wellness PAIN MANAGEMENT
Answers from expert John Batson
Dr. John Batson is a pain management physician for Lowcountry Spine & Sport. Learn more at spineandsportmd.com.
[Q] What were the most popular treatments in 2020? [A] We have been performing PRP (platelet rich plasma) treatments for various pain-related conditions for almost 10 years. What has changed for this treatment is science is catching up with what we see in clinical practice. For knee arthritis, especially early stage when knee replacement is not considered, there is more evidence in favor of PRP injections than any other injection (i.e. steroids or Hyaluronic Acid). Patients are seeking alternative options, and the great thing with PRP is there are virtually no side effects. Repeated steroid injections, on the other hand, may actually worsen the arthritis. Other settings where we are using PRP injections include early stage hip and shoulder arthritis, partial rotator cuff tears and chronic tennis or golfers elbow.
[Q] What trends do you see for 2021? [A] 2020 in some ways was a reality check that we humans need to take care of ourselves and invest in our health. As with many illnesses, Covid has shown us the healthier you are, the better you will be fighting off an infection. Looking past simply improved hygiene, I have seen a trend this year more than any other with patients wanting to lose weight, eat healthier, get active and avoid pharmaceutical medications. I foresee this continuing into 2021 and I am really excited to help patients reach their health goals. Treating illness is no fun for anyone, but health promotion can and should be fun for physicians and patients. Related to conditions like arthritis and chronic pain, which I treat every day, there are some basics patients may consider. More and more evidence is showing a plant-based, non-processed nutrition plan (not diet) can help treat pain and arthritis. Daily fitness and weekly strength training is important to help maintain muscle mass, bone density and weight control. For some patients certain supplements like turmeric, tart cherry concentrate and CBD products may be appropriate to try. Another trend I am seeing is many individuals are choosing outdoor fitness activities like biking, paddleboarding and hiking. Fresh air and a little sunshine are great for all of us.
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LocalLifeSC.com + JANUARY 2021
EXPERT TIP Listen to your body. The most common condition I see in practice is lower back pain. It can be incredibly debilitating and negatively affects a patient's physical health, mental health, relationships and work abilities. It is important to remember we all will get back pain, but it does not have to ruin your life, and in many ways you can prevent the back pain severity and frequency. How? Stay fit and healthy! Maintain a healthy weight, use good posture (head high, shoulders back), keep your core strong and hamstrings flexible. Eat more plant-based foods that are not processed. If you experience lower back pain, listen to your body and make modifications where appropriate. If the pain continues, get in to see a physician with expertise in pain medicine and/ or sports medicine. Often, early on some simple modifications can make a big difference. Lastly, if you are smoking cigarettes, STOP!
Answers from expert Bonnie J. Rothwell [Q] What are the benefits of no-drill porcelain veneers? [A] Your smile can be completely transformed. It is a very durable and long-lasting material that is actually stronger than your natural enamel. It’s about the same thickness as your fingernails. [Q] Who should consider them? [A] They can improve the appearance of many cosmetic imperfections including discoloration, chipped teeth, minor spacing issues, misshaped teeth as well as irregular sizing issues. The exact color, shape and size can be customized into a smile you will absolutely love. You will have multiple opportunities to see exactly what your new smile will look like before it is permanently bonded into place. [Q] How long will they last? [A] It is difficult to put a number of years for a lifespan. They won’t really wear out during a human lifespan. If they aren’t well cared for, the bonding material can deteriorate. Or they can be damaged and need to be replaced.