What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain can be defined as:
- Pain that persists for longer than six months.
- Pain that has been caused a significant change in a person's lifestyle or personality.
- Pain that persists despite appropriate medical and/or surgical therapy.
Key aspects of comprehensive pain management.
Comprehensive pain management entails an accurate and complete diagnosis. Frequently, well-qualified internists of family practice physicians simply do not have the expertise to appropriately treat chronic pain. Too often that leads to over-medicating or improperly medicating the patient.
Comprehensive pain management involves a well-coordinated therapy plan including medical care, behavioral health, and physical therapy/rehab. Coordinating all these components helps each phase of care to reinforce the others.
Regular follow-up and reassessment is essential to appropriately monitor how effective the plan of care is at controlling the level of pain each patient experiences.