|Marco Palmieri, DO, Director of the Center for Pain Management at Stony Brook Medicine|
Pain Management: No “One Size Fits All” Approach When Treating Chronic Pain
Stony Brook Medicine Experts Help to Relieve Chronic Pain through a Variety of Options
STONY BROOK, NEW YORK, October 16, 2015– Chronic pain – typically defined as pain lasting more than three to six months— affects nearly 100 million Americans. It is the leading reason people see their doctors and it costs the nation over $600 billion a year — more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined.
When pain, whether short term or chronic, begins to interfere with someone’s daily functions or activities, treatment by a pain management specialist can be life changing. Marco Palmieri, DO, Director of the Center for Pain Management at Stony Brook Medicine, notes that specialized treatment can help relieve many different types of pain, with options ranging from traditional to alternative methods.
“A significant number of the patients we see at the Center for Pain Management come to us for spine-related pain,” says Dr. Palmieri. “We also see patients with cancer-related pain, joint pain, post-surgical pain and nerve-related pain. We treat patients of all age groups, pediatrics to adults.”
Despite the prevalence of chronic pain, many people are unaware of the growing number of non-narcotic treatments available, which often leaves people not seeking help, worried that they could develop a drug-dependency.
“The Center for Pain Management at Stony Brook has many different ways to treat pain,” says Dr. Palmieri. “We offer a wide range of interventional and injection-based treatments utilizing fluoroscopic (X-ray) and ultrasound guidance. These include everything from nerve blocks and epidural injections, to implantable devices. We also may recommend rehabilitative therapy – physical or occupational – and lifestyle changes such as weight loss, or complementary treatments including acupuncture— all of which are offered at the Center.”
Statistics say that almost as much as 70% of us will have lower back pain at some point in our lives.
Dr. Palmieri emphasizes that there is not just one way to treat pain. “Each patient is different in how he or she experiences pain,” says Dr. Palmieri. “Pain doesn’t always need to have a specific cause, so even if tests don’t show the reason for the pain, we still believe it’s real, and look for appropriate treatment options. My team and I make sure to take the time to understand the patient so we can individualize therapy to his or her specific needs and lifestyle.”
Pain management treatment plans may involve a combination of therapies to maximize relief. And if opioid therapy is prescribed, patients are closely monitored and doctors get them off the treatment as early as possible.