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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain

If you're living with chronic pain, I am available to help you. I have been treating chronic pain, surgical conditions and psychiatric situations causing chronic pain since 1987. I have specific education, training and experience in the assessment, evaluation and treatment of chronic pain. I attended and completed up to date review courses recommended by the California Medical Board. I’ve been educated, trained and certified by many continuing medication programs including the COPE-REMS (Collaborative Opioid Prescribing Education for Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategies) training program.  I also completed the Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioids: Assessing Risks and Safe Prescribing

There's much that can be done to tame the chronic pain beast. Advances have emerged in the past several years, as researchers have gained a greater understanding of chronic pain and how it develops. The origins of chronic pain are all too familiar: Sports injuries, back injuries, car accidents -- or health conditions like migraines, diabetes, arthritis, shingles and cancer. At times, however, there is no obvious cause of the chronic pain, no trauma or injury people can point to as a source of their chronic pain problem -- which has been frustrating for both patients and their doctors. 

Treating chronic pain can be challenging. It may take several types or combinations of treatments before you find relief.

Be sure to seek treatment if your pain lasts longer than 2 to 3 months. Early treatment may prevent the pain from getting worse.

The goals of treatment are to reduce your pain and increase your ability to function. This includes improving your sleep and your coping skills and reducing stress so you can return to your regular activities.

It's important to build a clear treatment plan. Part of this plan includes identifying ways for you to manage your pain. Only you know the severity of your pain and how it affects your life. Be sure to ask me if you are not clear about what steps you can take when pain occurs or gets worse.

I would provide comprehensive psychological and psychiatric evaluation of physical and non-physical causes of chronic pain. I am board certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine to help assess your situation.  I have DEA certification for prescription of controlled substances and prescription of buprenorphine in the treatment of chronic pain. 

The first order of business is the correct diagnosis.  What is the source of your pain?  Can it be corrected with surgery or other intervention?  I would assess your pain level, medical history, and previous methods of treatment. Physical examination may be appropriate.

Medication is the last resort.  Medication alternatives may include:  buprenorphine (Subutex and Suboxone), methadone, traditional opiates, long-acting and patch opiates, non-opiate pan medications, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and meditation. We’ll have a discussion of non-Western approaches to pain. Urine testing may be necessary to verify compliance. A written treatment plan is generated; I explain informed patient consent; we have an agreement of treatment; and I have ongoing periodic review of the course of treatment. I may need to make a referral when judged clinically appropriate.

 

Please let me know if I may be of help to you.

 

Thomas A. Gonda, Jr., MD

2220 Mountain Blvd, Suite #240

Oakland, CA  94610

Direct Line:  1-510-495-4826