Dealing with persistent health conditions – as in cases of spinal arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, exercises could help retard the progress of joint and nerve degeneration by physically strengthening the body and continuously improve function.
  • Rehabilitation from disability caused by severe health conditions – suffering from a stroke, major heart and lunch problems, or spinal cord and brain injury may leave patients with significant disabilities. On such occasions, physical therapy is employed to deal with mobility issues such as the inability to move certain body parts or stand properly, as well as to train the body to safely use rehabilitative equipment like walkers.
  • Treatment for childhood health conditions – physical therapy can also help children who suffer from major impairment such as cerebral palsy by supplementing their developmental and growth needs, enabling them to build motor capacity and their ability to move as they like.

Where can I get physical therapy in Los Angeles?

Are you considering to get into rehabilitation therapy for your illness? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a pain management specialists based in Los Angeles could help you. With his extensive experience in rehabilitative care from treating patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, he is well able to give you the best therapy you could get, from diagnosis to physical therapy prescription. Dr. Li believes in comprehensive, minimally invasive treatment designed to fit individual patients’ needs, and he, together with his team of physical therapists, could do the same for you. Call his clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 to set your appointment today, and conquer your pain!

Pinched Nerve

What are nerves?

Nerves are the communication facilitators of the body. They convey signals for movement and sensation across from the brain out into the extremities, and are hugely responsible for a coordinated response to stimulus. They allow the person to feel pain and ticklish sensations, see and hear, feel warm or cold, by using chemical and electrical signals to let the brain know what happens in the surrounding environment. In return, the brain processes the signals and responds by conveying, once again through the nerves, commands for muscle and organ action. The nerves are composed of dendrites and axons, as well as structures for nerve support and protection. Together, they form an interconnected system of nerves that relay nerve impulses across the body faster than you can blink.

What is pinched nerve?

As nerves run across the body alongside tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones, they run the risk of being impinged or strained by surrounding structures upon extensive repetitive use or upon sustaining injuries. In such cases the nerves or the layer protecting them may be irritated or inflamed, resulting to unpleasant sensations. This is what’s described as pinched nerve, a condition in which a nerve is significantly compressed to cause temporary or permanent damage. The excessive pressure experienced by pinched nerves disrupt their normal function and cause injury, which if left untreated, may bring about irreversible damage and loss of functional capacity. The pain manifests in various forms depending on the severity of compression, and may be felt as tingling, numbness, sharp pain, and even weakness in surrounding muscles.

What are the causes of pinched nerve?

Persistent pain in your extremities, or your back or neck, may indicate a case of pinched nerve. As this may cause irreparable nerve injury if left untreated, consulting with your pain doctor immediately is always advised for proper diagnosis and treatment. Pinched nerves, brought about by too much pressure on the nerves, may be caused by one of the following conditions:

  • Repetitive activities or hobbies
  • Disc herniation
  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Injuries
  • Bad posture

How is pinched nerve diagnosed?

Radiating pain and persistent paresthesia (tingling) may indicate a case of pinched nerve. Upon consultation with a doctor, the patient is first usually asked to give a detailed description of the pain – the intensity, history of triggers and manifestations, relieving factors, and more. Then the physician may do a physical exam of the affected area, testing reflexes, signs of weakness, and sensations. Imaging tests such as X-ray and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) would then be done to confirm the diagnosis, and for the doctor to accurately be able to determine the exact location of the pinched nerve. Additionally, electromyography (EMG), a procedure which determines nerve conduction activity, may be done to measure the degree of nerve injury.

How is pinched nerve treated?

Pinched nerves have two aspects – the irritation and physical nerve compression, and the symptomatic pain caused by the strain. As such, treatment strategies are designed to deal with both aspects, in order to comprehensively treat the patient. In order to be able to get the best treatment, do consult with a medical practitioner. Depending on the pinched nerve severity, cause, and pain intensity, patients may be recommended to receive one or more of the following treatments:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Narcotics for pain relief
  • Steroid injections and nerve blocks
  • Physical therapy
  • Use of splints and braces
  • surgery

Where can I get treatment for pinched nerve?

Are you in pain which could probably be caused by a pinched nerve? Los Angeles-based pain management specialist, Dr. Kevin Li, MD, could greatly help you. With more than a decade of extensive pain care training and experience, he could give you the best diagnosis, and help you get comprehensive, minimally invasive, and patient-centered treatment that suits you perfectly. Get in touch with his clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 to set an appointment today, and watch your pain go away!

Pain Management Los Angeles

What is pain?

Pain, physiologically speaking, is the unpleasant feelinpain management in Los Angelesg brought about as a symptom by some illness, dysfunction of organs, or injuries. It can range from mild discomfort to severe, intolerable aches. Pain is classified into two, depending on its origin. Nociceptive pain is described as discomfort from tissue damage or inflammation, commonly as in cases of broken bones and muscular tears. Neuropathic pain on the other hand, is discomfort arising from nerve damage, inflammation, or irritation, as in cases of sciatic pain and neuropathy. The pain may be termed acute if it is resolved quickly (six months at most by definition), or chronic, if it is persistent and stays for longer periods (more than six months). Regardless of the source or manifestation, pain does have the potential to limit a person’s day to day activities and his or her ability to enjoy life, especially if not managed properly.

What is pain management?

Pain management is a type of medical care that helps patients deal with pain. It brings together several disciplines in science such as neurology, anesthesiology, chiropractic and physical therapy, surgery, and psychiatry, for optimal pain prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This approach is mainly utilized by healthcare professionals in a bid to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from various ailments. In most cases, pain is dealt with to minimize distress in patients during the course of treatment and healing, as well as to allow the progress of procedures for rehabilitation that may otherwise be too painful. Pain management is carried out using various tools such as pain medications (anesthetics, pain-relievers, anti-inflammatory, and steroidal drugs), physical therapy, nerve blocks or nerve stimulants, or surgery.

What is the basis of pain management?

Needless to say, pain management cannot be done effectively without proper diagnosis. That being said, pain management strategies are decided after extensive and accurate evaluation of the cases. Patients are usually asked to orient the pain management team (or doctor) regarding the history of the pain, its locations, manifestations, intensity, duration, triggers, and relieving factors. After that, patients may be asked to undergo diagnostic procedures such as imaging tests (e.g. CT scans, etc.), physical and neurological examinations, and electrodiagnostic tools to also be able to check physiological irregularities. At this point, the pain management doctor should be able to determine the exact cause of the problem, and prescribe an appropriate course of action.

What are the usual pain management strategies?

An illness or injury is usually behind the symptomatic discomfort, so it is important to consult with a qualified medical practitioner in order to get the optimal care that does not only involve pain reduction, but also include treating the actual ailment. In the meantime, some of the pain management strategies employed by physicians are listed below:

  • Administration of analgesics (mild to moderate pain)
  • Use of opiates, narcotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, and antidepressants
  • Nerve blocks
  • Spinal and other nerve stimulations
  • Physical therapy and acupuncture
  • Surgical treatments

Where can I find pain management specialists in Los Angeles?

Are you in severe pain, and needing pain management in Los Angeles? Dr. Kevin Li, MD is a pain management specialist based in L.A., who could help you with your journey. He has pervasive experience in helping patients in pain with a wide range of conditions, and believes in comprehensive, patient-centered pain care. With his multiple certifications, trainings, and more than a decade of specialized practice, he could surely give you the best pain care you could get. Just get in touch with his clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 to set an appointment, and watch your pain go away.

Pain Management Center Los Angeles

What is pain management?

Pain is defined as a symptomatic discomfort arising from an occurrence of tissue or nerve damage, inflammation, or irritation in the body. When it manifests, especially if chronic in nature, could prevent a person from carrying out daily functions. In such cases, patients could approach pain management centers for pain care, a branch of healthcare which focuses on comprehensive pain diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The strategy is usually to draw upon different disciplines in science and medicine such as anesthesiology, physical therapy, and surgery in order to minimize the pain and deal with the underlying causes. Pain management, for most people, brings back their ability to live life by treating the distressing symptomatic pain, even during the process of treatment and rehabilitation.

What is a pain management center?

Pain management centers in Los Angeles, for example, are healthcare facilities specializing in helping patients in pain. Pain management centers employ multidisciplinary specialists in the likes of doctors, chiropractors, surgeons, psychiatrists, and other healthcare providers, who together could design a pain management strategy to comprehensively treat the patient in the best and most effective way possible. These centers also cater to patients undergoing thorough physical and neurological evaluation, diagnostic imaging and electric nerve simulation tests in order to allow for precise diagnosis of pain causes.

What are pain management plans used by pain management centers?

Pain doctors from pain management centers would always address the pain specifically to suit individual patient needs, preferences, and circumstances. As such, they first perform diagnostic procedures, and study the patient’s pain history before deciding how to go about the treatment. It is important to remember that some treatment strategies are effective only for a short while, and that treatment should  include dealing with the actual physiological problem, as pain is a mere symptom of potentially more serious ailments. Going to pain management centers in Los Angeles would always be best in order for proper diagnosis and medical evaluation be done, even before deciding to do some home remedy. The following are some pain care strategies used by pain management centers:

  • Medications (pain-relievers, opioids, anti-depressants, steroidal and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine) – being the least invasive, this form of treatment is usually given to patients for quick pain relief before they are even subjected to any other forms of treatment. In some cases, administration of medicine that reduce inflammation in affected tissues may be enough to treat the pain, and the underlying cause.
  • Nerve blocks – this treatment involves direct delivery of desensitizing agents such as anesthetics and steroids via injections to affected nerves to soothe them, and in a sense interrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain and thus minimize pain felt by patients.
  • Nerve stimulations – for this one, nerves are electrically simulated by a device in order to bring about a sensation that is tolerable for patients, and that which masks the pain at the same time, due to the interruption of the nerve’s normal signaling patterns.
  • Surgery – surgery for pain management involves either removing the inflamed part, or surgically killing nerves involved in transmitting pain signals of affected areas. This treatment is often only recommended when other minimally-invasive treatments have proven ineffective of insufficient to significantly reduce the patient’s pain
  • Physical therapy – doctors in pain management centers may recommend for specific sets of stretching exercises in order to aid with the rehabilitation of the affected parts (e.g. loosening muscles that strain a certain nerve, causing irritation)
  • Counselling and psychological guidance – as part of comprehensive treatment, patients may be supported by pain management centers through counselling and psychological mentoring, to take care of the emotional aspect of pain in patients. This treatment is usually employed in conjunction with medical treatment, especially for chronic cases.

Where can I find a good pain management center in Los Angeles?

Pain is a serious problem, thus its management should be done thoroughly. Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a certified specialist from Advance Spine Care & Pain Management center in Los Angeles, could help you in your journey. With his wide experience in treating patients with various pain problems, he could surely provide you with the best treatment for your pain. Just get in touch with his clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 to schedule your appointment today, and start on your journey to a pain-free life!

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection for Sciatica

What is the Sciatic Nerve?

The sciatic nerve is a major nerve located

around the area of the lumbar spine, running along the buttocks, the thighs, and then further branches down the legs to form the common peroneal and tibial nerves. It arises from the sacral plexus and is formed at the junction of several spinal nerves, namely nerves L4 to S3. It delivers sensory information to the spine from the legs, powers many of the motor functions of the legs, and also generates the leg reflexes.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a defined as any pain that comes as an offshoot of an inflammation or strain on the sciatic nerve. As such, the pain can be throughout the different sections in proximity of the nerve, from the lumbar spine, the buttocks and posterior thighs, often also going down the leg. It is normally described as a shooting pain which has an acute onset, accompanied by dullness or prickling sensations in the feet and toes. In worse cases, the symptoms may also include difficulty in moving the lower extremities, and a marked loss of leg reflexes.

What are the causes of Sciatica?

Sciatica, though possibly debilitating, is usually just a symptom. It would always be best to visit your local spine center for proper diagnosis of underlying reasons. In general, sciatica is effected by one of the following causes:

  • Disc herniation
  • Sciatic nerve inflammation
  • Degenerative Spinal arthritis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Muscular hypertension (as in incorrect lifting positions)
  • Spinal infections around the lumbar area
  • Nerve root compression
  • pregnancy

How is Sciatica treated?

Spine centers in the States offer a variety of treatment for sciatica, depending on preeminent causes and the severity of the pain.  Diagnosis is typically done through physical examination and imaging procedures, after which your spine center physician may recommend you to undergo at least one of the following:

  • Rest
  • Hot or cold compress
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Opiates, Muscle relaxants or Antidepressants
  • Lumbar epidural steroid injection
  • Surgical mediation

What is Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection?

As its name suggests, lumbar epidural steroid injection is the direct injection of steroidal medicine to the epidural space in the lumbar spine with the intention of providing pain relief for sciatica. Professionals from spine centers employ a mixture of local anesthetics and corticosteroids, which act as numbing and anti-inflammatory agents, respectively. Together the agents soothe the pain and minimize nerve swelling. The mixture may also include saline on certain occasions, which could also help dilute and flush out immunological agents responding to the nerve stress that also cause nerve irritation. This minimally-invasive procedure is utilized by spine centers as an important part of non-surgical pain care, in conjunction with expansive rehabilitation therapy. The effects of steroid injections are temporary, however, though it does still give enough relief to patients to allow for physical therapy progression which may otherwise be too painful.

How is Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection done?

Upon being recommended by the spine center doctors for lumbar epidural steroid injection, the patients would first be asked to go through imaging tests (e.g. MRI or CT scan), also usually available in the spine center, so as to pinpoint the exact location of inflammation. Local anesthetics would then be given to the patient in the spine center, to desensitize the skin section to be punctured. Fluoroscopic imaging (X-ray) guides the physician during the needle insertion through to the spinal canal and into the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots. The medicine is then injected to the epidural space. Patients are then monitored for some time before being sent home from the spine center.

Where can I get a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection done?

Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a spine care physician based in L.A, would be the best practitioner to consult for your lumbar epidural steroid injection. With his years of pervasive experience in image-guided anesthesiology, he could surely give you the finest epidural steroid injection albeit the intricacy of the procedure. Get in touch with his Los Angeles spine center today at (626) 538 – 8950 to set an appointment , and breathe pain-free!

Celiac plexus blocks for abdominal cancer pain

What is abdominal cancer?

The abdomen is described as the area containing most of the organs for digestion such as the intestines, stomach, liver, and pancreas. It covers the length of the torso below the chest down to the pelvis. Abdominal cancer is a general term for abnormal cell growth developing in this area, and refers to a wide variety of cancer types like gastric or pancreatic cancer. Cancers grow due to a variety of reasons such as stress, and bacterial infections, causing complications such as digestive organ failure, intestinal obstructions, and other problems. It is usually asymptomatic in early stages, so it is often only detected after progressing more severely.

What is abdominal cancer pain?

Abdominal pain is one of the symptoms observed in patients with more advanced abdominal cancers. It may be induced as a side effect of chemotherapeutic agents, or caused by the inflammation of organs where the tumors grow. The pain comes sometimes as cramping, or dull ache that gradually builds in intensity; in other cases it manifests as a sharp pain that is rather severe and persistent. It is often also accompanied by several other digestive malfunctions such as diarrhea, constipation, excessive flatulence, and nausea.

What are the causes of abdominal cancer pain?

Chronic abdominal pain may be caused by a variety of reasons, so consulting a pain management doctor is highly advised in order to rule out other possible causes. In cases where abdominal cancer really is the source, careful observation of pain behavior may help you and your pain management doctor determine the specific cause of abdominal cancer pain, which can be one of the following:

  • Chemotherapy-induced pain
  • Change in motility
  • Inflammation of cancer-infested organ
  • Intestinal blockage

How is abdominal cancer pain treated?

Abdominal cancer pain sometimes becomes a constant companion of patients, especially in cases where it gets really severe. Depending on the specific cause, pain management doctors may recommend appropriate pain management measures to patients, such as:

  • Change of chemotherapy medicine
  • Dietary changes
  • Use of pain killers
  • Surgery
  • Celiac plexus block

What is a celiac plexus block?

Celiac plexus block is a type of nerve block used by pain management doctors which specifically target a bundle of nerves innervating the abdominal area. The celiac plexus, a bundle of nerves located around the aorta, relays pain signals from the digestive organs to the brain. In chronic abdominal pain cases, direct desensitization of these nerves is usually the best course of action for pain relief, avoiding severe side effects of other strong pain management medicine. As in other nerve blocks, the celiac plexus block utilizes a mixture of anesthetic medicine and neurolytic agents such as steroids to kill the pain and damage the nerves so as to disable them from transmitting pain signals and provide pain relief. Pain management doctors may administer it every few months, as the effects wear out and the nerves ably repair themselves. Abdominal pain is a mere symptom of the actual cancer, so this pain management scheme may be used in conjunction with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

How is a celiac plexus block done?

The celiac plexus block is accomplished by imaging-guided injection techniques. The patient’s skin is first sterilized and anesthetized by the pain management doctor in preparation for deep injection. Needle placement is then visualized by the pain management doctor using X-ray real-time monitoring and contrast dyes. Upon confirmation of proper placement, the neurolytic or anesthetic formula is introduced into the celiac plexus. Patients are observed by the pain management professional before being sent home.

Where are celiac plexus blocks done?

Needing a celiac plexus block? Dr. Kevin Li, M.D., a pain management doctor based in Los Angeles could give you just what you need. With his years of extensive experience in image-guided anesthesiology and work in pain management, the best care for abdominal pain management can be yours! Contact his L.A. clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 for your appointment, and take a step towards a pain-free life!