No single treatment modality works for all patients. That is the mantra of the Houston, Texas-based Remix Medical clinic. Remix Medical is a multi-specialty organization that works with patients to alleviate their pain issues by providing modern, cutting-edge healthcare. Through a modernized approach and technology, Remix Medical provides pain treatments for diabetes, chronic pain, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and many other debilitating issues.
The 360 Pain Treatment clinic headed by Dr. Raju Mantena is one of Remix Medical’s top branches in the Houston area. The clinic offers a localized approach to treat patients and get them back on their feet and out of pain. Mantena and 360 Paint Treatment take the ethos of Remix Medical and provide a completely integrated patient recovery plan.
Remix Medical is all about getting patients healthier faster without using opiates and other painkillers. Due to the ill-health effects these medications can cause, Remix Medical doesn’t want to mask the issues of pain through pills.
Dr. Mantena explained just how Remix Medical works and provides comprehensive treatment and care to patients.
Dr. Mantena, can you start off by telling us about Remix Medical and what makes it stand out from other medical providers?
Remix medical is a multi-specialty medical group and 360 Pain treatment is a branch in the remix medical umbrella. Other specialists include internal medicine, kidney specialists and infectious disease doctors. We work together to treat patients in the hospital setting as well as in the outpatient setting.
Where did your medical career begin and what was the path you took to Remix Medical?
I went to medical school at Nova University in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. I completed my residency in anesthesiology at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City. I also completed my fellowship in Pain Management at Mt. Sinai Hospital. I practiced in New York until 2014, when I moved to Houston, Texas.
Remix Medical works with patients as an Integrated Medical Practice and Chronic Disease Management facility. How can patients experience help and benefit from the clinic?
Remix Medical is composed of physicians that work closely with each other. This offers better continuity of care. Many of us all have privileges at the same hospitals and thus can see patients that are hospitalized and then those patients can be treated with in the clinic, if needed. Communication between providers is of great importance.
Right now, what is the most common issue you see in new patients?
With regard to my specialty of pain management, there has been an over-reliance on opiate pain medications. We need a more comprehensive approach.
What negative health trends should Americans be most aware of right now that can affect their long-term health?
In general, it is obesity, which has negative effects from our joints to our heart and lungs. Specifically, to my specialty, it is improper use of opiate pain medications.
There are a lot of services the clinic offers for pain from kidney disease to diabetes care. Dr. Mantena, can you tell me about the pain management side of Remix Medical?
Pain management is my specific specialty. The goal is to treat patients with a comprehensive approach. No single treatment modality works for all patients. Treatments include therapy, non-opiate pain meds, injections, advance pain procedures, lifestyle modifications, diet, and opiate medications.
One of the most interesting aspects of Remix Medical is the sports medicine side of the clinic. On the Remix website, it states you work with mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. How did the clinic get involved with working with MMA fighters and what drew it to the sport?
One of our doctors trains with MMA fighters. These injuries are at times treated. Furthermore, the fighters need medical clearance and this is handled by our physicians.
Medical care is always a hot-button issue in the U.S. What are some of the changes, if any, do you foresee taking place in the coming years that will affect patients receiving care?
Well, we hope patient choice remains.
A lot of opponents of the American medical system say there are plenty of issues that need to be fixed. What would you like to see altered that would benefit doctors and/or patients?
Less interference from the government on what we must do. These burdensome regulations take away from patient time and don’t improve clinical care.
Dr. Mantena, you have over two decades of medical experience. How have medicine and pain treatment evolved since you started your career?
In my field, there has been significant change in how pain is treated. The clearest example is with the approach with powerful opiate pain medications. When I was in training, they were prescribed very liberally. This has had negative implications, including addiction, dependence and many deaths. Now, we still use them to help with pain, but taking greater care to make sure they are not misused.
360 Pain Treatment: The war on chronic pain
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That figure means over 20% of the adult population in the United States experiences chronic pain issues. 360 Pain Treatment sees many of these chronic pain sufferers come through their doors. These patients seek treatment for their debilitating problems they experience. Unlike other treatment centers, 360 Pain Treatment offers an alternative to the medications and invasive procedures that many patients are prescribed.
What is chronic pain and how does it differ from other issues? Chronic pain is caused by several different problems ranging from an initial injury or an ongoing illness. In some cases, chronic pain may not have a clear cause and can be difficult to ascertain as to why it began. Due to the varying causes, chronic pain can be very difficult to treat. Some sufferers may have tried different treatments with no positive results. Chronic pain can impact a person’s life negatively and change it greatly.
360 Pain Treatment’s mission is to provide patients with full service and compassionate pain relief. The organization works to restore movement and everyday functions to patients. 360 Pain Treatment uses a number of therapies to help sufferers. Whether an individual experiences arthritis, muscle, or joint pain, there are different procedures and solutions 360 Pain Treatment’s doctors can prescribe. From lumbar epidural steroid injections to stem cell replacement to exercise, there are several solutions available to doctors.
The wealth of pain relief options offered by 360 Pain Treatment works for a number of different problems. Not only do patients have options for relief but it gives them the chance to select just how they want to be treated. Each patient is different and having a number of different pain relief procedures means individuals can decide which one fits into their lifestyle. 360 Pain Treatment attempts to use minimally invasive healthcare procedures that consider the patient’s wellbeing. By doing this, the center is able to keep from going through long, drawn out surgeries that can cause further issues.
One of the big issues chronic pain sufferers experience is a dependency on pain medication. Often times, pain sufferers rely on medication to get through a day. While medication can lessen the painful problem, it creates complications.
Tolerance to pain medication is one of the complications that can occur. Patients must increase their doses to get the same relief they previously experienced. Just as importantly, medication does not treat a problem, it only masks the issues. 360 Pain Treatment’s goal is to treat the problems permanently. By fixing the issue, patients can get back to their everyday lives.
In 2017, Harvard Health labeled chronic pain as the “invisible disability”. A reported 36 million Americans missed work that same year due to chronic pain and the amount of money lost by companies was immense.
360 Pain Treatment creates treatment plans to get patients back to work and enjoying life. With three locations in Texas and a dedicated staff of doctors, the pain relief center is changing the way patients are treated and recover.
Dr. Mantena has dedicated his professional life to helping patients suffering with pain. As a pain management expert with 360 Pain Treatment, Dr. Mantena has worked with a large number of patients to help them reduce chronic pain and live a normal life.
He implements a variety of treatment methods including more conservative treatments compared to invasive surgeries and medications. The good doctor recommends other methods and ways to treat chronic pain including exercise and yoga. This are just some of the ways his 360 Pain Treatment facility in able individuals to take back their lives.
Over the years, Dr. Mantena has helped thousands of people recover from pain issues. Here is tells us more about his own 360 Pain Treatment clinic and how it differs from Remix Medical.
Can you explain how 360 Pain Treatment provides safe treatments and alternatives to other injury relief methods?
360 Pain Treatment provides safe treatment by using a comprehensive approach. The treatments recommended can range from therapy to home exercises to stretching exercises to yoga and then they can become more sophisticated with various types of injections based on the injury as well as incorporating medication.
Your goal is to decrease pain, restore function and decrease dependence on powerful medications. Is there a reliance on the use of medications in modern medicine to treat chronic pain? What effects does that have on patients and the medical system?
Opioid pain medications are powerful medications that can greatly assist in managing pain in right setting. There was a time period where the medical association as well as hospitals were emphasizing to control pain as best as possible to keep patients comfortable. However, this resulted in some unintended issues. As prescribing opioid pain medication became more and more common, this led to issues of addiction, dependence, tolerance and drug seeking behavior. This does not mean that all patients that took these medications behaved in this way, but nonetheless some did. And that led to somewhat of an epidemic and many problems in society, thus there has been a shift away from these medications, if possible. Certainly not relying on them as much as we did in the past.
Dr. Mantena, can you tell us about your time as the Director of Pain Management at Forest Hills Hospital in New York? How has the way you treat patients changed since relocating to Houston?
It was shortly after my training, when I joined the North American Partners in Anesthesia, which is a very large anesthesia group in New York. They took over anesthesia and pain management at Forest Hospital in New York, which became North Shore Hospital. I was directed to build up pain management services which included acute inpatient pain management for such patients
that just had operations or patients that came with significant pain issues to hospital. I also worked with the outpatient services by building a referral base and reaching out to community doctors and surgeons, who could send their patients that had pain requirements to us in an outpatient setting. So, I helped establish this program and grow it.
During your time as a doctor, you have performed over 15,000 procedures. Can you share with us one of the most difficult procedures you completed?
During my years in practicing as well as when I trained in pain management, I have performed many thousands of procedures. Each procedure has a potential to be complicated and have complications, so therefore, each procedure is given the utmost attention. Nonetheless, there are some procedures that are much more involved and more delicate and need to be done more precisely. There are procedures that are more invasive such as spinal cord stimulation, lead placement. There are procedures involving cervical spine that can be technically difficult if imaging is not proper. Whether a procedure is more common and simple or more involved and complicated, it still requires the same attention in detail and putting safety as the utmost priority.
You are an advocate of yoga. Is it one of the treatments you recommend to pain sufferers? How does yoga improve the body compared to other forms of exercise such as running or weight lifting?
I do encourage patients to do yoga. This does not mean they have to do some complicated poses or hold complex positions. This can be just basic stretching exercises in yoga. It can be more advanced poses and positions that are somewhat difficult to achieve. Like any other exercise program, everybody will have different capabilities and abilities. I think yoga has the benefit of being low impact, yet allows good range of motion and stretching. And as I believe the more you practice; it will be amazing how much improvement you will notice. By just sticking to it and doing it three to four times a week, improvements can be very apparent. For patients with neck and back pain, I feel it could be of great benefit.
Dr. Mantena, what is a day in your life like?
Very busy. I see patients in the office setting and in hospitals on a daily basis. But time is made to spend time with my family too.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
They don’t know that I am very interested in world history.
What makes you smile?
When James Harden hits a step back three-pointer. When my kids do well in school or in sports.
What scares you?
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Thomas Jefferson, Gandhi, Albert Einstein.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for you country.”
“We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
To give all people the tools and chances to succeed.
Dr. Raju Mantena is a pain management expert with 360 Pain Treatment. For more information on Dr. Mantena, please visit http://www.360paintreatment.com/dr-raju-mantena
1724 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77098
360 PAIN TREATMENT CENTRES
25440 Interstate 45 , Spring, TX 77386
1724 Richmond Ave , Houston, TX 77098
15015 Kirby Dr , Houston, TX 77047
Journalist and author. Contributor