Health Blog

When you’ve tried everything and the pain still won’t go away

It can be frustrating to feel you have tried everything, but the pain still won’t go away – or returns after a short period of time.  Before you go down the slippery slope of taking pain medications to cover-up the pain to get through your day, consider how we can help you move past the pain, restore function, and enjoy living pain-free without the dependence of medication.

Our bodies are designed to feel pain; it is our warning system to protect us and encourage us to take action. Covering up the pain without identifying and managing the causative factors can cause more damage.  Alleviating pain with medication in the early stages can reduce inflammation and swelling to help you begin a rehabilitation program, but when pain is not responding to natural approaches (physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage) the following focused interventions make sense once we have diagnosed the source of the problem:

Injections can help relieve a patient’s pain and inflammation. Unlike oral medication used to help with inflammation, injections are administered directly around the area of inflamed or damaged nerves, creating a more focused impact without the risk of addiction and adverse side effects.  If the injection relieves the pain, the patient can have up to 3 injections in a one year period.  Injections provide not only pain relief but a window of opportunity, during which a comprehensive rehabilitation program can build strength, function and stability.  While the effects of pain relief with injections may not provide a ‘cure’, it does buy us time, sometimes months, sometimes years.  When nothing is done to handle the driving forces that caused the pain, the pain is likely to return.  Our goal is to relieve the pain, strengthen, optimize function and avoid or prolong the need for additional injections to enjoy living pain free.

Nerve Blocks are non-surgical options to relieve pain. If you have nerve damage, your ‘warning system’ will not be functioning properly.  Injury and conditions such as cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome and shingles can cause nerve pain and damage.  Damaged nerves may send false pain signals to the brain without cause.  Nerve blocks inject medication to the specific group of nerves responsible for sending pain signals to a certain area of the body providing pain relief for the patient.  Our goal is to not only provide pain relief but also identify and treat the underlying cause or medical condition causing the pain.  This may prolong the pain from returning and stop the progression of nerve damage.

The foundation of our practice is to reduce pain by identifying the cause through comprehensive assessment, then treating and strengthening the body to improve its capabilities and prevent future problems or recurrence.  Our team of physicians, including Medical, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Clinical Nutritionist, Acupuncture and Biofeedback will provide services to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle including exercise, healthy nutritional habits and stress reduction techniques that are fundamental to true long-term health and can also help with chronic pain relief.

To see if you are a candidate for the pain management options we provide please call
for a complimentary new patient consultation at our Branchburg or Somerset locations.
For more information about our
Branchburg office:  908-252-0242
Somerset office:  732-993-6050


COOLIEF for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

COOLIEF® is the only minimally-invasive, thermal radiofrequency pain management system using water-cooled technology to safely deactivate pain-causing sensory nerves, is clinically proven to provide up to 24 months of pain relief, improved physical functionality and reduced drug utilization.

Arun Kandra, M.D. is a COOLIEF® trained physician who is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, the founder of Premier Spine & Pain Management, the Chairman of Easton Hospital for the Division of Pain Medicine, and the co-founder and Medical Director at our facility; Natural Medicine, Rehabilitation & Pain Management.

This procedure not only works well for knees but also works very well for hips, sacroiliac joints, and the thoracic, cervical and lumbar spine. Dr. Kandra serves patients not only in Somerset County including Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bedminster, Somerset, and Branchburg, but is also conveniently located to serve parts of Middlesex County including the Brunswick’s and Piscataway, parts of Hunterdon County and the surrounding areas.

Grand Opening


Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation (NMR), located in Branchburg for almost 20 years, has joined forces with Arun Kandra, M.D. who is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, the founder of Premier Spine & Pain Management and the Chairman of Easton Hospital for the Division of Pain Medicine.  Together they are opening Natural Medicine, Rehabilitation & Pain Management (NMRPM) in Somerset.  This practice will focus on pain management, injury rehabilitation and our crusade to help stop the abuse of narcotics for pain relief.

Before starting with medications for your pain, consider safer non-opioid options.  Over the years there has been an increase in drug addiction and deaths prompted by the abuse of opioids for pain management.  The increase in prescribed opioids is not only increasing the risk of addiction, but also depression, fatal overdoses and symptoms of withdrawal.  People addicted to prescription opioids are also 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin!

In some cases, prescription medications are an appropriate part of treatment. Alleviating pain with medication in the early stages can reduce inflammation and swelling in order to help you move past the pain and start your rehabilitation, but be reassured that we will not put our patient’s health at risk in order for them to live pain free!  Since 1998, Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation has taken a holistic approach to healthcare with our primary focus on physical rehabilitation, clinical nutrition and services to help with stress reduction.  These core services address the ‘Triad of Health’ pillars which can most easily be referred to as ‘you are what you EAT, THINK and DO.’  By combining these core services at NMR, we can address a myriad of health problems at their source.

Pain relief is clearly important; however the goal at NMR and NMRPM is never merely pain relief.  We strive to be very specific in diagnosing the source of the problem, and will manage pain with various focused interventions and therapies without the dependence of narcotics whenever possible.  By addressing the causative factors that can be rehabilitated, we have a much greater ability to keep people from ever getting started with opioids for pain management.

Our healthcare facilities in Branchburg and Somerset offer conservative treatment options including physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture and also, if necessary, interventional pain management procedures.  We understand that for some patients, conservative therapeutic approaches alone may not be enough, resulting in a very limited ability to rehabilitate to full movement, strength and function, which are the ultimate goals.  With the integrated services we provide, all at one location, these patients are more quickly identified and recommendations for interventional pain management can be done in a more timely fashion.  In doing so, these minimally invasive medical procedures can be of great value not only for a person’s pain but for their ability to then rehabilitate effectively.  Dr. Kandra provides several different minimally invasive procedures, which can be done in less than 30 minutes, to target the pain producing structures and help patients progress with their physical rehabilitation program.  After appropriate pain management procedures, our integrated team of health care practitioners, including Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists along with Biofeedback, Myofascial and CranioSacral Specialists will create treatment plans that are designed to rehabilitate the area in order to accelerate healing, establish stability and strength, improve mobility, and teach skills needed to prevent the problem along with the pain from returning in the future.

Pain can significantly lower the quality of your life, but it doesn’t have to BE your life!  Before you go down the slippery slope of taking opioids, consider how the founders of NMR Pain Management, Dr. Arun Kandra, Dr. Vince Sferra and Dr. Jeremy Cohen, can help by integrating medical and natural approaches without the dependence of narcotics.  Pain management is a complex specialty encompassing many aspects of medicine.  One should never simply cover up the pain without identifying and managing the causative factors. The foundation of our new practice is to reduce your pain by identifying the cause through comprehensive assessments, then treating and strengthening the body to improve its capabilities and prevent future problems or recurrence.

Our locations in Branchburg and Somerset will allow us to serve not only Somerset County including Bridgewater, Hillsborough,  Bedminster, Somerset, and Branchburg, but we are also conveniently located to serve parts of Middlesex County including N. Brunswick and Piscataway, and parts of Hunterdon County including Readington, Flemington and the surrounding areas. 

Cholesterol Itself it NOT the Culprit to Heart Disease


For years heart disease has been blamed on cholesterol and Cardiologists have been prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and suggesting patients eat a low fat diet.  In the 1990’s the marketplace was flooded with low-fat / fat-free products.  In order to make these fat-free products taste good, manufacturers began replacing fat with extra sugar to make them tasty.  With the lack of fat in these products, the consumer never gets a ‘satisfied’ or ‘full’ feeling and the body craves more and more of the high sugar product!  Essentially this eating style was fueling the cardiovascular disease ‘Fire’.  The extra empty calories being consumed on the fat-free and highly processed diet has shown an increase in obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease!  However eating the right kind of fat and protein will signal your brain that it is full and satisfied, and would stop the sugar cravings.

Today we know that cholesterol alone is not the culprit to heart disease;
the American diet, high in excess sugar and processed foods, is by far the main culprit!

Food health decision and diet choice concept and nutrition options dilemma between healthy good fresh fruit and vegetables or greasy cholesterol rich fast food on a fork with a man in the middle uncertain of what to eat.

One of the main drivers of heart disease is inflammation.  Sugar and processed foods cause inflammation, disrupt hormone balance and damage your metabolism.  A high intake of sugar promotes a spike in blood sugar, along with triggering an increased amount of the stress hormone cortisol.  This impedes the body’s ability to heal and repair.

Cholesterol is in fact an important chemical that our body needs to produce the hormone cortisone which actually helps control inflammation.  Eating lean meat, poultry, fish, beans and nuts which contain high amounts of protein and healthy fats will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer, but eating sugar and processed foods will cause inflammation.  One of the most prescribed medications in America is statins to help manage cholesterol levels that have been implicated in causing heart disease.  Statins are used to block the enzyme that is stimulated by elevated insulin levels. Insulin levels are elevated by eating too much sugar!  If you are interested in lower your risk of heart disease or wish to stop taking medications for high blood cholesterol, changing your eating habits with an effective plan that eliminates sugars and processed starches as well as food-like toxins will absolutely help for the vast majority of people.

At Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation (NMR) one of our goals is to educate our patients to help them reduce the risks of heart diseaseWe offer comprehensive laboratory testing for various genetic markers that can determine your risk of heart disease, blood clotting and stroke.  Knowing such can prompt motivation and diligence toward a lifestyle that greatly reduces or eliminates one’s genetic predisposition.  Inflammation drives heart disease and most related diseases. Specific markers of inflammation and oxidation, not routinely tested, will assess the ‘drivers’ of disease-hidden inflammation.

Today we know that eating foods containing cholesterol is not the culprit to heart disease, but a diet high in sugar and processed foods is. The results of your laboratory testing will also enable us to customized nutritional treatment programs to help detox, clean out and eliminate foods that are toxic or addicting to your body.  Break your habit of eating foods that are not healthy and learn how to replenish your body with quality low fat protein, healthy carbohydrates and fats, as well as supplements when needed.  A healthy lifestyle with routine exercise, good nutrition & daily physical activity will help fight obesity & reduce your risk of heart disease.

Call to set up your free new patient consultation and get on the road to better health.  908-252-0242 

Healthy Workplace Recognition Awards

workplace-wellness-ebook CoverIf you have been utilizing our workplace wellness programs to help create a healthier workforce, here is your opportunity to gain some recognition for your organization’s efforts!

The Healthier Somerset Coalition seeks nominations to honor companies for their outstanding achievements in implementing worksite wellness programs that improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.  Please download and save the form, open with a PDF Reader, complete, and return to the Healthier Somerset Coalition by Monday, May 1, 2017 for consideration.   The nomination form can be emailed to or mailed to Healthier Somerset, RWJ Somerset, Community Health Department, 30 Rehill Avenue, Somerville, NJ 08876.

Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation New Jersey locations

3322 US Highway 22 West, Branchburg Commons, Building 1, Branchburg, NJ 08876 | Phone 908.252.0242 | Fax 908.252.0243

Located within Gold’s Gym, 462 State Route 28, Suite 1, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 | Phone 908.252.0242

West End Physical Therapy, 10-12 West End Court, 2nd Floor, Long Branch, NJ 07740 | Phone 732.222.7799

NMR Pain Management, 399 Campus Drive, 1st Floor, Somerset, NJ | Phone 732.993.6050 | Fax 732.497.4462