An important part of developing an effective pain management plan is obtaining an accurate understanding of what effective pain management really means. I believe that effective pain management requires a three part approach: (1) A medication management plan—developing an effective medication management agreement; (2) A cognitive-behavioral treatment plan—addressing pain versus suffering by better managing your thinking and feelings as well as changing any self-defeating behaviors and problematic social/family reactions; and (3) A nonpharmacological (non-medication) pain management plan—developing safer ways to manage pain.
Refining your Personal Pain Management Plan
An effective pain management plan starts with an accurate assessment of your presenting problems, your strengths, weaknesses, support system, as well as any obstacles that could sabotage your pain management. This usually requires a multi-disciplinary approach that includes an in-depth medical history and physical by your doctor followed by appropriate medical diagnostic testing.
One of the first treatment decisions needs to be whether or not modification to your medication plan is necessary. If it is necessary then you need to determine whether inpatient medical assist is necessary or you can do it on an outpatient basis with your doctor’s guidance. This is where you develop your personalized appropriate medication management plan—you’ll see Mary and Mark’s revised medication management plans in the next chapter.
Do You Need Medication Modification?
If modifications to your medications are made you may need some craving management tools to help you adhere to your new plan and ways, in addition to your medication, to handle pain flare ups. You also need to develop and implement non-pharmacological pain management interventions.
As you continue with your pain management planning it is important to continue learning even more non-pharmacological, holistic pain management tools. Then you need to develop an initial relapse prevention plan that will help you identify your high-risk situations for ineffective pain management or self-sabotage. It is crucial to have a relapse prevention plan in place that addresses both your high risk pain situations as well as any core psychological or other coexisting issues such as depression.
To learn more about relapse prevention for better chronic pain management check out my article Relapse Prevention and Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on August 5-7, 2010. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
To learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System, please check out my article The Need for Multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Treatment that you can download for free on our Ariticles page. This article also gives an overview of my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Workbook.To purchase this book please Click Here.
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