Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis

Have you been wondering what could be causing you to experience the following symptoms? Walking with pain, feeling numbness or ‘pins and needles’ in your hands or feet, muscle cramps, pain in your thighs and buttocks that worsens when standing, muscle weakness, even impaired bladder or bowel control. These symptoms may all be related to one specific cause: Spinal Stenosis.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis, also called Spinal Narrowing, is a narrowing of the open spaces in the spine that puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, resulting in pain, numbness, cramping, and problems with movement. Aging is the usual culprit. Spinal Stenosis is common if you are over 50, however younger people may get Spinal Stenosis if they have been born with a narrow spinal canal. Other causes may be Osteoarthritis, spinal tumors, calcium deposits, and Paget’s disease.
Research shows that the pain from spinal stenosis can mimic pain brought about by other spinal disorders. For most patients the condition develops slowly over time. It is quite rare for the condition to be brought about by a single incident.

Is Surgery The Best and Only Answer?

Not exactly. For some patients with spinal stenosis, surgery is a last resort to relieve pressure on the effected nerves in the spine. Surgery is usually reserved for patients with neurologic weakness in the affected extremities. Your first step to relief from your chronic pain is to talk with a board certified pain physician at Southern Michigan Pain Consultants. Southern Michigan Pain Consultants offer various treatment options including Nerve block treatments or injections of anesthetic medication with anti- inflammatory medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications in conjunction with pain medications may be useful as well in treating the pain.

What About Physical Therapy, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Behavioral Therapy?

Southern Michigan Pain Consultants may also utilize physical therapy or osteopathic manipulative medicine that can address functional impairments through the use of physical manipulation and prescribed exercises to normalize and optimize musculoskeletal function to help reduce pain. Behavioral interventions, including biofeedback and muscle relaxation training, in conjunction with counseling are used for patients with recurring pain when all other methods fail. The goal is to develop coping mechanisms to live more productively with the residual pain.

Congratulations Nancy!!!

Nancy Ambs

After fifteen years as a valued member of the Southern Michigan Pain Consultants team, Nancy Ambs, N.P., has decided it is time for her to retire. Nancy’s final day at Southern Michigan Pain Consultants will be July 27, 2017.

Our team as well as the many patients Nancy has treated over her fifteen year tenure at Southern Michigan Pain Consultants, have benefited from her caring and compassionate nature. We are so grateful for all of those wonderful years and wish you well in retirement. Congratulations!

2017 Summer Announcements

  • Regenerative Medicine
    • Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
      • New treatment option at SMPC. Visit our website for additional information or speak to your provider at your next appointment
        • www.southernmichiganpain.com
  • Patient Portal
    • Take advantage of the online services through the Patient Portal
      • Complete your pain information prior to your appointment
      • Pay a bill
      • Request medication refills
      • Talk to a nurse
  • Pain Health Assessment (PHA)
    • Your PHA helps your physician know more about you and how your pain is affecting your entire life. By better understanding your pain, your physician will be able to provide the right resources at the right time to help relieve your suffering
      • The physicians are requesting this assessment to be completed at every appointment
      • Be on the lookout for a reminder email asking you to complete your PHA prior to your appointment. This email will have your ID number and the link needed to complete your assessment
  • Nancy Ambs, Nurse Practitioner
    • Nancy is retiring. She has contributed fifteen years of experience to our practice. Her compassionate care and achievements will not be forgotten. We wish her the best in the next steps in her journey
  • Summer hours
    • The Marshall, Portage and St. Joe offices are closed on Fridays at noon for the summer
    • Normal Friday hours will resume September 1st
    • Please note that our phones turn off at noon on Fridays
      • For emergencies only, at times other than during regular office hours, call (800) 873-0568 or 911 for an ambulance