The impact of pain on Americans physically, emotionally and economically is extensive. PrimeTime News recently had a
conversation with Robert Silverman, M.D., Medical Director of The Valley Pain Management Center, about the prevalence
of pain in America and the importance of pain management to patients suffering from either acute or chronic pain.
Q. What is pain management and why is it important?
A. Pain management is an individualized approach to managing
pain, whether chronic or acute. It is important because,
in addition to those suffering from acute pain, more than
100 million Americans experience chronic pain every day.
Chronic pain can disrupt jobs, sleep, personal relationships,
and quality of life. It can even affect someone’s mood and
ability to perform daily activities.
Furthermore, the American Academy of Pain Medicine
estimates that the medical costs of pain care and economic
costs related to disability days and lost wages and productivity
add up to a whopping $635 billion every year.
Q. What is the Center’s approach to the
treatment of pain?
A. Our philosophy is “that one person in pain is too many,
especially if that person is you.” The Valley Pain Management
Center uses a multidisciplinary approach that treats the
whole individual and includes the consultation of other
medical disciplines as necessary. Patients are provided with
a comprehensive evaluation and advanced therapies that
combine the unique medical expertise of each of the Center’s
physicians with safe, integrative therapies. Many of our
patients wish to supplement their treatment with complementary
medicine services, such as acupuncture, and we
are pleased to offer this right at the Center.
Q. What types of conditions are treated at the Center?
A. We treat a variety of conditions including injury or illness,
back, neck, or knee problems, cancer, post-surgical pain,
sciatica, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, shingles
and other muscular conditions. Some of the individuals who
seek our services are those undergoing orthopedic surgery,
cardiac procedures, oncology treatments, a hysterectomy
and other procedures. We also treat patients experiencing
degenerative changes from osteoporosis or chronic arthritis,
individuals recovering from back surgery, and individuals
who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident
or other form of trauma.
Q. Do you recommend any lifestyle changes to
complement the services provided by the Center?
A. Yes, because we aim to treat the whole individual, we
encourage patients to set aside time to exercise at least
a few times a week, to get the amount of sleep they need,
to manage their day-to-day stress, to reassess their diet
to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition, and to
consult with their doctor if they are experiencing a high
level of anxiety. By following these self-management
techniques in conjunction with any treatments or
therapies their doctor recommends, our patients are
giving themselves the best chance at minimizing and
effectively managing their pain.
Q. Who are the members of the
Pain Management team?
A. In addition to myself as medical director, our team
includes internist/addiction medicine specialist
Robin Iversen, M.D., and psychiatrist Fani Thomson,
D.O., who are both board certified in their specialties.
Dr. Thomson and I are also board certified in interventional
pain management. Dr. Iversen is also board
certified in palliative and hospice medicine, and she
is a medical acupuncturist.