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Steven P. Stanos, DO

Steven P. Stanos, DO currently serves as Executive Medical Director of Rehabilitation and Performance Medicine, Swedish Pain Services at the Swedish Health System in Seattle, Washington. Aside from directing pain management services for the hospital system, he also leads Swedish's pain rehabilitation center, Functional Restoration, an integral part of the pain medicine continuum of care. In addition to his work with Swedish Health System, he is active with committees work at Providence St. Joseph Health related to the system integration of pain management including primary and specialty care. Prior to joining Swedish and Providence, he served as medical director of the Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Northwestern University Medical School from 2002-2014, and served as an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and program-co chair of the multidisciplinary pain fellowship.

Dr. Stanos is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Anesthesia.

Dr. Stanos is a Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Pain Medicine. He served as a panel member on the Service Delivery and Reimbursement work group for the National Pain Strategy, an invited consultant to the CDC for the CDC Opioid Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, and as a work group member for Healthy People 2020 and Healthy People 2030. He is active with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has served as the co- chair of education for the Pain and Neuromuscular Council.

Dr. Stanos's work also includes ongoing educational initiatives for primary care, pain medicine, and physical medicine specialists around the United States and abroad. Dr. Stanos has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters related to pain management. He has been involved in the development and publication of treatment guidelines related to rehabilitation approaches for chronic pain and low back pain conditions. He also serves on the editorial board for the journal Pain Medicine and as a reviewer for other pain and rehabilitation journals.

A Mayday Foundation Advocacy fellow in 2013, Dr. Stanos's advocacy has continued to focus on increasing awareness and access for inter-disciplinary biopsychosocially-based pain care for patients suffering with chronic pain. In 2014, the University of Washington Department of Pain Medicine awarded Dr. Stanos with the John J. Bonica, MD lecture. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, regional print, and television news covering various topics related to pain medicine and pain rehabilitation.

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Fibromyalgia and Parenting

Ask the Expert


As I watch other parents with kids, I wonder how my fibromyalgia symptoms will hamper my efforts to be an active parent. What can I do to balance my energy, play with my kids and still take good care of myself?


Before we dig into strategies for self-care, it’s important to acknowledge that children are resilient and understanding. Being a caring, involved parent doesn’t require constant physical activity, and your kids will love you no matter your abilities. There is no shame in being a parent with physical limitations.

If you think your kids are old enough, have a conversation with them about your condition. There’s no need to get into specifics that might confuse or frighten them, but explaining that sometimes you need extra rest or a little assistance with things around the house will help them understand your needs. Being upfront about your condition can help to remove any mystery or stigma and make your situation feel more “normal.”

The best way to take care of yourself is to follow the treatment plan developed with your health care practitioners, which may include medication, exercise, relaxation techniques, dietary changes, therapy and more. Managing fibromyalgia is a daily task, which may seem daunting at first—but being faithful to your self-care routine will pay off in the long run, and may give you increased stamina and energy.

As a busy parent, you can still find ways to be active. You can try to look for ways to squeeze in light activity throughout the day. Take your kids for a walk around the neighborhood, or join them when they play at the local playground. If you practice yoga at home, get your kids their own yoga mats; they might think it’s fun to join you (and they’ll get great exercise, too). When your kids go to bed, use the quiet time to meditate or practice relaxation techniques like visualization and diaphragmatic breathing, which can calm your mind and may help you get a good night’s sleep, too.

Realistically, no matter how faithful you are about self-care, there will be days when you can’t do everything you want to accomplish. For those times, it’s helpful to keep an alternate source of fun in reserve: If you planned a visit to the zoo but you’re too fatigued, break out a game your kids can play at home, or an educational video you can watch together. What really counts is spending time together.

Joining forces with your support network can also help you conserve energy. Coordinate group playdates with other parents so your kids can socialize (you supply the snacks; another parent chases them around the backyard). Take advantage of child care services at your gym or place of worship so you have “me time” to meet some of your physical, emotional or spiritual needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse or partner, friends, and family. By sharing responsibilities with others you can create a supportive environment for you and your kids and be active in their lives even when you’re not feeling your best.

The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a health care provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

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