March 19, 2009
Methodist Rehab clinics offer one-stop shop for people seeking pain relief
By Susan Christensen
Searching for pain relief?
Then punch these coordinates into that GPS you got for Christmas – N32 19.655 W090 06.392 .
That’s the Flowood corner where four Methodist Rehab Center clinics work together to provide the area’s most comprehensive pain management services. All under one roof are Methodist Spine & Joint, Methodist Pain Management, Methodist Out-patient Rehabilitation and Methodist Neurological Rehabilitation.
“We’re a one-stop shop, and people appreciate that convenience,” said Lisa Kamp, director of operations for Methodist Rehab’s East Campus. “When you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is drive all over town consulting specialists.”
Kamp said the clinics’ proximity encourages collaboration, which gives patients the benefit of a big picture approach. And that’s a definite bonus, considering the complexities of treating chronic pain.
A case in point is Howard Brown of Flowood. The 85-year-old retiree originally came to Methodist Spine & Joint seeking relief from agonizing nerve pain caused by a narrowing spinal column.
Brown needed physical therapy, only he was in such pain he couldn’t bear to exercise. So he was referred to Methodist Pain Management, where anesthesiologist Bruce Hirshman gave Brown a pain-relieving injection.
“I felt like a new person immediately,” Brown said. Soon enough, he was working out with Charlotte Stark, a physical therapist at Methodist Outpatient Rehabilitation. And after just a couple of months of the combined therapy, Brown is stronger, more flexible and enjoying renewed mobility.
Such success stories reinforce the value of a multi-disciplinary approach and have motivated staff to look for ways to collaborate with the variety of specialists who have offices at Methodist Rehab’s Flowood campus.
Because obesity has been found to play a role in chronic pain, Dr. Kevin Young, a physician at Flowood Family Medicine, offers his expertise in weight-management to the mix. And Angela Koestler, a pain psychologist who co-authored “Understanding Chronic Pain,” contributes by treating the depression that often accompanies chronic pain.
Kamp said the team’s goal is to give patients alternatives that best fit their problems and lifestyle. And Brown can attest to the strategy’s success.
“They’ve really taken care of me,” he said. “I had so little strength in my right leg, I would almost fall down. Now I can walk without a cane.”
Physical therapist Charlotte Stark works with Howard Brown of Flowood to improve his strength, flexibility and mobility. Brown could barely walk before he sought help from the pain management team at Methodist Rehab's Flowood campus.