Coping with pain can be a difficult challenge, especially when it begins to interfere with your ability to lead a normal life. Chronic pain from an illness, injury or surgery can become both physically and psychologically debilitating, leading to a breakdown in your interpersonal relationships and your ability to perform your job and other day-to-day tasks. If youíre suffering the consequences of intense chronic pain, a pain management treatment program can put you back on track to living the life you once had.
Pain treatment programs provide various forms of treatment to help you minimize and manage your pain. These treatments include medications, therapies, mind-body techniques, counseling and physical health regimens. For those who don’t want to use prescription painkillers for fear of developing an addiction, these programs often offer holistic care and all-natural treatments. They also teach coping strategies that are equally powerful alternatives to medicate-based treatment.
There are many different types of pain treat programs, so patients are urged to research their options and ask questions before committing to a program. Here are seven tips on choosing the right pain treatment program.
1. What type of pain do they treat? Different types of pain are caused by different conditions, and each condition requires specific expertise. Not every pain treatment program will be equipped to properly handle your specific needs. Ask about the program’s expertise regarding your type of pain and the condition that caused it.
2. Do they offer comprehensive treatment? A multidisciplinary approach is the most effective way to combat chronic pain. Make sure the program provides a combination of pain treatments that include the following: group therapy, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback training, TENS units, family counseling, aftercare, etc.
3. Is the program inpatient or outpatient? Each person’s individual needs will determine if inpatient or outpatient care is needed. If you need to undergo detoxification from prescription painkillers, inpatient care is recommended. Otherwise, the choice between inpatient and outpatient care will be up to you and your doctorís recommendation.
4. Is it convenient? You should choose a pain management program that’s convenient for you and your family, especially if its outpatient care. Choose a program thatís close to your home and place of work so that you can easily travel between the program and your other responsibilities. Also, find out if it offers flexible hours that meet your scheduling needs.
5. Do they offer holistic treatments? Holistic treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation and herbal remedies are extremely effective alternatives to traditional prescription-medication treatment. Find out if all-natural treatments are part of the overall pain management plan.
6. Who runs the program? A good pain treatment program should be run by a qualified medical staff that is trained in pain management techniques. Look for a program that’s run by some of the following specialists: physician, registered nurse, psychiatrist or psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, biofeedback therapist, family counselor, vocational counselor, massage (for an additional cost)therapist, etc.
7. Can your family be involved in your care? Chronic pain doesnít just affect the individual suffering from it; it also affects everyone whoís close to the individual. Choose a program that requires family involvement, including education sessions for family members and joint counseling for you and your family.