A pain management rehabilitation
program is designed to meet your needs. The program will depend on the specific type of
pain, disease, or condition. Active involvement by you and your family is vital to the
success of the program.
The goal of a pain management
program is to help you return to the highest level of function and independence
possible, while improving your overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and
socially. Pain management techniques help reduce your suffering.
To help reach these goals, pain management programs may include:
Medical management of chronic pain, including medicine management:
medicines may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
aspirin, or acetaminophen.
medicines, including opioids, may be needed to provide stronger pain relief.
However, these drugs are reserved for more severe types of pain, as they
have some potential for abuse. They may also have unpleasant and potentially
dangerous side effects.
antidepressants can help some people. These medicines increase the supply
of the naturally produced neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Serotonin is an important part of a pain-controlling pathway in the
- Adjuvant medicines may be advised to help control the side
effects or to help increase the pain-relieving effects of pain medicines.
Heat and cold treatments to
reduce stiffness and pain, especially with joint problems such as arthritis
Physical and occupational therapy such as massage and whirlpool treatments
Exercise to prevent further
problems and reduce spasticity, joint contractures, joint inflammation, spinal
alignment problems, or muscle weakening and shrinking
Local electrical stimulation involving application(s) of brief pulses of electricity to nerve endings under the skin to provide pain relief
Injection therapies, such as epidural steroid injection
Emotional and psychological
support, which may include:
The philosophy common to all of the
psychological approaches to pain management is the belief that you can do things on your
own to control pain. This includes changing your attitudes, your perception of being a
victim, your feelings, or your behaviors associated with pain. It also may include
understanding how unconscious forces and past events have contributed to your pain.
These goals may be accomplished with:
Patient and family education and counseling
Alternative medicine and therapy treatments, as appropriate
In addition, treatment may include
Surgery may be considered.
But although surgery can bring release from pain, it may also destroy other
sensations 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 doctor or more information.
Acupuncture, a 2,000-year-old
Chinese technique of inserting fine needles under the skin at selected points in
the body, has shown some promise in the treatment of chronic pain. Needles are
manipulated by the practitioner to produce pain relief.