Treat Pain Without Opiates at Pacific Health Systems San Diego

Migraine and Fibromyalgia Treatment with TMS Therapy

There are a wide variety of reasons why people suffer from chronic pain, but some of the more commonly reported causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer
  • Nerve damage
  • Persistent headaches
  • Lower back injuries

Chronic pain can also be present without evidence of any current or past injury or ailment. Furthermore, pain manifests itself differently in different people, and perceptions and responses to pain vary from person to person. These variables can make treatment challenging, but at Pacific Health Systems, we’re committed to providing treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific chronic pain condition.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy represents a groundbreaking approach in the treatment of various neurological and psychiatric conditions, including migraine and fibromyalgia. This non-invasive treatment involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, with the aim of alleviating symptoms associated with these conditions. Here’s how TMS therapy can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from migraine and fibromyalgia:

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Migraine Treatment with TMS Therapy

Migraines are characterized by intense, debilitating headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Traditional treatments include medications and lifestyle adjustments, but for those who do not respond to these methods, TMS offers a promising alternative.

  • Mechanism: For migraine, TMS therapy is used to target the cortical areas of the brain associated with pain processing. By delivering magnetic pulses to these areas, TMS can help in modulating the neural activity, potentially leading to a reduction in migraine frequency and severity.
  • Efficacy: Clinical studies have shown that TMS therapy can effectively reduce the number of migraine days for patients, especially those who experience aura with their migraines. It’s considered a safe and effective prophylactic treatment, meaning it can prevent or reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

Fibromyalgia Treatment with TMS Therapy

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, making it a challenging condition to treat. TMS therapy offers a novel approach to managing its symptoms.

  • Mechanism: In the case of fibromyalgia, TMS aims to alter the pain perception pathways in the brain. By targeting specific areas involved in pain perception and modulation, TMS can help in reducing the overall pain and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia.
  • Efficacy: Research indicates that repetitive TMS (rTMS) can lead to significant pain reduction in fibromyalgia patients. The improvements in pain symptoms are accompanied by enhancements in quality of life and functional status, making it a viable option for those not responding well to conventional treatments.

Alternatives to Opiates for Pain Management

We offer both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for managing chronic pain.

Pharmacologic Treatments

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can be used to control chronic pain without the addictive side effects. Some oral and topical medications used include:

Some prescription antidepressants can be effective in alleviating pain, even when depression isn’t a factor. Tricyclic antidepressants are most commonly prescribed and are sometimes used in conjunction with anticonvulsants to improve symptoms.

Considered to be safer than systemic medications, local anesthetics can treat the pain directly at the source. Doctors may recommend topical ointments, such as NSAIDs, lidocaine, or capsaicin, for both neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.

Sometimes pain can be controlled or prevented by numbing a targeted group of nerves, called a plexus or a ganglion, with injections of local anesthetics. Nerve blocks are available for various parts of the face, neck, back, shoulder, arms, abdomen, and pelvis.
Implanted drug pumps deliver pain medication directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, allowing for fast-acting treatment in lower doses with a reduced chance of harmful side effects. Pain pumps are usually short-term solutions, but may be prescribed if you’ve tried other treatment approaches with no significant relief.

Non-Pharmacologic Treatments

Medication isn’t the only way to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain. Many effective alternative treatments include:

Physical therapists work with patients to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and teach new and effective methods of movement. They also play a crucial role in identifying the causes of pain to alleviate the problem at its source.

Research shows acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of chronic pain conditions. By inserting thin needles into special “acupoints,” acupuncture can help your body release endorphins to naturally ease your discomfort.

Short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS delivers a low-voltage electrical current through your skin via strategically placed electrodes. The current then sends signals to your brain that interfere with your normal pain receptors.
Similarly, the heat generated by radio waves can temporarily prevent certain nerves from transmitting pain signals. Administered using carefully placed needles, radiofrequency therapy can provide months – or even years – of pain relief.

Chronic Pain Management at Pacific Health Systems

If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, Pacific Health Systems can help improve your symptoms – and your quality of life. To find out more about our options for non-opiate chronic pain treatment, call us at (619) 267-9257.