Futures Recovery

Pain Treatment

Chronic pain is a cause and a result of addiction disorders. Untreated pain can lead people to feel the need to self-medicate. Whether patients become dependent upon prescribed pain medications or use illicit drugs to sooth pain symptoms, sources of pain must be diagnosed and addressed to eliminate the causes.

Pain can be a cause and result of addiction. When undiagnosed and untreated, pain may lead people to self-medicate. Recent media attention about the addiction epidemic focuses mainly on people becoming dependent upon prescribed opioid pain medications and being unable to discontinue their use. While pain medications are relatively easy to prescribe, diagnosing and treating the causes of underlying pain may take time and various medical interventions. Many of those addicted to pain medications never received the care needed to solve the underlying sources of physical pain. Opioid addiction can also make pain symptoms worse. Opioid-induced hypoalgesia is a condition caused by long-term use of opioids that leads to increased pain sensitivity.

The Futures chronic pain program is designed to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of pain that contribute to and exacerbate addiction. The program incorporates specialized physical therapy and fitness, cognitive behavioral therapy, graduated narcotic detoxification, and dietary and nutritional consultation. 

Physical therapy and physical fitness are central to this program. Specialized exercise and fitness programming teaches patients how to self-manage pain through healthy exercise. Flexibility and strengthening exercises are used to provide long-term relief and give individuals the training they need to reduce their pain symptoms naturally. Patients receiving specialized treatment for pain are helped to align physical therapy, fitness, massage, yoga, and other resources as part of ongoing care before discharge.

Specialized, graduated detoxification led by Futures psychiatrist Dr. Gloria Dunkin, helps patients slowly and steadily taper off of the use of narcotic and opioid medications. Graduated medically-supervised detoxification is especially crucial to pain patients dependent upon opioid medicines. The process ensures a safer path to stabilization and helps to reduce the discomfort associated with opioid withdraw. The Futures detoxification center is staffed 24 hours-per-day by experienced nurses and clinicians.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the primary psychotherapy used in the Futures chronic pain programming. CBT focuses on the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This method of therapy has been shown to be effective in helping return function and quality of life to pain patients. Pain treatment therapy focuses on changing the way pain is perceived, learning to change behaviors and develop coping strategies, and developing healthy behaviors to improve relief. 

Nutrition and diet can play a role in reducing pain. Futures pain patients receive individualized care from a dietician and nutritionist to educate and develop meal planning skills that reduce inflammation and add to improved health. 

This specialized pain treatment, through coordinated physical fitness, medical care, psychotherapy, and nutritional education, can help return quality of life, teach people to manage long-term pain naturally and effectively, and end the cycle of opioid pain medication dependency.