Pain Management and Alternative Therapy

Many people experience pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s a short-lived pain from a sporting injury or long-term pain from conditions like arthritis, pain can be difficult to live with and manage.

There are three major stages of pain, acute, subacute, and chronic. The stage of pain depends on how long the pain has been present. Acute pain usually lasts less than four weeks, subacute pain is between 4-12 weeks, and chronic pain is lasting more than three months.

While some people suffer from pain daily, many don’t know there are a variety of ways to treat pain.

“We look at a multidisciplinary approach to pain management when helping a patient with pain,” said Dr. Bez, an anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician at McLaren Greater Lansing. “Whether that be nonnarcotic medicines like anti-inflammatories, injections, blocks, physical therapy, job modifications, or narcotic medicines.”

While prescription narcotic medications can be used to treat pain, due to the addictive nature and adverse side affects of these drugs, the physicians at McLaren Greater Lansing’s pain clinic are always exploring new ways to treat patients with chronic pain.

“It’s important to have an appropriate evaluation of where the pain is coming from and why. We tailor an overall treatment plan,” Dr. Bez said. “We use physical therapy in conjunction with other methods to combat the opioid epidemic. Depending on the patient’s situation, physical therapy can be very effective for managing chronic pain.

Physical therapy has been known to improve function for patients experiencing hip, knee, shoulder, and lower back pain. It may also be an effective method in reducing pain for patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. The rehabilitation team at McLaren Rehabilitation Services uses exercises, manual therapy, and other modalities to help reduce pain for patients with acute or chronic pain.”

“We find that many of our patients notice a decrease in prescription pain medicine use after physical therapy,” Timothy Fraticelli, a physical therapist at McLaren Rehabilitation Services said. “A customized exercise and strengthening program can go a long way for correcting movements that cause pain.”

A physical therapist is commonly seen following a surgical procedure or joint replacement, but the use of physical therapy to decrease pain for patients with arthritis or lower back pain is gaining momentum.

If you are experiencing chronic or acute pain, consulting with your primary care physician is the first step. Dr. Bez commonly works directly with primary care physicians to create a consult and care plan for the patient’s pain. He may recommend a procedure or physical therapy to be a part of the treatment plan. For more information about McLaren Greater Lansing’s Pain Clinic call (517) 975-6625.

For additional information about McLaren Rehabilitation Services call (517) 975-3520.