Pain Management Service
Helping Patients Manage Pain
Living with chronic pain can significantly affect quality of life and keeps many people from participating in everyday activities. The Pain Management Service at Newton- Wellesley Hospital is committed to helping patients relieve their pain and return to their optimal level of functioning to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.
“Chronic pain can disrupt every part of a person’s life including work and social activities,” says Paul Satwicz, MD, Anesthesiologist and Director of Pain Management at Newton-Wellesley. “Dealing with pain can make a person feel alone and distanced from family and friends. At Newton-Wellesley, we have highly trained specialists who help our patients diminish and even eliminate their pain.”
The Pain Management Service offers individualized care for people with acute, chronic or cancer-related pain. The Pain Management team provides a comprehensive approach to diagnosing, treating and relieving chronic pain through both medical and alternative behavioral methods. The team works together to develop treatment plans tailored to each individual patient’s needs with the primary goal of reducing or eliminating pain and enabling patients to achieve the highest possible level of function and independence.
“We provide a patient-focused, friendly environment to meet the individual needs of our patients,” says Dr. Satwicz. “All of our patients receive care from board certified, attending level physicians and nurse practitioners who work to identify the cause of their pain and create a specific plan utilizing the latest methods.”
The Pain Management Service provides a variety of resources for patients in one convenient location. Patient care is provided by board certified anesthesiologists, interventional physiatrists (physical medicine), nurse practitioners, registered nurses and radiologic technologists with special training in pain management. Patients are referred for pain management services from various areas of the Hospital such as orthopaedics, neurosurgery, psychiatry, physiatry, neurology, rheumatology, internal medicine and occupational and physical therapy.
“We see patients on an outpatient basis in our clinic, but also provide services to patients in the Hospital and those undergoing surgery,” says Dr. Satwicz. “Our nurses help educate other nurses throughout the Hospital on pain management for patients and the best pain practices. Our nurses also work with patients before and after surgery to manage their pain.”
Patients must be referred to the Pain Management Service by their physician to come in for an initial consultation. This appointment allows the team to determine the most appropriate treatment for each patient’s pain management. A treatment plan is developed and reviewed with the patient and, if he or she wishes, with family as well.
“Communication is an important part of the pain management process,” says Dr. Satwicz. “The referring physician and the patient’s primary care physician will be sent a report along with ongoing follow-up communications about the patient’s progress.”
Wide Range of Services
The Pain Management team is equipped to treat patients who are experiencing pain related to a wide variety of medical conditions. “We offer a range of services all available in one convenient location,” says Dr. Satwicz. “Partners HealthCare is using the electronic medical record, which helps to enhance communication between health care providers. We can easily keep a patient’s care team up to date to ensure they have seamless continuity of care.”
To provide an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to pain management, patients now have access to Behavioral Medicine Services provided by Alan Witkower, Ed.D, CGP, Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Witkower has recently joined the Pain Management Service to offer his pain management expertise to patients struggling to manage their pain and disability.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
“I meet with patients and together we develop a customized plan for reducing their perception of pain, enhancing their emotional resilience and promoting a return to normal functioning.” says Dr. Witkower. “I incorporate a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques such as selfhypnosis, relaxation training, mindfulness meditation, diaphragmatic breathing and motivational coaching into the patient’s treatment.”
Dr. Witkower recognizes how persistent pain can impact the patient’s relationships with family and friends, their work performance and their ability to enjoy recreational and leisure activities.
“Patients often tell me ‘I just exist now with my pain, I want to start living again despite my pain’,” says Dr. Witkower. “Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to treat the whole person by offering strategies that work in concert with the patient’s medical treatments. Addressing their emotional and psychological needs is an integral part of compassionate pain management.
Newton-Wellesley is dedicated to providing these services to our patients and I am delighted to be part of the team.”
The Pain Management Services team is committed to providing all the resources to help patients regain their quality of life and return to the activities they enjoy. “We listen to our patients, recognize how real their pain is and try our best to help,” says Dr. Satwicz. “Our team is focused on providing the very best care and improving the lives of each of our patients.”
Medical Conditions Treated by Pain Management
- Back pain
- Cancer pain
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Degenerative joint or disc disease
- Facet arthritis
- Herniated disc
- Herpetic Neuralgia (shingles)
- Neck pain
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
- Spinal stenosis
- Epidural blood patch
- Epidural catheter placement
- Epidural steroid injection
- Facet block
- Facet radiofrequency ablation
- IV regional block
- IV lidocaine infusion
- Lumbar sympathetic block
- Medical acupuncture
- Medication consultation
- Sacroiliac joint radiofrequency lesioning
- Selective nerve root block
- Stellate ganglion block
- Trigger point injection
For more information about the Pain Management Service at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, please call CareFinder at 1-866-NWH-DOCS (694-3627) or visit www.nwh.org/pain.
Paul Satwicz, MD, Anesthesiologist and Director of Pain Management
Dr. Satwicz is board certified in pain management. He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed his residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.
Alan Witkower, Ed.D, CGP Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Witkower is a licensed psychologist and certified group psychotherapist. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University and completed his post-doctoral training at Tri-City Community Mental Health Center.
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