#68 Meet the pain specialists

Since I know that many of you won't be able to see a pain specialist right away, I've taken the liberty of getting some advice to share with you directly from the doctors at Arizona Pain Specialists. Being a full time pain patient for so many years, I've met a lot of different doctors. I always find it fascinating to hear the stories behind their career choice, so I asked the doctors at Arizona pain why they decided to specialize in pain management and what their advice to a pain patient was.

Dr. Paul Lynch and Dr. Tory McJunkin have been best friends since college, and they chose to go into pain management because of a loved one’s personal battle with pain. When Paul's mother-in-law was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, he spent significant time researching a way to provide relief for her debilitating pain and in doing so, learned about interventional pain management and the impact it could have on changing a patient’s life. When Paul told Tory that he wanted to go into pain management, Tory saw that it was the specialty for him as well, and the dream for Arizona Pain Specialists was born. Together they now help thousands of patients every month.

Paul and Tory explain, "Every day, we have patients come to us and say: “I wish I would have found you five or ten years ago,” or “had I known my painful condition could be treated, I would have come in.” Because of this, we work hard to constantly educate on painful conditions and non-invasive treatments available."

The Doctors at the Arizona Pain Specialists say that the best advice they can give for someone in chronic pain is to find out where exactly the source or causation of your pain is.

"Every day at Arizona Pain Specialists, we see patients that have come to us for a second opinion after they have been told surgery is their only option. We have seen patients that have been told they need to have a hip replacement when, in actuality, they had a pinched nerve in their back and could be treated with an inpatient, non-invasive epidural steroid injection procedure."

"If you suffer from chronic pain, we would recommend being referred to an interventional pain specialist. They are trained to find the source of your pain and often can offer relief in a non-invasive way."

"We also recommend becoming as educated on your condition as possible. By being educated on your condition and treatments available, you are actively involved in your journey toward becoming pain free."

-Dr. Tory McJunkin
-Dr. Paul Lynch
-Dr. Jonathan Carlson
-Dr. Patrick Hogan


  1. I haven't read your entire blog yet, so you may have answered this question already. What treatment finally worked for you? I've been having various injection therapies and radiofrequency ablation since last June; today I'm going in for my trial spinal cord stimulator. My greatest fear is that it won't work, and it's pretty much my last resort and only hope. My lumbar pain and sciatica history goes back 20 years.

  2. Hello Lauri:) No, actually I haven't answered that question yet, so thank you for asking...

    Most importantly: I had a sucessful spinal fusion from sacrum to L4 with steel implants and bone transplant, in 2003. That stabilized by spinal fracture.

    After that I still had whiplash, arthritis and chronic low back pain, but my back wasn't unstable anymore and I could slowly start healing and rebuilding myself using all the tips that I write about in this blog.

    Gradually the pain got better, and I could start living a meaningful active life again, though during those darkest years I NEVER would have dared believe it was possible... but I still had the dream of a pain free life...

    You know Laurie, I think the most important thing to hang on to is hope. There is a lot of fantastic treatment out there, you may not have found it yet, but if you can focus on taking care of yourself while you continue to search for the right doctor, the right treatment, the right people to help you on: you WILL find your answers. Please don't give up.
    I wish you all the best on your healing journey!

  3. Anna, thank you so much for your reply. I am now actually feeling that hope, because yesterday I had the trial SCS implanted yesterday, and seems to be working! I will continue to catch up with your blog and work with the device rep and my doctor, and hope for a speedy implantation of the permanent device. There might be an answer after all! Again, thank you so, very, very much for your reply and for your blog.

  4. Oh Laurie, I'm so happy for you! When you get the acute pain treated, it is such an immense relief, and then you may find there are many smaller measures you can make that also help. You know we are many many who have had to go through similar torment, and we all support each other. You are not alone!