Payson Regional Medical Center now has a specialist to help area residents manage their pain.
Bob Lewis was recently invited by PRMC's chief executive officer Chris Wolf to join the staff.
He is available every Thursday, taking appointments through primary care provider referrals.
"I provide complete pain management services for all ages. I have experience with trauma, high risk and obstetrics."
Lewis has been a clinical anesthesiologist for 30 years. He added pain management to his practice about four years ago and for two years has worked in pain treatment exclusively. His main practice is in Globe.
"So many types of people are doing it (pain management) and there is a very great need for it," Lewis said.
His specialty is spine injections of epidurals and steroids.
"When a patient first visits me, we usually just do an evaluation and prescribe a plan of treatment," Lewis said.
"However, when people are at the point where they need to see me, they are usually in so much pain, we often go ahead and do a treatment their first visit."
His work is primarily with patients dealing with back and neck problems. He also works with orthopedic patients if it is determined the hip or knee pain they are experiencing is originating at the spinal nerve level.
Lewis has worked with migraine suffers as well. He said sometimes those headaches are related to neck or back problems. He can treat carpal tunnel or other joint pain, too.
"People need to understand I am not an alternative to their primary caregiver, my service is a supplement to what they do."
While Lewis treats pain with injections, he is very diligent about making the process as comfortable as possible.
"It is always less painful than the patient anticipates," he said.