Northern Light Pain Management

Contact
Phone: 207-535-1800
Fax: 207-535-1818

Location
144 State Street
Floor 1
Portland, Maine 04101-3795

Is chronic pain holding you back?

Constant, severe pain doesn’t just hurt bodies. Pain that doesn’t go away hurts relationships, careers, and the quality of our lives. If you have debilitating acute pain or live with chronic pain, Mercy Pain Center is here to help you take your life back.

Mercy Pain Center is southern Maine’s only comprehensive, full spectrum pain management and rehabilitation clinic. You can trust our dedicated, highly skilled, board-certified physicians to:

  • listen to you closely

  • diagnose you accurately

  • develop a personalized treatment plan that will empower you to live your life to the fullest

At Mercy Pain Center, we are dedicated to making you as independent, healthy and as pain-free as you can be.

COMMONLY TREATED CONDITIONS Back pain. Neck pain. Neck Spasms. Migraine Headaches. Bursitis. Piriformis syndrome. Joint pain. Phantom limb pain. Arthritis pain. Mercy Pain Center helps patients manage a wide range of conditions that cause pain.

A FULL SPECTRUM OF TREATMENTS Chronic, severe pain is often a problem a prescription can’t solve. Our experienced physicians consider all the latest treatments when they create your customized treatment plan.

PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS Mercy Pain Center’s expert team of board-certified physicians bring years of experience, proven excellence and a passion for easing pain to every consultation, treatment or procedure.

Tell us what hurts.

Back pain. Neck pain. Neck spasms. Migraine headaches. Shoulder pain. Hip pain. Knee pain. Bursitis. Piriformis syndrome. Arthritis pain. Phantom limb pain. Pain from failed surgery. Nerve pain. Finding the source of your pain is the first step to finding your personalized pain management solution. When you schedule a consultation at the Pain Center at Mercy Hospital, you get the chance to share your pain history with an expert pain management specialist who understands it and knows the most effective, cutting edge treatments and techniques to manage it.

Our physicians don’t just treat thousands of painful conditions every year. They treat thousands of people every year. Your pain may start in a particular part of your body, but it radiates out to your entire life. At the Pain Center, we see our patients as individuals, with unique occupations, relationships and lifestyles they want to return to— and we find the fastest way to get them there.

The Pain Center is known throughout the state for holistic, comprehensive and highly effective pain management for:

Muscle and Skeleton (Musculoskeletal) Pain
•Back and Leg Pain
•Neck, Shoulder and Arm Pain
•Migraine headaches
•Cervical dystonia
•Herniated Disc and Sciatica
•Failed Back and Neck Surgery Syndromes
•Fibromyalgia and Arthritis Pain
•Repetitive Use Injuries
•Post Hernia Repair Pain
•Shoulder/Knee & Hip Bursitis
•Occipital Neuralgia
•Arthritis of Knee & Hip
•Persistent Pain After Total Joint Replacement Surgery of the hip and knee

Nerve (Neuropathic) Pain Syndromes
•Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
•Peripheral Neuropathy and Neuralgias
•Phantom Limb Pain
•Post Concussion Headaches
•Chronic Incisional Pain
•Pain After Nerve Injury

Chronic Pain Rehabilitation 
Pain from an injury or disease usually subsides or goes away with medical or surgical treatment. Unfortunately, many patients who seek treatment at the Pain Center have been left with chronic pain even after the original cause of their pain has healed.  This type of chronic, unremitting pain is often hard to understand, frustrating patients, their families, and their doctors, and it can be unresponsive to most treatment designed to reduce symptoms.  At the Pain Center we understand this type of pain, and we can help patients return to vital and meaningful lives. 

The Living Life Well Pain Rehabilitation Program is a group based, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program designed to educate patients and their families in what chronic pain is, how to cope with and negotiate with their pain, how to restore physical fitness and how to return to the functions in life they have lost.
  
Multidisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation •Peer Support Provided by Group Based Treatment: Nobody else understands what it is like to live with chronic pain better than another chronic pain patient. There is good evidence that when you have someone else who can help you carry the load, the burden of chronic pain is lighter.
•Education About Pain: Patients and many physicians have misconceptions about what pain is and what causes good days and bad days for chronic pain patients. Chronic pain is often viewed from the lens of acute pain, not recognizing that they are very different.  When patients and families understand what pain really is and what it really means they can cope with it much better.
•Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Unlike some traditional psychotherapies, CBT focuses on patient’s lives in the here-and-now, patterns in thinking and behavior that may be contributing to struggling and remaining stuck.   CBT helps patients acquire better tools for coping with chronic pain and other conditions that go with chronic pain (anxiety, stress, depression).
•Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):  ACT is a contemporary form of CBT that has shown much promise in helping patients with chronic pain and other conditions.  Many patients with chronic pain describe how pain can “hijack” their lives, dominating their days and decreasing the number and quality of their activities and roles.  ACT focuses on helping patients shift their experience of chronic pain and loosen pain’s grip on their daily activities. Using ACT, patients learn to develop a more flexible and workable set of skills for coping with and responding to pain, to reduce suffering, and to move toward an improved quality of life.
•Graduated Exercise: we all grow up learning to avoid things that hurt. However, when the body heals and yet the brain continues to be sensitized, the warning signals often become unreliable. When this happens hurt no longer equals harm and the continued avoidance of pain results in loss of strength, flexibility and fitness, increasing the sensitivity to pain. Graduated exercise helps chronic pain patients recognize that the hurt they experience isn’t causing them harm and has a direct effect on reducing the brain’s sensitization to these often unreliable warning signals.
•Mindfulness Practice: Mindfulness is a set of skills for altering how your attention works.  Through both formal mindfulness exercises and “mindful activities,” patients learn to free their attention from the grip of pain, anxiety, low mood, and other feeling states.  Mindfulness can help settle the mind and body, disentangle from unhelpful habits of thought and action, increase clarity, and make patients less reactive to stressors and daily challenges. 
•Family Involvement: chronic pain patients often feel that even their own families don’t understand what it is like to suffer with chronic pain. During the Living Life Well Pain Rehabilitation Program we encourage families to participate.  We educate them about what chronic pain is and what tools we are teaching their pain patient to use, finding that this helps our patients make progress toward rehabilitation.
•Alumni Group: for those who want support for continued improvement, patients who graduate from the Living Life Well Pain Rehabilitation Program are encouraged to attend our weekly alumni group.
 
 Patients suffering from chronic pain that has been resistant to the treatment they have tried so far are encourage to ask their healthcare providers about Mercy Pain Center and referral to the Living Life Well Pain Rehabilitation Program. 

ALL THE BEST PAIN TREATMENTS, ALL IN ONE PLACE.

 Pain management can be a complex medical problem that simply writing a prescription can’t solve. It can take a carefully calibrated combination of cutting edge pain treatments to manage chronic. Because we’re southern Maine’s only true comprehensive, multidisciplinary, pain center, your best chance of finding the source of your pain—and a pain management solution that works for you—is right here.

 At the Pain Center, our patients receive the very latest medical, interventional and behavioral pain treatments in one convenient place from one highly skilled, compassionate, coordinated team. You work closely with one of our pain management specialists, but your customized treatment plan always draws on the expertise of our entire expert team of providers. Should you require additional medical care like surgery or chemotherapy, we carefully coordinate your treatment with other Mercy specialty practices to ensure seamless, effective care.

Your customized pain management care plan may include:

Interventional Pain Management

  • Botox injectiontions for migraine headaches and cervical dystonia
  • ​Injections of inflamed bursa
  • Medial Branch Nerve Blocks
  • Facet Joint Injections and Synovial Cyst Aspirations
  • Rhizotomies of the medical branch nerves
  • Injections to treat Rotation cuff injuries
  • Joint Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Nerve Blocks
  • Ultrasound and Fluoroscopy Guided Injections

Medical Pain Management

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Gradually Progressive Exercise and Reconditioning
  • Pain Psychology
  • Assistive Devise Prescription
  • Lifestyle Change Assistance (Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss, Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Medication Management and Medically Managed Opioid Withdrawal
  • Chronic Pain Rehabilitation
  • Osteopathic Manipulation Treatments

Meet our extraordinary team of pain management physicians.

Imagine having years of combined experience and expertise focused on helping you manage your pain. At Mercy Pain Center, it happens every day. Our elite team of board-certified physicians may each have different specialties in pain management, but they all share the same dedication to helping you take your life back from pain.

Terence Gray, DO

Dr. Terence Gray, Lead Physician and Medical Director of the Interventional Pain Center at Mercy, earned a B.S. in Business from the University of Connecticut. He received his medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM). He is currently a Adjunct Professor of Clinical Research at UNECOM and active in pain research. During medical school, he performed research identifying specific neurotransmitters released during different forms of painful stimuli within regions of the brain that was published in national and international peer reviewed journals. He is currently working on projects and conducting research related to migraine headaches, cervical dystonia, occipital neuralgia, failed back syndrome, Sacroiliac pain and Piriformis Syndrome and Piriformis muscle pain. “As an osteopathic physician, I was taught to look at the entire body when treating a focused pain point,” he explains. “That’s why we offer a complete, comprehensive treatment plan calibrated for each patient.”

Dr. Gray completed his residency in Anesthesia and a later fellowship in Multidisciplinary Pain Management at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  “As an anesthesiologist by training, I am naturally sympathetic to people in pain and I truly enjoy helping people become more functional, active and involved in their lives,” he says. When someone says this is the first time in 6 years, after 30 other doctor that I have no pain, nothing compares to that feeling.”  I hear stories regularly like "before seeing you I could not have imagined living another year with my pain, you gave me my life back!"  That is why I chose to do what I do.

Dr. Gray served as a physician leader and partner in a large multistate anesthesia practice in southern New England and has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Gray is a diplomate of the American College of Osteopathic Anesthesiologists. Along with treatment modalities for spine and radicular back pain, Dr. Gray has a special interest in treating migraine headaches, cervical dystonia, persistent necklace spasm, pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction, Piriformis pain, joint bursitis and arthritis (in particular genicular nerve blocks for knee pain) as well as post hernia repair and abdominal surgery neuropathic pain. “I recently published a research project and have several current research projects we are conducting  right here at Mercy Pain Center in partnership with the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine where I am an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Research".

Dr. Gray comes from a family of lifelong New Englanders with deep ties to Maine. “Growing up, my mother called Maine ‘her favorite place on earth’,” he recalls. “Our family is a fixture on Maine’s midcoast. My wife and our four boys fish Maine’s fresh and saltwater basins, we go lobstering, we hike Maine’s vast array of trail networks, we snowshoe and ski in the mountains. We enjoy all Maine has to offer.”

Dr. Gray is proud of what he and his colleagues have built at Mercy Pain Center. “We modeled Mercy Pain Center on successful programs at Brigham and Women’s / Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. There is no more comprehensive pain management center anywhere in New England,” he says. “We improve function and relieve pain in a caring, compassionate and comprehensive environment.”

Joel Guarna, PhD

Joel Guarna, PhD is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maine. His areas of interest and specialization include health psychology (including chronic pain, diabetes, insomnia, and other chronic health conditions), addictions, and trauma, and specific approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based psychotherapies.

Dr. Guarna earned  his PhD in 2000 and completed his internship and postdoctoral training at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology. He  served as a staff psychologist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Boston, where he provided treatment to veterans with addictions and other co-occurring problems (mood and anxiety disorders, PTSD). He directed intensive outpatient programming for veterans with addictions at the VA hospital in Brockton, MA.  He provided training and supervision to psychology interns and psychiatry residents as a Clinical Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Guarna moved to Portland and opened a private practice in 2005. He joined the staff of the Mercy Pain Center in 2014. He currently works in multiple offices including his private practice, a specialty clinic focusing on diabetes care, and the Mercy Pain Center.  In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Guarna provides training in ACT, mindfulness-based therapies, and other treatments to health care providers. 

Dr. Stephen Z. Hull

Dr. Stephen Z. Hull, Medical Director of Medical Pain Management at Mercy Pain Center, did his undergraduate studies and received his medical degree from the University of Washington. He completed residency and fellowship training at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Hull is a board certified pain medicine physician as well as a board-certified physiatrist, the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Dr. Hull served as the Director of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland and as the Regional Director of Rehabilitation Medicine for Healthsouth Corporation. He has been the Medical Director of Physical Rehabilitation at Mercy Hospital for the past 21 years and has served as Interim Chief of the Department of Medicine and Interim Vice President for Medical Administration at Mercy Hospital. He served as the Medical Pain Management Specialist on the Maine Medical Association Chronic Pain Project, and helped secure expanded insurance coverage for physical, cognitive and behavioral therapies on the MaineCare Pain Management Policy working group. He has chaired the Portland community-wide Integrated Pain Management Conference for the past ten years.

Dr. Hull chose to specialize in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a concentration in chronic pain after seeing what a difference medical pain management and rehabilitation made in the lives of patients. “In medicine, many chronic conditions get worse over time,” he explains. “Pain management and rehabilitation is different. Our patients almost always get better—better function, better quality of life, better pain levels. It’s so rewarding to see patients re-engage with their lives.”

Dr. Hull’s practice integrates diagnosis, medical treatment of chronic and acute pain and rehabilitation for chronic pain conditions. “Because chronic pain is a disorder and not a disease, it takes many different specialties to overcome the challenges our patients face. Mercy Pain Center can diagnose a full spectrum of conditions and provide a full spectrum of multidisciplinary treatments. We eliminate or reduce pain with direct interventions and pain rehabilitation, addressing the physical, psychological and social components of pain.”

Dr. Hull moved to Maine in 1982 and built both his career and his family in his adopted state. He encourages Mainers suffering from chronic pain to ask their healthcare providers about Mercy Pain Center. “So many patients feel they get passed from specialist to chronic pain to ask their healthcare providers about Mercy Pain Center. “So many patients feel they get passed from specialist to specialist and nothing really changes,” he explains. “At Mercy Pain Center, we provide comprehensive and coordinated care for chronic pain, all in one caring place.”

Dr. Karyn L. Woelflein

Dr. Woelflein, physiatrist at Mercy Pain Center, is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, she completed her residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.

After more than 15 years of practicing in Maine, she joined Mercy in early 2018, lured by the comprehensive and caring philosophy of the Mercy Pain Center. Through staff positions at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, as well as private practice in Brunswick and Lewiston, Dr. Woelflein has a great deal of experience working with patients with a wide variety of painful conditions. 



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