July 10, 2017
Building a Chronic Pain Management Program That Works for You
Creating a comprehensive plan for managing your chronic pain is possible when your specialist and the rest of your healthcare team work together.
For many people, managing pain is a constant struggle. They continue to deal with pain when the cause isn’t always obvious. This does not have to be something that you learn to live with. Chronic pain management programs can help provide relief.
“It is actually possible to increase your level of functioning and quality of life while reducing your sense of suffering,” explains the American Chronic Pain Association. “The key, like anything in life, is to have the right skills, support and direction.” It starts with understanding — what is a chronic pain management program?
What Is a Chronic Pain Management Program?
Chronic pain management programs rely on specialized teams to help you find the relief you need. Pain specialists work hand-in-hand with pharmacists, physical therapists and other healthcare providers to create programs that take a well-balanced approach to managing your pain. Developing a comprehensive pain management plan can include the following steps:
1. Your healthcare team starts by looking at your quality of life and your pain levels, and then works with you to create goals for where you want to be in the future.
2. These healthcare professionals then collaborate to try and identify the source of your pain. They will start by looking at non-surgical care as part of a conservative pain management program, but surgery may be a consideration that your surgeon suggests. Your team will evaluate where you are having the most difficulties and look carefully at approaches that could benefit you in your current state.
3. The team will look at the types of rehabilitative therapy that may help, nest. They will provide support to help you manage the after-effects of their efforts, be it physical or psychological. Various support staff might be employed, including counselors, dieticians, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
4. Your team of healthcare specialists also work with your family and support team to make sure that they understand your needs and how they can best enhance your efforts in recovery and rehabilitation.
Chronic Pain Management in Your Life
Chronic pain management programs are unique because they go beyond your current circumstances and look at managing your pain in the long run.
The professionals on your team work together to develop goals, treatment plans and then monitor your progress toward desired outcomes. They provide feedback to you and those close to you who may be helping you on your journey toward a pain-free life.
Communication is key, but so is regular follow-up and progress evaluation. In some cases, that could mean consulting with your surgeon or specialist to see if additional surgeries are necessary. It also might mean talking to physical therapists to determine what types of rehabilitative activities may help you regain your physical abilities and reduce or eliminate your pain.
Sometime the approach that was initially decided upon will need to be altered or adjusted. By working as a team, the healthcare professionals on your case can help you make informed decisions about the next steps that will benefit you. A chronic pain management plan is highly individualized and personalized.
If you are ready to start managing your chronic pain or have questions about how a chronic pain management program can help you, call Arkansas Surgical Hospital (ASH) at (877) 918-7020. When you’re ready to take the first steps to living with less pain, ask your doctor to send you to Arkansas Surgical Hospital. Our specialists can help you understand your options and help you in designing a program to fit your needs and lifestyle.