State-of-the-art pain clinic offers multitude of services under one roof

What makes Advanced Pain Medicine Institute (APMI) and APMI Orthopaedics , Sports Health & Regenerative Medicine so unique, specifically the Chevy Chase location?

This is a 14,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, multi-faceted health, wellness, sports and pain clinic. We offer physical therapy, we have a gym and a yoga studio. We perform cutting-edge treatments such as PRP [platelet-rich plasma] and stem cell injections right here in office for treatment of various types of injuries. Our health and wellness spa features acupuncture and massage. We’re one of the few centers in the area that has a cryo chamber for cold therapy as well as an infrared sauna for detoxification and a DXA [dual X-ray absorptometry] machine. We have yoga instructors, personal trainers, spine and neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialist, sports psychologists and nutritionists all on staff. Nobody in the area has this type of equipment or this many services under one roof.

How much did this all cost?

A lot. (laughing)

Who can benefit from these services?

Most places will treat a patient and be done after they’re healed. Here, we have the capability to not only treat you, but keep you healthy as time goes by. We see everyone from professional athletes to what you might call the “weekend warriors.” The professional athletes do a lot of repetitive exercise which sometimes, almost always, causes injuries. The key is recognizing those injuries and treating them quickly, to pay attention to what your body is telling you and don’t just push through the pain.

The weekend warriors go about their lives during the week, they go to work, and then on the weekends they like to pretend they’re pros, but their bodies aren’t ready and they get hurt. We also see older patients and retirees whose bodies are deteriorating but they still want to remain active, so we try to help them with their quality of life so they can really enjoy those golden years.

What do people need to know to keep themselves healthy and pain-free?

Nutrition is key and I don’t mean counting calories. Eat healthy food. Some of the foods we eat are pro-inflammatory and actually cause more harm. Some foods fight diseases. What you put into your body is very important. Wild caught salmon is one of the best things we can have in our diet. Berries are full of antioxidants. Turmeric is also very good for you. Definitely avoid processed white sugar, that’s one of the worst things. It contributes to diabetes, turns into fat. White bread is another bad one. And everything else should be eaten in moderation.

What drew you to this line of work?

I chose this specialty because you can get quick gratification helping someone—and you can measure it. Several years ago, a friend of mine came to see me after a car accident. She had a slipped disc and back pain. When I saw her at social gatherings, she was always the life of the party, eyes sparkling, everybody loved being around her, full of energy. But that day, I could see so much pain in her eyes. Her spark was gone. It was such a dramatic difference. When I was able to relieve her from that pain through various interventional procedures, without surgery, such as physical therapy and injections in her spine, a few weeks later, she returned for a follow-up and her spark was back. Pain is something that affects every aspect of your life, social and family, relationships, work. It’s a vicious cycle. We’re making a difference and we can see it.

For more info on APMI, visit: www.apmiorthosports.comYou can also look for Dr. Ghorbani’s book, Secrets to a Pain Free Life, on Amazon.