Improving Lives By Treating Pain
Dr. Honghui Feng, a pain management specialist with Middlesex Health, is described by his patients as thoughtful and an out-of-the-box thinker — and as someone who changed their lives.
“My goal is to help minimize any chronic pain that patients experience,” Dr. Feng says. “It can help improve their quality of life, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to help them in this way.”
Both Claudia Beach and Michael Blake experienced intense lower back pain, and nothing was helping — until they went to see Dr. Feng. Now, the intensity of their pain has noticeably lessened, and they want to share their success stories to help others who struggle with similar conditions.
“After having such pain for a year, it was like having a new life,” says Beach, who traveled to see Dr. Feng from Rhode Island.
At 84, Beach was in good health — except for that back pain. She was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and her medical provider in Rhode Island did their best to help. She tried physical therapy, muscle relaxers and cortisone shots, but nothing seemed to work. She, with the help of her husband, continued to research and they learned about the MILD procedure. The nearest provider who performed this minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure: Dr. Feng.
Beach decided she wasn’t too far away and made the 75-mile trip to consult with Dr. Feng, who performed the outpatient procedure on Beach at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown in July.
The procedure addresses lumbar spinal stenosis by removing excess ligament tissue and restoring space in the spinal canal.
Because of the procedure, Beach says she is more mobile now and back to doing her normal activities. “It changes your life,” she says.
When he was younger, Blake, who lives in Westbrook, played football and later he took up long distance running. The strenuous activity did a number on his body. He’s been in pain, dealing with severe spinal stenosis, for years, and several doctors weren’t able to help.
He learned about ReActiv8, a procedure Dr. Feng was recently trained to perform, and he soon became Dr. Feng’s first ReActiv8 patient.
ReActiv8 is a neurostimulation therapy that treats chronic low back pain. A device is implanted underneath the skin during a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. With the help of two electrical leads, the device stimulates the nerves that control your multifidus muscle, a muscle that stabilizes your lower back, during 30-minute therapy sessions twice a day.
In an effort to provide support for patients and encourage accountability, Blake says the manufacturer pairs new patients with mentors who have similar backgrounds.
“I had a good experience,” Blake says. “Dr. Feng is an out-of-the-box thinker.”
The goal is to see improvement in stability, function and control, and Blake says he has. He is also experiencing a lot less pain. “My right multifidus muscle was almost not working at all,” he says. “This awakens the muscle.”
In addition to the twice daily therapy sessions that he does on his own time, Blake also visits Beth Anderson, a Middlesex Health physical therapist. They are working together to identify physical therapy exercises that specifically strengthen the multifidus muscle to maximize the effect of the ReActiv8 procedure.
Acupuncture, a form of integrative medicine, can ease pain and help with stress management. Acupuncture can also help if you are dealing with long COVID!
Acupuncture, a form of integrative medicine, can ease pain and help with stress management. (This could ultimately improve your golf game.) Acupuncture can also help if you are dealing with long COVID!