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Frequently Asked Questions



What is the best way to treat muscular pains after running?

This could be shin splints or stress reaction/fractures. I recommend good running shoes and avoiding hard surfaces while running. A physical therapist or orthotic expert may be able to analyze your running gait and give you more tips.


Can pain relieving drugs become addictive?

Pain relieving medications can become habit forming but most are not "addictive" per se. The classes which are more at risk of being habit forming or addictive are the opioids and benzodiazepines. 


How does alternative hot and cold packs help in relieving pain?

I typically recommend heat only for chronic muscular tension and pain. Heat, magnesium in oral, liquid or epsom salt baths can reduce muscular pain and tension.


Abdominal pain

I am concerned about serious illnesses like appendicitis or some other GI disturbance. Please go to the ER or see your primary care doctor about this problem. For your low back, the pain may be referred from your abdomen or be another structure such as your lumbar facet joints or sacroiliac joint.


My husband has frequent headaches due to work stress. What should we do?

Stress is a common problem and a contributor to pain and mood. I recommend your husband takes "me-time" daily in which he meditates and deep breathes. There are now a lot of smartphone applications that can assist with this process. Set a goal of once in AM and once in PM (perhaps when he gets home). Other ideas for this problem include seeing a pain psychologist, reading the book "Managing Pain before it Manages You" and epsom salt baths with lavender. 


I have a lot of body pain, especially at night. What can I do to treat it naturally?

Work on gentle strengthening through yoga, pilates, or weight machines and posture. Also, consider alternate ways of working, say seated for instance. 


Are steroids often recommended for pain?

I prefer to avoid steroids for back pain as much as possible. There are times it is indicated and could be helpful. Some examples would be a lumbar radiculitis/radiculopathy which is a disc herniation causing nerve impingement and sacroiliitis or inflammation of the sacroiliac joint.



I recommend daily aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming for fibromyalgia. I also prescribe low dose naltrexone as well as other medications such as lyrica and cymbalta for this problem.


What is this muscle strain?


This can happen when you have low back pain or have an injury with working out. I recommend you see your pain specialist or physical therapist for a thorough evaluation.


Could frequent headaches indicate something serious?

Yes absolutely. Most of the time afternoon headaches are due to tension/stress, sinus fullness/infection, or occipital neuralgia. But you would want serious things ruled out such as a brain mass firstly.


Are pain relieving balms safe for kids?

Menthol based balms are safe as are arnica based gels if used in small quantities and infrequently.


How does Epsom salt help in relieving heel pain?

Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is a potent muscle relaxer. I am a big fan of Epsom salt baths for patients.


My husband is having pain in his abdominal area due to kidney stones. Can you recommend some medication for him?

OTC Tylenol and NSAIDs can be helpful for this pain as is hydration. For doses and appropriateness of these medications, please consult your primary care doctor.


Is there a safe medication to manage my pain before starting my menstrual period?

OTC Tylenol and NSAIDs are helpful for this type of pain. Additionally, heat to low back or lower abdomen and Epsom salt baths can be helpful.

I am experiencing pain in my facial muscles. What should I do?

You may have masseter tension due to stress, grinding, or TMJ dysfunction. A nightly mouth guard, magnesium at night, meditation/de-stressing, and a muscle relaxant can be helpful if this is the case. In some instances, botox is used to relax the masseters.


I have a sprain in my neck and I think it's from my pillows. How can I fix this?

Absolutely. A lot of times, pain such as the one you are describing is due to muscle tension, and heat is an excellent muscle relaxant. I also like chelated magnesium glycinate at night and Epsom salt baths for this problem as well.


I have severe back pain during my periods.

This is common. It is the referral pattern of the uterus to the back. You may have a retroverted uterus. NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol, and heat are helpful for this problem. Also, consider seeing your gynecologist for workup of possible PMDD.


My core is feeling sore and painful after a weight work out. What should I do?

I am concerned you may have rhabdomyolysis. I recommend seeing your primary care doctor and asking for a creatine kinase.


I have a lot of body pain by the end of the day, mainly due to my weight. What should I do?

Try working out in the morning or at lunch. Try walking and swimming to start and work your way up to more vigorous exercise. I recommend the Paleo diet and a Ketogenic diet for weight loss.


My fingers hurt after playing tennis. Is this normal?

This could be a tendon or a nerve problem. For instance, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy, you can have severe pain after using your hands/arms. See your primary care doctor or pain doctor for an evaluation.


Why does my stomach hurt often?

That is difficult to answer as there may be many sources of your GI pain. For example, it can be your gallbladder, appendix, pancreas, stomach, liver, bowels, blood supply, etc. I would recommend you see your primary care doctor and request a thorough physical exam, labs, and possibly other testing such as an endoscopy, colonoscopy, X-ray, or CT scan.


Is anal pain after a hemorrhoids surgery normal?

Yes, it would be wise to see a pain specialist ASAP. That doctor can get you on medications to settle down your nervous system to prevent conversion of the acute to chronic pain.


For a sprain what is more advisable a hot pack or a cold pack?

For acute sprains and strains, cold packs are better to decrease inflammation. For chronic muscular tension, heat is better.


What causes headaches?

We would want to get a brain and cervical spine imaging to make sure there is nothing malignant. It is likely an impinged nerve. I would be happy to evaluate you thoroughly in person and create a treatment plan for you. 


What is causing my chronic back pain?

I would have to perform a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, imaging and physical exam. Are you in anchorage or a nearby city? If so, please call 770-1152 and ask for Parker to make an appointment. Taking ibuprofen especially over a long period can be harmful.


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Alpenglow Pain & Wellness
2000 Abbott Road, Unit A2
Anchorage, AK 99507
Phone: 907-677-7246
Fax: (907) 677-7245

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