Therapies for Pain Relief with Dr. Lisa Barr

People call her the “pain magician.” Dr. Lisa Barr, a physiatrist and founder of the Barr Center for Innovative Pain & Regenerative Therapies, is back in the WAVY-TV studio to provide insight on what she does, the conditions she treats and the non-surgical therapies she uses to help her patients get back to living their lives, pain free. Throughout her 40-year medical career as a pain management doctor, Lisa Barr, MD, has helped countless patients overcome debilitating physical pain with non-opioid, nonsurgical treatments that address the source of painful conditions such as neck, hip, back, and knee joint pain.

Thanks to WAVY-TV for having Dr. Barr on the Hampton Roads Show to provide answers and solutions to the pain that might be keeping you from living the life you want.

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.

Do you suffer from nagging pain? Does this pain keep you from living an active lifestyle? If you answer yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone. 

As a physiatrist, I am a board certified medical doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. So that involves the entire physical body and the whole mind-body connection. But more importantly, we treat people who have musculoskeletal pain. Whether it’s neck pain or shoulder pain or elbow pain, low back, knee pain, ankle pain, Achilles issues, you name it. We treat any musculoskeletal skeletal part of the body. But what’s unique about being a physiatrist is that we have a systems approach. So we treat that part, but in basically, in the context of treating the whole body, the whole person? Everybody has a little bit of pain somewhere. I have it numerous places on my body, as does many people.

Comprehensive Pain Evaluation

When a patient comes in, we take a very thorough history. We look at the timeline of when their symptoms began. We look at various perpetuating factors, things that may better or make the pain worse so we can get to the root cause of the pain. I think what’s really key in being successful is being a great diagnostician and sorting out the root cause of the pain because it’s very simple to treat pain as a symptom.

I think what’s really key in being successful, is being a great diagnostician and sorting out the root cause of the pain because it’s very simple to treat pain as a symptom. – Chris Reckling, Host of Hampton Roads Show

I oppose the use of opioids. I do not want to manage pain as a symptom. I want to evaluate the patient, take a thorough history and perform a comprehensive hands-on physical exam. That includes making people take off their shoes and socks, walk up and down the hall, look at their gait, look at talk to them about their sleep habits. You know, we’re super involved in assessing their lifestyle to see what they may be doing that could be causing pain. Because in my book, Outsmart Your Pain, what I learned was that pain can become a habit, and you can change simple habits that really make a difference with your pain.

A lot of people live with pain, and they just deal with pain. And that’s not a good way to go about your life. Pain actually does affect the quality of your life, and it can affect your sleep. We need to sleep effectively in order to heal.

Pain Treatment Options 

We offer a wide array of therapies for people, and we really cater to people who want a more comprehensive approach and not just a quick steroid injection. We offer therapeutic ultrasounds in our office. We offer a full suite of spinal injections in our own office, and we have a full regenerative medicine program including PRP, platelet-rich fibrin matrix. We also do bone marrow-derived stem cell injections and fat grafting.

Our goal is to break these habit patterns whether they’re breathing patterns or movement patterns that are causing pain.

We understand you have had your own experience with debilitating pain. 

I had a terrible neck injury when I was forty-one. I was on a boat in Broad Bay. We ran aground, and I flew through the air and hit my head on the bow of the boat and suffered a major trauma to my neck. So it required two surgeries, a lot of injections, rehabilitation, and soul searching to learn how to manage the pain. It dramatically impacted how I treat patients. I could have been disabled at forty-one, but I’m still kicking it at almost sixty-six.

Any parting words for those who may be experiencing pain without finding relief? 

Push to find the right diagnosis for your pain! Pain is a learned behavior and can be a habit, but you can outsmart it. Work with a trusted provider to learn how to address your pain habits and change them.

Dr. Lisa Barr is 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.
Outsmart Your Pain book by Dr. Lisa Barr