Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Jason Bailey
Thousands of Americans are out of work and permanently disabled because of chronic pain.
Usually, these patients are treated with heavy doses of medication.
Now, a new program combines the best of several therapies to pack a serious punch. Myrna Soderquist makes sure every customer leaves her store with a pair of shoes and a smile.
But a few months ago, Myrna didn't have much to smile about. Two hip replacements, back surgery and a leg lengthening procedure left her in severe pain.
Myrna says, "It was very, very difficult for me to just walk through a complete step."
Doctors even labeled her permanently disabled.
She needed more than 10 prescription pain pills a day.
"One of my sons saw the list of medication, and he made me promise that I wouldn't take it, and I think that was, that was kind-of the thing that woke me up," says Myrna.
Myrna needed help and found it at the Bridge, a healing center where doctors combine therapies to treat pain.
Greg Bart, M.D. a consulting physician says, "I don't think you can ever approach chronic pain without a multi-disciplinary approach."
Doctor Bart works with other specialists to customize rehabilitation.
Along with standard care, patients receive exercise and nutrition training, acupuncture, massage and psychotherapy, all in one place.
Daren Brooks the founder of the organization says, "It's not really original. It's just that we've finally combined it and put it under bricks and mortar, and it works."
Patients who completed the program cut their meds by 80-percent.
Seventy-percent went back to working fulltime, compare that to the national average of less than 10-percent.
Mrna works about 60 hours a week and is down to two pain pills a day.
"I love it, I can go down, and I can go up all day long," says Myrna.Patients usually spend three weeks at the bridge.
It costs nearly $13,000, which covers the cost of the program, lodging, food and air fare. Insurance typically covers it.
Doctors at the Bridge see all types of patients, including those with pain, fatigue, depression, obesity, diabetes, fibromyalgia and anxiety.