EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC PAIN
|Keeping the person at the center
Effective treatment puts you at the center of all the planning. Pain doesn’t happen to a back or an ankle, it happens to person and people perceive and respond to pain differently. When you can get a clear picture of the pain in your life and how you can actively cope with it, you will be able to get on with living your life.
Recovery benefits the person at the center
Our patients tell us that our services benefit them by improving the quality of their lives, actually reducing the impact of pain on their lives, having better relationships with family and friends and creating better communication with their healthcare team. To reach these outcomes we work to help you identify what is bring you a sense of personal meaning and that becomes the center around which the recovery process revolves.
Personal meaning: Chronic pain undermines your sense of self and creates an identity crisis
People who can’t have what they used to have or do what they used to do may feel like they can’t really be themselves. There are many losses and much confusion about how to move forward in life. Even the most competent and priviledged person is challenged to make the adjustments necessary for recovery. Our role is to assist our clients in making the adjustments that get their lives back on track.
Recovering from chronic pain
Recovery means getting your life back. It comes by identifying the issues, learning what resources are needed to address those issues, and then putting in place the support required to bring it all together. We collaborate with our clients, their families and their healthcare providers to help them take small steps that make a big difference.
Planning for change
We work with people to develop detailed plans in three areas:
What you care about is what you care about. Knowing what that is and how you want to live your life is fundamental to a sense of who you are as a person. It is the well-spring of a life well lived.
|Personal meaning brings the sense that we are flourishing in our lives
You are the only person who can know what brings meaning into your life and what that meaning is. This is one of the truly awesome and mysterious things about being a human being. Some people are joyful in great poverty and deprivation while other living in luxury are dissatisfied.
Only you know what makes you flourish
The fact is that everybody does not agree about what “the good life” is. That leads us to believe that the meaning is in the person, not the event. And our approach to assisting people recovery from pain is to learn what is important from their point of view and use their definition as the standard for the good life.
You can see it in what you choose to value
You don’t have to be a philosopher to make statements about what is important to you. It is in the things you like to do for fun: the movies you enjoy, the music you listen to, the people you like to hang out with. It is in the things you’ve learned to do: the things you like or liked in school, the things you like to learn more about on your own time, the job you have, your accomplishments. It is in the challenges you’ve faced, the dreams you have for your future and stories you tell about your past.
It is the foundation for self-directed change
The effort needed to recover from chronic pain is easier to sustain when it brings you closer to the life you want for yourself.
The physical plan provides a coordinated summary of medical and complimentary health interventions that provides a basic understanding of your physical situation that can be adjusted as treatments progress.
|The need for clarity and coherence
Many people with chronic pain experience the difficulty of not having a coherent plan that helps them understand enough about their physical situation that they know what activities are safe, which are unsafe. Sometime people aren’t certain what types of treatment interventions would be helpful to pursue to achieve recovery.
The need to make good decisions
The medical experts may not agree about the best treatments or the experts may deal with their specialty but leave the overall understanding of the situation to the patient. Without clear guidance, people feel at a loss about how to make decisions about treatment interventions that are comprehensive and realistic.
New Options’ Pain Specialists help you put it all together
It is our experience that most medical and complimentary healthcare providers are very interested in helping their patients regain healthy functioning. Given the realities of healthcare provision, most are prevented from taking the lead role in developing an overall plan for patient care. However, most are willing to collaborate with us to develop such a plan. New Options endeavors to build a clear picture of a person’s physical situation because we know that pain in the body and emotional pain are intertwined.
The psychological plan includes stress reduction techniques, coping skills, underlying beliefs and attitudes and emotion management that create a sense of personal well-being.
|Your psychology and stress
Pain, especially chronic pain, affects the feelings, moods, thinking and behavior of the person experiencing pain. It creates new stresses and makes other stressors more difficult to deal with. Often people are unaware of the extent of this impact and find that their usual coping techniques just aren’t working. Often the psychological issues are left unrecognized and untreated or misunderstood by both the patient and their medical providers.
The problem with underestimating the power of your mind
Untreated these issues can contribute significantly and negatively to your pain experience as well as inhibiting your recovery. A psychological plan can be developed to address each of these experiences and issues with the goal of minimizing or eliminating their negative impact.
Developing the psychologically-centered treatment plan
The psychological plan is focused on using a individual’s psychological strengths to improve the quality of their life. It has four elements:
1. We develop a clear understanding of current emotional states, thought patterns, moods and stressors and determine how your are managing these issues with your current coping skills and style.
2. If we find areas where your current skill level needs to be strengthened, we design a plan that develops alternative coping strategies to maximize stress reduction.
3. We use the psychological plan as a guideline to keep you at the center of all other treatment activities and to insure that all treatment contributes to you recapturing your life.
4. Finally, we collaborate in using ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of this plan in promoting recovery and to make adjustments as needed.