Treating pain that develops at work

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Q: My migraines are becoming more frequent and interruptive to my productivity at work. What kind of interventions make a difference? Cassie H., Trenton

A: Unfortunately there is not a direct answer to your question. A complete history and evaluation is needed first. You would start by finding a neurologist to perform imaging for analysis – someone specializing in headaches would be best. We would also work together to obtain a thorough understanding of your medical history (including your headaches, triggers, medications, etc.). After we have a full evaluation, we would then determine a treatment plan which could include appropriate therapy, medication management and lifestyle modification (stress, diet, exercise). Treatments could vary from Botox injections to caffeine-based medications and more. Each migraine sufferer has very individualized treatment plans, so there are many possibilities.

Q: I have degenerative disk disease in my lumbar spine. I spoke with a doctor about performing micro-surgery, but he said he didn’t want to do the procedure because it isn’t a permanent solution to my problem. I am not convinced. Please advise. Grant N., Melvindale

A: Confirming the cause of your back pain is very important. Degenerative disk disease is a complex issue and seeking two more evaluations – from both an orthopedic surgeon as well as a neurosurgeon – is recommended. Prior to making surgery your option, you may need to engage in other possible treatment modalities such as physicial therapy, massage therapy and ice/heat.

Q: My right hand is always in pain from mouse-clicking at work all day long. Are there any injections or treatments that are non-invasive that can help? I want to avoid taking pills and surgery, if possible. Ahmed Z., Dearborn Heights

A: Applying ice, resting your hand, taking breaks and changing the ergonomic setup of your desk may help. If none of these alleviate your pain, then you may need to see a hand specialist for further evaluation to prevent the possibility of permanent nerve damage. If it is carpal tunnel syndrome, a minimally invasive surgery could resolve your pain and prevent long-term problems.

Daniel Mekasha, M.D., is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. His practice, MAC Pain & Spine Institute, is at 13383 Reeck Court in Southgate. Do you have a health question for Dr. Mekasha? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net.

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