Our education blogs below are a great way to gain new knowledge into what may be going on inside the mind and body. If any questions develop, I’d like to invite you to reach out to our team.
Chronic pain is more than a physical condition. It is also a physical, psychological, and neurological condition.
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both prescription pain medications and illegal substances like heroin. When used as prescribed by a doctor, opioids are effective in treating chronic pain. However, long-term opioid use can lead to addiction.
Intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment is a level of care for those who have symptoms that do not merit a detoxification or residential program and 24-hour supervision, or have recently completed treatment at a detoxification or residential program. Patients receiving IOP require more intensive treatment and support than traditional outpatient therapy. IOP is an appropriate treatment option for people who still need frequent contact with treatment therapists to manage their risk of relapse by understanding emotional/cognitive processes and building proper coping skills.
Medical marijuana has been growing in popularity over the last several years. As of August 2018, 30 states including Arizona have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes. Studies show it is effective in treating conditions such as chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, with some even suggesting it may be a way to fight the opioid epidemic the U.S.
Opioids have been used for medication and recreation for millennia, but it’s only been in the last few years that the modern pharmaceutical variants have become so widely misused that they’ve been implicated in one of the worst addiction crises in the U.S. Each day, more than 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose, and unlike other addictive drugs, many who abuse opioids have them legally prescribed by their doctor.1 Despite nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse, these drugs are still, in many cases, being overprescribed to treat pain when less damaging alternatives may be available.
Like thousands of everyday Americans, professional athletes sometimes turn to drugs such as opiates, marijuana and cocaine to cope with stress and challenges in their careers or to treat physical injuries. They may also use steroids to gain an edge over the competition.
Prescription drug abuse is a rapidly growing concern in America. Although most people use prescription drugs as they’re intended, about 20 percent of Americans 12 and older have misused a prescription drug during their lifetime.1 Young people especially are at risk for developing an addiction to prescription drugs after misuse.
The United States is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic. As of 2017, more than 90 people die of opioid overdose every day, and in 2015, an estimated 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids in some way.1,2 The severity of opioid addiction has only increased since the 1990s, partially because doctors unknowingly prescribed too many painkillers to the general population and partially because pharmaceutical companies intentionally or otherwise misled the public about opioids’ true effects.
Many people in today’s fast paced society have a love/hate relationship with sleep and that relationship can be even worse with chronic pain patients. According to the CDC, some 50 to 70 million American adults suffer from sleep disorders or the inability to stay awake and alert.
Freedom is defined as "The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." In this country we are blessed to have the RIGHT to enjoy many freedoms that are embodied by the quote above. However, I think it is interesting that freedom is defined as the "power or right" to it, not simply the feeling of being Free.
The body is extremely intelligent. Everything it does, it does for optimal survival.
Exercise and physical activity is often the last thing someone wants to do if they are experiencing pain. When an individual is living in chronic pain, they often adapt their lifestyle habits over a period of months, or even years, to include as little physical activity as possible for fear of creating more pain. These behaviors only facilitate continuation of the cycle of chronic pain.
Chronic pain is most commonly defined as lingering pain that lasts more than three months. Oftentimes, this type of pain is the result of an injury or developed condition and can be difficult to cope with.
Psychotherapy may not “cure” chronic pain or make your problems go away, but it can help you develop coping tools to manage your pain and empower you to perceive yourself and your life in a healthy way. You may have preconceived notions on what psychotherapy is:.
Our nation has become used to the standard doctor-patient relationship: 15-minute appointments (if you’re lucky) and in-and-out of the doctor’s office as quickly as possible. The medical provider will most often address the patient’s needs at hand, provide a diagnosis, and offer a treatment option before sending the patient on their way. Most times, patients and medical providers don’t have the time or opportunity to get further acquainted.
Work related injuries present a variety of treatment paths that an injured claimant may embark upon, depending on the severity and complexity of the injury. Often times, the more complex cases result in an ongoing loop of treatment and medical exams for the patient, and never-ending costs for the payor.
Seeking the right treatment program can be both daunting and intimidating. To help ease this process, it encouraged to do some research, tour facilities, and speak with the staff to determine what might be the best program for you. Depending on each person’s individual need, a referral to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be recommended to promote functional rehabilitation, recovery from narcotic detoxification, or psychological health development.
Everyone knows that the holidays are on their way and that they are the busiest time of year! Once October hits there is a Holiday every month until March. With weeks and weeks of craziness it's no surprise this is also the season that people get sick and physical pain flares up. If you love the holidays and want to fully embrace them but find yourself drained and in pain throughout the busy months, try to approach them differently. Here are a few tips that can help you deal with, and even avoid, physical pain during the busy season.
Healing the mind is a very important aspect when working on overall healing of the body. There are various methods that people can use to find peace of mind and promote good health habits. One method that we use at Recovia is Heartmath. Heartmath is based on the philosophy that the heart communicates with the brain and the body on various levels. The purpose of Heartmath is to connect the heart, mind, and emotions in order to create positive outcomes.
There is this stigma that eating healthy is gross, expensive, difficult, and boring. Many people lack the desire to live a life that doesn't revolve around amazing tasting food. This is understandable, but what if I told you eating healthy can also be delicious!
When living in pain sometimes the first thought in the morning is how much pain the day holds. Will your body be miserable all day or is there the possibility that you may find some relief? Your mornings are very important and if started properly, may allow you to have less pain throughout the day. Here are 5 tips to help improve how you are feeling and help eliminate some of that pain. .
How badly do you want to live a normal life even though you are in an incredible amount of pain every day? Do you cringe at the thought of missing out on fun activities and making memories with your loved ones? Assuming that you fall into these categories and others like them , you probably love the idea of traveling and going on a nice vacation, but may fear the pain that has to join you.
Pain is an interesting struggle. It can strip you of your freedom, your joy, your passions, and so much more. It can make you crawl into bed and have little desire to ever leave. Many people have no idea how they should cope with such an illness. Although it may seem daunting to take on even the smallest task or activity, creativity has been shown to help individuals cope with pain. .
Is it possible to think about anything other than the amount of pain your body is in? Can you even place your energy and thoughts anywhere other than managing your pain? Although you may think it impossible, the answer is yes! But, it takes commitment and time to cope with pain when you feel hopeless. Here are 5 tips to help you deal with your pain and function:.
Everyone has a different taste in music and experiences it in a unique way. Although this may vary among individuals, it can be agreed that everyone is influenced by music. We have probably realized at one point or another, music can impact our emotions. You may be in a great mood blasting your favorite artist, or in a sad mood and enabling it with depressing songs. Whatever the case, you know it can affect you. However, have you ever thought about music affecting your body physically? Research shows that music can affect how you are feeling, not just emotionally, but physically as well. Music Can Distract You: This strong connection you have with music and your favorite piece can distract you from the pain that you are experiencing. Not only are you taking your mind off of the pain, but you can control the music that you are listening to.
Organic food is a hot topic at the moment, some controversy surrounds the organic movement but there is also a lot of support! Not only does the support for organic food grow at a rapid pace, but the support of research promoting the many health benefits has also grown. Before taking a look at the benefits and impact that it may have, let’s dive into what this movement actually is.
Depending on your pain and the area of your body that it affects, the tasks and jobs you are comfortable performing may vary. You may know what everyday activities cause your pain to flare up, but have you ever considered your job and how it impacts your pain? Take a look at these tips and tricks and try to incorporate them into your current job or one you may be looking for. .
Water, water, water, seems to be all we have ever heard about since we were young, but what is it about this liquid that actually helps our bodies? Well, there is actually a lot! Here are some reasons for why we should drink as much water as possible and how it connects to our overall health. Water Aids in Digestion: Digestion relies heavily on enzymes that are found in saliva, which actually originates from water. Water intake supplies you with enough saliva to break down the food and digest it, and is also necessary to digest soluble fiber that our bodies need.
If you suffer from chronic pain then you know how difficult it can be to find activities that will keep the aching to a minimum. Even lying on the couch or sitting down with your favorite book can cause unwanted soreness.
Have you ever thought that maybe the food you are eating is contributing to your achy body? We know that food can drastically change how the body feels, but we don’t often know that it may affect the body’s inflammation. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can significantly decrease the inflammation in the body that may be increasing pain symptoms and other health-related issues. Although some inflammation in the body is necessary, too much can fire up these illnesses and cause uncomfortable pain. Foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat can spur this inflammation. Although wanting to eat that cookie or bowl of popcorn may seem worth it at the moment, it can actually cause more harm than just a stomach ache.
If you have chronic pain you know how lonely and isolated it can make you feel. No matter how many times you tell your family and friends about it, they will never fully understand. However, just because they do not understand does not mean that no one else will. There is actually a whole group of people that may understand exactly what you are feeling, because they may be feeling it too. .
Chronic pain is an illness that not only affects people physically, but also mentally and emotionally. This illness attacks the body, causing the victim to live in pain and agony. After living with this as a daily struggle, it starts to affect the body in ways beyond just physical. Can you relate to this experience? If you can, then you know what comes next. Mentally, you can only handle so much pain and bear so many realities of everyday life. This can then lead to emotional and relational distress.
Functional Flex-care programs focus on helping patients to heal their bodies psychologically, medically, and socially. It is necessary to focus on these forms of healing when the body has an intense injury or pain. Each injury that leads to chronic pain always begins as physical.
An important step in treating chronic pain and one practiced at Recovia is physical therapy. Individuals suffering from chronic pain commonly benefit from participating in physical therapy, even though it can be perceived to cause more pain. There are various methods and reasons why physical therapy is used to treat chronic pain. .
Recovia is built around a Functional Restoration Program (FRP) that has five primary disciplines. Each discipline is designed to help individuals suffering from chronic pain overcome their illness and obtain overall physical health. The five disciplines are Behavioral Medicine, Physical Therapy, Pain Medication Management, Interventional Pain Management, and Lifestyle Counseling. Although all are important and necessary in a whole body approach, one of the primary disciplines incorporated in the program is Behavioral Medicine. So what exactly is Behavioral Medicine and how can it help someone suffering from Chronic Pain? Behavioral medicine combines medicine and psychology and is focused on how the mind is related to physical health. Behavioral medicine is not merely health psychology, although it does incorporate aspects of it. It mainly includes psychological therapies, the end goal focusing on the healing of the body rather than preventing injury or illness. This goal of remedying the body can greatly affect chronic pain as psychological barriers can often impact the ability to heal.
A Functional Restoration Program (FRP) is a rehabilitation program for chronic pain sufferers. This type of program aims to increase physical functioning, improve pain coping skills, and help facilitate the mending of the body as a whole. Complete body wellness, both physical and mental, is a necessary part of chronic pain healing. What exactly is chronic pain and how will this type of program help? Chronic pain is a pain that lasts for an extended period of time, often for months or even years. Pain is typically diagnosed as chronic if it lasts longer than 3-6 months. Although this pain is recognized as a physical feeling, long term pain can begin to impact an individual’s mental and social health. This where where an FRP is beneficial. .
Cancer, a word that is very common and a disease that a majority of people know a lot about. It comes in various forms, affects a lot of people around us, and appears in plenty of television shows and films. Cancer is present everywhere, known as a hard driven killer, and it can easily be portrayed as physical changes occur in the individual. Just a few films that focus on this disease are My Sister’s Keeper, The Bucket List, and 50/50. Mental illness is another disease that is making its way into our common and everyday language. Whether it is in the news or appears on tv, it has started to play a heavy role in society. Although this particular disease cannot be seen, a fair amount of research has been done and there are certain physical attributes that can in most cases make it obvious that someone may be suffering from mental illness. A couple of films are Silver Linings Playbook and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Chronic pain on the other hand is seldom seen, talked about, or portrayed in film and on tv. Recently, however, that all changed with the release of Jennifer Aniston’s film, Cake. Cake portrays Jennifer Aniston’s character as a person living with chronic pain following an accident.
Painkillers are used in excess by millions of Americans daily. Although the original intention in using prescription painkillers is intended to reduce pain for a short period of time, it is a common occurrence when painkillers become part of a regular routine. It can be difficult for loved ones to tell the difference between using medication for pain management, and abusing it. Where is the boundary? Here are some sure signs that may indicate whether an individual has graduated to a physical dependency and how to help a loved one overcome the addiction. Sign #1- Decrease in energy level. Do they seem drowsy and tired? Are they missing out on activities and social events that they wouldn’t normally miss out on? If this seems to be consistent and you begin to notice tired eyes and facial expressions, or there seems to be a withdrawal from family and friends, they may be overusing their medication.
Do you like grabbing a cup of coffee with friends or camping out at your favorite little coffee shop in town to catch up on work and emails? Is coffee a social aspect for you, or are you someone who relies on that caffeine boost to get you up in the morning, and keep you going throughout the day? I personally am the latter! However, something so trivial and helpful throughout the day can actually be causing harm. If you drink coffee regularly and also experience back pain, it is possible that there may be a connection. Although drinking coffee won't physically injure you, it can cause back aches and enhance previously existing aches and pains. According to The Healthy Home Economist, caffeine specifically places stress on the adrenal glands. These are round disk shaped organs that sit atop each kidney on the posterior side of the body. “Stressing out the adrenals all the time with an unchecked caffeine habit weakens not only the adrenal glands but the entire area around them which includes the lower back,” reports the publication. Weak adrenals can also take vital nutrients away from the ligaments and tendons, which can then affect the joints. This can include the sacroiliac joint which supports the weight of the entire body.
It is hard to determine whether a lack of sleep causes more pain or if it is the immense amount of pain that causes less sleep. Whatever the case, sleep and pain go hand in hand. Tossing around all night watching your clock inch closer and closer to the early hour that you have to wake up is traumatizing! Not only that, but knowing that the day ahead will be full of pain and medication only adds to the horror. This cycle of little sleep and lots of pain can lead to depression and other health problems. Let’s break down what the issues may be so you can better understand why your sleep and pain is interacting the way that it is.
A program that focuses on rehabilitation for chronic pain sufferers will only truly provide benefit if the lessons learned during treatment are continued in everyday life. As with any rehabilitation program, it is important to implement consistency and carry out the methods developed during the program. Here at Recovia, we equip our patients with successful tools and techniques to practice daily at home. Our final discipline in our 5-discipline program is lifestyle counseling. Lifestyle counseling is a part of our mission, we want to ensure that patients leave our facility feeling better and healthier. We believe that as a patient, hope and pain relief should not end when the program ends, but rather that it continues long after.