With an integrative approach involving mind, body and spirit, the team at Advanced MMC first seeks to understand your individual story of pain, then develops a multi-pronged treatment plan customized to your unique journey

Advanced Musculoskeletal 13
Dr. Delzell uses ultrasound technology to accurately diagnose the true physiological causes of pain, which can be missed with traditional x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Mitch Allen

Everyone has a story, especially those who have suffered long with chronic pain. Chapters in this story might include trauma, injury, years of overuse, a parade of doctors, steroid injections, surgeries, narcotics, anti-inflammatories, a sedentary lifestyle, depression, anxiety, and the longstanding effects of pain on life, career and relationships.

If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain for months, years or decades, now may be the time to share your own story and try an integrative approach to pain relief

Regardless of your story, there is still hope—no matter what you’ve been told.

The team at Advanced MMC includes administrative assistant Ryan-Alissa Barrett, Dr. Patricia Delzell, M.D., and practice manager Sarah Stevens, CMA. The phoenix behind them represents “the ability to recover, rejuvenate and inspire patients to heal.”

In her unique integrative approach, Dr. Patricia Delzell, M.D., founder of Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants, focuses on how the body, mind and spirit work together to deal with chronic pain. “The first thing we do is listen to your story,” Dr. Delzell says. “We want to know where you are and what has happened to you on your journey. Then we will likely begin with ultrasound technology to accurately diagnose the true physiological causes of your pain. The underlying anatomical/bio-mechanical issues of pain can be missed with traditional x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. With ultrasound, you don’t lie still. We want to see your tissue in motion.”

Dr. Delzell also focuses on reducing chronic inflammation. “We approach inflammation by looking at both the internal and external causes,” she explains. “These include physical activity, sleep, stress management and nutrition. We check different vitamin and mineral levels to ensure they are optimized for properly delivery of oxygen to your soft tissues as well as proper support for nerve health, if appropriate.”

Because the sensation of pain happens in the brain, Dr. Delzell does something most other physicians do not: she explores how your brain perceives sensory input.

Advanced MMC’s Sarah Stevens performs Class IV infrared laser therapy, which can dramatically reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and other types of chronic pain.

Central Sensitization Syndrome
Within the brain, simple actions like petting a fluffy puppy, listening to a favorite song, or cuddling up with a soft pillow can evoke feelings of comfort and warmth. But what if the millions of neurons in our brain that process sensory input start to misfire? What if cuddling with that soft pillow makes you feel unimaginable pain?

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people. And there’s a name for it—central sensitization.

“Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS) is a medical condition that affects the nervous system,” Dr. Delzell explains. “It’s a group of multiple illnesses, such as chronic fatigue, myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia, all resulting from the same nervous system disorder.”

The condition causes an individual to become hypersensitive to stimuli, and it can be categorized in two forms—allodynia and hyperalgesia.

“Allodynia is when you feel pain from things that are not supposed to be painful, such as the feeling of clothes against your skin,” Dr. Delzell says. “Hyperalgesia, on the other hand, amplifies the pain you already feel because the nerves are overstimulated. Think of it as extreme sensitivity to pain. Even a tiny pin prick can be interpreted as intense stabbing.”

At Advanced MMC, and in collaboration with her network of like-minded-practitioners, Dr. Delzell’s team employs a wide variety of treatment options to deal with CSS and many other causes of chronic pain. A few of these include:

• Infrared Laser Therapy
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
• Exercise Therapy
• Acupuncture/Acupressure
• Vibration Therapy
• Movement Therapies (such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi and yoga)
• Meditation
• Sleep Management

As a part of obtaining your unique, personal story, Dr. Delzell also examines your history of trauma. “Pain today is often associated with an injury in the past,” she explains. “The emotional state we experienced as a result of that trauma is often always on the edge of our consciousness, reinforcing the pain pathway by saying, ‘Oh, no, here we go again.’ “We work with our patients to alter those pathways.”

Everyone who has suffered with chronic pain has a story— from initial trauma to past treatments to the profound effects on life. At Advanced MMC , Patricia Delzell, M.D., listens to each patient’s story and develops a unique integrative treatment plan that works. Photograph: Moriah Ice Photography

Your Nutritional Pathway, Too
Everyone knows that nutrition is important to good health, but unlike physicians who hand you a piece of paper and say, “Here, eat this,” Dr. Delzell accompanies you on the path. “Optimizing the body to reduce chronic pain is a collaborative journey we have with each patient,” she says. “We listen to your story. We seek to understand. We take things at your pace. We may meet monthly and change just one thing at a time, and we focus on foods you like, instead of asking you to eat things you don’t like.”

But what truly sets Advanced MMC apart of from traditional “nutritional counseling” is that Dr. Delzell doesn’t focus on nutrition for wellness or weight loss. She focuses on nutrition that helps reduce chronic pain.

“There are many substances that can help reduce pain, including polyphenols and omega 3s, but we also customize a plan for each patient’s unique needs,” she says. “It’s all part of our integrative approach to reducing chronic pain.

Advanced MMC’s treatment options include acupressure along with infrared laser therapy, ultrasound guided needle treatments, meditation, sleep management and nutritional support.

Help for Peripheral Neuropathy
Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? Have you been told your nerves are “dead” and there is no hope?

That hope is finally here.

Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants is now offering a leading-edge new therapy for use with any kind of neuropathy, whether related to diabetes, chemotherapy or some other cause.

This new Class IV infrared laser therapy is a drug-free solution that is proven to be 90% effective.

The results of infrared laser therapy are dramatic. Neuropathy symptoms can be vastly improved, including:

• numbness
• burning
• pain that is worse at night
• a loss of feeling
• not knowing where you are in space
• not being able to feel the floor.

Typically, there a total of 16 treatments divided up over 2-3 times each week using our Class IV infrared laser (the highest power available for this kind of therapy). Most patients see dramatic improvement by the 8th or 9th treatment, and symptoms continue to improve through the 16th treatment, which is sustainable for years afterward.

Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants’ new offices are at 8401 Chagrin Rd., Suite 20A, in Chagrin Falls. To schedule a chronic pain phone consultation, call 440-557-5011. Visit AdvancedMMC.com for more information, including blogs and videos.