The Chronic Pain Management Program is a multidisciplinary four-week, daily treatment program, designed to help individuals with chronic non-malignant pain. Pain services are provided in a multidisciplinary format by a clinical psychologist, physical therapist, nurse, and doctor. Because these disciplines are in one department, assessment and treatment services are comprehensive and integrated.
The primary purpose of the program is to help patients remove or reduce disabilities and cope more effectively with pain-related problems.
Treatment involves three components, which occur simultaneously:
- Daily exercise programs and physical activities are tailored to your individual needs and gradually increased. The exercises are designed to maximize you brain’s neuroplastic ability (ability to change) as anyone with a chronic pain problem experiences changes in the brain, which, in turn, can change the body in undesirable ways
- Medications used currently for pain are evaluated. In certain cases the physician and nurse will design a medication program with the intention to gradually reduce and ideally eliminate the medications currently used in relationship to the chronic pain. Medications for pain provide the chemicals your brain would normally make for itself. Reducing some or all of the pain medications encourages your brain and nervous system to make these chemicals
- Psychological and social issues related to or caused by the pain are identified and treated. General topics will be covered in a group setting, while individual sessions address the participant’s specific issues. The therapies are designed to calm the emotional center(s) of the brain, which, in turn, reduces the impact stress has on a person’s pain
Physical therapy and physical reactivation
The primary goal of this part of the program is to improve physical functioning to a level consistent with your age, medical and physical status. The emphasis is on teaching you how to function best in your home, work and leisure activities. Physical therapy interventions include flexibility programs, cardiovascular exercise and manual therapy. You also attend seminars on topics related to physical pain management, such as pacing, avoiding inactivity, retraining overactive nerve tissue and appropriate home exercise.
The initial measurements of flexibility, endurance, and activity performance are used as a baseline by which we will measure and track your improvement. All activities and exercises are increased according to the results of the initial and weekly reevaluations. The individual as well as the physical therapy staff document changes and take part in physical therapy treatment goals and decisions. Exercise programs are completed individually and in groups. Individual physical therapy sessions are scheduled with each participant to address specific needs.
Medication management program
At the beginning of treatment, the effectiveness and potential side effects of your pain medications are thoroughly evaluated. Medication treatments will be designed and implemented with a goal of reducing pain and any medication-related functional issues. Medications taken for other medical problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, are not altered while in the program and are managed by your primary doctor.
The nursing staff provide basic training in nutrition management, as some foods accentuate stress, fat storage, and/ or inflammatory responses.
Psychological and social considerations
All psychology services are provided by licensed psychologists. Treatment is provided individually and in groups. Psychologists address pain and stress management, family relationships, interpersonal communication and emotional issues related to chronic pain. You will be taught to identify sources of stress related to your pain, as well as ways to adapt your thinking and relaxation techniques.
Psychologists work with your family as well, to teach them supportive ways to encourage healthy and active behavior in those with chronic pain. Because many individuals with chronic pain become depressed or anxious, individual sessions are designed to help improve your mood.
Read additional details related to the program, along with the schedule, attendance rules and what to wear, etc.