We know that your pain is real. Sometimes it is not clear what is causing pain. Sometimes healthcare providers
aren't able to relieve the pain.
However, we know that the pain is real. It is not imaginary and it significantly affects people's lives!
Chronic or Persistent Pain is pain that lasts more than several months. It means the body is no longer able to heal the damage leading to the pain. Approximately 100 million U.S. adults are affected by chronic pain. That is more than the number affected by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined.
Western's Pain Program is here to help. We have psychologists and counselors who work with medical providers to help improve the psychological and social in order to improve the pain experience.
The Institute of Medicine's National Pain Strategy calls for integrated pain care:
"Healthcare providers, insurers, and the public need to understand that although pain is universal, it is experienced uniquely by each person, and care—which often requires a combination of therapies and coping techniques—must be tailored. Pain is more than a physical symptom and is not always resolved by curing the underlying condition. Persistent pain can cause changes in the nervous system and become a distinct chronic disease."
—Relieving Pain in American: A Blueprint for Transforming, Prevention, Care, Education, and Research, 2011: Institute of Medicine (IOM)
About Chronic Pain
What is pain? Learn about chronic pain and what to do about it by clicking on the video at the bottom of this page.
How does chronic pain compare to other medical problems? For a brief Stanford University clip, click here.
How does Western view opioid medications? This brief clip provides an overview of the safety and effectiveness of opioids: Click here
How do we treat chronic pain? This video provides an overview of holistic care for chronic pain: Click here.
Treatment options at Western
Evaluation: A pain specialist can meet with you to talk about your pain experience. The psychologist or counselor will outline options for helping improve your pain experience.
For clients who have completed the Explain Pain group, we offer an Advanced Self-management group with a focus on practical skills to manage pain provided in an experiential, supportive group environment.
Biofeedback: Clients in our pain program also have the option of biofeedback as an adjunctive therapy.
Consultation & Coordination of Care: Our pain specialists can offer a second opinion or consultation regarding pain management. Pain specialists can work with medical providers in order to coordinate care.
Medication Assisted Treatment: For people who are wishing to detox from opioids, Western has developed a collaborative relationship with Recovery Works NW and Integra. These programs provide Medical Assisted Treatment (Suboxone, etc) in collaboration with Western providers.
Addictions Treatment: Western's Chemical Dependency Program can help with addictions issues, whether due to opioids or other substances.
Learn more about the Explain Pain approach:
Here is a video by the Explain Pain developers that provides an overview of our approach to treating pain.