Living with chronic pain is a daily battle. Though sometimes the fight can be discouraging, Dr. Xavier Ng with Newton Medical Center wants patients to know that there is hope, and there are tools that can help them win that battle.
"We take a comprehensive, holistic approach to their treatment," Ng said.
Ng has operated a clinic in Newton for the past 11 years, but the clinic is celebrating a re-opening. In the past, Ng's clinic offered general rehabilitation services but now is focusing more on pain management. Dr. Ng is assisted by Trisha Smart-Counts, physician assistant, and Jasmine Heitmann, receptionist.
The clinic primarily serves chronic pain patients, such as those experiencing long-term pain from worker's comp injuries or muscle-skeletal problems. Chronic pain differs from acute pain (such as that caused by touching a hot pan on the stove) in that acute pain is part of the body's "warning system" to help protect the body from damage. Chronic pain occurs when that warning system malfunctions.
Chronic pain is also more than just a physical issue, Ng said. The constant pain can lead to depression, anxiety or insomnia.
People may not be aware of how common chronic pain is. While 70 million suffer from diabetes, cancer, heart disease or stroke, about 120 million suffer from chronic pain.
Ng said the most important step is to gain the patient's trust and build a relationship. The ultimate goal is to reduce the patient's pain, even if it can't be completely eliminated; supervise the proper use of medication; and increase the patient's quality of life.
Treatment may include surgical procedures, psychiatry and physical therapy.
"We use all that here, and I think that's the most effective way of treating those patients," Ng said.
The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and eventually will be open Saturday mornings, as well.
For more information, call 283-8800. The office location is in NMC's Medical Office Plaza, Suite 101.