Pain Treatment Beyond Drugs

Pain management means more than prescribing drugs to mask soreness or discomfort – at least, it should. That’s the ethical foundation of treatment at Southwest Spine and Sports. It’s also the reason Dr. Anthony “Tony” Lee, a board-certified Physical Medical & Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician at SWSS, was recently profiled in Round-Up, the monthly magazine of the Maricopa County Medical Society.

Most physicians might have a basic understanding of rehabilitation and limiting prescription painkillers, Lee says. But there is a greater benefit in knowing even more. The article, “Taking A Different Approach to Treating Pain,” profiles Lee as a sports medicine specialist trying to halt the rising dangers of pain-killing drugs, known as opioids. For all the benefits the painkillers offer, trouble is not far behind, especially in Arizona, which ranks 6th nationally in fatal drug overdoses annually and has the nation’s 4th-highest rate of adolescent and adult nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers.

Lee suggests knowing more is not just safer to the physician from a legal standpoint but also is more beneficial for patient care. “We really need to educate patients on the goals of their treatment, including the usage of medications,” Lee explains. “As a PM&R doctor treating pain, I want to know what functional improvements are made with the medication management.”

dr-lee-familyLee, and all SWSS staff, use a multi-disciplinary, multi-treatment care plan with medication as a component. In the article, Lee details the SWSS approach of adding physical therapy, complementary alternative medicine, interventional procedures, and behavioral treatment. “There are times when a pain complaint does not have a simple answer,” he says. Treating patients involves a comprehensive approach and should be open to finding alternative models or options.

For more information on SWSS rehabilitation and pain management programs, click here or call us today at (480) 860-8998.