The Supportive Care Clinic at United Regional offers a multidimensional approach to the care of persons living with chronic pain. We treat people, not just pain.
What is Pain?
Pain is a combination of sensory input, emotion, learning, and daily life. As a child, you learned that certain actions, like touching something hot or falling and twisting an ankle, would cause pain. This acute pain alerts you so you can take care of the injury—cool the burn, elevate and ice the ankle so healing can occur.
Sometimes pain lasts longer than expected. Pain that continues beyond three months is known as chronic pain. Chronic pain can have profound effects on physical health, emotional health and social well-being and it can take away your sense of purpose. It can cause emotional distress, like anxiety, frustration or low mood, or interfere with daily activities, or cause you to interact less with other people.
What is Supportive Care Treatment?
Our innovative program involves education, rehabilitation, and psychological interventions aimed at improving the effectiveness of your current treatment and decreasing your pain and its impact on your daily life.
- We have extended appointments, so you have more time to explain your symptoms, ask questions, and get answers.
- Our team members understand the lived experience of chronic pain and the challenges it can cause.
- We develop a treatment plan with input and collaboration from you and your health care providers, that integrates the biological, psychological, and social aspects of pain care.
- We will not prescribe or make medication adjustments and will not require you to decrease or discontinue your current medications.
- We will support you on your journey toward better health and quality of life. Our nurse navigator will follow your progress between visits and connect you with community resources, if needed, to reduce barriers to care.
Why do I hurt?
This is a common question. You have pain when your brain concludes you are in danger and should assess the situation in your body and take precautionary measures if needed.
Research tells us that all pain—acute and chronic—involves your brain’s interpretation of sensory inputs based on context. Sensory inputs are electrical impulses that keep your brain informed about what is going on in your body. Context is your biology (health), your state of mind (frustration, sadness, fear, calm), your understanding/ knowledge, and your life experiences. Context can alter brain chemicals and amplify or reduce pain.
How can chronic pain affect your life?
Chronic pain can be very disruptive to many parts of your life. It can:
- Limit the ability to maintain family roles such as financial provider, parent, or spouse.
- Increase dependence on others and feelings of being a burden.
- Cause conflict in relationships or make a person avoid spending time with family and friends, which can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.
- Create uncertainty about the future and financial stability.
- Severely limit a sense of purpose and enjoyment in work and recreational activities or hobbies.
- Lead to sleep problems, low energy, weight gain, low mood, excessive worry, and too many medications.
Let’s change the outcome together
Even if it seems that your pain has gotten the best of you, it does not necessarily mean that you are doomed to have high levels of pain forever. There are treatment options that don’t include more drugs and procedures. Combining these treatments with your current treatment could be very helpful.
It is possible for you to live a happy fulfilled life despite your symptoms. It may not be easy but is not impossible. The Supportive Care team can help.
The Supportive Care Clinic team will work with your primary care provider, specialists, and other members of your healthcare team to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need for the successful management of your chronic pain.
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To find more information about United Regional’s Supportive Care Program, or to make a referral, please call (940) 764-5732.