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How Palm Partners Treats Pain Recovery

Palm Partners Recovery Center knows how vital it is to address the multi-faceted needs of an individual experiencing chronic pain while in treatment for addiction. Someone struggling with severe pain should not only be working today building their own sense of well-being and functioning; they should also be focused on reclaiming their sense of purpose in a life of sobriety. Both physical and emotional pains are important issues, and the Pain Recovery Program is designed to provide a number of opportunities for effective and comprehensive healing for chronic pain patients.

Providing Options for Pain Recovery

The mission of our Pain Recovery Program is to assist the individual suffering in the process of reclaiming all aspects of their life. We utilize a comprehensive bio-psychosocial perspective while incorporating traditional treatment methods, along with state of the art, non-invasive technology and interventions.

Individuals participating in the Pain Recovery Program are given a variety of treatment opportunities that include:

  • Medication management
  • Physical therapy
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Massage
  • Muscle manipulation therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Biofeedback

Each person in the Pain Recovery Program will receive a personalized treatment plan based on comprehensive evaluations, their individual pain symptoms and their specific needs.

Connecting Pain and Addiction

It is important to understand how the two are so closely addiction and chronic pain are related when trying to work a recovery program. For example, some of the side effects of these two conditions often overlap.

Chronic pain and substance use disorder (SUD) have similar physical, social, emotional, and economic effects on health and well-being. In both cases, patients report adverse side effects like:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired functioning

In fact, symptoms of one can easily be confused for symptoms of the other, while both can end up intensifying each other.

Pain in the Brain

Chronic pain and addiction actually have many of the same exact neurophysiological patterns.
For instance: Chronic pain involves abnormal neural processing.

Coincidentally, addiction results when normal neural processes are altered into dysfunctional patterns, including disruptions in:

  • Memory
  • Reward systems
  • Stress responses

Experts say there is still a lot to learn about both of these conditions and their impact on the brain. For now, the Pain Recovery Program aims to help ease the mental exhaustion that can come from prolonged substance abuse and/or severe pain issues.

Emotional Response to Pain

Anyone who has suffered from chronic pain knows how hard it can be on your emotional wellbeing. The same issues of anxiety, depressive symptoms and insomnia that affect the brain also cause emotional distress. That is why gauging and effectively addressing emotional responses is also crucial to effective and lasting pain treatment.

The mental and emotional symptoms a patient experiences with chronic pain can also result in more physical pain. Even after these psychological causes have been addressed, the feedback effect can still be felt in the body.

Numerous studies over the years indicate that pain treatment in general has worse outcomes when depression is a factor. Some experts say they can actually predict how a pain syndrome will evolve based on the emotional status of the patient.

Emotions and SUD

When it comes to substance use disorder, emotional health is a core concept to lasting recovery. So many people use substances to try and numb themselves to their emotions, but this form of self-medication is often self-defeating.
People who use drugs often experience those same emotional responses like anxiety and depression as a result of their drug use. Substance use disorder causes hardships in an individual’s personal, social and professional life. These circumstances can feed into emotional turmoil. Not to mention the way certain drugs impact the brain.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be just as severe for these individuals as physical trauma.

A Complex Cycle

Depending on the circumstances, both addiction and chronic pain vary in intensity. In either case, there can be periods of remission when the pain subsides and things seem manageable for a time. Both conditions can require continuing management.

But more difficulty can arise with these two conditions, especially when treatment for one can either support or conflict with the other.

Case in point- narcotic pain medication could be a serious issue for someone with a history of substance use disorder. They may start taking medications to treat their pain, but it creates more pain, so they need more medications. Each time, one might seek stronger drugs, or increase their dosage. Eventually, it could lead to a serious health problem or even an overdose.

This is not to say that pain management medications are not important- because they absolutely are. However, for some people they might not be worth the risk.

But then if someone uses a narcotic prescription pain medication, such as opioid analgesics, it can create a physical dependence. Then when the substance is absent from the body the withdrawal symptoms set in.

Withdrawal and Pain

Withdrawal symptoms create an increase in physical and psychological stress when getting off of a substance. Again, we see how the withdrawal symptoms feed into the cycle of pain and self-medicating. The magnified pain frequently cause cravings for the substance an individual was relying on to provide relief.

Again, we see the cycle. The patient seeks relief from the pain through substances, only to experience more pain, and so-on. The Pain Recovery Program is about interrupting this self-destructive cycle with new, sustainable methods of pain management.

When someone is trying to get off of drugs on their own, they can end up causing themselves even more discomfort. That is why a safe medical detox is such a critical element of the Pain Recovery Program.

The Need for Treatment

Substance use disorder relating to prescription pain medication is still widely misunderstood. Sadly, some programs only try to treat the addiction. However, Palm Partners knows that if there is no way of addressing the chronic pain, it does not help the chances of successful recovery.

We believe that when treating those struggling with substance use disorder and chronic pain, it is essential to offer education on both conditions, while providing effective treatment opportunities simultaneously.

Primary care physicians are challenged to provide pain management opportunities for the U.S. population struggling with substance use disorder. Sadly, people recovering from addiction experiencing pain are less likely to receive adequate pain management than anyone else. Insufficient pain relief is a substantial risk factor for possible relapse into substance use.

Thankfully, professionals in the field of drug and alcohol addiction treatment are in a unique position to help address this issue. Experts believe that addiction specialists make significant contributions to the management of chronic pain in patients who suffer from substance use disorder. These kinds of professionals can:

  • Help create safeguards to assure any pain medication is taken appropriately
  • Reinforce behavioral and self-care components of pain management
  • Help individuals with strategies to reduce stress
  • Assess patients’ recovery support systems
  • Help to understand and identify relapse risks

Why the Pain Recovery Program?

The Palm Partners Pain Recovery Program is so impactful because we appreciate and emphasize the importance of balancing a patient’s recovery from substance abuse and treating their chronic pain symptoms. Experts say that the efficiency of treatment is enhanced when all medical and behavioral healthcare professionals involved collaborate as a team, and our Pain Recovery Program is designed to align all aspects of a patient’s treatment with a variety of experienced professionals and trainers.

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