Conference aims to help locals, provide treatment options

LIHUE — When Dr. Eric Grigsby came here five years ago to open the Spine and Pain Center of Kauai, he was surprised to see how few resources were available to residents who needed treatment for persistent pain.

“If you had a pain problem, you had to go to Honolulu,” Grigsby said. “And that’s a tough irony because when you’re hurting, you can’t really work, so you’re economically challenged. But then you have to travel for an hour on a plane in pain just to see a doctor. It didn’t seem fair to the community.”

This weekend, Grigsby will be director for the inaugural Kauai Pain Conference, where people can receive information on pain management, tolerance and treatment.

The Kauai Pain Conference will be at the Kauai Marriott Resort today and Saturday.

“The No. 1 goal of our practice is to help people feel better and do more and use as few medicines as possible. These days, we talk so much about pain medicines and we want to everything we can to minimize that,” Grigsby said. “Our conference is about all the various tools and incredible new technologies that are now being used to treat pretty severe levels of pain.”

The conference is geared toward physicians on Hawaii, covering ways that chronic pain is diagnosed and treated, and the impact chronic diseases have on local families and the broader community.

“Sometimes, you get injured and the pain goes away. Other times, it lingers. Some of the speakers at this conference are some of the world’s leading experts about why pain persists,” he said. “We can’t really offer consultations, but we’re delighted to have people come up to us outside of the conference or talk to us about some questions they may have.”

Guest speakers include:

• State Senator Josh Green, MD, member of the state Senate Health Committee

• Scott Miscovich, MD, Hawaii Narcotics Taskforce

• Dr. Dawn Sparks, of Koloa’s Spine & Pain Center of Kauai

• Dr. Eric Grigsby, Founder of the Spine & Pain Center

• Dr. Kerrey Barton-Taylor, head of the Hawaii Society of Pain Physicians

Grigsby has seen a lot of patients during his time on Kauai, for minor back pain to crippling levels of pain. This conference, he said, is a step in the right direction for healthcare on Kauai.

“If you have a bad pain problem, there’s just not that many doctors here on island, in general. But with this conference, we want to begin the conversation on Kauai,” he said.

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