Dr. Haresh Sampathkumar didn't go to medical school thinking he would become a pain doctor, but his studies convinced him to take that path.
“These are patients who are difficult to treat, but it's satisfying when you make a difference in their lives,” Sampathkumar said from his Lewes office.
Sampathkumar began work with Regional Medical Pain Management in September and has been accepting patients from doctor referrals, but also referrals from family and friends. Some patients have been in car accidents, others have had strokes, but all are living with chronic pain, he said.
Sampathkumar describes the practice as comprehensive, which goes beyond just prescribing medications and administering injections. Patients can receive massage therapy, mental health counseling, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture and can undergo minimally invasive surgery, he said.
“We go a step above,” he said.
Sampathkumar said he is particularly proud of the office's three transcranial magnetic stimulators that can help stimulate brain action for stroke and other brain-injured patients.
“It's used for depression, but more research shows it's helpful for brain injuries,” he said.
During his medical fellowship at University of Texas in Houston, Sampathkumar specialized in brain injuries and finding ways to stimulate areas of the brain that have been damaged.
“I was dealing with people who've had strokes, brain injuries – all kinds of brain-related conditions,” he said.
His studies opened him up to the world of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual's life. When a stroke or injury destroys part of the brain, functions can be transferred to a different location. A stroke victim who loses the ability to walk can regain it through repeated stimulation that rewires the brain, but it takes work and dedication on the part of the patient, he said.
Sampathkumar said he hopes to expand his office hours to twice a week in Lewes. “I'm excited to see how we can expand this further,” he said.
He holds office hours 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays at Regional Medical Pain Management, 33664 Bayview Medical Drive, Lewes.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 302-734-7246.