UT doctor teaches patients how to target their pain

UT doctor offers free webinar for patients to learn more about targeted pain treatment.
Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 3:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Getting to the real source of your pain could lead to your best odds of overcoming it, according to a pain specialist at University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Dr. Stephanie Vanterpool, MD, MBA is leading a free webinar for patients on June 25 to introduce Targeted Pain Treatment.

“Targeted Pain Treatment is the process of accurately diagnosing the cause of pain and then targeting the treatment to the cause,” said Dr. Vanterpool. “We want to find out what’s causing the pain and what’s really limiting your function, and figure out how to treat the actual cause of pain so that we can get you doing what you want to do in life.”

LaFollette resident Debi Satterfield said she had nearly given up on being able to participate in day-to-day activities because of chronic pain, when she met Dr. Vanterpool. She finally felt she had found a physician who would listen. Satterfield had suffered from complications after a past medical procedure, and she hurt in more than one way.

“She changed my life,” said Satterfield about Dr. Vanterpool.

“When she came and described her pain to me, I thought there was more than one source,” said Dr. Vanterpool. “An abdominal source and possibly a muscle spasm in the back”.

She decided to try two different procedures: a nerve block for the abdominal pain and a trigger point injection for the back spasms. She also recommended some physical therapy, where Vanterpool also learned the benefits of stretching.

“Targeted where my pain, where the spasms are and they showed me how to do some stretches that I can just do at home,” said Satterfield. “As soon as it starts acting up I know now what it is and I can start doing my stretches.”

While her pain has not gone away completely, it is no longer preventing her from living life and she is not dependent on daily pain killers.

Dr. Vanterpool said after finding the source of a patient’s pain, she could end up prescribing a wide range of possible treatments, which may or may not include medication.

In addition to various procedures or prescriptions Dr. Vanterpool suggests massage. and acupuncture. Approaches include medications, interventions, physical therapy and pyschcosocial treatment.

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