March 19, 2009
Physician takes whole person approach to managing pain
By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News
In the war against chronic pain, Dr. Bruce Hirshman is something of a triple threat.
He is board certified in anesthesiology, pain management and osteopathic manipulation – a background that makes him especially effective in the battle against America’s No. 1 cause of long-term disability.
Dr. Hirshman recently joined Methodist Pain Management Center in Flowood, where his main role is to provide interventional pain techniques, such as steroid injections and nerve blocks.
But as a doctor of osteopathy, he also is trained to use hands-on manipulation techniques to ease the agonizing back and neck problems that afflict so many chronic pain sufferers.
“Most back and neck pain is the result of musculoskeletal imbalances, strains or weakness and an osteopathic education offers a unique approach to evaluating such deficiencies,” Dr. Hirshman said.
A graduate of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathy, Dr. Hirshman comes from a program that U.S. News & World Report ranked among the top five in the nation for the education of family practice physicians.
It’s an educational background that emphasizes a whole-person approach to treatment, a strategy that dovetails well with the pain management mindset.
“Chronic pain often affects a patient’s ability to earn a living, to relate to his or her family, and it’s often complicated by issues of depression and helplessness and hopelessness,” Dr. Hirshman said. “It is our job to support the patient physically, emotionally and spiritually while improving pain symptoms.”
And it’s a job Dr. Hirshman believes will be made much easier by his close proximity to Methodist Spine & Joint, Methodist Outpatient Rehabilitation and Methodist Neurological Rehabilitation.
“It’s an incredible fortune I have to work with physical therapists with such expertise and to also have a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor basically at my doorstep,” he said.
Mark Adams, chief executive officer of Methodist Rehab, said Dr. Hirshman’s holistic approach will be an asset to the center’s desire to meet the lifelong needs of people with disabling injuries and illness.
“Many people leave hospitals still hurting, and we want to ensure they have a trusted name to turn to for their outpatient rehabilitation needs,” he said. “We’re excited to bring Dr. Hirshman’s expertise to Mississippi
Dr. Bruce Hirshman, D.O.