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What Is Integrated Pain Management?

When speaking of different approaches to pain management, some of the most impressive advancements have been made in the field of integrated pain management (IPM). This holistic approach, which emphasizes treating the whole patient and not just the symptom(s), is a popular treatment option offered by the Princeton Health Care Center in West Virginia.

Integrated Pain Management – Definition

An easy way to view integrated pain management is through the lens of the well-known phrase, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Instead of the traditional “treat the symptoms” approach to medicine, IPM seeks to develop healing options matched to a patient’s beliefs, interests, and choice, thus empowering the patient to become an active participant in his or her pain management. In a broader sense, IPM creates a collaborative relationship between the patient, his family, his physician, and other healthcare providers. At our local healthcare center, integrated pain management is an integral part of the long-term care program that we offer to our residents.

Though they may look healthy on the outside, people suffering from chronic pain may have to endure a great deal of discomfort and physical exertion just to get out of a chair, ride in a car, or sit at a table. For many people, the source of their pain remains a mystery, thus making it difficult for traditional medicine to help them achieve a level of normalcy and function in their lives.

Depending on medical history and severity of pain, a patient’s integrative pain management program could consist of several different treatment approaches, including laser technology, acupuncture, and massage, as well as behavioral/physical therapy and patient education – with all parties playing an active role in identifying, addressing, and resolving the patient’s pain.

What Happens If Pain Goes Untreated?

Pain is oftentimes complex and multidimensional, requiring an integrative approach to management. An accurate assessment of a person’s pain is critical for determining appropriate solutions, evaluating these solutions, and making changes where necessary. The consequences of under-recognized/untreated pain can lead to a significantly decreased quality of life, with symptoms including:

  • Depression
  • Decreased socialization
  • Limited Mobility
  • Falls
  • Increase in Cardiovascular risk
  • Impaired Posture
  • Exorbitant healthcare costs

Integrated Pain Management – Goals

Alleviation/management of pain, increased mental and physical function, and an overall improved quality of life are the core goals of an integrated pain management program. And with less pain and stress, the patient’s mood, sleep, and relationships with others will markedly improve, along with their active participation in routine daily tasks and activities enjoyed with peers.

IPM works best when the patient is well educated about his pain and the meaning of it. It’s also important that the patient’s family and caregiver are educated too, and that they play an active role in the IPM program – including the assessment and documentation of the outcomes related to the different pain management approaches that our nearby healthcare provider tries with the patient. The goal here is to fine-tune the patient’s IPM treatment to an optimum level – and with everyone involved in this ongoing process, there are no surprises when changes are made to the patient’s treatment.

Talk With Princeton Health Care Center Today

By treating the whole person and not just the symptoms, integrated pain management decreases a patient’s perception of pain, increases function, and improves quality of life. For more information on advanced pain management, contact Princeton Health Care Center today.

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