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Alleviate chronic pain to begin healing process

Community news | Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Does smoking increase the risk of pain? Can weather affect joint pain? Is resting good for back pain? Is pain a normal part of aging?

These are questions that ACMC Pain Management Specialist Samita Das, MD, asks those who attend her seminars - like the one last Thursday night at Eagle Pointe Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center in Orwell.

Most people “pass” the quiz, but then have plenty of questions of their own for Dr. Das, who also answered questions about arthritis, alternatives to painful injections, or topical treatment options.

Dr. Das joined ACMC’s Center for Pain Management earlier this year, and works alongside long-time ACMC Pain Management Specialist John Hill, MD and Cynthia Campbell, NP. Together, they help patients with acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is caused by a sudden injury - such as a pulled muscle, pinched nerve, or injury due to a car crash - or a symptom of another disorder, such as a stroke or obesity. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than three months.

Chronic pain management is a specialized branch of medicine. It focuses on treating patients suffering from all types of pain including back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Properly managing pain requires a correct diagnosis of the causes, and finding the right treatment option for each person.

“What works for you, might not work for your friend or neighbor,” Dr. Das told the 30+ people who attended her free seminar.

Dr. Das said a variety of treatment options – medication, topical pain ointments, injections, or surgery – are also available to address chronic pain. For example, with joint pain, Dr. Das may recommend synthetic collagen, which mimics the lubricating and cushioning effects of cartilage or spinal discs.

She also said that when a patient is dealing with overlapping health problems, finding the right solution to alleviate pain or restore quality of life requires an interdisciplinary team approach. Other specialists that often get involved are physical therapist, dieticians, neurologists, or psychological therapist.

“With physical therapy - whether in water (aquatherapy) or at one of our physical therapy offices - you will see improvement just because you are learning from an expert how to move and regain range of motion,” Dr. Das said.

She added, “This is about healing the body, and healing begins from within. We work together to ensure quality of life is such that patients can function again.”

To schedule an appointment with any of ACMC’s pain management specialists, contact your family medicine provider and request a referral; then call 440-997-6700.