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Treating Chronic Pain Can Be Done Compassionately – Check Out Sharon’s Story

By Asim S. Aijaz, M.D. and Sharon Black

The majority of Americans live with some sort of pain, back pain being the most common. When I met Sharon, she was one of the many Americans that suffers daily with pain in her lower back and knees. It affected her mobility and her day-to-day activities significantly. 

Upon my first assessment, Sharon was suffering from pain due to her facet joints, the joints that run along the back of her spine. I confirmed my first assumption was correct after I did x-ray guided nerve block injections which demonstrated that her facet joints were, in fact, the source of her pain. After I determined the source of the problem, I wanted to craft a treatment plan that could be easily comprehensible, hopefully positively impacting her comfort and quality of life; as well as supporting her overall pain management long after she finishes her treatment. 

SHARON’S STORY

Sharon saw an advertisement for APC that caught her eye. Initially, she stalled and shopped around for other pain centers to see how they could support her with her chronic lower back and knee pain. She wasn’t getting the same satisfaction from other pain facilities so she decided to make an appointment with APC. 

Her first appointment seemed to go well and she claimed to have received empathetic, compassionate care towards her chronic pain. She noticed a passion from Dr. Aijaz for his craft and thought he cared about providing his patients with everything they needed to support their chronic pain. She had faith in him as her provider due to the genuine support and care he gave to her. He laid out a plan that was easy to comprehend; and the staff made it seamless to schedule her future appointment. As a whole she felt the staff were really supportive. From the people at billing, to the receptionist, to the x-ray support staff; everyone demonstrated to her they cared, took absolute pride in their jobs, and seemed to all work cohesively and collaboratively to provide the best care. 

Her first appointment was on April 5 and her latest appointment was on June 1. After only two months of working with Dr. Aijaz and APC, she feels 75% better and has regained a lot of her mobility back. Prior to her visit, she was having trouble getting up the stairs, walking around at the grocery store, or even doing any activity without feeling pain. Now, her pain has decreased, so she is able to be more active and go back to stretching in her daily routine. She has also noticed other physiological effects as a result of her care;  her blood pressure has decreased as her pain has decreased. After forty years working in the medical field and being able to be on her feet all day to not being able to be on her feet for a long time,  has made a huge difference on her quality of life. Now, she can be back on her feet with more ease and comfort. Overall, she noticed a positive impact of her treatment on her health.

She was so pleased with the supportive team at APC, she has recommended our services to her son, an Army veteran, who suffers from chronic knee and back pain. One thing that stood out to her was the amount of people who remembered her when she returned for her treatments. She said that the support staff must see a lot of patients each day yet they take the time to remember you; “that is great customer service.”

SHARON’S TREATMENT PLAN

I crafted a treatment plan that could offer long lasting relief and provide a higher quality of life, allowing her to increase her mobility. I created a treatment plan that could target her pain generators at her target areas, her knees and low back. 

I started with radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive procedure, to treat her low back. This is a needle based procedure that targets nerves in her back and creates long lasting relief from pain; for approximately six months or more. She completed this procedure for now and it seems to have greatly supported her. 

For her knees, I did Supartz injections, which is a gel-like substance that is inserted into the knee joint. We haven’t finished with the injections for her knees but it should reduce the pain and inflammation. 

THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING APC

For us, chronic pain management is more than a treatment based approach to target certain areas; it is also about making sure each patient feels understood and taken care of. We know that your time with our pain facility is limited and we want to leave a lasting, positive impact on your quality of life and support your chronic pain long after you work with us. 

Our care providers outline a treatment plan that takes into account all your personal circumstances and we listen to your individual needs. We want you to have faith in our care and we want that care to be easy to understand; so you know what you are getting into and how your body may respond. 

We work collaboratively with all of our staff to ensure your complete experience is enjoyable.  We know that even the pre-care and after care can carry a huge impact on your treatment plan; and we want to make sure that you feel supported from your first appointment with our receptionist, to working with our billing agents. Our number one priority is that we treat chronic pain with compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding for personalized care.