Mary Free Bed rescues baseball player from a life of medication and chronic pain

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Bryce Baker was living his dream, practicing with a collegiate summer league and hoping he would feel major league clay under his cleats. One day, during pitching practice, he heard a snap and felt pain in his back – pain that continued through three surgeries and two years of living in the fog of opiate medications.

He’d lost hope for the future.

His parents were told the Mary Free Bed Pain Rehabilitation Program offered the best chance to save their son. Today, Bryce is medication free and successfully dealing with his pain.

“The Pain Center became my safe haven,” Bryce said. “In three months I went from having one of the program’s lowest mobility scores to one of the highest… and today, I’m medication free and pitching again.”

>>> Watch the video above to learn more of Bryce’s story.

What can patients expect at the Mary Free Bed Pain Rehabilitation Program?

The team consists of physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and psychologists use a behavioral approach to pain management. Many pain programs just give patients more medicine. Mary Free Bed is different. They try to wean patients from their meds. Research now shows using opiates is not an effective long-term treatment for pain.

They help patients:

  • Understand how pain is impacting their lives.
  • Recognize the connection between stress and pain.
  • Develop relaxation strategies and skills.
  • Do aerobic exercise, strengthen muscles and learn how to more easily perform tasks through physical and occupational therapy.

Some patients will deal with chronic pain forever, and Mary Free Bed teaches them how to control it; for others, they’re able to significantly reduce or even eliminate pain medication.

How long has Mary Free Bed offered pain rehabilitation?

They’ve been treating pain patients since the 1970s.

At Mary Free Bed, they’re used to seeing patients with chronic situations…  spinal cord injuries, for example. Pain can be another life-long condition. As with all Mary Free Bed patients, they help those with chronic pain get their lives back and be as functional as possible.

Who are candidates for the Mary Free Bed Pain Program?

It’s an outpatient program for people who are experiencing chronic pain – the type of pain that is running their lives. By that they mean, activities that used to be enjoyable or necessary now become a burden if they can be done at all.

Mary Free Bed’s average patients have been having pain for 7 years by the time they come in, and are living from pain medication to pain medication.

Mary Free Bed contact

  • Pain Rehabilitation Program
  • 616-840-8070
  • Type “Pain Center” in the search bar