Pain ClinicThe goal of pain management programs is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life - physically, emotionally and socially. Pain management techniques assist in reducing the suffering experienced by a person with chronic pain.
In order to help reach these goals, pain management programs may include the following:
- medical management of chronic pain, including medication management
- heat and cold treatments to reduce the stiffness and pain, especially with joint disorders such as arthritis
- physical and occupational therapy interventions such as massage and whirlpool treatments
- exercise to reduce spasticity, joint contractures, joint inflammations, spinal alignment problems, or muscle atrophy (weakening and shrinking) to prevent further problems
- local electrical stimulation involving application(s) of brief pulses of electricity to nerve endings under the skin to provide pain relief in some chronic pain patients
- nerve blocks and regional anesthesia
- emotional and psychological support for pain, which may include the following:
- psychotherapy and group therapy
- stress management
- relaxation training
- behavior modification
- assertiveness training
The philosophy common to all of these varied psychological approaches is the belief that patients can do something on their own to control their pain, including changing attitudes, feelings, or behaviors associated with pain, or understanding how unconscious forces and past events have contributed to pain.
- patient and family education and counseling
- alternative medicine and therapy treatments, as appropriate
Surgery may also be considered for chronic pain. Surgery can bring release from pain, but may also destroy other sensations as well, or become the source of new pain. Relief is not necessarily permanent, and pain may return. There are a variety of operations to relieve pain. Consult your physician for more information.