Interviewer: Well, when the weekend finally rolls around, besides everybody saying, “Woo-hoo,” we all want to do activities we usually enjoy before heading back to work on Monday, but some of those activities, as you might experience, golfing, tennis, even gardening, can cause you pain. Dr. Abraham Rivera from Florida Pain Relief Group joins us now with a solution for all you weekend warriors out there. Now, Dr. Rivera, welcome.
Dr. Rivera: Thank you.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about what kind of pain that we’re zeroing in on here: bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis, all of the itises.
Dr. Rivera: Correct, correct. I mean, this is like you say, the weekend warriors. They go out there. They have very sedentary occupations. Now, it’s the weekend. They want to go out and play 18 holes of golf.
Dr. Rivera: Or they want to play a couple tennis matches. Of course, they come and see me Monday or Tuesday because they are sore, you know, to be expected. Now, many times when I talk to these patients, I find out that there is a problem with their technique. They have the wrong grip on the tennis racket or they have the wrong clubs. Often, they have shoulder disease, and they’re trying to hit that ball like when they were 22, and they’re 50 now. You can no longer hit that ball that way. So just believe it or not, by going over their technique, many times you solve the problem right there.
Interviewer: So I assume you’re a good golfer?
Dr. Rivera: Heavens no, but I do play with quite a few, and I see when they pay the price the next day.
Interviewer: So how do you fix, say, for instance, shoulder pain because a lot of people do like to get out there and hit the tennis ball around or play a round of golf. How do you treat them so they can go back to work without the pain?
Dr. Rivera: Yeah, many times, it’s just a case of acute tendinitis. They’re rubbing the tendon that goes over the shoulder joint against a spur that they have in their shoulder, and we typically diagnose that. We can prescribe some topical medication. We can give them some anti-inflammatory. Sometimes we have no resort but to inject the joint with cortisone. It’s something we can do in the office very quickly.
Interviewer: Now that’s something because I’ve had… I have rheumatoid arthritis in my knee, and I’ve had cortisone shots in my knee, but I was told you have to stop them after a while. Is this correct?
Dr. Rivera: Yeah, cortisone is a very seductive drug because it works.
Dr. Rivera: You can only get so many of these so many times a year.
Dr. Rivera: It can have side effects. It can weaken the tendons. It can cause osteoporosis.
Interviewer: So what’s the next level then after that? I’m asking for myself.
Dr. Rivera: Yeah, I hear you. I hear you. You know when patients have disease in their joints, the thing I try to tell them, make them clear they understand, is they cannot travel that joint. By traveling that joint to the full range of motion, they’re wearing it out more. So try not to move it.
Interviewer: Yeah, hard to do. I’m a very active individual, but I was told that stem cell therapy might actually help.
Dr. Rivera: Well that certainly holds a promise. It is… the data is very promising, very tantalizing. It is an alternative. Unfortunately, it’s not covered by most insurances, but it’s certainly an alternative.
Interviewer: And real quickly for the gardeners out there, what can you do about their sore, stiff hands after they’re out there on a Saturday or Sunday?
Dr. Rivera: Preventive. I tell those patients to, number one, take an anti-inflammatory up front, a simple aspirin, Glucosamine, something over the counter. There is a lotion they can put on that contains some anti-inflammatories, and finally, I tell them to avoid impact. Okay, hammers, things that wack.
Dr. Rivera: Don’t want vibration.
Interviewer: Yeah, don’t hammer your flowers into the ground. Only if they’re dead. Okay, Dr. Rivera thank you so much. If you need to see Dr. Rivera or any of the other great doctors at the Florida Pain Relief group, just hit up their website or give them a call, 844-KICK-PAIN to schedule your very same day appointment, which is very, very good to be able to get in there right away, right, when you have the pain? All right, Dr. Rivera, thanks again. We’ll be right back.