PCP’s Program for Achieving Control of Chronic Pain – A Map of How to Get There
•I may benefit from a new approach at controlling my pain
•I might benefit from alternative treatments like acupuncture, hypnosis, regular physical exercise, or herbal medicine
•I will consider medication management and other treatment options
•Work with my doctor and others to reduce my use of narcotics for pain
•Help develop a new approach using non-narcotic medications at controlling my pain
•PCP’s Pain Treatment Group
•Individual Counseling and Training
•Mindfulness Pain Support Group Classes
•Referral and participation
•Physical Therapy Sessions/ Home PT exercises
•Home PT can be continued
•My diet could be improved to reduce pain/inflammation, control my weight, give me more energy: Dietitian appointment or information
•I should stop smoking tobacco or marijuana: Smoking cessation
•Keep working and advancing, avoiding things that can lead to setbacks or treatment failures.
Having a painful condition that requires chronic treatment that doesn’t fully respond can be frustrating. Your physician wants you to be aware of a more effective treatment plan for pain control than narcotic pain medications. This treatment plan involves tapping your body’s own ability to change the way pain affects your health, opening up a chance to reduce medications, improve your sense of well-being, and increase your ability to do the things you used to do or want to try, all while decreasing your need for healthcare (office and emergency room visits). The treatment is clinically proven and has no side effects. And it’s being offered to you at little or no cost. There are several parts of the treatment and each part may not be appropriate for you, but if your doctor feels a treatment would be helpful, you are asked to participate to the best of your ability.
Physical therapy– Newer methods in physical therapy have been developed over the last decade and many patients haven’t had the opportunity to benefit from these. Physical therapy is a science that can unlock your inner ability to perform movements with less pain and open up a world that allows you to do more with less pain. You may be asked to restart physical therapy with a therapist who is an expert in these newer techniques. Gentle techniques and a slow but steady approach that builds on your accomplishments can take you beyond what you think you can do.
Mindfulness-based Techniques for Pain Control– To learn the power of the mind over your pain, you only need to attend 6 sessions and practice what you’ve learned at home. The center of this program is learning how to relax and use your mind to focus it away from pain and stress. Many people who use this method feel that their pain is transformed into something that no longer controls their lives, requires much less medication and note improvements in other areas of their lives, including their blood pressure, anxiety, and ability to focus.
Medication management– High doses of opioids may be identified as potentially preventing you from improving your pain and also putting you at risk for serious problems or worse. You may be asked to work with our office to slowly reduce your medications under the supervision of your doctor, and be in regular contact with a healthcare professional such as a nurse or pharmacist to help you do this smoothly and safely. This is typically done while you are improving your pain control using the methods of mindfulness and with physical therapy.
Individual Counseling– Some patients need assistance with problems or concerns that a professional counselor or psychologist is trained to help. Oftentimes, whether we realize it or not, pain may have a hidden component of grief, suffering, or misery that can’t be treated with medications. Unmasking these pieces of your pain can provide you with the power to use the methods above with much greater success.
Other treatments– New treatments for pain are available and many are drug-free. You may benefit from these. Things like anti-inflammatory diets, an external electrical stimulator, acupuncture, herbal therapies, and smoking cessation. One or several of these can be helpful on the road to better control of your pain.
Map components- Start (checkboxes below)
□ You have chronic pain, require treatment with daily opioids, and report less than satisfactory control of your pain or it interferes with your enjoyment of life
□ You do not have any physical or psychological condition that would prevent you from engaging in treatment (some treatments may be still be appropriate and helpful)
□ You would benefit from physical therapy
□ You would benefit and are willing to learn mindfulness techniques to control your pain
□ You are taking high doses of narcotic pain relievers and may benefit from dose reduction and other therapies
□ You may benefit from other treatments such as counseling, dietary information, smoking cessation