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Pain Center - Patient Stories

Sibley Pain Center brings life-changing relief

Every month there are new advances in the field of pain medicine, and the staff of Pain Center pride themselves in tailoring treatment plans specifically for each patient, using the latest cutting edge techniques and technologies as soon as they become available. Here, achieving less pain takes less time. With all services under one roof, Sibley can make MRIs available on the spot and deliver physical therapy on-site. After years of searching, patients are finding relief.

"Pain kept me from doing everything I loved. Now my life has no restrictions."

"You know the cliché ‘I feel your pain?’ That’s really true of the warm, caring staff at Sibley’s Pain Center. After two epidural treatments my pain is totally gone."
—Eleanor Singer, patient

Eleanor Singer thought a hip replacement would finally bring relief from years of pain. Instead, intense new pain developed. "Every moment of my daily life was affected—sleeping, walking, swimming, rehabilitation exercises, even visiting art museums." An epidural injection to deliver steroid medication was recommended, but after a negative treatment experience at a surgical center, Eleanor’s pain worsened. "When I discovered the Sibley Pain Center, my experience was completely different. The moment I walked through the door, everyone treated me so kindly."

The team at the Sibley Pain Center used a different epidural approach. "After two injections I couldn’t have asked for better result,." recalls Eleanor, who has been pain-free since September 2009.

Everyone’s problem is different, so we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach for treatments. We take time to look at each person’s history, do a physical exam, study the imaging and come up with a plan that employs the right treatment options for that individual.

From her physical therapy exercise routine to hopping on the Metro or driving downtown, Eleanor is back to the life she loves. "I can even work as a Smithsonian docent despite lots of standing and walking on those hard, marble floors. It’s so liberating, I haven’t felt better in years."

"With less pain I have more confidence."

"Countless invasive surgeries had only made my pain worse. But now with the combination of medication and technology, I’m no longer chained to a cycle of pain."
—John Reeke, patient

After a lower spine trauma at age 14 left John Reeke in constant, debilitating pain, he was ready to try anything. Yet 15 years of highly invasive surgeries did not result in relief — but even more pain. Medication made the first real difference, but it wasn’t until the Sibley Pain Center combined both drug therapy and advanced technology, that John achieved more control over pain than ever before.

"I’m only 37," says John, "so a device that delays the need to increase medication really matters." At Sibley, John was implanted with a small neurostimulator that sends electrodes up and down John’s spine to interfere with pain transmitters. With a hand-held device, he can target and control pain.

As his doctor explained, "John is a very bright guy who essentially had no real quality of life. Our goal was to lessen the intensity of his pain so he could go back to school and do more with his life."

John picked Sibley because of the center's familiarity with the latest cutting edge technologies. "Now pain doesn’t dictate the terms of my life. I feel more in control, not just of my pain, but also my emotions and future. I’m working toward a Masters degree in social work. At Sibley’s Pain Center I’m not just a number—their honest sense of compassion comes through."

 
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