Nonopioid pain management options

Norton Specialty Rehabilitation Center

Norton Specialty Rehabilitation Center offers physical therapy for chronic pain, including strength training, flexibility exercises and posture awareness. These active treatments can aid in reducing or eliminating the use of pain medication.

“Research shows exercise and active treatment is one of the most effective therapies for chronic pain and addressing disability,” said Sam Young, physical therapist at Norton Audubon Hospital.

Physicians who want to refer patients to Norton Specialty Rehabilitation Center should write an open-ended “evaluation and treat” order, allowing a physical therapist to develop a treatment plan.

“Physical therapy — not pain medication — should be one of the first lines of defense for treating chronic pain,” said DeeAnn Clark, system director, rehabilitation services and hospital operations, Norton Healthcare.

The types of chronic pain treated by Norton Specialty Rehabilitation Center include back and joint pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and other global pain syndromes.

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DeeAnn said Norton Healthcare’s rehab services treat the whole person — mind and body. In addition to therapy, patients receive education on how to manage chronic pain symptoms on their own at home. The goal for chronic pain is independent symptom management, not necessarily becoming pain-free.

In addition to providing active treatment, Norton Specialty Rehabilitation Center helps patients with exercise programs and offers modalities such as manual therapy, dry needling, traction ultrasound, electrical stimulation and ice/heat.

The center offers a team approach, coordinating a pain management program tailored to each patient’s needs.

“We find medical interventions are much more effective when they are paired with rehab, for example using medication, injections and other modalities to facilitate participation in rehab sessions and to help maintain long-term functional gains,” Sam said.

Norton Pain Management Associates

Norton Pain Management Associates physicians care for patients with chronic pain and those who are at risk for developing chronic pain. This includes patients with cancer and noncancerous conditions.

Norton Pain Management Associates offers a broad range of services and specialties, including neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

“In that way, we are unique,” said Raghunath Gudibanda, M.D., pain management physician.

Spinal pain interventions offered at Norton Pain Management Associates include facet blocks and epidural injections. Nerve blocks, neurolysis, joint injections, peripheral nerve stimulators and neuromodulation techniques (such as intrathecal drug delivery systems and dorsal column stimulators) also are available.

In addition, Norton Pain Management Associates provides medication management and holistic therapy options, including herbal supplements, vitamin therapy, yoga, tai chi, weight reduction programs and chiropractic services. Physicians also can refer patients to physical, occupational and massage therapy, and psychiatry/psychology.

“If no curative treatment is readily available or the current treatment is not helping, or if pain interferes with daily function, then a referral to us should be considered,” Dr. Gudibanda said.

Norton Pain Management Associates physicians perform all of their procedures in a hospital setting, meaning complications can be handled efficiently and effectively, according to Dr. Gudibanda. It also means other specialties, such as spine surgery, neurosurgery and psychology, are easily accessible.

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