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Pain Management Q&A with Michael Massey, DO

Published in Pain Center, For the Health of It Author: CentraCare

Editor's Note: CentraCare Neurosciences Pain Center Medical Director Michael T. Massey, DO,sat down to talk on Facebook Live about pain.

Here are some of the questions asked during the Facebook Live event. Dr. Massey’s full interview is available in the video below. Some of the text below has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What is chronic pain?

Dr. Massey: Chronic pain is pain that’s there that really shouldn’t be or maybe it’s there a lot longer than it should be. When we talk to patients, the way they describe it to us is it’s just always there. It lingers, it really takes a major toll on their whole life. A lot of times their mood starts to suffer. They’re not really sleeping. They’re miserable. They’re always in pain and it’s something that they have to deal with.

Q: What does the Pain Center do to help patients living with pain?

Dr. Massey: We use a team approach at the Pain Center. We’ll meet as a team (physician, nurse practitioner, pharmacist and physical therapist) and we’ll discuss what’s going on with the patient. Everybody weighs in and comes up with a treatment plan that’s unique and individualized for the patient that will bring the patient toward recovery.

Q: What types of options are there to treat pain? Are there non-pharmaceutical options?

Dr. Massey: There are many options out there to treat pain. You have your traditional treatments, which are medications, injections — sometimes surgery. A lot of times the best tool that patients have to treat their pain is really between their ears — it’s their noodle. It’s really important that patients explore ways they can use their brain to actually treat their pain. We’ll refer patients to wellness programs, where they might experience things like mindfulness, biofeedback — all of these complementary and alternative treatments that really help patients with pain.

Q: Is it safe to use opioids?

Dr. Massey: At the Pain Center, we’re very concerned about the safety and monitoring of opioids. I think it’s very important to have an end game in mind. How long am I going to be on opioids? The goal is to really help you move toward recovery. You just use opioids when it’s appropriate. It’s very important that there are monitoring procedures when using opioids so that way we keep patients safe. We actually have a pharmacist, whose specific task is the safety and monitoring of opioids.

If you would like to learn how to manage your chronic pain and improve your life, please call 320-240-7859 to make an appointment at the Neurosciences Pain Center.

View the Entire Interview with Dr. Massey