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Anesthesia Alert: Cornerstones of Chronic Pain Management
Collaborative care and tailored treatments are recipes for success.
Puja Shah, MD
Publish Date: December 20, 2021   |  Tags:   Anesthesia Pain Management
Dr Shah
THE FULL PICTURE Certified pain physicians such as Puja Shah, MD, combine the patient’s personal history with the story imaging tells to create a well-rounded treatment plan.   |   DISC Sports & Spine Center

A patient of mine who had undergone previous spine surgeries came to me complaining of hip and back pain. He wasn’t in a position to have another surgery on his back any time soon, so I focused on treating the discomfort in his hip. I placed three sets of epidural steroid injections into the joint over the course of five months, and that took care of the pain in that area. The injections also alleviated some of his back pain.

Before the injections, this patient was living in a state of functional disability. He was in so much pain that he was basically sedentary. He wasn’t ambulating enough to get the cardiovascular exercise that helps with cortisol and stress levels — and his hip muscles were becoming quite tense. Once his hip started feeling better, however, he was able to do physical therapy, strengthen his back and hip muscles, and improve his entire posture.

The improvement of this patient’s condition highlights the effectiveness of a chronic pain management program that focuses on treating the overall person and understanding the correlations between seemingly separate symptoms. Increasingly, outpatient facilities are adding chronic pain management service lines to their offerings. If you’re interested in starting a program, here’s how to establish a foundation for success.

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