At SHIPS Medical, we understand that pain can really get in the way of your ability to live your best life, interfering with work, school, sleep, family life, and daily hobbies.  You don’t have to suffer alone, though.  Our clinic specializes in treating patients who are suffering from chronic and acute pain, so we know a thing or two about how to best help you restore normal functioning and move on with your life.
You can read on to find out about some of the most common of the conditions we treat but don’t be alarmed if you don’t recognize your particular injury or illness.  The list below is not comprehensive.  If you are suffering from pain due to an injury, operation, or chronic medical condition, our doctors can establish a multi-disciplinary treatment approach that can help.


While they can be quite painful, it’s important for our patients to realize that the majority of headaches are actually benign and do not indicate any kind of significant underlying disorder.  There are far more causes of headaches than could be described on this page, with some originating from the patient’s actual head or neck region, others originating from upper back injuries, and yet more having ophthalmologic origins.  No matter the cause of your pain, we can offer you the headache relief you need to tackle it and move on with your life.

The first step toward finding adequate relief is, of course, to determine the underlying cause of your pain and to rule out any kind of serious medical condition such as tumors, ophthalmologic disorders, strokes, and meningeal infection.  Those head troubles that are caused by other underlying medical problems are known as secondary headaches, while headaches that do not have an underlying pathology are called primary headaches.  Primary headaches can be further subdivided into three main categories: tension, migraine, and cluster headaches.

The course of treatment we prescribe will depend largely on what type of headache you have.  Tension headaches, which are often caused by lifestyle and environmental factors, can usually be treated by addressing underlying issues like arthritis, sleep apnea, and teeth grinding and, if that doesn’t work, may be ameliorated by the application of heat therapy, the use of over-the-counter medications, or adopting certain relaxation techniques.  Migraine headaches can sometimes be avoided by determining your unique triggers, which may include stress or anxiety, hormonal imbalance, skipped meals, sleep troubles, tobacco, or even strong odors but prescription drugs may also be used to either help prevent your migraines or to ease your symptoms.  Some of the prescription drugs used to treat migraines can also be used to treat cluster headaches, though in most cases, we will try oxygen therapy and trigger avoidance before prescribing preventative drugs.

Back Pain

Lower back pain is extremely common in today’s society, with most acute cases resulting from muscle, ligament, joint, or disc injuries and inflammation.  Chronic back pain that lasts for more than three months has several common causes.  These include lumbar herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, facet joint dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and osteoarthritis.

The type of lower back pain treatment prescribed will depend on the root cause of your pain.  Those who are suffering from mild acute pain can often treat their symptoms successfully at home through hot and cold therapy, activity modification, targeted exercises and stretches, and taking short periods of rest.  However, those who are suffering from chronic pain may require medical or surgical intervention.
Common medical interventions include the prescription of muscle relaxants and narcotic pain medications, the use of a back brace, and the application of epidural steroid injections.  In cases where these forms of treatment do not prove effective, though, surgery may be suggested as an alternative course of action.  Don’t despair, though.  The vast majority of chronic lower back pain can be treated without the need for surgical interventions.

Joint Pain

There are a variety of underlying conditions that can lead to chronic joint pain, including strains, sprains, gout, and bursitis.  However, the most common cause of joint pain, especially in older patients, is rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.  The pain caused by these diseases and conditions can range significantly from mildly annoying to severely debilitating, but no matter what is causing your pain and discomfort, we can help you find joint pain relief.

Many forms of moderate to severe joint pain can be treated via the use of over-the-counter NSAIDs and other medications, though those who are suffering from debilitating pain may also require the use of a stronger opioid medication or muscle relaxant.   There are also topical agents, which often contain capsaicin, that can help to block pain signals.

If you don’t find the relief you need from the use of oral or topical medications, we may also suggest a steroid medication injection.  This treatment is known to be particularly effective in patients suffering from arthritis and tendinitis. Certain targeted exercises and stretches may also be helpful in reducing pain and improving range of motion, so we may also recommend that our patients see physical therapists for help learning about manual techniques and lifestyle changes that can help.

Cancer Pain

While the majority of cancer patients do experience pain at some point in the progression of the disease or its treatment, it’s important to recognize that every patient will present his or her pain symptoms differently.  Some patients report a severe, sharp pain, while others describe constant, dull aches.  No matter what type of pain you have, though, we can help you find the relief you need throughout your treatment and beyond.

Mild to moderate cancer pain can often be treated successfully using NSAIDs and other over-the-counter pain medications, although patients should always check with their doctors prior to beginning a new medication as the drugs used in chemotherapy can lead to complications if taken in conjunction with other drugs.  Cancer patients suffering from moderate to severe pain are often prescribed narcotic pain relievers, while those who describe a tingling or burning pain may be able to benefit from certain antidepressants or anticonvulsants.  If your pain is caused primarily by inflammation, we may also suggest a course of corticosteroids such as prednisone to reduce swelling.  Certain patients may also benefit from the application of nerve blocks, which are injected directly into or around the nerve to curb pain before it starts.
While the majority of cancer patients are prescribed medications to help with their pain, there are also non-drug treatments available.  These include physical therapy, biofeedback, and the adoption of certain relaxation techniques.  The majority of our patients find that a combination of these techniques and medications is most effective in combating their pain and restoring function throughout their treatment.

Diabetic Neuropathy

If you have diabetes, chances are your doctor has already checked you for signs of diabetic neuropathy, but if your diagnosis has been recent you may not yet have realized that this condition can also come with a certain amount of neuropathy pain.  In addition to treating the underlying condition, diabetic patients may want to see a specialist regarding pain management.  We can help you combat this type of pain through the prescription of targeted medications such as certain anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants, which are known to provide pain relief for nerve pain.

It is almost always appropriate to begin upon a new pain management regime for diabetic neuropathy in conjunction with making certain lifestyle changes that can help to reduce symptoms and complications from the disease.  These include ensuring that your blood pressure is kept at healthy levels, making healthy food choices, performing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, and quitting smoking.

Cervical Radiculopathy

This comparatively rare condition is typically caused by degenerative bone disorders in patients who are middle-aged or older.  In younger patients, ruptured discs and acute trauma cause the majority of cervical radiculopathy, but in the end, the effects are the same.  Pressure is applied to the nerve root in the cervical area, which causes pain and loss of sensation.  Treatments often include the prescription of corticosteroids and pain medications, which may be administered either orally or via an epidural injection.

While these medications are generally considered the best way to deal with cervical radiculopathy, many patients can also benefit from physical therapy to reduce their pain.  If you opt for physical therapy, you can expect to encounter treatments such as gentle cervical traction and the use of mobilization exercises among other modalities.  Although it is fairly rare for patients to require surgery in order to address the nerve damage caused by this disorder, those who are suffering from extensive motor weakness may be recommended to a surgeon who can relieve the pressure on their damaged nerves.

The Take-Away

The conditions listed above constitute only a few of the most common complaints we hear from our patients and the descriptions of the treatments described do not comprehensively cover all of the services we have to offer.  Whether your pain is chronic or acute, our pain management doctors can help you find the solutions you need to manage your pain and resume your normal life.  The first step is to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation with a specialist, so check out the rest of our website to learn how you can get in contact today.