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Legacy Medical Centers - Using a Patient-Centered Approach to Treat and Manage Pain
By Daniel Casciato

Pain on a normal basis is not normal. It’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Pain may limit the activity of daily living and creates socio-economic issues as well: you are unable to go to work or you may be limited at work. Additionally, pain over time can physically alter the brain and the disposition of a person.

“You should not be in pain on a normal basis.” says Pete Vercilla, CEO of Legacy Medical Centers. “Pain is a physiological mechanism that tells you something is wrong. It can occur from misalignment of the joint, inflammation from tissue damage, or tissue trauma. Any pain lasting you longer than a couple of days when you are unable to identify the cause is a reason to be evaluated.”

As an integrated medical, chiropractic and physical therapy practice, Legacy Medical Centers encompasses traditional medicine, chiropractic, and physical therapy but also uses more modern regenerative medical techniques such as stem cells, laser therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen to treat patients.

“We want to reduce inflammation from the pain and take swelling off of the nerve and muscle and return them to normal function,” says Vercilla.

One modality used at Legacy to help patients recover from workouts or injuries is cryotherapy which uses subzero temperatures to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and increase mobility. Though the skin’s surface temperature can drop, the treatment’s short duration keeps your core temperatures at normal levels.

Another newer modality that Legacy uses is dry needling, a technique that some physical therapists use for the treatment of pain. The technique uses a dry needle, meaning one without medication or injection. It is inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle to release inflammation and tension in the muscles.

Most of the conditions that the practice addresses include everything from strains and sprains to concussions and anything that is neuromuscular related. Not only Legacy will work one-on-one with patients, but also with several of the clinical staff, to reach an accurate diagnosis and develop customized treatment plans that will lead patients to the highest quality of life possible.

“Our philosophy is to reduce the inflammation and reduce the pain below the pain threshold of the patient so they can get back to activities of daily living,” Vercilla says. “Are they able to bathe? Fix their own meal? Participate in their own hobbies?”

Legacy treats a wide range of patients of all ages, but has an overall special niche in the athletic world treating high school, collegiate and professional athletes. In fact, several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL players around the league fly in to be treated at Legacy. The practice recently partnered with a company called SportGait to conduct baseline and post-concussion evaluation as well.

“We also have a concussion therapy protocol that treats the athlete’s post-injury,” adds Vercilla.

While all patients differ in terms of their medical needs, the one thing that Legacy encourages is activity.

“We encourage our patients to be active on a more consistent basis,” says Vercilla. “That doesn’t mean going to the gym and spending an hour on the elliptical. But there are simple things you can do such as walking which is a great activity. We also encourage our patients to eat right and hydrate. People don’t drink enough water.”

Legacy has three locations in the Pittsburgh area: Peters Township, Irwin, and Robinson. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.legacymedicalcenters.com.

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