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Published on December 05, 2017

Low-risk options for pain management

Patients suffering from acute or chronic pain have a variety of low-risk treatment options at Gundersen Health System. These methods include alternative therapies, physical therapy and pain management procedures. All of them can help relieve your patients' discomfort without many of the risks associated with prescription pain medications, such as addiction, depression and overdose.

Kim Dowat, PhD, CNM, Gundersen Integrative Medicine

Kim Dowat, PhD, CNM, Gundersen Integrative Medicine

Phillip Mitchell, PT, Gundersen Physical Therapy;

Phillip Mitchell, PT, Gundersen Physical Therapy;

Stephanie Neuman, MD, Gundersen Pain Management

Stephanie Neuman, MD, Gundersen Pain Management

Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies can be used to complement conventional medicine, or can be used on their own to alleviate pain and assist with your patients' overall sense of wellbeing.

Your patients may find them useful to relieve symptoms or side effects while undergoing conventional treatments; to help with pain or symptoms not reduced by conventional medicine; or to manage stress, anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia or fatigue.

Options available through Gundersen's Integrative Medicine Center include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage therapy
  • Stress management
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Dry needling
  • Essential oils
  • Herbal therapy
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Prolotherapy
  • HeartMath

"These therapies are essentially risk free," says Kim Dowat, PhD, CNM, who offers acupuncture and holistic therapies. "Many patients get considerable relief for a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety and insomnia. They can be used for a variety of other problems as well."

Physical therapy

Patients suffering from acute or chronic pain also may find relief through physical therapy.

Gundersen's physical therapists work with your patients to minimize pain and maximize function, creating individualized plans based on your patients' needs, not on their diagnosis.

"Most people get sent to physical therapy for severe pain, but lingering, nagging pains can also be appropriate for a mechanical evaluation by a physical therapist. Often these conditions are much easier to treat and have better outcomes because we treat the condition before it causes more severe pain," says physical therapist Phillip Mitchell.

This approach not only offers a low-risk option for pain relief, but it can prevent the need for prescription medication in the future.

Common conditions physical therapy treats include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Knee pain
  • Rotator cuff impingement/tendonitis
  • General strengthening and balance training
  • Dizziness

Pain management

When more conservative attempts at managing your patients' pain through alternative and physical therapies are unsuccessful, a pain relief procedure through Gundersen Pain Management may help your patients get back to living their life.

A number of conditions can be treated with minimally invasive injections and other procedures, including:

  • Spine and/or radicular pain from disease other spine disorders
  • Nerve pain from disorders of the nervous system
  • Joint or muscle pain from arthritis and other conditions
  • Surgery-related pain
  • Pain from cancer or cancer treatments

"Chronic pain is really common, and pain management procedures allow us to address that pain for patients without the risks associated with prescription pain medications," says Stephanie Neuman, MD, Gundersen Pain Management.

Most procedures can be repeated, meaning your patients can enjoy long-term relief with few side effects.

To refer a patient or learn more about low-risk pain management options at Gundersen, contact MedLink at (800) 336-5465 or in La Crosse at 775-5465.

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