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Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital Offers Pain Management Services
08/20/2008

AZLE, Texas – Millions fight an invisible battle with pain that just won’t quit. Chronic pain – persisting for six months or more – affects one in four Americans, according to the National Pain Foundation.

In the Azle community, chronic back pain is a common complaint, said Shirley Armitage, nurse manager of surgical services at Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital. Chronic back pain can be triggered by many different factors, including injury, overuse of muscles or muscle strain.

The hospital’s new pain management services are designed to help people in the community relieve debilitating chronic pain and acute onset pain.

“Pain management is widely needed in the community,” Armitage said. “Chronic pain is a disabling condition that affects daily life. In some cases, living with pain can eventually lead to depression, interfere with work and put stress on personal relationships.”

Acute pain comes on quickly and lasts for a short period of time, while chronic pain is ongoing. Symptoms such as persistent back pain, headaches, arthritis, and cancer can be considered chronic. It can occur in conjunction with conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.

Since pain varies from person to person, treatment is tailored to each individual’s needs. Several options are available, including oral medication, nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation, and trigger point injections to treat muscle pain and spasms.

Pain management and anesthesiology specialists Brian Flanagan, M.D., and Andrew Konen, M.D., will lead the pain management program. Flanagan received a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1995. Konen received a medical degree from Texas A&M University College of Medicine in 1995.

Both doctors completed residencies in anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1999 and fellowships in pain management at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2000. Both began practice in 2000 at Progressive Pain Management in Dallas.

The physicians on the medical staff of Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital.

About Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital
Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital, a member of Texas Health Resources, serves Azle, Springtown, Lake Worth and greater northwest Tarrant County and Parker County. Founded in 1954, the hospital has 100 physicians practicing on its medical staff and offers a wide range of services including cardiology, orthopedics, imaging and rehabilitation. For more information, call 1-888-4-HARRIS.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit http://www.texashealth.org/homepage.cfm.

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