One of the primary goals of the Addiction-Free Pain Management® (APM) System is to provide concurrent treatment for someone with chronic pain and coexisting disorders including addiction. The APM™ System requires a multidisciplinary collaborative teamwork approach where the patient is the team Captain.
There are three core components of APM™. All three parts are equally important but let me start with the Clinical Components. The first component – the Core Clinical Process – uses the APM™ Workbook exercises which apply cognitive behavioral and affective therapy interventions while implementing a manualized treatment approach. The next component – Medication Management – uses safe and effective medical approaches. The third component – Non-Pharmacological approaches – uses proactive pain management interventions.
The Core Clinical Processes use a strategic set of treatment protocols. One of the first tasks is to asses the physical versus psychological components of pain. This is followed by patients identifying their self-defeating medication use or other ineffective pain management strategies. A motivational approach is used to help patients make better pain management decisions. Once patients are willing and they sign a medication management agreement, they need tools to cope with both cravings and pain flare ups. These cravings are usually triggered by high risk situations; so it is crucial to teach patients to identify and learn to manage high risk situations.
The final protocol is teaching patients how to develop a recovery plan designed to more effectively manage their pain and learn relapse prevention tools for their addictive disorder. The next component involves collaboration with addiction medicine specialists to implement effective medication management. The specialists’ first task is to asses for risk or level of an addictive disorder and screen for identifiable red flags of problematic medication use. Once this has been done the correct type, dose and delivery system must be determined.
The medical professional is also a part of the collaborative medication management team discussed in the core clinical components. Finally the medical professional will determine if there is a need for any other medical procedures such as epidural injections, trigger point injections or other interventional procedures.
The third component – nonpharmacological approaches – are often the most important interventions that help patients develop proactive pain management strategies such as relaxation response training which teaches patients how to reduce their stress levels and their pain symptoms. Other patients benefit from acupuncture or acupressure while others respond to chiropractic; either low impact or the activator method.
Physical therapy and hydrotherapy are often recommended for many pain conditions. Some patients with a spiritual or religious background could benefit from prayer and meditation. The major point I want to make here is the only limitation for the nonpharmacological approaches is your imagination and that of your patients.
This has been a brief overview of the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. If you want to learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System for chronic pain management please check out our website at www.addiction-free.com and go to our Publications page and check out my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To look for my upcoming trainings please go to our Calendar page. If you want to learn more about the different stages and phases of chronic pain management you can find my article The Stages and Phases of Concurrent Treatment that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
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