Tag Archives: Pain Management

Team Approach Improves Chronic Pain Care in Oklahoma Clinic


Providing chronic pain patients with seamless access to non-pharmacological therapies and self-care skills requires clinics to re-think business as usual. Dr. Vinny Francio, DC, MS, practices Integrative Spine Care and Integrative Pain Management for Essential Integrative Health in Oklahoma City, an integrative spine and pain management clinic, in collaboration with orthopedic spine surgeon and integrative physician Dr. Art Conley, MD. Continue reading “Team Approach Improves Chronic Pain Care in Oklahoma Clinic” »

Webinar: A Collaborative Approach to Tackling Challenges in Chronic Pain Care

Chronic Pain Breakthrough Colaborative - Dr Perlman

*This article was recently updated to include the latest activity within the Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative*

The February 3rd and February 17th webinars for Samueli Institute’s Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative touched on the many approaches for treating patients with chronic pain, using holistic medicine. With new practitioners present, the goal of Samueli Institute in the webinar, was to explain; why the chronic pain collaborative exists, our results from previous year and how interested individuals can get involved. Continue reading “Webinar: A Collaborative Approach to Tackling Challenges in Chronic Pain Care” »

Increase Patient Power In Pain Care


Problem-solving is a key skill at work, at home and in the classroom. But problem-solving is also important for patients when managing chronic pain.

Licensed Massage Therapist Martha Menard, PhD demonstrates a form of massage

Licensed Massage Therapist Martha Menard, PhD demonstrates a form of massage

Samueli Institute’s Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative teams met in January to celebrate and share what worked to increase the number of patients using non pharma and self-care therapies for chronic pain—one of the goals of the 2015 learning collaborative. Participants found that moving from a clinician-driven model of care to one that empowers patient’s self-management of chronic pain required a new outlook and skill set for both the providers and the patients.

Measures of Success in Chronic Pain Care: Empowering Patients with Self-Care Strategies

“Pain care doesn’t always involve providers,” explained Martha Menard, PhD, LMT, Executive Director of the Crocker Institute, and a faculty member for the 2015 Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative.

In a recent study (published Jan 2016), Menard found a common characteristic of those living well with chronic pain was their perseverance and openness: “People were very open to trying new things and kept trying until they found what worked for them, putting together these highly individualized packages of care for themselves. They became skilled at noticing the connection between feeling stressed and making their pain worse, so they found lots of ways to incorporate self-care into their daily routine.” Continue reading “Increase Patient Power In Pain Care” »

Podcast-An Interview With Dr. Robert Bonakdar

Dr. Robert Bonakdar Interview Image

Dr. Bonakdar recently visited Samueli Institute to discuss his journey in integrating the practices of integrative medicine. He currently holds the title, Director of the American Academy of Pain Management in addition to working as a Director of Pain Management at the Scripps Center for Pain Management in California. When asked how he got started, Dr. Bonakdar explained that what Americans call alternative medicine, is not as foreign to him.

Born in Iran, Dr. Bonakdar learned of integrative medical practices like mind-body therapy and Tai Chi at a young age. In his homeland, these practices are primal and others like prescription medication are secondary and sometimes forbidden. His vision for pain management practice is to help make so-called alternative medicine, more prominent in the United States.

“We need a huge transformation. We need more individualized pain care, not just specifically what the guidelines say; and a lot more self-care.”

His current approach involves offering alternative pain management treatment as a first choice or after patients have exhausted all other forms of treatment, including medication. In his practice, he often finds that many patients are not healing from conventional practices because the root of their problem is not what it appears. Sometimes chronic pain comes from injuries and strain, but other times, it comes from stress. Dr. Bonakdar strives to look at the whole picture to heal his patients.

“How can condition ‘X’ fit the entire picture and how can you then approach this complex picture in a way that’s patient’s centered.”

Acknowledging that there has been considerable evidence that integrative medicine heals patients, Dr. Bonakdar is looking for ways to make some integrative treatments standard in healing patients with chronic pain.

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