He’s Helping Reframe the Approach to Chronic Pain Intervention
Photo by Tracy Doyle
With opioid overdoses now the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50, Dr. Vic Manocha, MD, DABIPP, a board-certified physiatrist and interventional pain specialist, is intent on educating the public that he believes in reducing pain – thereby improving function and quality of life. He focuses on treating musculoskeletal spine conditions and other painful disabling physical issues using therapeutic modalities that don’t include opioids.
Never having subscribed to the “take a pill and make it go away” approach to pain management since he first hung up his medical director shingle at Interventional Spine & Pain Management Center in Springboro a decade ago, Dr. Manocha primarily uses state-of-the-art technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of spine disorders and injuries. The main goal of his practice is to reduce pain and improve function and quality of life.
“As a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist), I deal with functional improvement for patients, using an array of therapies, steroid injections, interventions and minimally invasive surgeries. My primary focus is to retrain and improve patients’ functions. Pain medication is not the first line, or even the second line, of treatment. We use pharmacological therapy without the reliance on addicting narcotic pain medications. If it gets to where I have to use opioids, I do a trial of them. Patients are educated about the potential risks. If there is improvement in function as well as quality of life, I may continue the medications with strict monitoring.”
An integral part of reframing the chronic pain treatment discussion, according to Dr. Manocha, is patient education.
“We help guide our patients, explaining to them that in chronic pain conditions, pain medications don’t solve the underlying problem. Instead, we treat the pain with different modalities, including different therapies, injections, to get the patient to the point he or she is functioning better, and get them back on the right track.”
Dr. Manocha says the pain-specialists-merely-dole-out-pain-meds stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. “Pain is very subjective. Everyone has a different pain threshold. And nerve pain is an entirely different ballgame. It doesn’t respond well to opioid medication.”
Dr. Manocha was the first to introduce the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulator to patients in the Cincinnati-Dayton area. It’s a technology that provides specific sensory nerve root stimulation, he explains. Another relatively new (in the United States) approach to chronic pain intervention he employs is stem cell treatment. Dr. Manocha also performs radiofrequency ablation, minimally invasive lumbar decompression, endoscopic rhizotomy and spinal cord stimulator impants, as well as other spinal procedures.
Dr. Manocha immigrated from India to Dayton at an early age. He served in the United States Army and was awarded a National Defense medal. His military experiences inspired Dr. Manocha to pursue a career in pain management. Upon finishing his undergraduate studies at Wright State University, he attended George’s University School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school, Manocha went to the Western Reserve Care System where he completed an internship in general surgery. Next, he completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he focused on musculoskeletal/spinal pain. He then attended the University of Washington – one of the first centers that pioneered pain treatment using a multidisciplinary approach – learning the latest and the most advanced techniques during his pain fellowship.
Dr. Manocha is currently involved in cutting-edge research, hoping to bring new and effective therapies to patients in the community.
Interventional Spine & Pain Management Center is located at 578 N. Main Street, Springboro, OH 40566. For more information, call 937.619.0724 or visit www.painmanagementohio.com.