Alternative Pain Management Available in Huron
September 29, 2022
Drug and substance abuse was identified as a top health priority for Beadle County in the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), conducted by Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC). The CHNA is conducted every three years by HRMC as part of the Affordable Health Care Act, utilizing input from local expert advisors and general community data to determine local health and medical needs of the greater Huron area. The report is finalized with a three-year plan to help address priority initiatives. Data from the 2019 South Dakota Department of Health County Vulnerability Assessment determined that unintentional opioid overdose fatalities in Beadle County were 9.2 per 1000 compared to 5.6 per 1000 in South Dakota.
In response to identification of the health priority, Huron Regional Medical Center has facilitated a community pain initiative to begin the conversation among local health care providers on tactics to reduce inappropriate use of opioids and promote alternative methods to manage pain. Opioids are a highly addictive narcotic substance commonly prescribed for chronic pain or after surgery or injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy struggles with addiction.
“Opioids don’t actually relieve pain, they just trick the mind into thinking pain is taken care of,” says Jason Barnhard, certified registered nurse anesthetist at Huron Regional Medical Center. Barnhard recently completed a fellowship program in acute and chronic pain management and is offering expanded outpatient services including injections and nerve blocks. He indicated that in order to actually treat chronic pain, a complete physical examination is needed, as joint pain may be treated differently than nerve or muscle pain. Additionally, he stated, “The source of pain could be found somewhere else in the body than the site of pain, such as a lower back issue causing pain in the hip or upper thigh.”
Barnhard and a team from HRMC are working in collaboration with community partners to promote non-opioid pain management solutions including physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, mental health support and medication management. If you’re interested in alternative pain management interventions, talk to your primary care provider or visit www.huronregional.org/pain
. If you’d like more information about the 2022 CHNA, visit www.huronregional.org/CHNA
for the full report.
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