What is Comprehensive Pain Management?
True multi-disciplinary comprehensive pain management includes much more than simply prescribing medication. Comprehensive pain management can incorporate interventional pain procedures, prescribed medication, as well as physical and behavioral therapy. It’s the proper combination of these treatment modalities that maximizes patient outcomes, allowing patients to return to work, become more active, and get back to living.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Physical therapy is a vital component of a comprehensive pain management program. It addresses the physical aspects of inflammation, stiffness, and soreness through exercise, manipulation, and massage. These techniques work together to help the body heal itself by stimulating the production of natural pain relieving chemicals.
It is important for patients to understand physical inactivity increases the risk for chronic pain. The less you move, the more pain you’ll most likely experience. A highly trained physical therapist will work in conjunction with our pain specialists to design a therapy regimen focused on restoring the physical ability of a patient, allowing them to gain functionality back into their everyday life.
Some common ailments that Physical Therapy can treat:
- Neuromusculoskeltal pain and dysfunction
- Neck & Back pain and dysfunction
- Pelvic pain and dysfunction
- Upper extremity pain and dysfunction
- Lower extremity pain and dysfunction
- Jaw pain and headache
Goals of Physical Therapy:
- Relieve pain and discomfort
- Decrease Impairment and dysfunction
- Improve or maintain function
- Prevent or minimize disability
- Educate the patient to be effective in self management
Surgery, injections and medication are not the only resources for treating chronic pain. Behavioral Medicine focuses on the development of various skills, attitudes and behaviors that reduce pain and improve quality of life.
Psychological testing can assess strengths and problem areas that can impact pain. For example, depression and anxiety are common issues that complicate pain management.
Neuropsychological testing is a specialized assessment of brain function and dysfunction. These tests can assess how well the brain is working and guide treatment for personal, education or vocational needs. These tests can also be used to document changes over time and focus on key areas such as memory.
Individual therapy can address issues such as depression or anxiety and also address skills for coping with pain and the emotional and social consequences of pain.
Group therapy allows individuals to share and discuss coping strategies with others who are dealing with similar problems.
Biofeedback is a specific treatment that addresses some of the physical problems of pain and can help individuals relax muscles, improve blood-flow or control brainwave activity. This is often combined with progressive relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, mental imagery and other forms of self-control.
Family therapy can help spouses and others understand and cope with chronic pain issues. Our therapists are also trained in substance abuse, vocational, and disability counseling, issues that commonly co-exist with chronic medical conditions. Whether dealing with stress management, grief counseling or other quality of life concerns, behavioral medicine can assist in minimizing the impact of chronic pain.
If you want to know more about Behavioral Medicine ask your pain specialist if Behavioral Medicine can help with your pain treatment program.