Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science, popularized the notion of a scientific paradigm in the second half of the 20th century and since then almost every significant change in a field of study gets characterized as a paradigm shift. So, it is a bit of a cliché to talk of the paradigm shift that is going on in the field of chronic pain management. Nonetheless, it is true. We are actually witnessing it happening.
If you have chronic pain, you also have to deal with stigma. Stigma is the disapproval by others for how you are coping with pain. Friends, loved ones, employers, and even healthcare providers can judge you in any number of ways. They might disapprove when you rest or nap, or if you don’t work, or if you take narcotic pain medications. Such critical judgments from others are stigma.
Your injury was many months ago. You initially saw your primary care provider who sent you to a pain clinic. The provider at the pain clinic who evaluated you may have been a surgeon who told you to come back after you have gone to the interventional pain provider and physical therapist. You subsequently underwent evaluations and started care with each of these providers. You had this procedure and that procedure. You went to physical therapy. You did it all in the hopes that they would find the source of the pain and fix it. None of it really worked, though.
It would be nice if once you were diagnosed with chronic pain your provider would hand you an instruction manual. It could be titled something like, “How to Navigate the Healthcare System When It Comes to Chronic Pain.”
The Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP) would like to welcome a guest post by Jen of Pain Camp. Camper Jen, as she goes by, is the founder of Pain Camp, which is a wonderful blog and website on chronic pain from the perspective of someone who has chronic pain and who has participated in a chronic pain rehabilitation program. Her site, as well as her personal story, is one of how to go from SURVIVING to THRIVING despite having chronic pain. Her spirit is admirable and her testimony is inspiring.
Body in Mind - Research into the role of the brain and mind in chronic pain. HealthSkills - Skills for healthy living for health professionals working in chronic pain management. How to Cope with Pain - A resource for those with chronic pain, their families and friends, and for those who treat patients with chronic pain. My Cuppa Jo - A blog that offers insights and practical tips on living life to the fullest despite having chronic pain. Pain Camp - Tools to manage your pain so you can move on with life.
How do you know if you are ready to participate in a chronic pain rehabilitation program?
Chronic pain rehabilitation programs defined
Chronic pain rehabilitation programs are a traditional form of chronic pain management.
The Institute for Chronic Pain is a public policy ‘think tank’ devoted to grounding chronic pain management on the principles of empirical-based healthcare. We maintain a health information website (www.instituteforchronicpain.org) specifically for chronic pain and its various treatments. We bring together leading scholars and clinicians to provide academic-quality information that is approachable to patients, their families, and third-party payers.
People often equate rehabilitation with physical therapy. It’s something a patient does following an injury or a complicated surgery. Still others think of rehab as a treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction. A few years ago, a British soul singer had a hit single with the song “Rehab." The lyrics were about whether to check herself into substance dependence treatment or not. Rehabilitation can also be a form of vocational counseling. Injured workers re-learn how to go back to work in what’s called vocational rehabilitation.
It often comes as a surprise to patients that chronic pain rehabilitation programs are typically the most effective form of treatment for patients with chronic (non-cancer) pain syndromes. As a society, we tend to assume that medications, procedures and surgeries are not only effective, but are the most effective treatments for chronic pain. But, it’s not the case.
The Institute for Chronic Pain is saddened by the recent outbreak of fungal meningitis from tainted steroid used in interventional pain management procedures. As of this writing, over 400 cases have been reported and 29 deaths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who are ill and to the families of those who have lost their lives.
Date of last modification: 11/4/2012
Author: Murray J. McAllister, PsyD