#PainStopsHere

Clinic Hours : Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm, Fri 8am-12pm   Phone : (254) 245-9175    Fax : (254) 213-7771

IPA News

FDA Strengthens Warning on Combining Benzos and Opioids

The FDA expanded its warnings against using opioids and benzodiazepines concomitantly. This action is based on new information on three specific opioids—buprenorphine, buprenorphine-naloxone and methadone, which are typically prescribed for the treatment of opioid use disorder—and the risk for respiratory depression when these drugs are used with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

According to the FDA alert, “the combined use of these drugs increases the risk of serious side effects; however, the harm caused by untreated opioid addiction usually outweighs these risks. Careful medication management by health care professionals can reduce these risks.”

Read More Here

Read More

House votes to expand veterans’ access to private care

House lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation expanding veterans’ access to private care at taxpayer expense, a campaign promise of President Donald Trump, and adding more money to the “Choice program” weeks before VA officials said it could run out of money.

The $51 billion plan that passed 347-70 Wednesday includes $5.2 billion for the VA Choice program that funds private care. VA officials have warned that the program could run out of money as early as the end of the month, disrupting care for patients.

Read Full Story Here

Read More

Walmart tightens its opioid prescription policies

Walmart is making its opioid policy more strict, limiting the duration of such prescriptions and requiring that they be filled electronically.

The company announced on Monday that within 60 days, it will only fill first-time acute opioid prescriptions for seven days or less nationwide, and it will limit the dosage to 50 morphine milligram equivalents, or MMEs, per day. The CDC publishes MME conversion guides to help pharmacists figure out the right dosage for each type of prescribed opioid.

 There are more than 5,300 Walmart (WMT) and Sam’s Club locations in the United States.
The new restrictions follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC study found that people who were prescribed at least one day of opioid therapy had a 6% chance of being addicted a year later — but for those prescribed eight or more days of treatment saw that chance spiked to 13.5%. The CDC also notes that patients who are prescribed higher dosages are more likely to die from an overdose.
Read More

Chronic Pain and Intimacy

Eight Ways to Improve Your Sex Life with Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, you may feel that intimacy with your partner isn’t possible or sometimes even desirable. Chronic pain can affect mobility. And fatigue and depression make it hard to get in the mood. Often it’s easier to simply mourn the loss of this part of your relationship. But don’t do that just yet.

You’re not alone:
Sexual desire and functioning are difficult for many people with pain. More than half of the respondents in one study said that pain placed limitations on their sex lives. They reported pain and fatigue as having the biggest effects. According to experts, both men and women with pain commonly experience a downturn in their sex lives.

Roadblocks to desire:
Emotions related to pain and sex are complex. You may feel fear or anxiety for a number of reasons. Pain or reactions to medication may make you question your ability to become aroused, perform sexually, or have an orgasm. Limited mobility or painful joints can prompt feelings of unattractiveness or discomfort about your body. Perhaps a previous attempt to have sex with your partner didn’t go smoothly, and you’re afraid it will happen again. Or you may be dealing with a combination of these obstacles.

Ways to help:
The good news is that you can have a fulfilling sex life with chronic pain. It requires a bit of planning and maybe some new foreplay and positions, but pleasure is possible. You may even experience a break from your discomfort and pain: orgasms release chemicals called endorphins that are natural pain and stress fighters.

To bring more intimacy into your relationship, consider trying a few of the following:

     Take a warm bath:A soothing soak can relieve pain. If you’d like, ask your partner to join you. Sex needn’t follow. Just relaxing together can be a sensual first step to reintroducing intimacy into your relationship.
     Plan for “least-pain” times:Your pain may feel worse at certain times of day. Sex in the morning or afternoon may be better than at nighttime. Set your alarm clock a little earlier, or plan a quiet weekend afternoon with your partner. Also, get to know when your pain medication kicks in. By becoming more aware of when you have the most pain relief, you can time intimacy to when you’re feeling your best.
     Play with positions:Some sexual positions may be more comfortable for people with arthritis. And don’t forget foreplay. Massage, oral sex, and other alternatives to intercourse can help take attention or pressure off of parts of the body that are painful to move or touch.
     Rule out depression:If you feel as if your sex drive has dropped, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you might have depression. Lack of desire can be a symptom.
     Fight fatigue:Keep your energy level up by getting eight hours of sleep, building good nutrition into your diet, and practicing stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation.
     Get moving: Regular workouts will help to keep joints more mobile and boost your energy, mood, and positive feelings about your body. Gentle exercises before sex also can improve range of motion.
     Monitor medications: The medications that you take to control pain or other symptoms may affect sexual function. For example, some antidepressants can decrease your ability to experience orgasm. Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist about possible side-effects.
     Go slowly: Give yourself permission to nurture intimacy at a comfortable speed. Kissing, cuddling, and other gestures of affection will convey love and let your partner know that you value being close.

Source: https://www.painaction.com/eight-ways-improve-sex-life-arthritis-pain/

In addition, the utilization of opioid medications significantly reduce testosterone levels in both men and women which can have a huge impact on sexual desire and performance. Reduced testosterone levels are also associated with decreased muscle mass, increased fat deposition, reduced bone density, and increased pain levels. Eliminating opioids from your medication regimen will help restore more normal sexual desire and function and can actually reduce current pain levels says Dr. Benjamin Lowry.

Read More

TRICARE Insurance

ATTENTION: TRICARE PATIENTS
On January 1, 2018 there were many changes to the Tricare program. These changes include an increase in copays for office visits and outpatient procedures and could impact you. Please read the attached material and visit the Tricare website to learn more. https://tricare.mil/Changes
#knowyourbenefits #insuranceupdate #Tricare #noticetopatients#painstopshere #IPAclinic

Read More

Patient Portal Guide for Patients

Do you ever wish you could just send a message directly to your provider or an IPA staff member?

Well, now you can! IPA has a secure Patient Portal where you can send messages to your provider, request an appointment, pay your bill online, and so much more. The Patient Portal is an easy, convenient way to access your IPA care team without the hassle of calling, leaving a message, and waiting for a response. With the portal, your message goes directly to a member of our team who will begin working on a solution and will have an answer for you, in most cases, the same day.

If you provided your e-mail address when you established care at IPA, you should have received an e-mail with the Patient Portal instructions and your username. If you do not have access to the Patient Portal please call our office at (254)245-9175 and one of our staff members will help you get set up.

Our goal is to provide faster, easier, and more convenient access for our patients.

Please visit the link below to see the Patient Portal User Guide for instructions on how to navigate the Portal.

https://ipaclinic.com/patient-portal/patient-portal-guide/

Read More

DRG Therapy: A Different Approach to Pain Relief

DRG Therapy: A Different Approach to Pain Relief

Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapy is a new type of neurostimulation therapy designed to manage difficult-to-treat chronic pain in specific areas of the lower body, such as the foot, knee, hip or groin. If you suffer from this kind of pain, DRG therapy may work where other therapies have not—or may have provided only partial relief.   Benjamin Lowry M.D.  at Integrated Pain Associates is one of the few physicians in the area trained to perform this procedure.

DRG therapy is for patients whose pain is limited to a specific area of the body. The DRG corresponds to specific anatomical locations in the body and relays information, such as pain signals, to the brain.

The Dorsal root ganglion is a nerve cluster that regulates signals and sensations as they travel to the brain. Stimulation of the DRG can modify the pain signals getting through resulting in pain reduction.

The following short video explains what DRG stimulation is and how it works.

https://www.sjm.com/en/professionals/resources-and-reimbursement/video-and-media/nm-overview-of-dorsal-root-ganglion-stimulation

Patients suffering from chronic nerve pain due to the following conditions may be candidates for this procedure:

  • Groin/ Perineal Pain
  • Lower Extremity Pain
  • CRPS
  • Hyperalgesia/ Allodynia
  • Post-surgical Neuropathic Pain
  • Phantom Limb Pain
  • Peripheral Polyneuropathy
  • Intercostal Neuralgia
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia

Studies have shown that DRG Stimulation has a significantly greater efficacy over traditional spinal cord stimulation. In a double-blind study, over 50% of the participants experienced pain relief with an average pain reduction of over 80%.

Please take the time to view this DRG presentation by Benjamin Lowry, MD

Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation- For PTs

If you’re suffering from focal lower extremity pain, complex regional pain syndrome, or other forms of painful nerve disorders, then DRG may be very helpful at reducing your pain. Please call us at (254)245-9175 to learn more about how this new pain management technology is changing lives.  Our staff at Integrated Pain Associates looks forward to hearing from you and discussing how neuromodulation may help you.

Read More

Temple – Ribbon Cutting

As you know Integrated Pain Associates has been serving the Central Texas community for 10+ years. Since we opened for business, the support of our patients and referring providers has helped us grow tremendously.

Due to the continued growth of our practice we recently opened a new clinic located at 5244 South 31st St. in Temple. We are excited about our new office and proud to be able to better serve your community.

Our goal is to accommodate our growing patient base and provide easier access to care for our patients’ pain management needs.

Read More

Pain management growing, evolving

When Dr. Scott Irvine opened Integrated Pain Associates 12 years ago in Killeen, he was the only physician. The clinic now has seven physicians and eight nurse practitioners.

“I started seeing patients with chart No. 1,” Irvine said. “We just crossed chart 23,000 a (couple of) weeks ago.”

The growth of the clinic speaks volumes about the need in the community and the nation for pain clinics, Marketing Director Lydia Bailey said.

The idea that pain needed to be managed in a fashion different from a pharmacy led to the increase of pain clinics, according to Irvine.

Read More: http://kdhnews.com/living/pain-management-growing-evolving/article_ff6455e0-ab94-11e7-aad5-8b73c30cc717.html
Source: KDH News

Read More

Opioid commission unveils new partnerships, drug supply limits to stop epidemic

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held the third formal meeting of President Trump’s ongoing Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis, where officials in the pharmaceutical industry and government detailed new partnerships and efforts in the hopes of limiting the use of opioid prescriptions for combatting pain and recommending new treatments for pain management without the use of addictive substances.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins advised the commission that the agency is looking to build partnerships with researchers across academia, government, prescribers and patients to “cut in half the time needed to make available prescriptions that are non-addictive.”

He said areas like developing “potent but non-addictive drugs” for pain relief and offering new avenues for treatment would become a top priority for the partnership.

Source: CBS News
Read More: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-commission-unveils-new-partnerships-drug-supply-limits-to-stop-epidemic/

Read More