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Chronic Pain-network
Guidelines to Evalutate a Pain Center
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What to look for:
 
1) The pain center should recognize the complexity of chronic pain: it's disruptive effect on your physical, emotional, social and vocational life, particularly by providing assistance for the depression which can accompany chronic pain.

2) Chronic pain treatment requires a comprehensive treatment program, combining medical and psychological support. It should train you to shake off the passivity that often accompanies chronic pain in order to regain control of the pain and your life.

3) The director of the program, usally an MD, should be certified in one of the specialties involved in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain.

4) A staff of professionals should be available full time.

5) The center should be professional qualified to review your medical records and tests, perform additional tests when appropriate for diagnostic purposes, do physical examinations, and set appropriate goals for treatment.

6) The program should be availabe to provide the following treatment services:

- Drug reduction or elimination as well as proper management of narcotics and tranquilizers.

- Physical therapy and exercise.

- Psychosocial therapy through individual and/or support group work.

- Exercises to reach relaxation and reduce stress. A good place to start is with Yoga.

- Behavior therapy for patients and families, to coach you out of you pain behavior, and the cycles of negative thinking.

- Vocational counseling and rehabilitation.

- A research program directed towards inproving treatment and measuring it's effectiveness.

- An admission policy that requires referal from a physician who should be kept informed of your condition, consulted, and advised about recommended post treatment care.


Adapted from the Chronic Pain Control Worbook, 2nd Edition, and Pain Management and IC, by Dr. Daniel Brookoff.  A copy of it can be found a the on the http://icnetwork.com.