Pain Management

If you suffer from acute or chronic pain, you're far from alone. In fact, it's estimated that 85 percent of us will experience some degree of chronic pain in our lifetime. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

Simply put, pain isn't something that's just “all in your head.” It's a very real health issue.

That's why we take you and your pain seriously. Together with Holland Hospital, we're now proud to offer comprehensive pain management services. Best of all, treatment is effective, nonsurgical and available close to your home.

So finally, you can say goodbye to grinning and bearing it.

What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

Each person is the best judge of his or her own pain. That said, acute pain is often characterized as pain that feels sharp, is caused by something specific (such as surgery, a broken bone or labor and childbirth), usually comes on suddenly, and doesn't last longer than six months. After acute pain subsides, the sufferer can usually return to a normal and full life.

Unrelieved acute pain, however, can sometimes lead to chronic pain. Some people also have chronic pain when there's no past injury or medical issue.

Chronic pain is ongoing and often persists beyond six months. This disruptive pain still continues after an injury has healed or an illness has gone away. Pain signals in the person's nervous system can remain active for months and even years. Chronic pain is linked with a variety of health conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, cancer and fibromyalgia.

Why see a pain management specialist?

People who suffer from pain not only experience physical stress and discomfort, but also changes in appetite, lack of energy, depression, anger, anxiety, sleep problems and other symptoms that can limit their ability to get the most out of life.

Pain management specialists like Dr. Monroe are doctors who have received additional training in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of pain. This training fosters greater understanding of the unique complexities of pain management, including the latest diagnostic testing, prescription medications, and procedures like nerve blocks, spinal injections and other interventional treatment techniques. Pain management doctors also play a key role in coordinating physical therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral counseling as needed, giving you access to a multidisciplinary care approach.

While many of these conditions respond well to simple muscle, joint or bursa injections, Dr. Monroe can also provide more advanced, image-guided procedures at Holland Hospital's Outpatient Surgery Center. Because she is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and has received fellowship training in pain medicine, you can rest assured your injection or other treatment technique is delivered with the utmost precision and safety.

Specific pain relief treatment options include:

  • Facet and nerve blocks of the neck and spine
  • Cervical and lumbar epidurals
  • Sacroiliac and hip joint injections
  • Trigger-point injections
  • Neurostimulator placement and management
  • Medication management

Is a referral needed?

Yes, a referral from your primary care provider is needed to receive care through Lakeshore Health Partners Pain Management.

Does insurance cover pain management services?

Health coverage for pain management services varies. Be sure to ask your insurance company which pain management therapies are covered under your plan. Find out if your plan requires a referral from your primary caregiver or pre-authorization from the insurance company before you can see a specialist. Understand your responsibility for any co-payments or fees.

Remember, we're here to help, too. So please don't hesitate to ask questions or voice any concerns.

To Learn More

For more on our services or practice, call (616) 738-3884.

Meet Our Pain Management Team

Ann Monroe, MD

Education & Training

Institution Degree
Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners Residency
Wayne State University School of Medicine MD
Wayne State University - School of Medicine (Detroit) Fellowship