Multidisciplinary Pain Rehabilitation includes the integration of biomedical treatment with physical therapy, group and individual cognitive behavioral therapy, nutrition, expressive therapies, therapeutic movement, vocational counseling, workers’ compensation classes, pragmatic return to work efforts, health & wellness classes and medical meetings focused on medication management.
Generally speaking, if a patient is undergoing consideration for multidisciplinary care, they are probably not doing well. These patients have typically been in the WC system for extended periods, have been through extensive care, have exhausted treatment options, and attempt to manage chronic pain on a daily basis. Many have experienced the ill-effects of prolonged use of medications, post-operative pain and complications, and the comorbidities that accompany prolonged disability such as increased weight gain, depression and anxiety.
Goals of treatment shift the focus to patients as active participants, helping to educate and empower them to take more active roles in treatment, enabling them to self-manage pain-related difficulties, developing skills to effectively manage stress and problem solve. Effort is made to create accountability, producing an environment that has structural similarity to work settings.
Short and long-term goals are continuously reinforced, and include an increase in function, return to work, increased activity, reduction in pain, reduction/elimination of reliance on opioid analgesia, reduction in emotional distress, mastery of coping techniques, and decreased medical resource utilization.