Medication, intervention, and surgical procedures often fall short when it comes to curing chronic pain issues. Pain can affect your work abilities and social and private lifestyle, thus strapping your relationships and throwing you into perpetual anguish. In such situations, the only option left for the patients is to reduce their activities to minimize their pain levels. Fortunately, rehabilitation programs offered by pain clinics in the US are showing a better way to claim back active lifestyle while managing chronic pain. Let us try to understand how.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is quite different from injury or physical damage related pain, which we call acute pain. Extended research on these sectors has finally proven that chronic pain is connected to our nervous system. When our nerves change (through damage or by other means) it can grow super-sensitive and turn effortless activities incredibly difficult to do. Chronic pain management programs follow various coping strategies and psychological reconditioning to reduce pain and restore a comparatively active lifestyle. These programs do not follow one but multiple treatment strategies taken from psychologists, doctors, and physical therapists to guide patients through the pain.
Goals of Chronic Pain Management Programs
Like any other medical treatment process, chronic pain rehab programs have their own set of goals. The program mainly revolves around offering patients various ways to manage pain on a day-to-day basis. Its goals are
- Offering a grip on anxiety, irritability, depression and other psychological problems.
- Helping patients avoid an addiction to pain medication.
- Reducing pain through relieving stress.
- Handling active lifestyle duties.
Strategies of these programs revolve around 'self-management'. The focus is on changing the lifestyle so that the sufferer can manage the pain with relative ease.
Pain Management Therapies
Pain clinics offering chronic pain management programs present different therapies, equipped enough to handle and reduce different degrees of pain. Research shows that these therapies can help in decreasing the pain levels by a whopping 40 percent. Here is a list of a few of the most popular therapies offered in pain clinics.
- Stretching exercises
- Pool therapy
- Core strengthening exercises
- Aerobic exercises
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Relaxation therapies
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Helping taper off non-narcotic medication usage
Research shows that almost 50 percent of people taking part in these therapies usually returns to a more active lifestyle.
The first step of chronic pain management programs is to accept that patients have to live with their pain. It can not be cured, but it is certainly possible to live with it, suppressing its intensity. As a second step, these clinics introduce coping strategies to manage pain. Let us take a quick peek of a few of these strategies:
- Exercising to generate endorphins as pain suppressant
- Cutting back on smoking and drinking alcohol
- Using massage therapy to release stress and tension
- Practicing deep breathing technique to relax easily
- Eating healthy to keep digestive process and blood pressure under control
Plus, there are aftercare services to help patients keep up with their new lifestyle. These services involve obtaining suggestions and psychological support from experts to stay on the track.
Living with chronic pain is unduly hard. But, the pain clinics help patients lead a normal lifestyle, as much as possible. Yes, it is a long and continuous process, but definitely something that offers hope to millions living with pain.