Content Reviewed by Cameron Bolish, M.Ed., CEO of PaRC

Chronic pain occurs when physical pain is long-lasting, can be hard to manage and can lead to other co-occurring issues, such as anxiety or depression. PaRC pain recovery program offers a multifaceted approach that consists of mental, physical and behavioral strategies without relying on prescription medications. The PaRC chronic pain program includes behavioral therapy, nutrition for pain recovery, stress management and substance abuse education and counseling. PaRC’s chronic pain program strives to help clients achieve long-term pain relief and live a substance free life.

Chronic pain and addiction have a complicated relationship. When people experience acute pain, it is common for them to rely on over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin and Advil (ibuprofen), for temporary relief. However, chronic pain is not always manageable through OTC pain relief.

While more effective medicines are available to manage chronic pain, the long-term use of prescription medications increases several health risks, including addiction and dependency. It is essential to recognize that, although it may take time to experience effective pain relief, there are ways to treat chronic pain without relying on prescription medications. People must familiarize themselves with ways to treat chronic pain that do not enable individuals to fall victim to the cycle of addiction.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is persistent, long-lasting, physical pain. It is sometimes defined as pain that lasts longer than three to six months. Despite chronic pain being a common health issue, it is problematic and can be very difficult to treat.

Chronic pain tends to become more prevalent with aging. There is no one root cause for chronic pain. Still, research shows that it most likely results from an underlying health condition, injury, medical treatment, inflammation or issues deep in the nervous system. Other times, the cause of chronic pain is unknown. While not all people with chronic pain have an underlying health issue, the most common diagnoses associated with chronic pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer

Pain is subjective. Chronic pain is severe physical pain that disrupts an individual’s ability to function normally in daily life. It can take a toll on an individual’s work life, social life and ability to care for themself and others. Chronic pain may lead to sleep issues, depression and anxiety, which exacerbates the pain in many cases.

A person with chronic pain may describe their pain as:

  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Sharp
  • Dull
  • Stiff
  • Shooting
  • Throbbing
  • Stinging

Recognizing the Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is not only physically straining, but it is also known for causing intense mental distress. Chronic pain limits individuals’ ability to live life how they wish. The pain itself is debilitating, but it also causes a person to continuously be on edge due to anticipation of when their symptoms may flare up again.

Due to the emotional stress that chronic pain can cause, people living with it may experience mood changes and disruptions in thought, which affect behavior. This factor commonly leads to the depression and anxiety that most people with chronic pain experience.

The Difficulties With Treating Chronic Pain

One of the most common ways to treat chronic pain is prescription pain medications, such as opiates. However, the use of prescription drugs long-term pose increased health risks, including:

  • Drug addiction
  • Drug abuse
  • Drug overdose
  • Drug dependency
  • Adverse side effects

We live amid an opiate epidemic, which began primarily from those with chronic pain and other physical-related injuries progressing from prescription medications to illegal street drugs because of increased dependency. Opiates are highly addictive substances, and withdrawal effects from opiates can create unmanageable side effects. This unfortunate truth has only intensified the difficulties with treating chronic pain, noting that even short-term opiate use can lead to problematic dependency.

PaRC’s Effective Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

Chronic pain conditions require a multifaceted approach to treatment. PaRC utilizes a multifaceted approach that includes physical, mental and behavioral strategies for treating pain while promoting recovery. We offer a pain recovery program that assists clients in being the best versions of themselves and achieving pain management and relief without relying on prescription medications.

PaRC utilizes both traditional and non-traditional recovery solutions to effectively address client concerns. Some of the goals of our program include:

  • Help clients achieve relief from pain
  • Establish a daily routine for clients to manage symptoms
  • Increase activity levels and endurance
  • Increase functional ability
  • Decrease amount of physician office visits for chronic pain
  • Teach clients tools, techniques and skills needed to manage pain without narcotic medications
  • Minimize unhealthy behaviors
  • Transition clients back to work
  • Reduce client reliance on healthcare professionals by improving clients’ ability to manage pain independently

PaRC’s pain recovery program includes numerous elements that help individualize care since every client’s condition is unique. These elements include:

  • Physical and behavioral therapy
  • Nutrition for pain recovery
  • Neurolumen therapy
  • Meditation, mindfulness and biofeedback
  • Sleep regulation
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress management and coping skills
  • Acupuncture treatment for alternative pain relief
  • Communication and interpersonal skills training
  • Exercise for pain recovery
  • Pain flare-up and relapse prevention
  • Substance abuse education and counseling
  • Non-habit-forming medications as appropriate

PaRC is passionate about helping clients treat and manage their chronic pain without relying on medications. We offer a multifaceted approach to recovery that addresses each client’s physical, mental and behavioral needs, working to help each individual achieve long-term pain relief. Here, you can take back control of your life and live substance-free. To learn more about chronic pain and addiction or hear more about our program for recovery, call PaRC today at (713) 939-7272.