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Published on January 07, 2019

woman holding her lower back

In pain? You have options

Chronic pain doesn't have to keep you from life's special moments or the activities you enjoy.

Gundersen works to understand and care for your pain if you're experiencing frequent headaches, or back, neck, pelvic or joint pain from a combination of factors like arthritis, aging, an old injury and genetics.

This includes examining past and current conditions, surgeries, trauma and other important factors, and working with you to develop a treatment plan to fit your needs.

"We have a large population of patients in our region who struggle with chronic pain," says Stephanie Neuman, MD, department chair, Gundersen Pain Medicine. "Fortunately, Gundersen has many options to help. These options include referring patients to treatments like chiropractic care, dry needling and physical therapy; to helping patients manage the type and amount of medications they take; to even placing electrical devices in patients' spinal canals (spinal cord stimulators) that have taken patients from severe, debilitating pain to enjoying life again."

Since every patient's situation is unique, what works for one person may not work for another. That's why Gundersen offers a variety of treatment options that can be used on their own or with others for maximum relief. Patients may also ask their provider about specific treatment options they have heard of and want to try.

"One of my patients was struggling with chronic neck pain," shares Stephen Wissink, MD, Gundersen Internal Medicine. "She had worked with physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, physical medicine and rehab and the injection clinic. She had received good relief with most of these therapies contributing positively but was still struggling. She had heard from a friend about dry needling, and she thought it might help her. I encouraged her to make an appointment and the result has been an additional level of relief. Today, she has intermittent neck pain, but reports that most days it is quite well managed."

"Patients really need to be open to the full spectrum of treatment options and be willing to work with their doctor to manage difficult pain problems," Dr. Wissink says. "We often need to approach a difficult pain problem from multiple angles and use a combination of treatments to achieve reasonable pain control."

If you're struggling with chronic pain, visit for more information, including a short quiz to help you find the best treatment options for easing your pain. You'll find helpful information on your pain treatment options. This includes information about Gundersen:

  • Primary Care: This is the best place to begin. Your primary care provider will do an exam, review your medical history and recommend a treatment plan, which may include one or more options below.
  • Pain Medicine: Gundersen specialists use a variety of treatments, including injections; nerve burning procedures (radiofrequency ablation); medication management; and referrals to non-medication and nonprocedural options, to support your pain treatment plan.
  • Physical Therapy: This drug-free care option treats the source of your pain using exercise, postural changes or body mechanics.
  • Integrative Medicine: Acupuncture, massage therapy, essential oils and more are available for those seeking relief from pain who desire noninvasive, drugless and evidence based treatments that can accompany more traditional forms of healthcare.
  • Chiropractic Care: This nonsurgical, drugless form of healthcare seeks to enhance health and manage back and neck pain through manual manipulation techniques and other therapies.
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: This specialty helps you find relief with noninvasive techniques and often oversees referrals to other specialists to help manage pain and increase functional independence.

Opioids: A system approach

With opioid use and abuse continuing to make headlines, Gundersen is addressing this national concern with our providers and in our policies to be sure care balances patient needs with responsible practice.

Gundersen providers work with each patient to determine whether opioids are an option for pain treatment or whether other options – from a combination of anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to non-medication alternatives, like essential oils and massage therapy to injections– can provide pain relief

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe