Chronic pain is a pain lasting beyond six months secondary to a condition affecting either a specific part of the body or the whole body. The standard modalities of treatment such as rest, medications and surgery do not provide adequate benefit for patients with chronic pain. Persistent chronic pain can result in narcotic dependence, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, physical weakness, mood disturbance, and depression. This condition is known as chronic pain syndrome.
In certain cases, chronic pain syndrome may progress to a more severe condition known as catastrophic chronic pain syndrome (CCPS).
Hyperalgesia is a condition characterized by increased sensitivity to the pain that can be secondary to chronic pain syndromes or drugs such as narcotics and benzodiazepines.
Chronic pain syndrome may be associated withvariousdisease conditions including:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Nerve damage
- Multiple sclerosis
- Gastrointestinal illness
- Joint degeneration
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Other chronic medical conditions
Pain rehabilitation includes various interventions such as muscle reactivation, physical therapy, biofeedback training, education classes, psychotherapy, nutritional instruction, family counseling, chemical detoxification and medical management intended to reduce pain and improve function in individuals suffering from chronic pain and other related conditions. Pain rehabilitation programs may last from 6 days to 6 weeks or longer, depending upon the condition of the patient.
Types of pain rehabilitation
Based on the severity of the condition, involvement of the medical staff, and the condition of the patient, pain rehabilitation programs can be categorized into three types:
- Primary or acute care
- Secondary rehabilitation
- Tertiary rehabilitation
Primary care includes simple non-surgical interventions for the management of symptoms causing pain. This program may last for 6-8 weeks.
Secondary rehabilitation is given to patients not responding to primary care; it requires a large team of doctors and therapists from different specialties and the treatment lasts for 4-6 months.
Tertiary rehabilitation is given to patients with critical conditions; it employs advance facilities and focuses on the different aspects and requirements of the individual patient.
Pain rehabilitation is used for the management of patients suffering from chronic pain conditions. It is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team, with the objective to restore the physical and mental health of the patient and also to help the patients perform their daily routine activities without any pain or discomfort.