Clinic Helps Ease Patients’ Chronic Pain
By Patrick D. Griffith, MD
“Our clinic’s location at North Kansas City Hospital means Northland patients have access to pain management and physical therapy right at their doorsteps,” says Patrick D. Griffith, MD, the founder of Pain Source Solutions in NKCH’s Pavilion.
The most common cases Dr. Griffith sees are spine-related, such as lower back pain caused by disc herniation. “In younger people, it’s usually work-related or from an accident,” he says. “In older people, it’s usually age-related degeneration.”
New patients may be eligible for same-day procedures if they meet their insurance requirements and their medical records are available for review during the first appointment.
“Our mission is to formulate a treatment plan that allows patients to be functional without narcotic medications,” Dr. Griffith says. He added, “Now there are nonnarcotic medications that were not available 15 years ago.”
Use of Diagnostics
Diagnostic injections may be used to determine the effect of treatment on a certain body structure. “Then we can make recommendations for customized treatments, such as radiofrequency lesioning.” This minimally invasive outpatient procedure is used to treat chronic spine pain and may provide relief for six-24 months. All spine related procedures are performed with x-ray guidance.
Dr. Griffith’s multimodal treatment plans may also include sessions with a dietitian to develop a weight-loss program, physical therapy to rehabilitate muscles, and an exercise program to develop core strength and flexibility. Follow-up appointments every two-six weeks determine if additional procedures are needed. In some cases, patients are referred to a psychologist to manage underlying conditions such as anxiety or depression.
“One of the benefits of our clinic is its one central location. Patients see the same staff members during every visit, which increases their comfort level,” Dr. Griffith notes.
“Intervention alone is not enough in many cases,” he points out. “Patients have to take ownership in the process. My role is to diagnose the problem, see what has failed, and get them off the plateau. The goal is to relieve their pain with the least amount of risk and complications.”
In 2005, the pain management-exclusive clinic expanded to 14,000 square feet on the seventh floor of the NKCH’s Pain Clinic. “One advantage of being on campus is that in the rare event of a problem or side effect, ancillary help is immediately available,” Dr. Griffith says.
His practice does not provide tertiary care, and appointments are by referral only. Most patients are referred by their primary care provider, but any physician can make a referral.
Patients tend to do better with their medical treatments when their pain is under control. “A happy patient is the goal, even if sometimes it’s a case of helping them see the glass as half full instead of half empty. I try to connect with patients and ease their anxiety. We want them to know that we care and are compassionate,” he sums up.
Patrick D. Griffith, MD
Dr. Griffith is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and completed his internship in general surgery at the University of Arkansas. He completed his residency in St. Louis at Barnes-Jewish Medical Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Before he founded Pain Source Solutions, Dr. Griffith was an anesthesiologist and staffed the pain clinic at Barnes, and was a staff anesthesiologist and director of acute and chronic pain management at Providence Medical Center. He is certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Anesthesiology, and is a Fellow of interventional pain practice.
To learn more, call 816.221.4114