Dear subscriber,

I finally received my Youtube Silver Award! I did not know that I had to order the award. I reached this milestone in June and I noticed it was taking too long for my plate to arrive. Then, I decided to email Youtube creator support. To my surprise, he told me I had not ordered it yet. Well, it is finally here, and I am at almost 150,000 subscribers now, but it is okay. There is still some enthusiasm to take a picture and post it to my friends.

Dr. Andrea Furlan holding her Silver Play Button Award

Thank you for trusting me and subscribing to my…


I had just finished medical school at the best University in Brazil and concluded residency in Physiatry at the largest hospital in Sao Paulo. I was ready to start my academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sao Paulo and private practice to see my own patients.

But then, I left all of this behind. Closed the private office that I had just opened. Said no to an opportunity to become a professor of Medicine. And the worst part had to say goodbye to my parents, family and friends.

Dr. Andrea Furlan at Pearson Airport in Toronto circa 2010

My husband and I had been approved to…


My grandfather used to say that I was around 4 years of age when I started saying I wanted to be a doctor. People started teasing me with that question just to see what my answer would be and to check if I didn’t change my mind. As far back as my memory can go, I have never thought of being anything else. Well, for a while I did change my mind, I wanted to be a teacher, like my mother. After my school day finished, I used to go to the school where she taught kindergarten, and I helped…


Spondylolisthesis is the name to describe when one vertebra slips over the other. It sounds like a good password, doesn’t it?

In the spine, the vertebras are aligned one on top of the other. They are held together by strong ligaments in front, in the back and inside the spine. It is important that the spine keeps its alignment to protect the spinal cord and all the nerves that exit from the spinal cord.

Spondylolisthesis (Source: CanvaPro)

I am a medical doctor, and I get asked these questions very often:

Is spondylolisthesis a surgical emergency?

Is spondylolisthesis, spondylosis and spondylolysis the same?

How…


There are people who think that tramadol is not an opioid. Tramadol is an opioid. It is different from other opioids due to its unusual characteristics. Some of these characteristics offer an advantage for tramadol over other opioids, but on the other hand, these unusual characteristics make tramadol more dangerous than other opioids.

Tramadol is the generic drug name, and there are various brands in Canada: Tramacet, Zytram, Ralivia, Ultram, and Tridural. Today, I will answer 10 common questions that people ask about tramadol.

10 Questions about Tramadol (Source: Andrea Furlan)

Question #1. How does tramadol work?

Tramadol is a synthetic opioid. This means it is done…


Gabapentin is the generic name of a drug invented in the 70s to treat seizures, as in people with epilepsy.

In Canada, gabapentin is only approved as an anti-epileptic agent. In the United States, it is also approved as a treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia, a type of nerve pain that occurs after shingles.

But gabapentin is used off-label for many other conditions. Off-label means outside of the official approvals by Health Canada or the FDA. Physicians prescribe gabapentin for sciatica, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, CRPS, diabetic neuropathy, anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, smoking cessation, restless leg syndrome and even hot flashes.

In this video, I will answer 10 questions that people ask me about gabapentin.

10 Questions about Gabapentin (Source: Dr. Andrea Furlan)

So, let’s talk about gabapentin today.

1. How does gabapentin work?

To…


I get really sad when I see an elderly patient, and they tell me: “I don’t usually tell my doctor about my pain because it is just part of being old” or “I don’t want to ask my doctor for pain treatment because they will tell me it is all caused by arthritis and will prescribe me strong painkillers” or “I know there is nothing to control my pain, so I just endure it.”

These statements are all wrong. These are all myths that people believe. And I know, many doctors also believe these myths.

Today I’m going to talk…


Chronic pain is a terrible thing. It affects one in five adults, and it is defined as constant pain for at least 6 months. Is it possible to eliminate chronic pain?

I have been a chronic pain specialist since 1996 and I have seen all kinds of people with a multitude of chronic pain conditions. When people ask me “Doctor, will this pain go away?” my answer is “It depends”.

First, let me explain how pain becomes chronic, then we can talk about reversing it.

Pain starts with an insult, an injury or a trauma. It generates an electrical impulse…


I am a pain specialist, and some of my patients take Coenzyme Q10. They ask my opinion if this is a good supplement to help their chronic pain.

Today, I’ll review the scientific evidence of CoQ10, known as ubiquinone, for pain and I’ll give you my honest opinion if it works or not.

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance, involved in the energy sources for all the cells in the human body.

Our body produces our own CoQ10, and it is present in small, but adequate amounts, in our everyday diet. …


Muscle cramps, tingling in hands, tiredness, slow thinking, intolerance to cold, and weight gain. These can all be signs that the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormone, which is called hypothyroidism.

As a physician, I see many patients who have had these symptoms for years, and nobody thought to investigate their thyroid function. In this article, I will talk about reasons why the thyroid stops producing hormones, how it is diagnosed and what is the treatment for hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland (source Canva Pro)

The thyroid is a gland that attaches to the trachea. It resembles a butterfly. …

Dr. Andrea Furlan

Physician, Scientist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada Specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation YouTube creator

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