Who are we at the INTEGRATIVE PAIN CENTER of ARIZONA (IPCA)?
We have in-house expertise in non-operative orthopedic medicine, sports medicine, physiatry, occupational medicine, pain management, and behavioral pain medicine and we call on the best of the community's resources in physical therapy, alternative/complementary medicine, surgical treatment and more. Click on this link to see staff biographies.
What do we do?
We help our customers find the Wellness side of the health equation, and help them stay there. The Integrative Pain Center of Arizona treats the entire spectrum of painful diseases. Our clients range from people with a sports-related recent onset of a painful condition who expect to fully recover, to people dealing with chronic pain; from athletes to the elderly. Our approach is tailored to each individual.
ILLNESS ---------------- WELLNESS
Why do we do it?
To build a strong community. We exist to restore and preserve our patient's Connection to Community. Painful illness severs the connection. There is no greater misery than that for an individual. And when the connection is broken, the community loses a valued employee, a friend, a husband or wife, a teacher/mentor, a leader, a protector, a caregiver...
How did we do it?
By sticking to our purpose and our values and by becoming expert in each of these six areas:
- Precision Diagnosis. Roughly 50% of the new patients coming to see us are either sent by their physician or seek us out on their own because of our expertise with making the diagnosis. This is an important part of the IPCA program because an accurate diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.
- Treatment Planning. We help our patients identify the curative and/or palliative treatment options that make sense for them - based on their diagnosis, how long the problem has been there, their goals, their abilities, our experience, and the medical evidence relating to their condition. When our in-house expertise does not cover all the bases, we will recruit whatever additional expert opinion and technical skills are needed to assure that the full menu of treatment is explored. We assure that the underlying painful disease is treated; for example, when a patient has painful nerves from diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), good control of the diabetes is important to control the pain.
- Mentorship. We guide our patients through the health care decision-making forest toward achievable, personalized outcomes.
- Pain Management. Pain management (PM) is defined as any treatment or technique used to control pain that cannot be eliminated through treatment of the underlying disease. Pain management (PM) is just one aspect of the IPCA program - often patients coming for "pain management" need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture: accurate diagnosis, treatment planning that covers all reasonable options, mentorship, and coordination of care. Individualized PM treatment at IPCA may include medication management; injections; leading edge procedures such as neurostimulation; training in cognitive and behavioral self-management pain control strategies; complementary and alternative medicine pain control strategies; referral for surgical treatments of pain - from spine and nerve surgery to joint replacement; and more.
- Coordination Of Care. This is where we start to see the gap between IPCA and other programs widen. We have a regular team conferences and invite primary care and other providers to attend telephonically or in person. We optimize outcomes and treat patients efficiently and safely, by assuring that thethe timing of treatment and communication among health care providers iscarried out on a whole new level compared to what we have seen the last 40 or 50 years. IPCA has made an investment in developing the processes, the information technology, and the staff skills required to support coordination of care. We have dedicated Friday mornings to team conferences and we have a grant funded coordinator for this effort. We believe that coordination of care is a key to gaining adherence to treatment plan from the patient - because coordination of care guaranties adherence to the treatment plan among the healthcare team!
- Prevention. We help our patients learn how to stay on the wellness side of the healthcare equation. We help our patients understand how to keep the painful disease from recurring or getting worse!. The first up is often behavior change, and we have the tools ( including coordination of care just mentioned) to create the right environment for positive behavior change. This includes physical, cognitive, and behavioral techniques - everything from exercise and nutrition to teaching patients how to prevent pain and illness from overwhelming our patients' lives.
In order to accomplish all these goals efficiently, IPCA has adopted an innovative, evidence based health care delivery strategy: the integrative multidisciplinary team-based approach - an approach that has been successfully applied to many types of medical problems and which we find works extremely well for diagnosis and treatment of painful diseases as well.
Who can benefit from a referral to IPCA?
We work with patients of all ages, including children, who have sub-acute or chronic pain related to:
- Arthritis: Inflammation of joints
- Recent onset or chronic Back Pain/Sciatica: Muscle strain, nerve damage, muscle loss, osteoporosis, herniated disk or other sources
- Recent onset or chronic Neck Pain: Muscle strain, nerve, or joint problems
- Sports injuries.
- Complex regional pain syndrome: Intense, long-lasting nerve injury with pain typically in an arm or leg
- Peripheral neuropathy: Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet
- Postherpetic neuralgia: Nerve damage resulting from a viral infection
- Work injuries
- Fibromyalgia: Generalized pain felt in the muscles and around joints; often described as "aching all over"
- Interstitial cystitis: Pressure, pain, and tenderness around the bladder
- Facial pain
- Overuse injuries: Often in hands and wrists from computer use or repetitive motions
- Pelvic floor pain: Discomfort in the pelvic muscles
- Patient centered care: Understand the patient's situation from their perspective and the factors that shape the patient's response to their diagnosis, present all reasonable treatment options, and help the patient make the right choices - for them.
- Know the Evidence: Strive to integrate evidence derived from listening and understanding with published medical evidence to deliver the best possible treatment recommendations.
- Clinical Integration: Coordinate the efforts of the various healthcare providers involved in diagnosis and treatment of the patient - this value is so crucial to improving outcomes and reducing health care costs that it appears in IPCA's name.
- Education and communication: of the patient and their healthcare team so that they understand what is happening and can participate effectively in decision-making.
- Consistency: In the use of various medical resources, particularly high technology/high expense or high risk resources.
- Safety: Of our patients and our staff.
- Respect: for our patients and each other
- Strive to create a Learning Organization: So that we may respond effectively to the varied needs of our individual patients, our colleagues, our staff, and to change in the health-care environment.
- Transparency: We want it to be easy those within and outside the program (patients, providers, and insurance companies) to understand why we do what we do and what outcomes we achieve.
- Efficiency: in our use of healthcare, healthcare technology, and administrative resources
- Leadership: To serve as a model for how we might heal the healthcare system from within - this means being active in community outreach, clinical research, and peer education.