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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesHealth Beat: V.I. Pain Management Associates

Health Beat: V.I. Pain Management Associates

Dr. Janice VictorDon’t let Dr. Janice Victor’s youthful appearance fool you. The Virgin Islands native and Charlotte Amalie High School graduate has spent years getting her medical training. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, earned her M.D. from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and completed her residency in anesthesiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

But that wasn’t enough for Victor. Because of her work in anesthesiology, she said, “I came to be exposed to people who had a lot of pain… There’s a lot of people in pain, unfortunately.”

But, she said, “You can actually do something about it.” So she developed a specialty in interventional pain medicine, training at Duke University Hospital.

Back in the Virgin Islands, Victor joined the staff at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas as an anesthesiologist. And she founded Virgin Islands Pain Management Associates, which she runs as a private physician.

“We take care of people who have pain in different areas,” she said. Among the types listed on her website are:

  • Low back and leg pain;
  • Neck and shoulder problems;
  • Muscle sprains;
  • Headaches originating in the back of the neck, or occipital neuralgia;
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, marked by swelling and temperature and color changes in legs and arms.

“Our Number One presentation is back and leg pain,” she said. And it may be caused by any number of things including disc problems, stroke, kidney problems, inflammation and scores of other factors.

In treating pain, the first thing to determine is its cause, Victor noted. Treatment options vary widely from diet and medical management to physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle changes. If a diagnosis indicates a patient needs more than pain management, “sometimes we have to refer them out” to a particular type of physician.

For many cases, the pain management Victor offers consists of percutaneous (under the skin) treatments, which involves injections at various points of the spine, with Victor guided by x-ray imaging in real time. The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes. The patient is then observed for another half hour and then released to the care of a friend or family member for the trip home.

According to a VI Pain Management brochure, procedures include facet joint injections (for those with pain near the middle of the spine); epidural injections (for neck pain that spreads to the shoulders or lower back pain that spreads to the legs); SI Joint injections (for pain in the sacroiliac joint between the hip and the spine); occipital nerve blocks (for neck and back of the head pain); and myofascial trigger point injections (for pain in isolated body regions due to muscle spasms.)

Some of Victor’s patients are referred to her by other physicians. Some come directly to her. Either way, she said, she coordinates treatment with other physicians. “We have to,” she said. “Medical communities are exactly that: communities.”

Victor said she sees an average of 30 to 40 patients on a regular basis. Some need only one treatment, others need more. “They get better and they stop seeing me,” she said. “My aim is to get patients back to their regular activities.”

Her office is in the V.I. Medical Foundation Building behind Schneider Hospital. The number is 714-7246.

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