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Your Health Matters: Managing pain with a team approach

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Staff with the Pain Management Program through Munson Healthcare are offering a comprehensive, team approach for patients' pain.{ } One woman from northern Michigan shares her personal story and says the program has transformed her life.

No one wants to feel pain whether it's chronic, acute or caused from a disease. That's why staff with the Pain Management Program through Munson Healthcare are offering a comprehensive, team approach for patients' pain. One woman from northern Michigan shares her personal story and says the program has transformed her life.

"I didn't have much of a life. I didn't go anywhere," says Lisa Hendricks who is a patient of Munson's Pain Management Program in Traverse City.

Chronic pain caused from a neck injury in 1999 and a back injury in 2014 caused Hendricks to spiral into a world that wasn't her own.

"I've been in pain for a long time. Being a waitress I pulled my lower back... I was on a vicious cycle of medication," says Lisa.

After year's of excruciating discomfort and use of narcotics to combat the pain, Hendrick's primary care physician referred her to the Pain Management Program through Munson Medical Center.

"By the time I came here I was on the maximum lethal dose of narcotics. We first had to get me off all the medications I was on," says Hendricks.

The program uses a comprehensive, medical team approach to deal with people's pain. Each specialist plays a role to help the patient get to the root of the problem to help manage their level of pain.

"In traditional physical therapy it's exercise but for people with chronic pain it has to be dosed in a certain way...We use several different techniques both focused on the tissue and also the brain and its role of pain on the body," says physical therapist Bryan Parshall.

Hendricks first met with a psychiatrist with the program before she started her physical therapy. She stayed with the program for almost a year working with physical therapists and other medical specialists to manage her pain.

"What munson has is all the disciplines under one roof that's where you get an outcome like Lisa's," says Parshall.

"We stress comprehensive meaning that we offer many ways to treat pain depending on the diagnosis you have. We're trying to give you tools and suggestions so that you can manage your own pain to a point were it doesn't control you or what you do," says medical director for the Pain Management Program, Howard Beck.

"I think physical therapy is a great option. It trains your body. It trains your mind. They gave me my life back," says Hendricks.

For more information about Munson's Pain Management Program click here.

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