Throughout her 40-year medical career, Dr. Lisa Barr, a pain management doctor and author, has helped countless patients overcome debilitating physical pain. As the founder and medical director of the Barr Center for Innovative Pain and Regenerative Therapies in Virginia Beach, she provides non-opioid, nonsurgical treatments that address the source of painful conditions such as neck, hip, back, and knee joint pain. Her patients and colleagues call her the “Pain Magician,” and she is going to share some of the root causes of pain and the innovative ways she helps her patients overcome it.
Thanks to WAVY-TV for having Dr. Barr on the Hampton Roads Show! What a great opportunity to share news of the Barr Center’s “one-stop musculoskeletal pain shop.”
Watch the Hampton Roads Show’s full segment featuring Chris Reckling with Dr. Lisa Barr here, press play on the embedded video, or read the recap below.
Tell us about the Barr Center and the patients you see.
- The Barr Center is what I like to call a “one-stop musculoskeletal pain shop.” We see patients who are experiencing all types of pain: neck, back, hip, knee pain, shoulder, elbow and foot and ankle pain.
- Some people find us online. Others have already seen their primary care physician or other medical specialists, who may have prescribed muscle relaxers or physical therapy—and yet they are still in pain.
- We work with our patients to locate the root cause of their pain and identify ways to address it at its source. In other words, don’t have a formulaic or one-size-fits-all approach to treating pain.
How do you identify a patient’s source of pain?
- A lot of the “magic” happens in taking the patient’s history. By getting them to talk about their pain, we often discover that the “why” is due to sleeping on an old mattress, sitting at a desk for long periods of time or bad movement patterns.
- We ask a lot of questions and even have our patients draw or trace their pain pattern on their body so we can better understand what they are feeling. We are professional “question askers” and good listeners.
- We also conduct a thorough hands-on physical exam, focusing on their musculoskeletal system—their bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues. And we observe their posture while sitting, standing and walking.
- By the time we take a thorough history and perform the physical exam, we often have a good idea of the source of the pain. Then we can address ways to alleviate it.
- It is not unusual for us to perform an osteopathic adjustment that day or advise the patient on simple exercises and muscle re-education that changes their dysfunctional movement patterns and re-establishes new healthier ones. We can also perform diagnostic ultrasounds in our office to assess for tendon tears, bone spurs and bursitis.
What types of therapies are involved in addressing pain?
- The therapies we provide are proven medical alternatives to surgery and pain medications. You don’t need pills to manage your pain. We use hands-on treatment, injections, regenerative therapies and lifestyle changes.
- Once we identify the forces that are causing stress on a patient’s body, we examine everything from how their muscles work and their joints move. When we see that a patient has a joint out of alignment, I can use my hands to physically put the joint back in place using osteopathic manipulation.
- In many cases the “magic” is instantaneous and in other cases, the body needs time to heal. Our goal is to educate each patient as to what to expect from the care they receive in our office and, more importantly, tie our treatment goals to their life goals.
- Sometimes we must encourage people to start moving, even though they hurt, because we know how important movement is to prevent deconditioning and to support brain health as we age. This is how you can kick your pain habit!
- It is surprising to me that people wait so long to come in to seek the help they need to get rid of the pain. Sometimes I ask them what took them so long to come in, and they often don’t know why.
You are also the author of the book, Outsmart Your Pain!
- I wrote this book as a guide to help people understand the mind-body relationship to pain and how to overcome and outsmart it by understanding better how to get to their why… “why do I have this pain?”
- Then we encourage them to make simple changes in their movement patterns, mindset and lifestyle that really moves the needle on their pain, and when they notice that their pain is disappearing, they are hopeful and encouraged.
- The book was the culmination of my life experience after suffering a serious neck injury in a boating mishap and what it took to fully recover. After two surgeries and what seemed like endless therapies, I finally got my health back, and on some levels, I came back even stronger. That journey of healing helped me realize how to be a better doctor and patient advocate.
You’ve been doing this for a long time. What are the rewards?
- Seeing our patients get better, and hearing they have had a positive experience at the Barr Center are the best rewards.
- Come in and see for yourself. The Barr Center is located at 933 First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach. Our therapies are offered onsite, and we share space with our partner, Hang 10 Drips, which provides medically managed IV infusion therapy.