Back to All
July 15, 2022

Avance Medical Pain Service: Treating Chronic Pain

by Steven Prakken, MD

Chronic Pain is said to be the most challenging condition in medicine. Though incredibly common (20% of US population currently diagnosed, up to 40% will be at some point in their life), each case is uniquely difficult. Chronic pain can arise from injuries, surgeries, neurological diseases, medications, or even infections (e.g. post-covid). Most patients with chronic pain also struggle with anxiety and/or depression. The complex origins of pain are confusing for patients and practitioners alike, and the secondary emotional issues it causes (depression, anxiety, substance use) may cause shame and secrecy.

With fewer practitioners treating pain, it is difficult to find one with the multidisciplinary training to address this combination of symptoms, leaving chronic pain patients with limited treatment resources. Avance Medical Pain Service focuses on turning the focus back towards pain patients. We work within a ‘shared decision making’ model, where collaboration with patients and their families is paramount.

Our Philosophy

Function, collaboration and mutual transparency are the three pillars in our philosophy.  Your whole person function is our only goal, attained through “shared decision making”, based on ongoing mutual transparency.  All three are needed to succeed in the challenging treatment of Chronic Pain.


Though our primary intervention is the use of state of the art pharmacology, we also utilize joint and trigger point injections for musculoskeletal pain, and Botox injections for migraine.  We collaborate closely with Avance Psychiatry which specializes in psychotherapeutic techniques for pain treatment.

  • Pharmacologic Treatments: Our unique Avance Medical Pain Service staff, trained in both psychiatry and pain management, are well positioned to treat the complex combination of symptoms common to chronic pain. Using a Functional Pharmacology approach, we systematically analyze the effects and side-effects of all medications, working collaboratively to find the correct, yet smallest combination of medications that are optimal for your individual situation.
  • Collaborative Treatments: In response to the opioid crisis, many practitioners abandoned the treatment of pain, or unilaterally decided to reduce medications.  We work conjunctly with our patients in an atmosphere of mutual honesty and transparency to find the most optimal, functional, and safe medication choices.
  • Opioids: We are not biased towards a particular medication or its dose.  As our philosophy notes, optimal function is the most important outcome.  All medications used in pain management are capable of harming, benefitting, or being ineffective.  We work collaboratively, on a case to case basis, to clarify the cost/benefit of all medications used by an individual, while maintaining safety.

More on Chronic Pain

Chronic pain conditions bring an unending cycle of physical pain, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, and lost dreams. In the medical community it has recently brought fear, with a continued reliance on injections and surgery, and with active limitations of medication choices.

Because of the opioid crisis and fear of doing unintended harm, many in medicine have turned away from treating pain patients, and the unintended consequences have become clear: continued increase in suicide and deaths from overdose.

At Avance Medical Pain Service, we take the time to listen, to consider all factors that impact your ability to function in the world, and then treat you without fear. Our goal is your optimal function, within your unique limits and abilities, done safely.

Our Avance Medical Pain Service team has a research-based proven track record of success. We are truly multidisciplinary. We not only utilize the most recent psychotherapies and interventional techniques for pain, we are also each trained in pain management and psychiatry. We know how to listen and how to respond, right now, not delayed for months waiting for a referral.

When chronic pain takes over, we are here to help. Call 984-250-8963 to schedule an appointment!


Set Up an Appointment with Steven Prakken, MD

Related Articles

Browse All
Mental Health | News

Avance Care Opens the Avance Centers of Excellence in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Mental Health

3 Ways to Prepare for Your First Therapy Appointment


Don't delay the care you need.

Open 7-days a week with same-day appointments.