Patients with chronic pain face a host of life stresses, both physical and psychological. Many feel challenged and defeated by the medical system as they become frustrated by the lack of clear cut diagnosis and search for a cure that does not materialize. They seek consultations with multiple specialists and are bewildered by the various medical opinions given. They are repeatedly disappointed by treatment failures and are sometimes made worse by well-meaning physicians who are trying to help. The chronic pain patient may ultimately feel betrayed by the medical system and abandoned by their physicians. Financial hardship is common and is exacerbated by lost work time and medical expenses. As pain persists, patients may lose hope and motivation and feel increasingly depressed, anxious and isolated. Relationships become strained and life complications mount. Pain may come to control and dominate all aspects of life as the individual spirals downward into a dysfunctional condition called “chronic pain syndrome”.
Nura’s Wellness Coaching staff comprises a team of licensed psychologists, counselors, and therapists who understand the psychological devastation that chronic pain may cause. The Nura Wellness team utilizes both individual and group therapy to help patients develop strategies to effectively manage the psychological and emotional components of their pain problem.
For selected patients, we offer our Nura Chronic Pain Program, which is a widely respected, psychology-based treatment program with a proven track record of success outlined in published outcome studies. During this four-week program, patients learn relaxation techniques, practice stress management and master a therapeutic exercise regimen designed to build core strength and physical confidence. Our goals are to reduce dependence on narcotic pain medications and to minimize healthcare visits by promoting effective self-management.
The psychologists and therapists at Nura recognize the many ways in which individuals with chronic pain may suffer. We recognize too that some patients are hesitant to meet with a mental health provider. These patients may feel that a referral to a mental health specialist implies that their pain is “psychological,” or “all in your head.” From the outset we make efforts to actively listen and to develop constructive communication with our patients that will change attitudes and lives over time.
The Wellness division at Nura is dedicated to helping patients accept and effectively adjust to the changes brought about by chronic pain. In our Chronic Pain Program as well as in our group and individual therapy sessions, patients are educated and challenged to think about their pain in a fundamentally different light. We promote the belief that patients must accept their pain to some degree in order to master it. Once a patient has come to accept, even to a small degree, that they are not likely to be “cured” of their pain, they become more open to making productive changes in their daily lives. At this stage, patients are ready to learn ways to self manage pain through relaxation response, distraction, biofeedback, exercise, goal setting and stress management.
Patients may choose individual or group therapy sessions or, if willing and able, may participate in our intensive four-week Chronic Pain Program. Those interested in attending the Chronic Pain Program but unable to do so because of insurance or employment issues, may participate in ’Living Well with Pain”, a modified version of our Chronic Pain Program that is provided after-hours for those who are working full time.
Nura’s Wellness Coaches and staff members work closely with our physical therapists and interventional pain physician specialists to provide the most comprehensive care possible. We teach that, although a person’s pain may never be completely “cured,” it can be effectively managed, and we strive to help our patients to lead healthy, happy, and meaningful lives despite chronic pain. We truly believe that wellness pain management can work miracles for patients with even the most complex chronic pain disorders.
Other key components of Nura’s approach include:
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