(Oct. 12, 2018) A new “Pain Rehabilitation Program” at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin hopes to make life better for patients suffering from chronic pain.

According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. It is a leading cause of disability and accounts for a significant portion of healthcare costs.

Anesthesiology and pain management specialist Dr. Wadid Y. Zaky leads the program, which is offered through the Atlantic General Hospital Pain Center.

“It is a two-week program, where specific patients with chronic pain problems are selected to join,” Zaky said. “It usually starts at about 8:30 in the morning [and runs until] 3:30 in the afternoon. A group of patients comes in every day … and they have different types of services offered and provided to them over a two-week period, Monday to Friday.”

During the program, Zaky said, patients receive specific education on chronic pain issues, along with physical therapy, psychology treatments and lectures, one-on-one consults, nutritional services, and meetings with sleep specialists on “how to control your chronic pain through better sleep.”

Chrissy Ehrhart, owner of Zenna Wellness Studio in Berlin, recently announced in a Facebook post she was hired to join the Pain Rehabilitation Program team.

EHRHART

Chrissy Ehrhart, right, of Zenna Wellness Studio in Berlin announced she would join the team of a new Pain Rehabilitation Program at Atlantic General Hospital. Also pictured is AGH Director of Operations Kim Parce.

“The program is designed to take patients through a two-week program of holistic integrative and complementary services to reduce the need for pain meds,” Ehrhart said. “Through education and my own personal history living with Ehlers Dalnos Syndrome (a connective tissue disorder)  and three heart conditions, I have used the techniques of yoga, mindful meditative movement, visualization meditation and sound therapy daily, in which I will teach these patients.

“I am beyond grateful to share my work and passion with this new group of people,” she added.

Zaky said he was pleased to be able to add yoga elements to a program that already includes a tai chi specialist.

“We think that this will help with the overall patient condition,” he said. “Most of the patients are disabled through chronic pain and have a very limited ability to function, and yoga can help them with better functionality and mind status.”

Zaky said the program “doesn’t exist anywhere else on the Eastern Shore.”

“We are actually trying to mimic the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic models, because they have similar program, but because they are larger institutions, they have more resources,” he said. “We are a smaller hospital so we have limited resources, but we are trying to use all the specialties and the specialists to offer our patients the best.

“The outcomes are not new, so those programs have been looked into and researched, and there were positive outcomes from those programs,” he continued. “Many patients have reported either improved functionality or improvements in their pain scale after they finish the program.”

For more information on the Pain Rehabilitation Program, call the Atlantic General Hospital Pain Center at 410-641-3340.

Josh Davis is an MDDC award-winning editor and reporter at the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, covering Berlin and Ocean Pines, Maryland. He is the author of three novels, including 'Vanishing is the Last Art' (2012). He lives in Berlin.

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