Chronic pain is one of the most common conditions seen in health care facilities, and by its nature, it may be frustrating to both patients and health care providers alike. Yet, medical pain management, which forms the standard of care for patients with chronic pain, is in crisis due to the over-prescription of opioids and the associated opioid epidemic and accidental overdose deaths. Hence, there is a concerted effort to shift from pain management that relies on opioids to a comprehensive pain management approach that incorporates evidence-based nonpharmacological techniques: acupuncture, massage therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic manipulation, meditation, yoga, and diet.
Comprehensive pain management is intensive and attempts to deal with every aspect of a patient’s life. A team of health care providers addresses the physical, psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual needs of patients from the premise that healing requires to be whole—all aspects of life need to be united. The core team of health care providers in a comprehensive pain management program (CPMP) includes physicians, physiotherapists, and psychologists. In CPMP, medications are among the available tools.
Patients in CPMP are exposed to a range of pain management tools, including medications, and physicians who prescribe medications work with each patient to achieve an acceptable health-benefit ratio. In addition, patients are involved in regular exercises to improve flexibility, strength, endurance, and mobility. Upon completing the program, each patient can choose a subset of tools based on their needs.
A team of CPMP specialists at PCC:
- Assess and diagnose the cause and nature of chronic pain.
- Design a treatment plan for each patient.
- Identify patient-specific medical treatment to relieve and possibly eliminate the pain.
- Identify physical and psychological rehabilitative methods to help restore the patient’s functionality.
- Communicate with the referring health care providers to ensure that ongoing care is available upon the patient’s discharge from our program.