Christiana Care’s new pain center will offer non-opioid treatments

Christiana Care Health System is opening the Comprehensive Pain Center on the Christiana Hospital campus. The outpatient center will focus on non-opioid pain treatment to patients with acute or chronic pain.

“Christiana Care is taking a leadership role to help patients combat pain while limiting the use opioid drugs, which have created an enormous health crisis in our community and across the nation,” said Valerie E. Dechant, M.D., physician lead for Christiana Care’s Neuroscience Service Line. “The Comprehensive Pain Center brings together the skills of multiple disciplines to help patients discover a safer path toward pain relief.”

Services offered at the center include:

  • opioid-tapering strategies to help patients on high-dose opioid therapy
  • referrals to six-week outpatient group clinical psychology sessions
  • Integrative therapies, including osteopathic manipulation, myofascial release, acupuncture and the use of anti-inflammatory supplements
  • interventional therapies, including epidural steroid injections, joint injections, trigger-point injections and radiofrequency ablation

“The new outpatient Comprehensive Pain Center fills a niche that currently does not exist in the community,” said Rajivan Maniam, M.D., the center’s medical director. “By addressing pain at the right time with the right combination of therapies, we can help our patients find relief without the worry of opioid overuse and addiction.”

The Comprehensive Pain Center will support the health system’s efforts to enforce more responsible prescribing practices.

Delaware has the highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the U.S. — nine per every 100 people in the state — and the second-highest rate of extended-release opioid prescriptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2018 in Delaware, 345 people died from opioid overdoses, a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

Christiana Care has reduced opioid prescriptions for discharged emergency department patients by 50 percent and 23 percent among primary care practices since January 2018.

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