A photo of a smiling Dr. James W. Stephens
Message from Dr. James W. Stephens
The goal of my pain management practice is to help each patient regain function and improve his or her quality of life. I feel that the best way to accomplish these goals is through a multimodal approach. Physical therapy, interventional procedures, medications, and behavioral therapy are all utilized. Attacking pain simultaneously from multiple angles will help patients feel better quicker and more effectively than relying on medications alone.
While controlled medications have their role in pain practice, high dose opioids (e.g. oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine) can be detrimental to health, safety, and quality of life. I will use all of my tools to help you treat your pain while we work together to either lower your dose of opioids or work to avoid dosage escalation in the first place. Opioids can be beneficial but care must be taken to avoid the many problems associated with them.
Safety when prescribing these types of medications is paramount. I utilize urine drug screening as method to ensure medication compliance. I will not be able to prescribe pain medications without first obtaining a urine drug screen and checking the stat Prescription Monitoring Program database. This is for both my safety and yours. I will continue to check both of these throughout the course of your care. If we are switching your medications to another type, I will need to have my staff observe you destroying your old medications before giving you your prescription. Occasionally, I may feel it is necessary to do a pill count to ensure you are taking your medications properly. For these reasons, please bring your medications with you to each visit.
I have advanced training in interventional procedures to treat pain. I will routinely evaluate you to see if there are any procedures that can be done to help you. These are offered both in the clinic and at the hospital. Most are very short procedures (5-10 minutes) and cause little discomfort. Some require x-ray and will be done in the hospital radiology area with sedation available. I also offer more advanced surgical procedures such as spinal cord stimulation and kyphoplasty.
You may have had pain for a very long time but not had any imaging to help determine the cause of your pain. In this scenario, in addition to a thorough physical exam, it is likely that a MRI or x-rays will need to be obtained. The imaging will help me tailor your treatment plan in a manner that will be most likely to help you. If you have already had imaging at another facility, please try to bring a copy of the radiologist's report. Additionally, we may need to obtain records from your prior physicians to see what you have tried in te past.
I am optimistic that by working together and attacking your pain from multiple angles that we will be able to improve your quality of life.
It may take some time, but remember that your pain has been bothering you for along time, so it is important to give us both the time needed to find the right treatment regimen for you. We will count every slight improvement as a victory, and keep towards our shared goal of a better life for you.
If you suffer from chronic pain, ask your primary care doctor about the appropriateness of a referral to Five Oaks Pain Management or call 405-224-2100 to schedule an appointment.