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New Innovations in Pain Medicine Now Available | South Central Pain Center

Posted on October 18, 2021

Fellowship trained pain medicine specialists like Rayhan Tariq, M.D. at South Central Pain Center in Laurel, evaluate your pain and develop a personalized plan to help you manage it. Whether your pain generates from your head and neck; your upper or lower back; your shoulders; or even your knees, it is important to know you do not have to live that way. Innovations in pain medicine at South Central Pain Center are changing lives.

Rayhan Tariq, MD
Pain Management Specialist
South Central Pain Center

Dr. Tariq, said, “The art of pain medicine and the science of pain medicine is getting the right therapy or the right treatment modality for the right patient. I want to help people who are in pain and are suffering. That’s precisely the reason I became a doctor, and as a pain medicine physician, I get to help people who are in pain every day,” Dr. Tariq

“I’m an anesthesiologist by background. I did my surgical training at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and my anesthesia training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. I completed my fellowship training in pain medicine at the University of Utah. As the only fellowship-trained pain physician in Jones County and the surrounding four counties, my goal is to give my patients access to the same treatment modalities as anyone living next to a big university hospital would have,” he said.

“The medical technology and the team of providers at South Central Regional Medical Center are exceptional,” he said. “While completing my fellowship in pain medicine at the University of Utah, I began looking for a place where I was most needed. I wanted to join a team committed to providing exceptional patient care. I looked for a place that would embrace the latest innovations in pain medicine. After visiting several locations, I visited South Central and it had everything I was looking for.”

“The first step to treating pain is finding the right diagnosis. That includes listening to the patient in detail and getting a thorough history of their pain. Often, I perform a nerve block to pinpoint the diagnosis and figure out exactly where the pain is coming from. I think it is important for a patient to understand their pain etiology, so I take time to explain the rationale for my diagnosis and any treatment modality that can help with such a pain, Dr. Tariq said.

“The field of pain medicine has evolved incredibly over the last 5 years. Here at South Central Pain Center, we offer the latest treatment modalities to our patients. My philosophy is to minimize reliance on pain medicines and treat the underlying cause of pain. I frequently see back pain patients. First, I try to ascertain based on my physical exam if the back pain is the result of a pinched nerve or a disc herniation that causes a shooting pain down the leg; or it is due to the arthritis in joints in the back. My treatment options consist of minimally invasive options first that can include for example a specialized type of epidural injection that decreases the inflammation around the pinched nerve and opens up the space around the areas of tightening,” he said. “We also have some more advanced treatment options such as a spinal cord stimulator. It can stop the painful signal from traveling up the spine to the brain, so it essentially stops the pain signal from being processed at all. This is a same day procedure and patients return to most of their usual activities the next day. Using these minimally invasive treatment modalities, we can help restore function in patients and we can get them back to doing what they like to do, spend time with their family, and be more functional. That’s our goal at the South Central Pain Center,” he said.

If you have any of the following symptoms, it is key to seek help:

  • If you are experiencing a constant aching pain in the back.
  • If you are experiencing weakness of the legs.
  • If you are experiencing pain when standing, twisting, sitting for more than 20 minutes, or having discomfort in long car rides.
  • If you are experiencing shooting pain going down your legs.
  • If you are experiencing sensations of pins and needles (tingling) and burning pain especially in your feet.”

I also treat a lot of patients of all ages who have pain generating from the knee or shoulder. “Knee pain can result from an injury causing torn cartilage or a ruptured ligament or osteoarthritis, usually called bone on bone type of pain. If you are experiencing symptoms in your knee causing stiffness or swelling; redness or warmth when you touch it; an inability to straighten the knee; or instability or weakness in your knee, call the office. Your condition needs to be evaluated.” Dr. Tariq said. “My office is located next door to South Central Orthopedics where I work closely with orthopedic surgeons Thomas Baylis, MD, Charles Black, IV, DO, Derrick Burgess, MD, William Morrison, MD and Steven Nowicki, MD.” When pain specialists work closely with orthopedic surgeons, they can discuss ways to provide long term treatment and care for those who have pain in their joints. We also have some minimally invasive options for the knee pain if you are not a candidate for surgery or surgery is not the best option at this time.”

“Similarly, I also treat shoulder pain,” Dr. Tariq said. “This pain can be caused by arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, a tendon tear, or a fracture.”

Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from chronic pain that interferes with their daily activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Many think they just have to live that way, and that is not true,” Dr. Tariq said. “Our newest innovations in pain medicine can be life changing,” he concluded.

South Central Pain Center is in the new medical office building located next to the South Central Emergency Department. Dr. Tariq is accepting new patients. For an appointment call 601-425-7500.