Pain Awareness Month Stories: Multimodal Pain Care
In recognition of Pain Awareness Month, ASRA invited members to share their personal stories via ASRA Connect or on Twitter @ASRA_Society. Here is one of those stories. Thanks to everyone who participated throughout September!
My name is Kyaw Lin. I am currently a chronic pain fellow at the University of California, Irvine. I had a unique introduction to pain as a clinical research associate for Kaiser Permanente. I assisted the research team that was running the LESS [Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Spinal Stenosis] trial as well as with the ACT FAST study. I had very little knowledge of pain medicine beyond some very basic medications at that time; however, I learned quickly about the multitude of modalities that can be provided for patients in pain.
This experience eventually led me to apply to medical school and find every opportunity I could to learn more about pain medicine. As an osteopathic physician, I was able to learn the musculoskeletal aspect of pain and different holistic approaches to both diagnosis and treatment. My rotation at the UC Irvine chronic pain clinic finalized my goal of becoming a pain physician. There I saw such a multitude of diverse patients with multimodal treatments ranging from neuromodulation to utilizing cognitive behavioral therapists. I was even able to assist with my osteopathic skills in some diagnostic and treatment of patients. For me, this was the perfect approach to a universal condition that is so multidimensional. Multimodal was not just a word, but a philosophy of how pain was treated. Therefore, I continue to be motivated as a current pain fellow, excited about what new modalities I can provide for my patients in the future.