Chronic Pain Management Program

The Nebraska Medicine Chronic Pain Management Program has been serving patients for more than 50 years and is one of the longest running chronic pain management programs in the country. The program is designed for patients with chronic pain, which means pain lasting at least six months. In fact, most of our patients have had pain lasting years, interfering with their daily lives, including their ability to keep a job, do housework and socialize.

By the time patients come to see us, most have already tried a variety of interventions for their pain, including physical therapy, medications, acupuncture, injections or surgery.

What makes our program different is patients are with us for four weeks, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. During this time they work closely with our physical therapists, psychologists, nurse and medical director to develop an individualized treatment plan. While in the program, patients are mentored by fellow participants who have at least two weeks of experience in the program, allowing patients to see the benefits of treatment in other patients with chronic pain.

Patient Guides

The three primary goals of the treatment plan are to improve physical function, learning a variety of techniques to manage pain, and evaluate medications, including possibly tapering those that are unhelpful.

Program activities and goals

Treatment involves both individual and group therapy facilitated by physical therapists, clinical health psychologists and nurses.

Program goals

  • Improving physical function, including flexibility, endurance, coordination and strength
  • Learning behavioral and psychological techniques for managing pain
  • Learning coping strategies for handling stress and other pain triggers
  • Evaluating medications and possibly tapering those that are unhelpful
  • Learning how pain has changed one's nervous system and how it improves when following the Pain Management Program treatment plan

What results to expect

Naturally, our patients want to know if they will experience success before making such a big commitment. What can we tell them? The odds are in your favor! Our patients make impressive strides in their physical conditioning and on average will leave the program with a walking tolerance four times greater than when they began treatment. Before the four-week session, we work with patients to measure the severity of their pain, how much it interferes with their daily lives, and what impact it has on their moods. We repeat these measurements at the end of treatment. Our data show that patients’ ratings of their pain level decrease on average by more than a third, interference of pain in daily activities also decreases by over a third, and ratings of depression decrease by over 50 percent.

Choose the Nebraska Medicine Chronic Pain Management Program Because:

The results last

Research consistently supports the effectiveness of interdisciplinary chronic pain management. It’s the treatment of choice if you’re seeking a long-term solution. Our research has found that the majority of our patients continue to manage pain successfully several years after treatment. Patients who were once hopeless are able to reclaim their lives again when they leave.

We are experienced

Our program has been helping people manage their pain for more than 50 years, combining tried and true approaches with cutting-edge pain rehabilitation strategies.

Staff members have experience working with all types of pain conditions and the program has distinguished itself as one of the first interdisciplinary pain management programs in the country. Treatment is tailored to the needs of each patient and promotes overall wellness and functioning.

Our team approach

Our Chronic Pain Management Program uses an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals who specialize in pain, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists and psychologists. These health care professionals work together to develop an effective chronic pain management program that incorporates physical rehabilitation and psychological management of pain, as well as techniques such as manual physical therapy, meditation, relaxation, nutritional education and exercise such as tai chi and yoga. The program teaches patients coping skills to help them better manage pain throughout their daily lives so they may return to activities associated with family, school or work.

You leave with a plan

When patients complete the Chronic Pain Management Program, they leave with tools for healthy self-management of their pain, a more adaptive life, and the ability to reduce their health care utilization. Most importantly, patients learn that pain is not a barrier to daily activity. After completing the program, patients can contact our staff at any time with new problems or further questions. The Chronic Pain Management Program is just one facet of a comprehensive pain management team, which also includes programs for acute, cancer and pain after surgery.

For more information, call us at 402.559.4364.

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