LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- For many people, living with pain is a way of life. While medicine has made remarkable advances to get rid of some diseases, cure others and extend life, chronic pain is still one they are struggling to understand and improve. But with new approaches that don't focus only on medication, doctors are able to help patients suffering from chronic pain in many other ways.
"If we just took one approach to control pain, it does not work well," said Dr. Samah Hanna, an anesthesiologist at CCMH.
That's why Anesthesiologist Hanna uses multiple approaches to help his patients including physical therapy and counseling.
"That can have a bigger impact on the outcome of a chronic pain patient when you compare it to only medication use alone. That's number one
Number two Dr. Hanna says, is helping decrease the Americans need for pain medication, and stop prescription drug abuse and overuse.
"I've seen a lot of success stories of being able to help patients with chronic pain situations, and wean them off their pain medication
Dr. Hanna says physical therapy is a great method they use at CCMH to help with chronic pain.
"Helps increase their mobility, range of motion, activity and helps with the pain quite a bit
Dr. Hanna also says anxiety and depression are common for patients with chronic pain. Both can be treated with counseling. Dr. Hanna performs what are called interventional procedures, including things like epidurals or injections to help with pain.
"It's a steroid injection into the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine, along with local anesthetics. So it's not only a steroid, it's actually a combination of local anesthesia and steroids," explained Dr. Hanna.
Those injections can be done every four to six months in series as long as they are helping the patient. Dr. Hanna also recommends yoga to help with relaxation. He says one thing he preaches to his patients is healthy dieting and exercise.
"To try and get the patient to live a healthier lifestyle, and that can actually help quite a bit with the chronic pain," said Dr. Hanna.
Dr. Hanna also treats opioid dependency. Patients are usually referred to him through their primary physician, so if you are struggling with chronic pain, and want to try a different method other than pain medicine, talk with your doctor about the options available to you.
For MedWatch 7, I'm Makenzie Burk.