I have recently attended the annual Canadian Association of Orthopaedic Medicine conference, this year held in the big TO. As usual there were some excellent presentations and workshops, and I left feeling inspired and privileged to be working in musculoskeletal pain management. There was a lot of focus on nutrition: so much of pain can be attributed to the foods we eat! Also there was an excellent talk on genetic testing - knowing one's genome can help tailor treatment very specifically and even prevent certain problems/diseases from occurring. I presented a workshop on the hydrodissection of peripheral nerves using 5% dextrose under ultrasound guidance, along with a colleague, Dr Jag Gupta. This was well-attended, showing the interest in treating neuropathic pain without using drugs which have many side effects (aka brain fog). Dr Gordon Ko organised a terrific conference and I hope to incorporate new pearls of wisdom into my practice!
David and I have enrolled in a recent pain management certificate program at the University of Alberta. We never stop learning! Things have certainly changed since we were undergraduates. Over the next couple of years we'll be participating "virtually", attending "e-classes" and online lectures, submitting assignments electronically, searching virtual libraries and accessing a wealth of material, adding citations with a computer-generated program that automates the process so quickly, and best of all, able to enjoy Victoria instead of the frozen north!
Here are the doctors, nurses and volunteers who headed down to inject prolotherapy in Honduras this year. It was my third opportunity to work in Honduras, where we helped many hurting people at clinics in 3 small towns there. It is such a privilege to do this, teaching, learning and helping. My lecture there this year was on wrist prolotherapy - we take it in turns to present topics. The Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation is such an excellent teaching organization based in Wisconsin, where we meet up with good friends that we have made from different countries. In addition the foundation also sends down an Ear, Nose and Throat team as well as a Varicose Vein and Ulcer team. What a difference they make!
This is an important topic of interest to all physicians: that we should strive towards evidence-based medicine whenever possible. For this reason we have reorganized our website with a page dedicated solely to worthy studies, rather than include them in the links page. We encourage you to visit periodically as we add new studies when they become available.
The CAOM holds annual conferences in Regenerative Medicine and this year we met in Vancouver. It is always stimulating to listen to excellent speakers in the field, meet old colleagues and new, and exchange information that makes all of us better practitioners. This year we heard an excellent talk on nutrition and its importance by Dr Aileen Burford-Mason - this will have its own blog entry. In addition we had workshops on prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma and ultrasound-guided techniques. Erik Ouellette, well-respected prolotherapist from Ontario gave a great lecture on injecting the shoulder, and followed up by doing just that. Physicians presented new research studies, some so new they haven't been published quite yet, and our North Vancouver colleague Dr Helene Bertrand discussed her positive shoulder prolotherapy study which has been accepted for publication. Kelowna physician Dr Francois Louw piqued our interest with favourable early trends in his TMJ (jaw) pain study. We came away tired but grateful to belong to such a good organization.
In April's blog I described Neurokinetic Therapy - a system of muscle testing and correcting imbalances. David and I are now officially level one certified in this technique and you will notice us incorporating NKT as a helpful method of honing in on the cause of pain. Always good to have an exam over!
In March 2015 David and I attended a workshop in Vancouver on this muscle testing technique. David Weinstock has found that musculoskeletal pain is often related to muscles being "out of sync" with each other, and he has developed a muscle testing system that helps to identify specific problems, and then has a method to "reboot" the system with a specific time-frame of opportunity for these muscles to learn how to function correctly. The brain (the motor control centre) learns new patterns and often the pain is diminished or goes away.
In March 2015, David and I travelled to Honduras, to the village of Tela, to spend 2 weeks at a medical mission for people with chronic pain. We gave prolotherapy injections to many needy and willing recipients. The people of Honduras are so gracious: first the support team to run these clinics is second to none, and the patients who have so little (and line up for long hours and often travel many miles to come) are so grateful for anything we can do to help relieve their pain. We treated many people with arthritis, injuries, and poorly healing conditions and also benefited ourselves by being surrounded by other fantastic volunteering physicians, including a first rate teaching team. We are all better injectors as a result of these experiences. We salute the Hackett Hemwall Foundation who has been running humanitarian relief work in Honduras (prolotherapy, vein clinics and an ear, nose and throat team) for many, many years. We had the privilege of working under Dr Carl Osborn from Oregon, who celebrated his 20th year of this volunteer work. He is an excellent teacher! (see photo below - Carl is in the brown scrub top below). OK, so we had a bit of time to relax too...
Jannice is a family physician with an interest in the treatment of pain. Anything to help the process is added to this blog.