By LOIS KINDLE
Unlike many physicians these days, Dr. Nomen Azeem has a different philosophy when it comes to pain management. His first impulse doesn’t include reaching for a prescription pad.
“Way too many doctors push pills on patients to treat pain,” he said. “My approach is more comprehensive. It includes functional rehabilitation though chiropractic, acupuncture and/or physical therapy, a variety of interventional procedures and, when warranted, medication management.”
The latter doesn’t include opioids.
“I don’t want patients coming back again and again and again,” Azeem continued. “That’s why it’s so important to target the actual type of pain and its source.”
In order to effectively treat pain, the doctor takes ample time to ensure each patient fully understands where his or her pain originates and each of the treatment options he offers, including some that are cutting edge for folks with the most difficult pain syndromes. “I have many tricks in my bag,” Azeem said, “The idea is to provide long-term relief without the use of chemicals.
“Regardless of age, gender, race or activity level, pain doesn’t discriminate,” he said. “It affects a person physically, emotionally and socially and can have debilitating effects that are often overlooked or misunderstood.”
With these things in mind, Azeem’s goal is to improve each patient’s function and quality of life. From the moment patients walk in the door, they can sense Azeem’s deep consideration for people in pain with his office’s comfortable, ergonomic chairs, soothing waterfall and aromatherapy.
“I want to provide them with as comforting an environment as possible,” he said. “I train my staff to have empathy, to imagine how understanding and patient they would be with others if they had a severe, unrelenting headache.”
Azeem, 41, treats a long list of conditions, including arthritis; back, neck and facial pain; migraine headaches; carpal tunnel, complex regional pain, piriformis, myofascial pain and facet joint syndromes; coccydynia (tailbone pain); fibromyalgia; herniated discs; joint and low back pain; phantom limb pain; occipital neuralgia and peripheral neuropathy; spinal stenosis; cervical and lumbar radiculopathy; compression fractures; sports injuries and more.
His interventional pain treatments include DRG stimulation, neuromodulation, epidermal steroid injections, radiofrequency and genicular nerve ablation, kyphoplasty, intercostal and peripheral nerve blocks, selective nerve root blocks, interspinous spacer placement, platelet-rich plasma therapy, sacroiliac joint injections, spinal cord stimulator implant, stem cell therapy, minimally invasive discectomy, virtual reality therapy and trigger point injections.
“I treat patients whose pain just doesn’t get better,” Azeem said. “Many have been to other doctors or have had surgery, and many times they come to me as a last resort. I’m trained to deal with every type of pain and to offer procedures for blocking or resolving it on a case-by-case basis.”
And 99% of those procedures are done in-house.
A solid background
Dr. Azeem earned his undergraduate degree at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine in Miramar. He interned at Medstar Harbor Hospital Center in Baltimore and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he served as chief resident.
After completing his residency, he filled a faculty position as a musculoskeletal medicine specialist at Medstar Georgetown University, and then completed an interventional pain fellowship at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was guided by internationally renowned pain physician Dr. Frank J. E. Falco.
Azeem joined a multidisciplinary pain practice in New Orleans before moving to Florida, where he developed the first successful non-opioid-based interventional pain clinic in Sarasota.
He is currently an associate assistant professor at the University of South Florida Department of Neurology. His Florida Spine & Pain Specialists offices are at 9630 Balm Riverview Road, Riverview, and 2106 Ashley Oaks Circle, Suite 101, Wesley Chapel. Another is set to open Aug. 2 in Bradenton at 8610 E. State Road 70.
Azeem is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and as an interventional pain specialist. He also specializes in regenerative medicine and is the founder of the nonprofit Florida Society of Pain and Neuroscience.
Married and the father of two children, he lives in New Tampa.
To schedule an appointment, call 813-333-1353.