Chronic Pain Rehabilitation

The Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at Lanarkshire Therapy Support was
started in 2006 and has helped more than 1,000 people since then. Chronic pain
affects millions, many of whom have tried multiple treatments without relief. Pain can
interfere with a person’s ability to work, participate in social and recreational
activities, and may affect relationships with family or friends. Over time people may
restrict their activities, which in turn, causes them to become less physically fit to the
point that even minor activities cause increased pain.

Research over the last 30 years has shown that acute pain, for example, that
associated with injury, illness, or surgery is mostly due to changes in injured tissues.
Chronic pain, in contrast, is mostly due to changes in the nervous system. These
changes increase its sensitivity to the point that even harmless stimulation may be
painful. While the pain that people experience is mostly a result of these neurological
changes, the changes in function and quality of life are more determined by general
health/fitness and psychological factors. The same is true of overall suffering.
Therefore the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program (CPRP) focuses primarily on
reconditioning and psychological coping strategies to ensure that chronic pain does
not take over a person’s life. When it has already done so, the goal is to restore the
person to their maximum level of comfort and function.

Treatment in the CPRP is provided by a team of specially trained therapists. By
combining several disciplines, we are able to deliver comprehensive care that targets
the multiple needs of those with chronic pain. Physical and occupational therapists
help regain strength, endurance, and flexibility. Therapists also help patients
understand, identify and change thoughts and feelings that can increase pain and
stress. Relaxation training, meditation and biofeedback-assisted therapy are used to
help patients learn to regulate the stress response that increases pain and suffering.
Education for the patient and family is a central focus of the program and is provided
by several disciplines.

About the program

Pain from an injury or disease usually subsides following medical care or disappears
spontaneously. But for over 60 million worldwide, there is no relief from the pain,
according to the National Institutes of Health. This type of pain is unresponsive to
conventional treatments. Living with chronic pain requires a change in mindset so
that the pain doesn’t evolve into a disability affecting daily activities, attitudes and
relationships. The CPRP addresses these issues with a multi-disciplinary team
skilled in managing chronic pain.

What does the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program involve?

The CPRP is a program with active treatment available Monday – Friday.

We create an individualized plan for each person. However, general components of
the program includes the following:

Treatment directed by pain management therapists
• Physical and occupational therapy exercise classes and individual sessions
as appropriate
• Medication advice (typically weaning unhelpful medications and trials of nonaddicting
medications for chronic pain)
• Biofeedback training
• Cognitive behavioural therapy
• Psychotherapies to improve coping, and reduce the anxiety and depression
that can result from pain and disability
Vocational rehabilitation
• Chemical dependency education if indicated
• Family education and counselling
• Relaxation training.

How long does the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program take?

Most people who are seriously disabled and suffering from chronic pain require
several weeks to be able to function well and begin to feel joyous and productive.
Some people are doing well and able to self-manage in 4 weeks, while others may
require more than 12 weeks to achieve their goals. Of course, this is only a start, and
working to maintain wellness will need to become a way of life for a benefit to endure.

Aftercare services

After completing the program, patients are encouraged to continue with the Section
of Pain Medicine’s follow-up services. Aftercare programs include free monthly
relapse prevention and coping skills groups. CPRP graduates can also schedule reassessment
days.

What should you hope for?

Every person with chronic pain wants it to go away. Unfortunately, chronic pain is
generally not curable, although television and the Internet are full of ads suggesting
otherwise. Many find it hard to visualize having a life that is both fun and productive
in the presence of chronic pain; however, our patients do it every day. People
commonly arrive depressed, in severe pain, confined to wheelchairs and walkers,
and are surprised to find themselves laughing and playing sports after only a few
weeks. Although most patients experience a reduction in pain, our most important
goal is to help restore your quality of life.

Could Arthritis injections Help?

So what is it?

Normally, a fluid called hyaluronan lubricates your joints. If you have osteoarthritis, your supply of hyaluronan has thinned.

The procedure is simple. Your therapist injects hyaluronic acid directly into the area around your knee joint. Most people get a shot a week for 3 to 5 weeks.

What to Consider

Usually, people only try hyaluronan when treatments like physical therapy, exercise, and injections with painkillers and steroids don’t provide enough help.

One advantage is that the side effects, such as swelling and discomfort in the area of your skin where you get the shot, are mild. Since the risks are small, your therapist may think that hyaluronan is worth a try, especially if your only other option is surgery.

Hyaluronan may also be a good choice if you have trouble with side effects of other treatments. For instance, some people can’t take common painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because of the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. And steroid injections, another common treatment for osteoarthritis, can harm your joints if overused.

If you have medical insurance check with your insurance company before you start this treatment. Some cover the injections, but not all do.

If you think this may help your condition then please give us a call. Our highly trained injection therapists will discuss the process and advise on the best course of action.