Pain relief for free in Ft. Myers

Posted at 9:51 AM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 22:47:26-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. --  If you've ever experienced intense or chronic pain, then you know it's impossible to ignore.

And if you can't afford to get pain relief, it only adds to the agony.

But if you're free on Tuesday nights, you'll find a free local solution that's offering help and hope to people just like you.

It's a free pain clinic at First Church of the Nazarene in Fort Myers.

"I was barely able to walk," says patient Tim Deagan who credits the clinic for helping him recovering from a painful wreck.

He was hit by a car while riding his bicycle.

Another patient, Ivett Lima, has been getting desperately needed care for an agonizing condition -  fibromyalgia. 

"When I get up in the morning, I feel, oh horrible," she says.

"Everywhere you touch is pain."

But under the care of clinic founder Dr. Alan Gruning, Ivett's pain of several years if finally easing up. 

"I  feel better," she says.

Helping patients feel better is the sole focus of the clinic that began with a divine message according to Dr. Gruning.

"The Lord spoke to me one morning and told me I needed to start a free medical clinic," says Dr. Gruning.

The vision became reality.

Dr. Gruning and other providers now treat patients in Sunday School rooms at the church.

One of those uninsured patients, Andres Ortiz-Mendoza, tells Fox 4 the clinic has made all the difference to him.

Before the clinic, back pain from a car wreck forced Andres to give up both of his jobs.  He was barely able to move. 

He tells Fox 4, in Spanish, that he can move better now and has started working again.

Ortiz-Mendoza and other patients

All the free treatments at the clinic would cost a pretty penny anywhere else.

"If you were to add up everything people get here on a given night, it's probably about $500 a person," says Dr. Gruning.

Patients receive all their treatments for free at the clinic. But there's one thing you can't receive at the clinic. 

"No medications," says chiropractor Glenn Schaffer.

"We (only) offer all natural types of health care," he says.

In fact, the clinic has helped some patients leave behind the cycle of addiction that can come from pain meds. 

"We have people who came in here hooked on Oxycodone, or whatever, and once we get them out of pain here, they get rid of all that," says Dr. Gruning.

The health care providers who volunteer their time says the experience is as healing for them as it is for the patients.

"I love just being able to give back and come in and help people that need it," says Schaffer.

If you or someone you know would like to go to the clinic, it's Tuesday evenings (the clinic does not take appointments) starting at 5:30 at First Church of the Nazarene off Daniels Parkway in South Fort Myers. 

You need a picture ID, can't have health insurance, and have an income that's well below (200%) the federal poverty level.

And though it's in a church and prayer is offered, there's no requirement or pressure to be religious in any way.  Dr. Gruning says people of all beliefs - even "non-believers"

The clinic is looking for donations to expand, and specifically needs physical therapists and physical therapy assistant volunteers. 

Call them for more info at (941) 677-0277.

The clinic website is: