Following injury or illness, coping with persisting or chronic pain can be one of the biggest challenges that you face.
Acute and chronic pain may originate from a fracture, lower back injury, nerve injury like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), or result from diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), gout, or post herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Sometimes it appears to have an onset without any of these being present.
What we do know is that everyone experiences pain differently, and how you respond to your own pain experience differs one day to the next. The important point to remember is that at Proactive we are experts in managing and resolving pain, both acute pain from a recent injury, and pain that has persisted for longer than the expected healing time.
In 2018 we were selected by the Hawkes Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) to run a Chronic Pain Management Service for the Hawkes Bay community. We’re pleased to say that we’ve had a positive impact on hundreds of clients since the inception of the programme.
What is pain management and treatment and how are we different?
Pain Management is about helping you to understand the factors that may be contributing to ongoing pain, and then to help you to find ways to reduce the impact that pain has on your daily life.
The best way to manage pain is different for everyone. We start by listening to you and understanding how pain has impacted on your life. Then we work together to plan your treatment. This may include:
- Understand your fears and worries about how the pain is, and will impact on your life. Then help you be able to move past these feelings and thoughts with carefully monitored activities.
- Understanding which medications may work for you, prescribing them and monitoring their benefit. This may be an important first step in enabling you to engage with other parts of the programme as you’ll be able to see a positive change.
- Helping you regulate your sleep patterns which has a huge impact on pain. Often pain impacts your ability to get a good nights sleep. This may in turn leave us irritable, lead to difficulties concentrating and impact on our motivation, all of which may impact on our relationships with others.
- Assisting you to gradually and successfully add back activities that you may have avoided due to worries about making your pain worse. Avoiding these activities at the start of pain is completely normal, however it can lead to an ever decreasing circle of enjoyable activities over time. We can help with the first small steps of getting back to your regular life.
- Gradual and gentle exercises prescribed by a specialist who understands your unique starting point or ‘base camp’. Most people with persisting pain have tried and many have failed to add in exercise as a strategy forward. Our understanding of pain physiology enables us to choose the right starting point for you, then tweak it so you keep moving forward.
- Helping you understanding pain physiology and the ‘why’ of pain. It’s really important that you have the ability to control the ‘volume switch’ of your pain. By learning more about the mechanisms of pain we can help you adjust your own pain levels over time. This is called therapeutic pain neuroscience and was made popular by Dr Lorimer Moseley and Dr David Butler with “Explain Pain”.
Our team of specialists
At Proactive we have access to a wide range of clinicians to help treat your pain. We like to think of it as a team with you being the captain, deciding where we go and our team helping to make that happen. Too often people with persistent pain have their voice lost, whereas we take the approach of wrapping our service around your needs.
Our pain management programme is a holistic integrated and multidisciplinary service with access to a range of different expert health professionals. The type of professionals involved in your care, and the length of the service will depend on your needs.
The professionals that may be involved in your programme include:
- Medical Doctors specialising in Pain Management and Occupational Medicine
- Occupational therapists
- Clinical Pharmacists and Community Pharmacists
- Social Workers
- Other qualified health practitioners.
The programme that we provide is structured in the following steps:
- Understanding your needs: The first part of your programme will include some questionnaires, and a face to face assessment. The purpose of this is to get a comprehensive understanding of your current status and your needs.
- Making a plan: After the assessment you will work with your provider(s) to make a plan. The object of the plan is to decide on what you need in order to reduce the impact of pain in your daily life. Once we have finalised a plan we can begin work on achieving your goals.
- The Service: The services that you will be involved in will depend on your needs. This may include health and wellbeing based education, exercise, strategies to help you improve your pain levels and the way pain impacts you, a review of which medication works best for you and other services depending on your needs.
- What happens afterwards: As we go through the programme, we will be able to measure the impact that pain is having on your life. When you have reached a point where your goals have been achieved, we will work with you on strategies to maintain your improvements and prevent any relapses. We will also be able to engage with your GP, other healthcare providers, family members or any significant others regarding any further support that you need.
Our Pain Management Services are designed to gain an understanding of your situation and your needs, and to help you take back control of the things that are important to you.
Besides the HBDHB Pain Management Service, Proactive were selected to provide the new world class ACC funded Pain Management Service that has been launched by ACC across New Zealand from the 1st of December 2016. Proactive also continues to provide this service to private insurers, companies and individuals. We also operate pain management services for the Hauora Tairawhiti DHB.