Live Well Now!

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By Joey Gomez

You don’t have to put up with chronic pain any longer. If you count yourself among the many thousands of people who are living with chronic pain, the staff at the Center for Pain Management in Edinburg is here to improve your life, and the change is unbelievable.

CFPM is not only the oldest pain management practice in the Valley, it is the largest and most innovative. CFPM features cutting-edge treatment capabilities and a world-class team of doctors and staff.

Receiving his training at Boston University Medical, Case Western University, and Harvard Medical, Dr. Chowdhury has 30 years of experience in anesthesia and 25 years of experience in the sub-specialty of comprehensive and interventional pain management. His affiliations include being Board Certified by the American Academy of Pain Management and the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians.

“Our slogan is ‘Live Well Now!’ This means you don’t have to put up with the pain,” said Dr. Chowdhury. “Thousands of people have pain, and they don’t think that they can do anything about it. They learn to live with it, and over a period of time, they just expect to have it. But when we come in and get rid of that pain, the change can be remarkable.”
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CFPM specializes in treating patients suffering from persistent pain after surgery, low back pain, persistent headaches, shingles, cancer, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, spasticity due to strokes, brain injury, as well as injury from motor vehicle accidents and work related injuries.

Some of the specialized services include treatment of spine fracture with kyphoplasty and balloon augmentation, which involves reestablishing some of the physical integrity of a fractured vertebrae by injecting a bone cement into the vertebral body.

The experts at CFPM also specialize in the implantation of spinal column stimulators. This device is used to exert pulsed electrical signals to the spinal cord to control chronic pain. “When it’s neuropathic pain, the patient cannot sleep, and their quality of life suffers when they can’t sit down or stand for a long time because of the pain shooting to the back or the leg. Spinal column stimulation is a way to relieve pain from the back, neck, and upper and lower extremities for patients who have gone through everything, including surgery, but were not helped,” Dr. Chowdhury explained. “For those patients, we recommend a trial SCS to find out if they are ideal for the surgical implantation of the SCS device.

Dr. Chowdhury is also one of the few who perform MILD Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression for the treatment of spinal stenosis. This outpatient procedure is often a step that allows the patient to avoid major back surgery.

Interventional pain management is an interesting specialty. Some doctors are unaware of the newest options available to alleviate pain. They may prescribe drugs that affect the entire body up to a level where the patients have more side effects from the medication than actual pain relief. While Dr. Chowdhury may also use drugs to treat pain, normally he treats pain at the point where it is being generated. Interventional pain management techniques may reduce the need for medication by as much as 99% and still provide the needed relief.

According to a consensus report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in June 2011, more than 100 million adults in the United States are affected by chronic pain, or to put it in perspective – more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. About one-third of those people who report pain indicate that it is “disabling,” which is defined as both severe and having a high impact on functions of daily life.

Gauging the economic impact, it is estimated that pain costs the nation up to $635 billion annually. According to IOM, in 2008 alone, federal and state governments spent $99 billion on pain-related medical expenses. In an excerpt from the Journal of American Medical Association, it states that chronic pain from arthritis, back problems, headache, and other musculoskeletal conditions costs American businesses $61.2 billion a year in lost productivity. Whichever number you use, the economic cost is enormous. But the emotional and physical cost is even higher.