MOUNT VERNON — Minor aches and pains seem to be a normal part of life, but acute or chronic pain can have debilitating effects on a person’s quality of life and one’s ability to participate in typical daily activities. Relief for pain sufferers may now be in sight.
Knox Community Hospital, in partnership with the Pain Management Group, will be opening a pain management center. Located on the fifth floor at KCH, the pain management center will offer a balanced and individual approach to treating acute and chronic pain. Beginning Aug. 5, the center for pain management will be held on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Ripal Parikh, DO, is the specially trained physician who will be providing the care. Pat Giammarco of Pain Management Group said the goal of the center is to provide a balanced approach to pain management, not just to dispense pain medication alone.
“A balanced approach to pain,” he said, “means treating patients through a combination of diagnostics, interventional treatment, physical modalities and therapy, while decreasing the focus on pain medication. We are interested in doing more than just writing prescriptions. If prescription drugs are included in a balanced pain treatment plan, the focus becomes managing those medications for optimal patient benefit.”
Bruce White, KCH chief executive officer, believes the center for pain management will be an asset to the Knox County community.
“Many people suffer from chronic pain that is sometimes difficult for them and their family physician to manage,” he said. “Estimates state that 40 percent of seniors suffer from chronic pain and that at some point, 25 percent of all workers need help with pain. A center for pain management provides specially trained physicians to evaluate and treat chronic — and acute — pain issues with evidence-based protocols to help patients improve their quality of life and their ability to participate in normal daily activities. Primary care physicians benefit from consultative and expert assistance in providing care for their patients dealing with complicated pain matters.”
White said Pain Management Group was chosen as a partner in the venture following serious evaluation and consideration of community need.
“PMG is an established regional provider of pain management services that we have chosen to partner with to bring our patients state-of-the-art practices, said White. “We were familiar with and visited some of the pain centers located in hospitals within the state with which PMG is associated. We were impressed with the outcomes their patients achieved. Their partnership with Knox Community Hospital, which provides a community-focused and stable relationship with area primary care physicians, will enhance patients’ ability to receive the expert pain services they need locally.”
Giammarco said KCH is a good fit with Pain Management Group, and the partnership should be good for the community.
“Pain is really becoming a huge issue in the United States,” he said. “Communities all over are really struggling with managing chronic and acute pain. Locally, to have a hospital open up a clinic like this is fantastic for the community.”
To schedule an appointment, call 393-9866.