Category: News

Tri-State Pain Institute Among First Pain Clinics To Use Non-Opiod Treatment For Chronic Pain

Spectra WaveWriter™ Spinal Cord Stimulator System allows patients to combine therapeutic options and customize treatment 

Tri-State Pain Institute in Erie, Pa., is among the first pain clinics to offer the Spectra WaveWriter™ Spinal Cord Stimulator System to patients with chronic pain. It is the first and only system approved by the FDA to simultaneously provide paresthesia-based and sub-perception stimulation, two therapies used in providing pain relief. Paresthesia-based therapy provides pain relief with a light tingling sensation while sub-perception therapy works without that sensation.

According to Dr. Joseph Thomas, director and founder of the Pain Institute, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an FDA approved non-opioid treatment option for people with chronic pain in the legs and back. The device sends low electrical pulses to the spinal cord that interrupt pain signals.  Two thin wires, called leads, are implanted in the spine and powered by a rechargeable battery which is implanted in the chest.

With the Spectra WaveWriter System, patients can combine both of these therapies to target one specific area of pain or use each therapy as needed to best manage multiple areas of pain. Patients provide real-time feedback using the system’s remote control. The Spectra WaveWriter System was developed with more than a decade of clinical research focused on optimizing sub-perception stimulation and delivering multiple therapies intended for more effective, long-term pain relief.

“Everyone experiences pain differently and patients can sometimes become less responsive to therapy as their pain changes over time,” said Dr. Timothy Ko, interventional pain specialist at Tri-State Pain. “The Spectra WaveWriter System is breakthrough technology that offers patients flexibility to meet their individual needs for lasting relief. Treatment options like this are important as we face the challenge of providing patients relief from pain without relying solely on opioids.”

More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and it is the number one cause of disability in adults in the U.S. SCS was introduced more than 40 years ago. Unlike most surgical procedures, it is reversible. Patients undergo a trial period allowing them to evaluate it before deciding to receive a permanent implant.

To learn more, contact Tri-State Pain Institute at 814-833-7246.

Tri-State Pain Institute To Re-Open Corry Office

Tri-State Pain Institute, the region’s leading pain management center, is re-opening its office in Corry at 108 West Smith Street. No referral is needed so patients can schedule appointments directly by calling 814-833-7246.

Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Thomas, the Pain Institute offers treatment and relief for acute and chronic pain. Common patient problems include back, neck, leg, joint and shoulder pain as well as pain from arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia, post surgery and cancer complications.

“At Tri-State Pain, we help our patients understand their pain condition and develop a plan to improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Thomas. “We use a conservative approach to enable patients to avoid unnecessary surgery and prevent problems with medications.”

Dr. Thomas noted that Heather Adams Szymczak, a board-certified physician assistant with more than a decade of experience in pain management, will be the primary clinician at the Corry office.

In addition to its Corry location, Tri-State Pain Institute has offices in Erie and Jamestown, New York. The Pain Institute’s Erie office also offers on-site imaging services and physical therapy. To learn more, visit www.TriStatePain.com.

Tri-State Pain Institute Welcomes Dr. Timothy Ko

Timothy Ko, MD, at the Tri-State Pain Institute in Erie, PATimothy Ko, MD, will join Tri-State Pain Institute, the region’s leading pain management center, on Dec. 1. He becomes part of the Pain Institute’s physician team of Drs. Joseph Thomas, W. Paul Diefenbach and Jung-Woo Ma. With more than a decade of experience in pain treatment, Dr. Ko is board-certified in both pain medicine and anesthesiology and has served as a pain specialist for several Cleveland area medical centers.

Dr. Ko completed a fellowship in pain medicine and a residency in anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He earned his medical and undergraduate degrees at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Youngstown State University, respectively.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ko, call 814-833-7246.

Zachary Williams Named Controller for Tri-State Pain Institute

Zachary WilliamsERIE, PA – Tri-State Pain Institute has named Zachary T. Williams, CPA, CMA, as controller. He previously served as the organization’s accounting manager.

As controller, Williams manages all monthly financial operations for the Pain Institute, including its pain management, imaging and physical therapy services, as well as for the Greater Erie Surgery Center.

Prior to joining Tri-State Pain Institute, Williams served in senior accounting and tax associate roles with Glowacki Management Company and BKD. He holds master and undergraduate degrees in accounting as well as an undergraduate degree in international business, all from Pennsylvania State University.

Founded in 1998, Tri-State Pain Institute is an independent practice serving northwestern Pennsylvania, western New York and eastern Ohio. The Pain Institute offers advanced treatment for the long-term relief of acute and chronic pain, including back, neck, leg, joint and shoulder pain as well as pain from arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia, post surgery and cancer complications.

Chronic pain event attended by vets, local media

We want to thank U.S. Army veteran Justin Minyard for sharing his story about his experiences with chronic pain with veterans and their families who attended our special event  last week.

Also a special thank you to the local media for sharing Justin’s important message that vets who suffer chronic pain have treatment options and are not alone.

Remember: If you’re in pain, we can help! Call us today for a consultation.

Justin Minyard featured on YourErie

Army veteran Justin Minyard, the featured speaker at tonight’s FREE event for veterans and their families, was interviewed by YourErie.

Watch the full interview here.

Justin Minyard first developed chronic back pain following a severe back injury during recovery efforts at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Minyard was a first responder at the Pentagon that day, desperately moving huge pieces of rubble and concrete in an effort to find victims. His back issues worsened following a series of injuries during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Justin struggled for years with serious chronic pain. During that time he developed a dependence on opiates provided to him as treatment.

Ti-State Pain Institute invited Justin to come to Erie to talk with veterans, their families and friends about his experiences at tonight’s free event, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Ambassador Conference Center, 7792 Peach St. The event will focus on  chronic pain and treatment options. The event will also feature local pain management experts and veterans groups.

We hope to see you there!

Free veterans program Tuesday, Aug. 1

Tri-State Pain Institute recognizes the special needs and issues of veterans suffering pain.

That’s why we’ve organized a free educational program for military veterans and their families on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The program will feature guest speaker Justin Minyard, a first responder at the 9/11 Pentagon attack.

The presentation will be held at the Ambassador Conference Center, located at 7794 Peach Street in Erie. Set to begin at 5 p.m., the program agenda includes exhibitor tables with local veteran groups, a meet-and-greet with special guest military veterans, Minyard’s presentation, and a panel discussion with Tri-State Pain Institute pain experts and fellow veterans, Dr. Joseph Thomas and Dr. Paul Diefenbach.

In addition, Michael De Yoanna, the director of the film “Recovering,” will show a preview of his film, which features young, war-weary troops who begin healing together through a series of arduous team bike rides.

Please RSVP by calling (814) 833-7246 or email Cindy@TriStatePain.com.

We hope to see you there!

Veteran with chronic pain will speak at Tri-State Pain’s free Aug. 1 program

Justin Minyard, a (retired) U.S. Army First Sergeant, first developed chronic back pain following a severe back injury during recovery efforts at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Minyard was a first responder at the Pentagon that day, desperately  moving huge pieces of rubble and concrete in an effort to find victims. His back issues worsened following a  fall during a combat mission. Read More