In the first interview of a new series called “On Pain” by Pain Medicine News, Dr. Peter Staats discusses the topics like the role of an interventional pain specialists (below) to how new technologies will address major issues in the world of pain management.
Dr. Peter Staats views interventional pain specialists as general contractors: Someone that knows everything going on with pain, but also outsources and do things on their own. Acting as a gatekeeper between the patient and surgery, they know when to prescribe medicine, how to develop treatments plans, and when to send a patient to physical therapy or other external specialists.
IPM (interventional pain medicine) is a misnomer, because it’s not just interventions that these specialists handle, but they are truly general internists of the field.
The world of pain management is developing at an exponential rate, thanks to new advances in technology. The evolution of the field dramatically changes and for young physicians, this is a very exciting time. Dr. Staats discusses three specific areas where new technology is emerging and thriving:
Neuro-modulation, from spinal cord stimulation to other peripheral nerves, provides the opportunity to treat conditions and diseases where treatments were never thought possible or imaginable.
Stem Cells Therapy, the use of harnessing the body’s own system in ways to treat diseases, is growing rapidly as research becomes more readily available, but early results are quite interesting, like offering the ability minimizing surgical approaches to certain conditions.
The use of ultrasound – visualizing deep structures that aren’t seen on traditional screenings and X-rays. Ultrasounds make it possible to place nerve stimulations accurately, inject stem cells in very specific locations, and a myriad of other treatments.
One of Dr. Staats’ largest interests in assisting in the education of physicians worldwide. So the ability to use ultrasounds in hard to reach, remote countries allows pain management to become readily available to the masses in areas where large X-rays machines and bulky equipment are unavailable.
Dr. Peter Staats is an interventional pain medicine specialist and chief medical officer for the National Spine and Pain Centers. He is also the chief medical officer for electroCore, a member of the Pain Medicine News editorial advisory board, and chair of the World Institute of Pain Board of Examination, as well as a past president of ASIPP (American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians) and NANS (North American Neuromodulation Society).
A Q&A with Dr. Staats also appeared in print in the November issue of Pain Medicine News, which also can be found on painmedicinenews.com later this month.