Chronic pain is defined by its length (more than six months) and its resistance to conventional therapies. Acute pain is defined as pain that lasts 30 days or less. If you have chronic pain, there is help. Chronic Pain Syndrome is not the same as acute pain or recurrent acute pain. Acute pain is due to actual or pending tissue damage. Its duration is short and its psychosocial consequences are minimal. A person’s perception of acute pain and behavior following the onset of acute pain are commensurate with the inciting event. Acute pain resolves as healing occurs.
If you are not getting relief, if pain persists, working in conjunction with a pain team is the best way to treat and manage your pain. Once pain sets in for an extended period of time, the brain loses its equilibrium. People with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion “never shuts up,” Techniques like Hypnosis, Biofeedback, Acupuncture, Yoga, Physical Therapy, Stress Management, Medication (non-narcotic), Meditation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) all help quiet the brain and retrain it to redirect the pain signals, relax and reduce the stress associated with chronic pain. Sometimes, pain circuits get stuck in a loop and continue to fire even after tissue has healed; therefore, retraining the brain is necessary.
Chronic pain can be managed without mind numbing opiates. A multidisciplinary team of doctors, counselors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, chemical dependency counselors provide the resources to take back control of your life after suffering from chronic pain. The PaRC or Prevention and Recovery Center at Memorial Hermann Hospital has just opened an inpatient Pain and Recovery Treatment Program. If you are relying on mind numbing medications to relieve your pain and it is no longer helping, it may be time for you to obtain new tools and techniques from this team of pain management experts. There is help and relief for a chronic pain condition. For more information, feel free to contact me to learn more about this new resource. If you wish to speak to the Pain Program Manager directly, contact Dr. Christie Taylor at 713-329-7569.