“To manage my pain, I had to buy into the program,” said Army Veteran Ebenezer Bowles. “I had to buy into it, just like I had to buy into the military way when I first became a soldier.”
When Bowles realized he was on a dangerous path, he turned to the Pain Clinic at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO) for help.
“It became obvious I was addicted to pain killers,” said Bowles. “After a decade of chronic pain, I decided I couldn’t stay on the path I was taking.”
Chronic pain is among the most common, disabling, and costly chronic illnesses in the U.S. Unfortunately, it has been found that chronic pain is more prevalent and of greater intensity in the Veteran population than in the general population. Furthermore, unrelieved and persistent chronic pain can contribute to depression, anxiety, poor sleep patterns, decreased quality of life, and substance abuse.
This past summer, VHSO further increased Veterans’ access to comprehensive pain management by opening a dedicated, state-of-the-art, pain procedure room.
“We recognize that chronic pain is not just a physical ailment but can affect a person’s emotional and psychological well-being,” said Coordinator and Pain Consultant Candance Stacy, PharmD, PCPP. “Our team works with each Veteran to create a personalized treatment plan.
VHSO’s pain management care includes such procedures as nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, and epidural steroid injections. Another distinguishing feature of the facility’s Pain Clinic is its multidisciplinary approach to pain management to include a wide array of complementary and integrative health therapies like acupuncture and yoga. VA's National Pain Management Strategy shows these types of therapies are useful in managing pain.
“Patients are encouraged to actively participate in their healing journey. Educational resources are readily available to help them better understand their conditions and treatment options.” said Stacy, adding that the new pain procedure room is more proof of VHSO’s unwavering dedication to the well-being of Veterans.
“The atmosphere at VHSO is friendly, competent, and genuinely committed to my success,” said Bowles. “I am not just making great progress, I’m all in!”
For more information about the VHSO Pain Clinic, click on Health Services | VA Fayetteville Arkansas Health Care | Veterans Affairs.