Latest News and Articles

Stem cells improve outcomes in rotator cuff repair surgery

A recent study was conducted on patients who underwent a rotator cuff repair. Unfortunately, it is well-known that approximately 25% of patients who undergo rotator cuff repairs re-tear their tendon after surgery.  In order to try to prevent re-tear, the researchers injected adult-derived autologous stem cells that were harvested from the patient’s iliac crest into the surgically repaired rotator cuff of 45 patients.  As a control, another 45 patients who underwent the procedure did not receive the stem cell injection. This study conducted by Dr. Hernigou revealed that the patients who had stem injection in their repaired tendon were less likely to have a re-tear. Rotator cuff tendons were evaluated post-op by Ultrasound at intervals of 3, 6 months and 1, 2 and 10 years. At 6 months all patients with stem cell injections had intact tendons whereas only 30 of the 45 patients who did not have the injection had them intact, a difference of 100% to 67%. At 10 years after surgery the stem cell injection group had 87% intact tendons versus only 40% of control group who did not receive stem cell injection.


Are adult-derived autologous stem cells the right choice for your pain?  Make an appointment to see your Austin pain management doctor at Capitol Pain Institute today to find out.

A better treatment for severe knee arthritis and pain?

Do you have severe knee pain?  Have you been told by your orthopedic surgeon that you need an eventual knee replacement? Well, if you are a young patient in their 30s-40s you and live a relatively active lifestyle you may benefit from a procedure called High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO). This procedure is known to do well with younger patient population who are active and known to have unicompartmental osteoarthritis. HTO procedure involves either removing a piece of wedge shaped bone from the tibia or making an incision into the tibia and replacing it with a bone graft. As opposed to Total Knee replacements this procedure benefits the patient by allowing them to continue remaining active and resume high impact activities. Also, unlike the total knee replacement there is no concern for revision of the hardware after every 10-12 years. A recent literature review comparing HTO versus unicompartment knee replacement for single compartment knee arthritis suggests similar success rates of success and complications.

Cardamom is a natural antioxidant

Cardamom is a spice that originated in India and Nepal and is purported to have several health benefits. Although still being studied, this exotic spice may have antioxidant, health promoting properties and be good for the digestive tract and cholesterol.  Antioxidants are chemicals that block the activity of free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that are produced by our bodies and have the potential to cause damage to cells, including damage that may lead to cancer.

Additionally, Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Keep this spice in mind as more research is published regarding its health benefits.



Spinal Stenosis is a common cause of low back pain and sciatica

Often symptoms that arise from Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and arterial occlusive disease can demonstrate similar traits posing a challenge to the diagnostic physician. Lumbar stenosis can generally be congenital or acquired in origin. Whereas lumbar stenosis can result in low back pain or radicular pain (sciatica) worse with standing and ambulation arterial occlusive disease can also affect the lower extremities and worsen with exertion. A flexed stationery bike may help to discern the cause of a patient’s pain.  If there is no clear pain generator in the back that can be garnered with the history and exam and there is suspicion for arterial vascular disease an arterial Doppler and ankle brachial index may be indicated (check BP at the ankle and arm).

Superfoods, phytonutrients, and antioxidants

Superfoods are foods known for their health benefits due to their “phytonutrient content,” or in other words, are packed with health-protecting qualities. It is most important to eat a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, dairy products), but next time you want to boost your diet, consider: goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, cocoa, and broccoli. These superfoods will not only help complete a well balanced diet but add antioxidants and many nutritional benefits to your daily regimen. Bon appetit!

Come visit an Austin pain management doctor at Capitol Pain Institute today to learn more about your diet and how it can affect your pain, energy levels, and general well-being

Treating Neuropathic Pain

A Queen’s University study published April 7th, 2015 reveals that combining morphine, an opioid-based pain reliever, and nortriptyline, an antidepressant, has been found to successfully relieve chronic neuropathic pain in 87% of patients, and significantly better than with either drug alone.

Cervical strain – a common cause of neck and shoulder pain

Cervical strain is a common cause of neck and head pain and may even spread to the shoulder and upper arms. At times, cervical strain or muscle may be improperly diagnosed as cervical nerve irritation (radiculopathy). It is important to consult with your doctor about the different causes of head and neck pain to properly diagnose your condition. Treatments range from medication management and physical therapy to interventions including epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, or muscular trigger point injections. It is important to discuss with your doctor to determine proper diagnosis and which treatment may be the best.

Specialized Physical Therapy can prevent ACL Knee injuries

Clinical trials have demonstrated that preventative neuromuscular training (PNMT) can be effective in reducing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in the young females. Proximal control exercises (Quads, Hamstrings) and multi exercises genres increased the efficacy of PNMT intervention.

Approximately 350,000 individuals get ACL reconstruction (ACLR) surgery to repair or reconstruct the ruptured ACL and restore knee function annually. Although ACLR is the gold standard for treatment of the young active individual, approximately 23% of high school athletes who ACLR repair tear their contra-lateral or reconstructed ACL within 1 year within return to sports. Approximately 71% of individuals who had ACLR surgery develop moderate level of knee arthritis within 10-15 years.

Given this, the use of neuromuscular training should not only help to prevent ACL injury, but may also help delay or prevent the development of knee arthritis.

The video below shows some of the neuromuscular training exercises for strengthening the ACL.


Turmeric for arthritis pain

Turmeric, a yellow-colored spice found across the world, from American yellow mustard to spicy Indian curries, is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories.  In fact, Dr. James Duke, a world-renowned ethnobotanist (a scientist that studies the relationship of people and plants) found that turmeric does a better job treating chronic inflammation than many current pharmaceuticals and it has very few side effects.  Turmeric contains over 20 different compounds that fight inflammation with at least six acting as direct COX-2 inhibitors.  Since the COX-2 enzyme causes inflammation leading to swelling and pain, turmeric can reduce these symptoms by blocking the COX-2 enzyme.  Several studies have shown turmeric and curcumin (a component of turmeric) to be effective in treating pain from all forms of arthritis.  Turmeric may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and certain forms of cancer.  Turmeric can also help with pain from fibromyalgia.


Turmeric is usually taken as a dietary supplement with a dose of 500mg twice per day.  For those of you that are a bit more adventurous, try brewing turmeric tea – watch the video below to learn how.  For more information of treating your arthritis, visit a board-certified Austin pain management doctor at Capitol Pain Institute.


First Ever iOvera Non-Surgical Treatment for Pain

Capitol Pain Institute is proud have been chosen to conduct the first ever iovera° treatment procedures in Austin. The iovera° treatment uses the body’s natural response to cold to immediately reduce pain without leaving anything behind. It precisely targets the source of your pain for immediate and lasting relief without the use of drugs or pharmaceuticals. The iovera° treatment is FDA cleared to block pain.

The pain doctors at CPI are always on the lookout for new development in our constant battle against pain. The iovera° treatment procedure shows great promise in its ability to reduce or eradicate pain without the use of permanent procedures like surgery. It works by applying targeted cold to a peripheral nerve which immediately prevents the nerve from sending pain signals. The effect of the cold on the nerve is temporary and does not cause permanent damage because it leaves the structural components of the nerve intact. The nerve is restored to function after several months.

Here are some comments from patients:

MARY “Wow, I was so depressed when I walked in and now I feel like I’ve won the lottery! I now have no pain at all! I have had to deal with constant pain for years and have to take medications just to help me get through. When I walked in my pain was an 8 on the scale and now it’s a zero, I can put weight on my knee and feel no pain, I’m so excited about this treatment.”

JUNE “I am able to navigate and bear full weight on either knee without pain or without feeling like the knee is going to give away. I am able to climb stairs in a complete motion without using one stair at a time. The big news is that I cooked outdoors on Sunday. (YAAAY!!!!) So far the treatment has had a noticeable positive effect on my quality of life.”

LYDIA “I had knee pain for 7 years, before I fell and broke my knee. I had to wait two years to get surgery and have my knee replaced. I thought it would be better, but the pain was still there. After the iovera° treatment I was able to get back to doing what I love. To walk along the cliffs, watch the sea lions and watch the surfers crashing; little things that I haven’t been able to do because of being in too much pain.”

More success stories like these can be found here.

The iovera° treatment is minimally invasive and can be performed at the Capitol Pain Institute and at any of its satellite pain clinics. You will be awake throughout the treatment and should be able to leave immediately afterwards. The average treatment time for one pain site is approximately 20-30 minutes.

iovera treatment device

The Focused Cold Therapy from iovera has been used in rigorous pre-commercial testing in the interests of patient safety and well being. Preclinical and clinical data demonstrate the safety and reliability of this mode of action.  In the clinical tests below it was shown that  iovera treatment has been performed successfully on 133 people. Preclinical and clinical data demonstrate the safety and reliability of this mode of action to deliver results. Clinical Results (Average of results data from MS-3000 cohorts VI and VIII, MS-4000, MS-4400, MS-4500). This alternative, non-surgical pain treatment has received FDA approval.

The pain doctors at CPI have now performed five of these procedures in Austin, and they are the first 5 to have been performed in Austin by anyone! Contact us for more details and to find out if iovera° is right for you.