Pain Plan


Hit your thumb, bang your elbow or knock your head and you know for a few moments it will be hard to focus on anything else past that initial blast of pain.

But pain that is constant, throbbing and chronic—whether the result of an accident, workplace injury or illness—can easily become the primary focus in a person’s life.

Pain experts in the NorthBay Pain Management Center treat more than just the injury or illness, says Michael Amster, M.D., medical director. “We focus on the whole patient—their physical, emotional and spiritual selves—to create an individual method of treatment that helps people take control of their pain and regain their life. We really are a one-stop program, and no one else offers all that in our area.”

Not everyone deals with pain in the same way, Dr. Amster explains, and that’s why the NorthBay Pain Management Center draws upon an arsenal of state-of-the-art pain defeating techniques for each individual case. These treatments may include a combination of physical therapy, medications and minimally invasive procedures, as well as complementary techniques such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, meditation, guided imagery and relaxation techniques.

In addition to the individualized care, the center also offers a unique program called Pain Management Essentials. During the course of eight weeks, patients—in a group setting—are taught strategies to manage their pain, using modern medicines and alternative treatments. After the group meeting, led by Dr. Amster or Cynthia Pena, M.D., pain specialist, as well as David Green, Ph.D., pain psychologist, and Tamara Manzagol, R.N., M.S.N., patients will then spend time with members of the NorthBay Rehabilitation Services staff.

“We have a wonderfully amazing team,” Dr. Amster says.

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